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Skirt Steak vs Flank Steak

Skirt Steak vs Flank Steak

Skirt Steak vs. Flank Steak

In the last decade, skirt steak and flank steak have both gained traction because of their succulent texture, delicious taste and price point. But what’s the difference between them? Which cut is superior?

Here’s a quick rundown on the difference between skirt steak and flank steak.

Skirt v Flank Steak

Although these two cuts may seem comparable in many ways, they are two distinct cuts of beef. It’s essential to understand the distinctions between them to pick out the best cut for your recipe.

Two cuts of skirt steak on a black cutting board.

Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is an extremely delicious and juicy cut of beef that originates from the plate section – one of the most succulent areas of a cow. This elongated, slender and flat piece packs in plenty of flavor!

Skirt steak has a stronger beefy flavor and higher fat content than flank steak creating a more “flavorful” beef-forward cut of beef.

Skirt steak is thin, long, uniform in thickness and an overall light weight cut of beef. Due to its thinner size, skirt steak cooks faster than flank steak in most cooking applications.

Grilled steak with grill marks.

Flank Steak

Originating from the cow’s abdominal muscles, Flank steak is one of our favorite cuts of beef, for many reasons. It’s subtle flavor works well with any marinade or sauce, it’s quick to cook and is less “chewy” than skirt steak.

Flank steak is leaner than skirt steak leading to a more tender texture and better heart-healthy choice. 

Due to it’s mild flavor it’s our go-to cut when making most of our Mexican recipes. Tacos al Carbon, which doesn’t use a marinade or dry rub recipe, is where we use skirt steak. But this is a personal preference.

Flank steak is a thicker, wider, and heavier meat cut than skirt steak. It is uneven in length (tapers from side to side) and can even vary in thickness. Unlike skirt steak, oftentimes flank steak needs to be pounded to uniform thickness to ensure even cooking.

Skirt Steak vs. Flank Steak

When deciding which of the two cuts to use, think about what kind of dish you are making. Skirt steaks have more flavor while flank steaks are leaner. Depending on your recipe, each can provide a delicious entrée when cooked properly!

If you want a cut of meat that’s strongly flavored and fast to prepare, then skirt steak is the ideal option. If you’re after something with greater versatility, a mild flavor and better nutritional values, then flank steak is the ideal choice.

Recipes

There are countless recipes you can make utilizing one of these amazing cuts. Here are a few of our favorite beef recipes to use either of these delicious cuts.

Carne Asada
Street Tacos
Steak Tacos
Mulitas
Steak Fajitas
Beef Bulgogi
Beef Fried Rice

Close up of flank steak marinating in a ziploc bag next to lime, cilantro and garlic.

Cooking Prepration

Flank and skirt steak can be prepared in many different ways, including grilling, smoking, broiling, roasting or even preparing via sous vide; they’re highly versatile parts of the cow that don’t require one cooking method over the other.

When cooking either cut, it’s important to stick to the steak doneness chart listed below. 

Expert Tip – when cooking, we avoid rare or even medium-rare due to the chew factor. We find medium to medium-well is ideal. But play around with the temperature and find your preference.

Temperature Chart

What’s the cooking temperature difference between the two? None. What works for one works for the other.

Cost Comparison

Gone are the days when flank and skirt steak were considered the “cheap” cuts of meat. Once demand went through the roof, the prices followed suit.

When grocery shopping, here’s what you can expect to pay for flank vs skirt steak. Obviously, prices will fluctuate depending on where you reside and the store you’re shopping at.

Flank steak will set you back approx. $10 lb. $10 used to be on the high end, but these days we’ve seen it up to $12 lb. Ahh, inflation. 

Skirt steak tends to be $1-$2 per pound more than flank steak, which is opposite of historic price comparisons.

Flank Steak vs Skirt Steak

Both skirt and flank steak make excellent choices for any meal, but when it comes to deciding which one is better, there’s no definite answer. It all depends on your taste preferences and budget.

Now you know the difference between two of our favorite cuts of beef! Leave a comment below if you have any questions before making a decision or cooking! 

More Reference Guides To Read

Prime Rib v Rib Eye