Skirt Steak vs. Flank Steak: How They Compare

skirt and flank steaks

Skirt steak vs. flank steak. How do these two steak cuts compare? Both skirt and flank steaks are lean cuts. Both have a chewy texture, and both have a strong beefy flavor. However, at the same time, they are pretty different. You’ll find everything you need to know about these two excellent cuts in the article below.

For someone who is not that well familiar with different steak cuts, it can be overwhelming to choose a proper cut of beef. There are so many different cuts: tender steak cuts, lean steak cuts, well-marbled steak cuts, and so on.

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What is Flank Steak

what is a flank steak

What Part of the Cow Does Flank Steak Come FromFlank steak is a cut that comes from a cow’s lower chest or abdominal muscle. It’s a long and narrow muscle about a foot long and one inch thick.

How Does it Taste Like – Flank steak has an excellent beefy flavor because the muscle fibers are well-worked. It does lack marbling compared to the skirt steak which makes it a slightly less flavorful cut.

The Texture of the Steak – Because of a more tightly woven grain structure flank steak is a chewy piece of meat, especially when compared to more premium steak cuts like ribeye or tenderloin. Tough muscle fibers require tenderizing to make them less chewy.

How To Cook Flank Steak – Preparing flank steak is relatively easy. Since the meat is tough, you’ll need to tenderize it before cooking. Read this article about different ways of tenderizing steak. The best cooking methods for flank steak are grilling, cooking in a cast-iron skillet, stir-frying, or slow cooking. Quick-cooking over high heat for several minutes is one of the best ways to cook flank steak. You’ll often find flank steak in steak fajitas, salads, and tacos.

How Much Does it Cost – Flank steak is an affordable steak cut coming at around $9 per pound depending on a supplier.

Where Can You Buy Flank Steak – You can buy flank steak at grocery stores and butcher shops. However, it’s much easier to order it from a specialized online store.

Also Known – Flank steak is also known as bavette, jiffy steak, and London broil.

What is Skirt Steak

what is a skirt steak

What Part of the Cow Does Skirt Steak Come FromSkirt steak comes from the beef’s plate primal. There is an inside skirt and the outside skirt steak. Both are very similar; however, the outside skirt must be trimmed off the membrane. Both steaks look very similar. They are thick-grained, narrow, about three inches across, and about 24 inches long.

How Does it Taste Like – Skirt steaks have an intensely beefy flavor. They have some marbling, which gives it more flavor than the flank steak.

The texture of the Steak – Even though skirt steak has some marbling, it’s still a relatively lean cut packed with tough fibers. Compared to flank steak, skirt steak contains more tough muscles; therefore, it’s chewier. It does need tenderizing to make it less chewy.

How To Cook Skirt Steak – The best way to cook skirt steak is quickly over the scorching hot grill or cast-iron skillet. Cooking in a wok pan is also excellent. However, since the meat is tough, it’s best not to cook it past medium-rare. Here’s the steak temperature chart in case you need one.

How Much Does it cost – Skirt steak can cost anywhere between $8-$20 per pound.

Where Can You Buy Skirt Steak – You can buy skirt steak at a grocery store, butcher’s shop, farmers market, or online store.

Also Known As – Skirt steak is also known as Philadelphia steak, Romanian tenderloin, Romanian steak, and Arrachera.

What Are the Similarities Between Skirt Steak and Flank Steak

what are the similarities between skirt steak and flank steak

Here are the main similarities between skirt steak and flank steak:

Lean and Tough

Both flank steak and skirt steak are lean and tough cuts of meat. Flank steak is located in the side abdomen close to the thigh, a very muscular area. It’s a lean cut without much marbling, so it’s tough and chewy. Skirt steak is located in the cow’s abdomen, a lean and muscular area. The muscle is often used; therefore, it’s tough as well. If not appropriately cooked, both cuts can become highly chewy.

Cooking Method

Since both skirt and flank steak cuts consist of tough muscle fibers, it’s best to cook them fast on high heat (here’re some of the best cooking methods). Stir fry, grill, or pan-fry them over high heat for several minutes until the desired doneness. It’s best not to overcook them; otherwise, they can become too tough to eat. Cook them until rare and medium-rare. Anything more than that and the meat can become hard to chew. When the meat is cooked, slice it against the grain. It’ll make it more tender.

Both are Used For the Same Dishes

Both steaks are used for tacos, fajitas, and salads. It truly doesn’t matter which cut you use. They both are very similar in flavor, texture, and preparation. Both steak cuts take only a few minutes to cook, making them highly versatile meat.

What Are the Differences Between Skirt Steak and Flank Steak

Here are the main difference between skirt steak and flank steak:

The Flavor

Both steak cuts have an excellent flavor profile. However, skirt steak is slightly more flavorful because of coarse muscle fibers and because it has more marbling compared to flank steak.

The Fat Content

Flank and skirt steaks are relatively lean cuts. However, skirt steak has more marbling compared to flank steak.

The Texture

Flank steak is slightly more tender when compared to the inside skirt. While the outside skirt is evenly matched in terms of texture to the flank steak. Most would hardly notice the difference between them.

The Size

Skirt steak is smaller in size. Flank steak is thicker, wider, and heavier than the skirt steak. When both steaks are cooked and sliced thin, you can instantly notice that skirt steak is much finer.

The Cut

Skirt steak is from a diaphragm area of the cow, while flank steak is located under the cow’s loin.

Cooking Time

Since flank steak is a thicker cut, cooking takes several more minutes. On the other hand, it takes less time to cook skirt steak because it’s a noticeably thinner cut.

Conclusion: Which is Better – Skirt Steak or Flank Steak?

Both steak cuts are versatile and packed with beefy flavors. While flank steak is more tender, skirt steak is more flavorful. As you can see, it all comes down to a personal preference. They are both evenly matched.

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Which is better for fajitas flank or skirt steak?

Since skirt steak is more flavorful, it’s a better option for fajitas. However, if you do not have skirt steak, then do not worry; flank steak will work just fine.

Are flank and skirt steak the same?

No, flank steak and skirt steaks are not the same. They come from different areas of the cow. Skirt steak is from a diaphragm, while flank steak comes from under the cow’s loin.

Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas is an accomplished chef with over a decade of experience in the culinary world, having worked in esteemed, high-end restaurants across Europe. With a talent for combining traditional techniques and innovative flair, Renaldas has refined his signature style under the mentorship of respected European chefs. Recently, Renaldas has expanded his impact beyond the kitchen by sharing his expertise through his online platform. Dedicated to inspiring culinary professionals and food enthusiasts, he offers expert advice, innovative recipes, and insightful commentary on the latest gastronomic trends.
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