Steak for dinner? You might need to get a little more specific. Today we’re breaking down two of the most popular cuts—flank steak and skirt steak. They’re often used interchangeably in recipes, but there are a few key differences. Keep reading, and you’ll be ready to fire up the grill in no time.
Flank steak comes from the bottom of the cow’s abdomen. Since it’s such a hard-working muscle, it’s lean with lots of tough fibers running through it. Flank steak is thicker than skirt steak, and a wider cut of meat, too. For ultimate tenderness, slice it thinly, against the grain.
Flank steaks absorb marinades incredibly well, and they can even help tenderize the meat. This cut makes a great choice for weeknight meals because it cooks in a flash over high heat. Whether you grill it outdoors, sear it on the stove, or prefer a stuff-and-roll approach, flank steak is ready when you are.
Just like flank steak, skirt steak is also a lean cut with tough fibers running throughout (but it comes from the diaphragm muscles). It has extra beefy flavor that comes through best when cooked quickly to a medium-rare temperature, and should also be cut against the grain before serving.
Skirt steak soaks up marinades just like its flank counterpart, and it’s the best way to ensure maximum flavor. But since it’s high on flavor, you can also get by with a simple dusting of salt and pepper. Use high heat for a quick sear, and pull it off the flame at a medium-rare doneness.
We thought you might be hungry! Here are a few of our favorite recipes—feel free to use flank steak and skirt steak interchangeably!
A traditional Peruvian stir fry, lomo saltado is one recipe that’s big on flavor and small on cooking time. This recipe comes from Los Angeles chef Ricardo Zarate, who grew up eating lomo saltado as the ultimate comfort food.
This 30-minute meal uses a sweet and spicy garlic-ginger sauce to liven up flank steak, broccoli, and carrots. Just make a pot of rice and you’ll have a meal.
This dinner is Paleo-ready! Nix the tortilla and swap in cumin-scented cauliflower rice, then load your bowl with spice-rubbed steak, onions, and lots of avocado.
Download the app for easy shopping on the go
By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive marketing text messages from Thrive Market. Consent not a condition to purchase. Msg & data rates apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel.