Unless you are a total cow nerd, chances are you didn’t even know that there were two kids of skirt steaks, right? I don’t blame you. It is probably that “I was today years old when I learned” meme IRL. So rest easy, my friend. I am not here to troll you; my intentions are good! So without any more delay, let us see what it is all about.
Before we begin the comparison, let us look at what skirt steak is.
What is A Skirt Steak?
A skirt steak is a cut of meat from a cow’s short plate. They are located below the rib. A cow has 4 skirt steaks, 2 inside skirt steaks, and 2 outside skirt steaks. Skirt steaks are one of the most underrated cuts of meat. They are usually quite cheap compared to other cuts of meat, but I don’t think any less of them. They are wonderful and have quite a robust taste. Some of your favorite snacks, like tacos, fajitas, etc., are made from this cut of beef.
Skirt steaks are long and narrow cuts of meat. They have a large surface area compared to their weight. They have lots of folds, nooks, and crannies throughout the entire length of the steak. It makes them perfect candidates for marinading. And hence most skirt steaks are marinated before cooking. It can hold marinades easily in those gaps and crevices. Also, due to their small width, marinades can penetrate them and make them more flavorful.
What Does Skirt Steak Taste Like?
Skirt steaks are flavorful cuts of beef. They are inexpensive cuts of meat that offer a robust taste of beef and are often more flavorful than more expensive cuts. They contain a good amount of fat, especially the outside skirt steaks. This makes them incredibly juicy and rich.
Skirt steaks taste even better when marinated. They are one of the best cuts of meat to be marinated as they mop up and absorb marinades very well, often better than more expensive cuts.
Outside vs Inside Skirt Steak
|Comparison||Inside Skirt||Outside Skirt|
|Location||Diaphragm Muscle between 6th and 12th ribs||Below ribs on the wall of the body|
|Width||Wide on one end, narrow on the other||Wider|
|Fat and Membrane||More fat and membrane are absent||Less fat and membrane are present|
|Availability||More available||Less available|
This is an overall comparison between outside and inside skirt steaks.
How To Store Skirt Steak?
Storing skirt steak is very easy. If your steak is already packed, place it in the freezer to freeze it. If your skirt steak isn’t packed, then follow these steps:
- Wash your steak with running water.
- Remove and clean any leftover blood on the surface.
- Pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Next, trim off the membrane if it’s still attached to the steak.
- Next, remove and trim off any excess fat and silver skin.
- Next portion of the meat.
- Wrap the meat in cling film.
- Squeeze out as much air as you can.
- Wrap it again a second time.
- Next, place the wrapped meat in a ziplock bag or an inside an airtight container.
- Then place it in the freezer and freeze it.
When stored this way, you can keep it frozen, and it will stay good indefinitely, but consuming it within 6-12 months is recommended.
How To Tell If Your Skirt Steak Has Gone Bad?
To check if your skirt steak has gone bad or not, notice the following signs:
- Mold: If you see any mold or fungus on your steaks, then it has gone bad
- Smell: If any funny smell or foul odor comes from the meat, it has gone bad.
- Feel: If the meat feels slimy and sticky, it has gone bad.
- Texture: If the meat has gone mushy, it has gone bad.
Immediately discard any meat that has gone bad, as it can make you sick to the extent that you may need to make a trip to the nearest hospital.
How To Cook Skirt Steaks?
Skirt steaks are easy to cook but require some attention before the very crucial cooking process. And that step is trimming the meat. You must get rid of the membrane and as much excess fat and silver skin as possible. It will result in a much better steak. So regardless of what dish you are trying to make, follow these steps:
- Remove the membrane.
- Trim the steak.
- Remove excess fat.
- Marinade the meat for at least 30 mins and preferably overnight
- After cooking it, allow it to rest.
- Rest it for the same amount of time you cooked it for.
- Then cut into it.
Tip 1 : Always cook skirt steaks at high heat. Whether it is on the stove or the grill. Make sure to char or sear it properly and cook it for 2-5 minutes on each side, depending on the steak’s thickness.
Tip 2 : Skirt steak is a thin cut of meat, do not overcook it as it will result in a dry steak.
While the classic trifecta of salt, pepper, and garlic is always an option, it is not recommended in the case of skirt steaks. Instead, always marinade your skirts steaks. Whether a dry rub or a wet marinade, always marinate your skirt steaks, preferably overnight.
The most popular preparation method for skirt steaks is grilling or pan searing. They can be barbequed, baked, and even stewed. But for the best experience, always grill skirt steaks over charcoal!
What To Serve With Skirt Steaks
Here are some of the best sides for skirt steaks:
- Chimichurri Sauce
It is the best side for skirt steaks, hands down! Not just skirt steaks but any grilled meat or steak. It is an herb-based sauce. It is of two kinds, Green Chimichurri and Red Chimichurri. Usually, when people say chimichurri sauce, they refer to the green variant, as it is the most popular among the two.
It is made by blending herbs like parsley and oregano with aromatics like garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Green chili can also be added for those who can handle hot food. It has a wonderful chunky consistency that is sour with a slightly sweet aftertaste. It will make you salivate, and it complements meat very well.
Corn salad, potato salad, caesar salad, coleslaw, etc.
- Grilled Vegetables:
Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc.
- Potato Based:
French fries, wedges, mashed potatoes, curly fries, baked potatoes, etc.
- Other options:
Creamed spinach, mashed peas, pasta salads, kimchi, fried rice, nachos, poutine, etc.
Answering Some FAQ
Are Skirt Steaks and Flank Steaks the same?
Can you substitute Flank and Skirt Steaks?
Yes, but Skirt Steak is always better between these two.
Which is more tender? Outside Skirt or Inside Skirt?
Outside Skirt steak.
Which is bigger? Outside Skirt or Inside Skirt?
The Inside Skirt is bigger.
Which is thicker? Outside Skirt or Inside Skirt?
Which is more flavorful? Outside Skirt or Inside Skirt?
Which is fattier? Outside Skirt or Inside Skirt?
The Outside Skirt is fattier.
Which is more available? Outside Skirt or Inside Skirt?
Which one is more popular? Outside Skirt or Inside Skirt?
If you haven’t tried skirt steak yet, I request and recommend that you do. It is one of the best cuts of steak out there. Try to get your hands on the outside skirt steaks if you can, as they are better than inside skirt steaks in almost every way, plus they are more flavorful. So go out there, try it yourself, and share your experience with me!
Eva M. Smith is the owner of this website. She is a 4 year old mother of two kids and a professional chef. Eva loves to cook for her family, but being a working mom has a lot of challenges. From squeezing in time to do the groceries to make three meals for the day. Eva knows how challenging cooking can be without a kitchen game plan.
That’s why she perfected techniques of preserving staple ingredients and several foods so that you have something pre-cooked or pre-baked to use for an array of meals. And they do not come short in flavor! And she does not want to sacrifice flavor with convenience. That’s why she is the best person to ask.