If you are a meat lover, then flank and skirt steaks are two of the best cuts you should know about. They are both tough cuts, which are best eaten immediately after they are cooked. A lot of people use the terms interchangeably despite the differences. That said, if you are one of the many who cannot differentiate flank steak vs skirt steak, this article is for you. Keep on reading and learn from the insights we’ll be sharing.
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Key Differences of Flank Steak vs Skirt Steak
Whether you are buying from a butcher or ordering a meal from a restaurant, it helps to be familiar with the different steak cuts. Below, we’ll have a rundown of how flank and skirt steaks are different from each other.
The flank steak is from the cow’s bottom abdominal area. It is from muscles that are often used, which should also give you an idea of its overall quality. On the other hand, the skirt steak is from the diaphragm of the cow, almost like the flank steak. It is also from a muscular portion of the cow’s body.
By looking at the meat, you can tell if it is a flank steak or skirt steak. Flank steak is oval-like and thick. On the other hand, a skirt steak is skinny and long. They are also different in terms of the appearance of the grain. A flank steak has clearly defined muscles. However, the grain in a skirt steak isn’t as tight.
The differences in appearance inevitably result in variations in texture. Skirt steak is generally tougher compared to a flank steak. This means that you should pay more attention to its cooking to make it easy to chew. Cutting against the grain is also recommended to combat the hard texture and make it more appetizing.
People love steaks because of its meaty flavor. If that’s the case, then you should go for a flank steak, which is more flavorful. It has a meaty taste that makes it great even on its own. On the other hand, a skirt steak has a lighter flavor, but that does not mean that it is less delicious. To make it taste better, you might want to complement it with stronger sauces.
The secret to having flavorful steaks is to cook it the right way. In the case of a flank steak, it is best if you cook it quickly and in high heat. Grilling, searing, and reverse searing are some of the methods that will work best. It also does well with marinades, which is a great way to tenderize meat. Meanwhile, if you are cooking skirt steak, you can also do it in high heat, as well as braising and slow cooking. You can stir-fry, grill, or sear this steak cut.
Grilling Flank Steak vs. Grilling Skirt Steak
How to Cook Flank Steak
One of the simplest ways to cook a flank steak is through grilling. It has a charred and meaty flavor, which is made even better by the marinade. Below is a quick guide on how you can grill flank steak, making sure that it ends up tender and flavorful. Before we talk about the steps, here is a list of the ingredients you will need.
- 2 pounds flank steak
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- Ground black pepper
Ready to start? Take note of the steps mentioned below.
- Start by marinading the meat in a non-reactive bowl. Put the steak first, then add all other ingredients. Refrigerate overnight.
- Take the steak out of the fridge and start preparing the grill. Turn the grill to high and wait until it is hot enough to put the steak on the top. Grill each side for one to two minutes or depending on how you like the doneness.
- Take the steak out of the heat and let it rest for ten to 15 minutes.
- After allowing the meat to rest, slice it across the grain and enjoy.
#Video: How to Cook Flank Steak – Cooking Flank Steak
How to Cook Skirt Steak
While there are endless ways to cook skirt steak, one of our favorites is fajitas. In English, the name of the dish translates to “little skirt”, which is also a reference to where it came from. Cooking fajitas is easy, even for a beginner. There is no golden rule, so you can experiment with different recipes. However, for the one we will be talking about in this article, below are the ingredients that you will need:
- 5 pounds skirt steak
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup line juice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 poblano chili
- ½ yellow onion
- Black pepper
- 12 corn tortillas
With your ingredients ready, here’s a quick guide on how you can cook your fajitas:
- Start by cutting your skirt steak into three equal pieces. After cutting, put them in a resealable bag.
- In a bowl, mix cumin powder, chili powder, soy sauce, lime juice, lemon oil, and salt. Whisk until the ingredients blend well. Put ¼ cup aside to use later. Meanwhile, pour the remaining ¾ of the mixture in the bag with the skirt steak. Seal, making sure that air cannot get in and out. Put it in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Take the steak off the bag. Arrange the steaks in a baking sheet and refrigerate again for two hours.
- Next, put a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add canola oil and sprinkle salt on the steak. Once the skillet is hot, put the steak in. Sear for two to three minutes on each side.
- Once done searing, put the fajitas on a plate. Meanwhile, cook onion and peppers on the skillet using the remaining cooking oil.
- Cut the steak, add the onions, and peppers, and arrange in the tortillas. Serve and enjoy!
#Video: How to Cook Skirt Steak
Tips and Trips when Cooking Flank and Skirt Steaks
You do not need to be a gourmet chef to cook your flank and skirt steak like a pro. Below are some of the tips that are worth keeping in mind:
- Do not cook the meat beyond medium rare. Otherwise, it will be chewy and hard to eat.
- Pay attention to the marinades you are using. High acidity is great, which will help break down the fibers.
- Keep the heat high and the cooking duration quick.
- Use only fresh meat to ensure quality and flavor.
- Dry the surface of the steak before you season and sear. It will result in a better crust.
Tips and Tricks for Skirt and Strip Steak – Kitchen Conundrums with Thomas Joseph