I need some help grilling skirt steak


I need some help cooking some skirt steak. I have some skirt steak that I want to grill. I know that, most of the time, people marinate their skirt steak before grilling it, and I am not against that. I want to keep this totally Keto compliant, so no marinades with fruit juices or molasses.

I’ve marinated skirt steak in salsa with extra Adobo and cumin, but the problem is that, even though I wipe it off with paper towels and my grill is flaming hot, I can’t get a good sear or crust on the steak. If I cook it long enough to get the kind of sear/ char that I like, it’s over cooked. I like my skirt steak medium rare in the middle. I’ve tried different marinade times - from 1 hour to 24. Doesn’t seem to make a difference.

I know to have the meat at room temperature before putting it on the grill, to let it rest and to slice it against the grain. I’m fantastic at grilling steaks and searing meat for pot roast, etc. I just really seem to always fail with both skirt and flank steaks.

I really need some advise about this. I have this amazing organic, grass-fed beef and I don’t want to ruin this cut yet again!
Help! Please!

(Laurie) #2

For years my “secret ingredient” was Italian dressing. I’m not saying it will work with skirt steak (which I’ve never cooked), but it could be that what’s missing from your mixture is oil. You could try mixing some olive oil 50:50 with the salsa.


Sounds like the sauce is charring before the meat itself does. Might want to try a quick rinse and a pat dry.


OK, I do this all the time. I sous vide at 141F for an hour after a long marinade. If I am not going the sous vide route I cook the marinated beef on a flat top griddle that I get ripping hot. In the sous vide approach I usually get a nice brown char over high heat on the gas grill but have occasionally gone the faster and hotter way of the charcoal chimney. Fill a charcoal chimney and light, it takes about 30 minutes to get really max temp. Don’t dump them in the grill but put a grate OVER the top (I usually put the chimney on the charcoal grill grate for support. The grate above the coals is going to see 800-950F. It rarely takes 30 seconds and I like to move them about every 15 seconds doing this. You want to move it around and get the Maillard reaction going to a nice brown…no grill marks… Since I am cooking 5-10 lbs at a whack it takes a little time but a lb or 2 will be fast. Trust me, this will do it.


PS, you don’t have to have the meat at room temp before you sear it. OWT

(Bob M) #6

@Fracmeister I like those recommendations. It also seems like cold might be better (though sous vide is good), because you’d still have rarer meat in the middle. But then I like rare meat.

By the way, why 141? Why not, say, 132?


If grilling with Wood charcoal, just place directly on the charcoal once its nice and hot.
(Dont do if using briquettes)


I have a gas grill. I don’t have a sous vide machine and that’s just WAAAY too much work.

I do think that I’ll try having the meat cold, though.


I don’t like to grill using plant oils. I do have some good tallow that I made, and that might work. I’ll try it.


I always dry everything off. I’m not using any sugar, so it’s unlikely that the sauce would be charring. That’s also the issue: I’m not getting a good char.


I think that I’m going to dry the meat, season with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and then, possibly, rub the meat with some tallow that I made. I’ll get the grill as hot as possible, but keep the meat cold. I’ll put it on for only 2 minutes per side (if it will sear that quickly) and then remove and rest.

Maybe I’m just doing too much. I can successfully grill everything else, from steaks to lamb racks, and for every single thing, I keep it extremely simple.

We’ll see.

(GINA ) #12

I love skirt steak. I don’t usually marinate it, just use a little dry rub and cook it from cold on a hot gas grill.

IMO, a good steak doesn’t need a bunch of add-ons.

(Robin) #13

I agree!


You’re not going to get a crusty sear on skirt, just not gonna happen. After you do your trimming, rub it in olive oil and get your Adobo on it, put it on a HOT grill for 2.5min each side, take it off and give it 10mins. Done deal. Should be right near med-rare. I cook a LOT of skirts, I’m a burrito freak. Amazing cut of meat. My grill is usually around 500 when I do that. So adjust accordingly.

(DougH) #15

I sous vide, chill, and then hit it with a torch. Even then you don’t get a very thick crust to a skirt steak.

Maybe if you pan fried it with some avocado oil or something else with a high smoke point.


Tallow! I don’t sous vide, though. I got a pretty good char on it on the grill actually. Thanks!

(DougH) #17

Glad to hear that you got what you were looking for. I was considering char versus crust to be independent outcomes.

For me crust is the result of the Maillard reaction but doesn’t have the carbon aspect of char. It adds a great depth of flavor.

Char is well char lol.

I definitely can get lots of char with a torch on a skirt steak.

One of my favorite cuts, I could have a few lbs a week. I find that it is perfect steak for lunches at work without access to a full kitchen. It reheats well in a microwave on the lowest heat setting without further cooking. And I love a ribeye or a NY strip, but they just don’t work well for lunches on the go.

(RL) #18

Skirt steak is super easy. I rub both sides with a light layer of Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle it with a combination of kosher salt, coarse black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Get the grill super hot. I have a Big Green Egg, but I used to do this just as well on a gas grill. The key is to get that grill up to like 600 degrees.

Then you do a very quick, short sear. 2.5 - 3 minutes per side MAX. Let rest 8-10 minutes. Slice it in 1/2-3/4 inch thick slices against the grain. This is so important. The two biggest keys to success for skirt steak is the super hot, super quick sear and the cut against the grain. The 8–0 min rest is also super super important.


That’s exactly what I did, minus the Worcestershire sauce, of which I am not a fan. It came out pretty good. I cooked it 1 minute too long, so it was a bit overcooked for me. But it’s the first time that I thought it was pretty good, as opposed to a failure.