Flank Steak vs Skirt Steak: Which One is Best?(4 Differences)


Flank and skirt steak are two amazing tasting meats. But what is better? Spot the differences so you know which ones to use at your next barbecue.

Flank steak vs skirt steak

Both are chewy, meaty strips of meat that are great straight off the grill. In addition, many cooks criminally overlook both.

But what are the differences between flank steak and skirt steak?

Both are long, odd-looking pieces of meat, and the two are often used interchangeably. Is there really a difference?

The main difference between flank steak and skirt steak is how tough they are. Flank steak is tougher through the rim and has an intense flavor. This means that it can be cooked only rarely or rarely and is usually best stir-fried. If you prefer your steak well done or tender, I advise you to go for the brisket.

What is flank steak?

Flank steak is taken from the lower abdomen of the cow. Being on the belly, dying means the beef flank steak is rich in muscle content and full of tough muscle fibers.

What does this mean for meat? Well, that makes the cut of meat very lean and tough.

sliced ​​raw beef tenderloin

It tends to be wider and thicker than flank steak and definitely a bit chewy. This toughness makes it especially important that it BE cut thin and against the grain.

It carries an intense and rich taste of beef. However, it goes really well with marinades that help soften it.

Rapid cooking at high temperatures is the best way to get the most out of the breast. It goes well grilled or pan fried and is even made as a roasted flank steak.

It is usually sold as a full muscle and typically weighs around 2 pounds.


Flank Flank Steak Meat Cut Chart


What is skirt steak?

Flank steak is obtained from the cow’s diaphragm muscle. Not too far from the cow’s belly where the flank comes from. Flank steak is also long, chewy, and lean, so it’s easy to see why it’s sometimes confused with flank steak.

Don’t be surprised if you are asked whether you prefer “inner skirt” or “outer skirt”. The truth is that there is not much difference between the two.

Raw skirt steak

External incisions come from the outside of the chest wall and extend between the sixth and twelveth ribs of the cow. Sometimes it comes with a thick membrane that is actually the diaphragm.

The inner breast comes from the bottom of the ribs and is actually cut from inside the animal(hence the name). 

The outer skirt is slightly thicker than the inner skirt and tends to have a more even shape. Minimally, the interior is thinner and when cooked, often begins to shrink and muscle fibers tighten.

Because the outer breast is thicker and more evenly shaped, restaurants and butcher shops often die automatically.

Flank steak is actually made up of tougher muscle fibers than flank steak. Not only does this affect its texture, but it also means it has a much more intense flavor.

This tough composition also means that it can be cooked infrequently or infrequently. Done right and it WILL be practically inedible.

It’s best seared or grilled, making it ideal for fajitas or stir-fries, and should also be cut against the grain to efficiently separate its tough fibers.

Rock Steak Recipes

Why cut the steak against the grain?

You may have seen many barbecue writers talk about cutting against the grain, especially when they mention beef.

Both flank and skirt are made up of very hard and elastic muscle fibers. When meat contains these tough fibers, serving and eating can become a really difficult task.

We can separate and break down these fibers more efficiently by cutting against the grain. This WON’T ruin the meat, but it will help keep it tender and easier to eat, as well as slicing it thin.

Difference in the structure of the flesh.

A big difference between the two is their grain structure and how this can differ on the meat preparation.

The flank steak has very clearly defined fibers. This makes our work easier when it comes to cutting against the current.

However, the fibers are fairly close together, which means it’s easy for added flavors, such as B. marinade, can be difficult to fully penetrate the meat.

Flank steak also has a well-defined grain and fiber structure, but the main difference is that the fibers are not as tightly bound. This makes the meat much more responsive to marinades.

How to grill flank and skirt steak

Both flank and skirt steaks are thin, flat cuts. Due to their toughness, they are best seared and enjoyed medium raw or rarely. Grilling tricks like indirect grilling won’t work with these cuts simply because the meat is so difficult to penetrate.

Just cook it right on the grill and watch it sear to leave nice grill marks on the sides of the meat.

Flank steak ends up being leaner than brisket, so it usually only takes about 3 minutes per side to grill. The cross, on the other hand, takes about 5 minutes per side. Aim for an internal temperature of 130F for both steaks. If you don’t already have one, be sure to invest in a good meat thermometer.

What is the difference between flank steak and flank steak?

Both the chest and flank are active muscles that put in a lot of work during a cow’s life. This means both cuts are lean, chewy, and contain less fat than traditional cuts of beef like ribeye or tenderloin. Because of this, both are rich in flavor and may be too strong for some people’s tastes.

Now that we have analyzed each of the two cuts of meat in depth, we can say that the four main differences are:

  • Muscle Percentage: Brisket is rich in muscle fibers, making it tougher and tastier than brisket.
  • Preparation: Flank steak should only be served rare or rare, preferably seared.
  • Location on the cow: The breast comes from the cow’s lower abdominal area, while the chest comes from the diaphragm muscle.
  • Appearance: The flank steak is wider and thicker than the breast.

My opinion

For me, I always go on the flanks. It costs a little more, but you get a larger, more tender cut of meat that can be used in so many types of grilling. It’s packed with flavor and has given me more BBQs than I can remember.

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