How to Get Skirt Steak Tender

by Becca Hubbard-Woods

Skirt steak is notorious for being tough and chewy.

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The skirt steak is cut from the area of the steer that lies between the brisket and the flank steak on the abdomen of the steer. Because skirt steak is taken from an area of muscle that is used often, it is known to be a tough cut of meat. The best way to get a skirt steak tender is to cook it quickly at a high temperature to break down the fat and seal in the natural juices. It is not necessary to use tenderizer or tenderizing techniques when you cook the steak properly.

Rinse the meat well under cold water. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel and discard the paper towel.

Season the steak with salt, pepper and seasonings and place the meat on a cutting board to sit for 30 minutes before cooking. Allowing the meat to come to room temperature will ensure even cooking.

Heat the olive oil to medium high in the skillet. Place the steak in the skillet and cook for three to four minutes.

Flip the steak with metal tongs. Cook the meat for another three to four minutes on the other side for a medium-rare center.

Remove the steak from the skillet and place on a plate to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing to allow the natural juices to redistribute through the meat.

Slice the meat on a bias and against the grain. That will help make it easier to chew.


  • Seasonings that pair well with skirt steak include thyme, cumin, onion and garlic.

    Don't cook a skirt steak beyond medium because it will become tough.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

Becca Hubbard-Woods has been a freelance writer since 2005, writing for various online publications. She graduated from San Joaquin Valley Junior College with an Associate of Science in medical office administration, and achieved a Bachelor of Science in health administration from the University of Phoenix.