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How to Cook

Cooking Skirt Steak

How to Cook Skirt Steak

Have you ever looked at a skirt steak and wondered, "What am I supposed to do with this?" You're not alone! But properly prepared, skirt steak is a quick, delicious option for any meal.

 

The best way to cook skirt steak is quickly and over high heat. This thin cut is perfect on the grill and great seared in a skillet. You can also broil it in the oven. Skirt steak is a terrific cut for stir fry recipes and ideal for fajitas.

 

You'll also need to know how to slice skirt steak. The muscle fibers in skirt steak are strong and can be tough. Carving skirt steak against the grain transforms it into tender indulgence.

 

The instructions below tell you how to grill skirt steak, how to cook skirt steak in the oven, how to slice skirt steak and more. We've also included a chart that will tell you how long to cook skirt steak, depending on the cooking method you choose (be sure to use a meat thermometer for best results). Once you learn how to prepare skirt steak, this quick, easy and flavorful cut may become one of your favorites!

How to Cook Skirt Steak on the Grill

  • Be sure your skirt steak is completely thawed.
  • Season your skirt steak as desired; we recommend Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.
  • Typically, a skirt steak is a very thin, long piece of meat. If you wish, cut the steak into 3 or 4 sections for individual portions and to make it easier to carve after cooking.
  • To cook on a charcoal grill, place your skirt steak over the hottest part of the grill, and grill for 1-2 minutes. Use the chart below to determine how long to grill skirt steak. Turn about 1 minute prior to the halfway point.
  • To cook on a gas grill, preheat on high. Place your skirt steak over the hottest part of the grill, and grill for 1-2 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to medium and use the chart below to determine how long to grill skirt steak. Turn about 1 minute prior to the halfway point.
  • For the perfect medium-rare skirt steak, grill for 5-7 minutes, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. A meat thermometer should read 130°F.
  • Rest your skirt steak for 5 minutes before serving, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise about 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). The final temperature will read 135°F.
  • Resting skirt steak is also important because the heat of cooking pulls the juices in the meat toward the surface; if you slice into it immediately after cooking, those flavorful juices will end up on your plate, not in your skirt steak. Allowing the steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.
  • Make sure your carving knife is sharp (See our Expert Tips for How to Sharpen a Knife and Expert tips for How to Carve a Steak).
  • Take a good look at your skirt steak and note which direction the muscle fibers are running. Slide your knife back and forth across those fibers - across the grain - cutting your skirt steak into slices. Keep each slice no more than 1/4" thick.
  • To make each bite extra tender, hold your knife blade at a 45° angle; this is called "cutting on the bias." Cutting against the grain this way exposes more surface area in each fiber and keeps the fibers from being stacked directly on top of each other in each slice of meat, further weakening the bonds that hold them together.

How to Cook Skirt Steak in the Oven

  • Be sure your skirt steak is completely thawed.
  • Season your skirt steak as desired; we recommend Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.
  • Typically, a skirt steak is a very thin, long piece of meat. If you wish, cut the steak into 3 or 4 sections for individual portions or to make it easier to carve after cooking.
  • Set oven for broil and preheat 10 minutes.
  • Place skirt steak on the rack of a broiler pan. Position broiler pan in oven so that the surface of the beef is 3 to 4 inches from the heat. Broil to desired doneness; use the chart below to determine how long to cook skirt steak under the broiler.
  • For the perfect medium-rare skirt steak, broil in the oven for 5-7 minutes, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. A meat thermometer should read 130°F.
  • Rest your skirt steak for 5 minutes before serving, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise about 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). The final temperature will read 135°F.
  • Resting skirt steak is also important because the heat of cooking pulls the juices in the meat toward the surface; if you slice into it immediately after cooking, those flavorful juices will end up on your plate, not in your skirt steak. Allowing the steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.
  • Make sure your carving knife is sharp (See our Expert Tips for How to Sharpen a Knife and Expert tips for How to Carve a Steak).
  • Take a good look at your skirt steak and note which direction the muscle fibers are running. Slide your knife back and forth across those fibers - across the grain - cutting your skirt steak into slices. Keep each slice no more than 1/4" thick.
  • To make each bite extra tender, hold your knife blade at a 45° angle; this is called "cutting on the bias." Cutting against the grain this way exposes more surface area in each fiber and keeps the fibers from being stacked directly on top of each other in each slice of meat, further weakening the bonds that hold them together.

Pan-Seared Skirt Steak on the Stove

If you're wondering how to cook skirt steak on the stove, simply follow these instructions and you'll have mastered one of the quickest, easiest ways to put delicious beef on the table, even on a weeknight.
  • Be sure your skirt steak is completely thawed.
  • Season your skirt steak as desired; we recommend Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.
  • Typically, a skirt steak is a very thin, long piece of meat. If you wish, cut the steak into 3 or 4 sections for individual portions or to make it easier to carve after cooking.
  • Heat a heavy skillet or cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot, for about 5 minutes. A very hot pan delivers the best sear.
  • Add a 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to skillet (enough to coat the bottom) and immediately place skirt steak in the hot skillet.
  • For the perfect medium-rare skirt steak, sear in a skillet for 7-10 minutes, turning about 1 minute before the halfway point. A meat thermometer should read 130°F.
  • Rest your skirt steak for 5 minutes before serving, covering lightly with foil. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise about 5°F during this time (this is called "carryover cooking"). The final temperature will read 135°F.
  • Resting skirt steak is also important because the heat of cooking pulls the juices in the meat toward the surface; if you slice into it immediately after cooking, those flavorful juices will end up on your plate, not in your skirt steak. Allowing the steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in and throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful.
  • Make sure your carving knife is sharp (See our Expert Tips for How to Sharpen a Knife and Expert tips for How to Carve a Steak).
  • Take a good look at your skirt steak and note which direction the fibers are running. Slide your knife back and forth across those fibers - across the grain - cutting your skirt steak into slices. Keep each slice no more than 1/4" thick.
  • To make each bite extra tender, hold your knife blade at a 45° angle; this is called "cutting on the bias." Cutting against the grain this way exposes more surface area in each fiber and keeps the fibers from being stacked directly on top of each other in each slice of meat, further weakening the bonds that hold them together.

Pan-Seared Pre-Sliced Skirt Steak on the Stove

Skirt steak is a versatile cut of beef; pre-sliced and pan-seared it is perfect atop pasta, a salad or in a stir fry.
  • Be sure your skirt steak is completely thawed.
  • Season your skirt steak as desired; we recommend Kansas City Steak Original Steak Seasoning.
  • To pre-slice your skirt steak, place it in the freezer for just 15 minutes; this will firm up the meat and make it easier to slice.
  • Make sure your carving knife is sharp (See our Expert Tips for How to Sharpen a Knife and Expert tips for How to Carve a Steak).
  • Now, take a good look at your skirt steak and note which direction the muscle fibers are running. Slide your knife back and forth across those fibers - across the grain - cutting your skirt steak into slices. Keep each slice no more than 1/4" thick.
  • To make each bite extra tender, hold your knife blade at a 45° angle; this is called "cutting on the bias." Cutting against the grain this way exposes more surface area in each fiber and keeps the fibers from being stacked directly on top of each other in each slice of meat, further weakening the bonds that hold them together.
  • Heat a heavy skillet, a cast-iron skillet, or wok over high heat until hot, for about 5 minutes. A very hot pan delivers the best sear.
  • If you are stir-frying skirt steak, simply follow your recipe directions from this point forward.
  • For the perfect pan-fried skirt steak slices to top pasta, rice, potatoes or a salad, add a 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter to skillet (enough to coat the bottom) and immediately place skirt steak slices in the hot skillet.
  • Sear the slices for 4-7 minutes, turning frequently with tongs, until you see each slice is cooked to the desired level of doneness. Remove and serve immediately.

Cooking Times

for Skirt Steak

Remember to fully thaw your steaks. Sear on high heat for 1 - 2 minutes each side, then move to indirect heat. Turn them 1 minute before the halfway point of the cooking time. For perfect doneness, we recommend you use a meat thermometer and use the Measuring Doneness chart below.

The Grill
Gas Grill Charcoal Grill
Rare 4-6 mins 4-6 mins
Medium-Rare 5-7 mins 5-7 mins
Medium 6-8 mins 6-8 mins
Medium-Well 8-10 mins 8-10 mins
The Stove Or Oven
Skillet Broil
Rare 5-8 mins 4-6 mins
Medium-Rare 7-10 mins 5-7 mins
Medium 8-11 mins 6-8 mins
Medium-Well 10-13 mins 8-10 mins

Measuring Doneness

    Remove when your steaks are 5 degrees less than the temperatures listed. The centers will continue to warm as they rest.

  • 1 Rare

    125°F - Center is bright red; pinkish towards the outside

  • 2 Medium-Rare

    135°F - Center is very pink; slightly brown towards the outside

  • 3 Medium

    145°F - Center is light pink; outer portion is brown

  • 4 Medium-Well

    155°F - Center is slightly pink; outer portion is brown

  • 5 Well

    165°F - Uniformly brown throughout

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Select The
Perfect Steak
How to
Carve a Steak
How to
Sharpen a Knife