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How to broil skirt or flank steak

Learn how to broil skirt steak and flank steak that stays juicy and tender from oven to table and is ready in 15 minutes or less. It’s one of my secrets to really fast dinners everyone loves! Use this basic salt, pepper, and olive oil version to get yourself started, then feel free to throw in marinades, seasonings and whatever flavors you enjoy. 

a skirt steak sliced open on a cutting board to show the pink interior

What is the difference between skirt steak and flank steak?

Both cuts come from the abdominal area of the cow. The skirt steak comes from the diaphragm area–but both have worked hard and can be tough if they aren’t cooked and sliced correctly. Skirt steak is cheaper than flank steak where I live and tends to be a smaller cut than the flank, but you cook both with the same technique and both have great beef flavor. You can learn more about the differences between skirt steak and flank steak here. 

Can I marinate skirt steak or flank steak overnight?

Yes. Thankfully these tougher cuts can hold up to marinating very well. Throw it in anything you’d like and let it sit covered in the fridge–it will probably help tenderize the meat even more.

How to cook skirt steak or flank steak

Both skirt steak and flank steak beg for high heat and searing for a short amount of time. Leaving the inside a bit rare will help ensure tenderness and flavor. That’s why broiling or grilling are such great techniques to use for these cuts. Remember skirt steak is thinner than flank steak and will take significantly less time to cook.

How to broil skirt or flank steak

  1. Open the package and unfold it.  Take it out of the package and unfold it so it’s one layer. You’ll also notice that it has one side that has more fat on it than the other. Position this side up so we can get ready to remove some of that.
a skirt or flank steak unfolded on a cutting board for trimming

2. Remove the connective tissue on one end. Starting at one end, loosen the thin, almost blueish white connective tissue that covers the steak. You only need to loosen a bit of it so you can grab on to it and pull it away.

a person cutting the connective tissue from the skirt or flank steak on on a cutting board

3. Use a paper towel to peel away most of the tissue. Grab the loosened connective tissue and pull back toward yourself while holding the steak down with the other hand. You may need to repeat this process a time or two before you get the majority of the tissue off. Use your knife to loosen any stubborn spots and cut away any big bits of fat. You won’t get it all off–that’s okay. Just get what you can.

a person using a napkin to grab and pull away the connective tissue from the back of a skirt steak

4. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and lay your steak on. If your steak is very long, you may need to cut it in half. Drizzle both sides with regular olive oil, vegetable oil or avocado oil–something that won’t smoke like crazy in the oven. Maybe a tablespoon total for the whole thing.

a person drizzling olive oil, vegetable oil or avocado oil on a flank or skirt steak on a tinfoil lined baking sheet

5. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Make sure to get all of the surfaces well. How much salt you’ll need will really depend on the size of your steak, but a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of kosher salt is plenty. If you are using regular table salt, use 3/4 of a teaspoon for the whole steak.

a person sprinkling salt and pepper on a flank or skirt steak on a foil lined baking sheet

6. Broil it hot and fast. Most broilers only have off and on. But if yours has a high and low setting, go with the highest one you have and get the oven rack as close to the top of the stove or near your element as you can. You want this steak to cook hot and fast. Broil one side for about 4 minutes, flip it and broil 3 more or so or to desired doneness.

Flank steaks can be up to an inch thick, so you may need to broil it longer if you want it more well done. Use a meat thermometer if you aren’t sure and try to avoid cutting in to your hot steak to check the center. All the juices will leak out.

a skirt or flank steak placed in the oven on a  foil lined baking sheet

7. Let the steak rest for 10 minutes. If you cut in to it too soon, all the juices will leak out and you’ll have a piece of tough rubber on your hands.

This is a good time to pay attention to the grain of your steak. Take a look at which way the lines are running. In this picture you can see that they run up and down. You’ll want to cut against the grain, or left to right to ensure your meat is tender and easy to eat.

a broiled skirt steak resting on its baking sheet before cutting

8. Slice your steak in to thin strips. Depending on how you will eat your broiled skirt or flank steak will depend on how thickly you cut it. Thinner pieces will always be better for fajitas, or our favorite–steak salads.

a broiled skirt or flank steak sliced on a wooden cutting board on a blue napkin

Watch me make this skirt steak:

a skirt steak sliced open on a cutting board to show the pink interior

How to broil skirt or flank steak

Skirt and flank steaks are cooked the same way. Broil yours to the desired level of doneness and enjoy it in your favorite recipes. This version is a perfect starting place! 
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 31kcal
Author: Rachel Ballard

Ingredients

  • 1 1-2 pound skirt or flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon olive, vegetable or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the broiler on high. Move an oven rack as close to the broiler as possible. 
  • Remove the connective tissue and extra fat from one side of your steak using a knife and a paper towel. It’s okay if you don’t get it all off. Just get what you can. 
  • Transfer the steak to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cut the steak in half to make it fit if necessary. 
  • Drizzle over the oil and spread it around on both sides. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. 
  • Place under the broiler (keep an eye on it!) and broil on the first side about 4 minutes depending on thickness of your steak. Skirt steaks will need much less time than a flank steak will. Turn the steaks over and broil 3 to 4 more minutes or use a meat thermometer to check the temperature and remove your steaks at your desired level of doneness. 
  • Allow your steaks to rest, lightly covered with foil for 10 minutes before slicing. 
  • Cut steaks against the grain–so across the lines of the meat–to ensure that each slice is tender. 

Nutrition

Calories: 31kcal | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 581mg

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Recipe Rating




KFL

Monday 9th of November 2020

OMG! Thank you! The steak came out wonderful! Hubby and I both loved it! So quick and easy!

Dee

Sunday 13th of September 2020

Enjoyed the step by step! Makes it easier too. Video is helpful! Leaves no questions on how to! Thank you Deeski

kidron

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

I'm trying this tonight. Sounds fantastic will let you know what I think.

Thank You for the tips.

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 19th of May 2020

I hope you love it!

Jim

Monday 30th of March 2020

these are thin cuts. if using a meat thermometer, what are your recommendations for rare and for medium-rare?

Rachel Ballard

Monday 30th of March 2020

For rare and medium rare I use my fingers to touch the meat and see how soft it is, but the same temperature requirements would stand as with any other cut of beef: Rare 120-125 and medium rare 130 to 135 remembering it will likely climb in temperature a few degrees after it comes out of the oven. --Rachel

Mike

Saturday 8th of February 2020

Thanks very much for this step by step.

I love explicit directions. I'm amazed how how some recipes say to broil though. Some say 6-8 minutes, then again on the other side, yikes.

Will try it with potatoes and vegetables on the side

Rachel Ballard

Saturday 8th of February 2020

I'll try to do more clear directions Mike! And yes, beef should never be well done if you ask me...unless it's a burger and there are plenty of people who don't even want those cooked. I think cook time really just depends on the thickness of your steak. Enjoy! --Rachel