Looking for the best skirt steak recipe for a perfectly tender and juicy steak? With a cast iron skillet and a few easy steps, you will learn how to cook skirt steak with an easy homemade marinade that gives your steak an incredible umami flavor!
Why This Is the Best Way to Cook Skirt Steak
Skirt steak is a wonderful cut of meat because it’s packed with beefy flavor and very affordable. By using a homemade soy and balsamic skirt steak marinade, and cooking your steak in a cast iron skillet, you can ensure that the meat has a great sear and is perfectly tender and juicy. Here’s why this is the best way to cook steak.
- Easy and Fast: Cooking a perfect steak doesn’t need to be a big ordeal. This recipe is so easy to follow, and it only takes 45 minutes. Most of that time is spent marinating the steak, so it really only requires about 15 minutes of work. This is a fancy steak dinner that you can easily make on a weeknight!
- Super Tender: The key to a good steak is for the meat to be tender and juicy. This can be hard to do, especially with a lean cut of meat like skirt steak. This recipe uses an easy homemade marinade with balsamic vinegar and soy sauce that helps to break down the meat. The result is a luscious, melt-in-your-mouth piece of skirt steak with an amazing flavor.
- So Flavorful: Skirt steak is one of the most flavorful cuts of meat, and this marinade only makes it more flavorful. There’s a little bit of heat from chili flakes, black pepper, and garlic, and a blast of umami from the soy sauce. Balsamic vinegar adds a touch of sweetness and acidity, while thyme gives the steak that classic herby steakhouse flavor.
With just a few simple ingredients, your steak will be ready in no time! Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page for the exact amounts of each ingredient. For full ingredient amounts and directions, scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Skirt Steak: Because the marinade will tenderize it, we use inside-cut skirt steak. Feel free to also use outside-cut skirt steak, which is a bit more expensive, but a lot more tender.
- Skirt Steak Marinade: Our 5-minute skirt steak marinade recipe is perfect for this dish.
- Avocado Oil: You can use any type of high-heat oil, but don’t use extra virgin olive oil, as it has a low smoke point and will burn.
How to Cook Skirt Steak
This recipe has everything you want in a piece of steak. The crust in golden and crisp, the inside is juicy and pink, and the flavor is packed with salt, spice, herbs, umami, and rich beefy goodness. You won’t believe how easy it is to make!
- Marinate. Put the steak in a ziplock bag with the marinade and rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Sear. Cook the steak over medium or medium-high heat in a hot cast iron skillet for 2-4 minutes, then flip and sear for another 2-3 minutes.
- Rest. Let the stake rest for at least 10 minutes, then cut and serve.
How to Cut Skirt Steak
It’s very important to cut skirt steak correctly. Because skirt steak is a very lean cut of meat, it can get quite chewy and tough. The key is to cut the meat against the grain, which will break the muscle fibers into smaller pieces.
Tips For the Best Steak
This is an easy and fool-proof way to cook rich and juicy skirt steak. But there are a few tricks and tips to help you when you make this recipe.
- High Heat: One of the most important parts of a well-cooked steak is a good sear. In order to get a good sear, you need to have a very hot pan. You can accomplish this by heating the pan over medium-high heat, or by letting it sit for a little while over medium to build up residual heat.
- Cast Iron: If you have a cast iron skillet, use it for this marinated skirt steak recipe. Cast iron is perfect for cooking steak, because it holds heat very well, and gives you a more even sear than most skillets.
- Room Temperature. If you marinate the skirt steak in the fridge, remove it 20-30 minutes before cooking. A steak that’s room temperature when you cook it will be much more juicy and tender, and also more evenly cooked. If you sear a steak straight out of the fridge, you’ll have to overcook the outside of the steak in order to properly cook the inside.
- Meat Thermometer. To make sure that your steak is cooked to your preferred temperature, use an instant-read thermometer. You want the steak 120-130°F for rare, 130-140°F for medium-rare (our preference), 140-145°F for medium, 145-155°F for medium-well, and 160°F for well-done. Keep in mind that the steak will likely gain a few extra degrees after you remove it from the skillet.
- Make Your Sides Ahead of Time: Once you start searing your marinated skirt steak everything happens quickly. You’ll need to pay close attention, and the steak will be finished in a matter of minutes. Because of this, make sure that your side dishes are made before you start cooking the steak. That way, when the meat is done, you’ll be ready to eat.
- Use a Splatter Guard:The one downside of cooking steak in a cast iron skillet is that the grease can splatter quite a bit as it sears. We recommend using a splatter guard when cooking skirt steak to keep your kitchen as mess-free as possible.
You can eat this skirt steak in countless different ways. It’s perfect in fajitas or burritos, as part of a sandwich, on top of a salad like our favorite shaved brussels sprouts salad, or alongside all your favorite traditional steakhouse sides. These roasted green beans, garlic mashed potatoes, parmesan garlic rice, or bacon wrapped asparagus. It’s also delicious with a side of garlic bread.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Leftover skirt steak can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. To reheat, place it on top of a wire rack on a baking sheet in a 250°F oven. Heat until the steak is warmed through, which should take 10 to 20 minutes. Or reheat in the air fryer at 320°F for 3 to 4 minutes, until warmed through. You can also eat the steak cold, which is perfect for sandwiches, wraps, salads, and tacos.
Can You Freeze This Skirt Steak Recipe?
You can absolutely freeze leftover skirt steak. All you have to do is let the meat cool entirely, then add it to an airtight container and put it in the freezer for 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
More Easy Steak Dinners
Here are a few of our other favorite easy steak dinners to try:
- Air Fryer Steak Bites with Potatoes
- Air Fryer Steak Bites
- Chicken Fried Steak
- Air Fryer London Broil
- Air Fryer Steak Kabobs
How to Cook Skirt Steak
- 1 1/2-2 pounds skirt steak
- 1 batch skirt steak marinade
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- Optional: Trim off any excess fat from your steak and then use a meat mallet and tenderize the steak before placing in the marinade.
- Place steak in a gallon ziplock bag and ad the marinade, making sure to cover all the steak with the marinade. Remove any excess air and seal the ziplock bag. Let the steak marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- 30 minutes before you are ready to cook the meat, remove it from the fridge and let the meat rest in the marinade on the counter for 30 minutes. (Letting your meat come to room temperature before cooking will help your meat to be tender and juicy.)
- Using a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat add oil. Once the oil is hot, lay the steak in the skillet and sear the meat for 2 to 4 minutes. Flip and sear on the other side for 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Remove the steak from the skillet and place on a plate and cover with foil. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
- Transfer the steak to a cutting board and cut the steak across the grain.
- There will be juice left on the plate; after you cut the steak pour the juice over the cut steak. Serve immediately.