What’s the Difference Between Skirt Steak and Flank Steak?

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So you are staring at skirt steak and flank steak in the grocery and wondering which to pick? You see the price looks pretty similar? The look of both steaks also looks pretty similar. So what is the difference?

The differences between skirt steak and flank steak are pretty small. Both the flank steak and skirt steak come from the underside of the cow. This gives them pretty similar toughness and flavor. That said, there is slightly better flavor to the flank steak (less beefy) and also the flank steak is a little more tender (less muscles) than the skirt steak.

We rank Steak Cuts from Best to Worst Here

You will see from our rankings above that we rank the flank steak slightly ahead of the skirt steak. The less beefy flavor and slightly more tender flavor cause us to think that flank steak is better than skirt steak.

Flank Steak

As we mentioned, the flank steak is from the underside of the cow. More specifically, it comes from the abdominal area that does a lot of work. Generally speaking, tough parts of the steak come from places on the cow with strong muscles (because they do more work)

Skirt Steak

Just like the flank steak, the skirt comes from the underbelly of the cow. It is a long cut of beef from the diaphragm muscles. Given its location, it also has done a lot of work for the cow and the tough muscles (tough to chew) to prove it.

Seasoning Skirt and Flank Steak

If you do decide to go with the flank or skirt steak, you will need to bring your A game when it comes to seasoning. With these steaks, the marinade and sauce also become the stars of the dish.

Cooking Skirt and Flank Steaks

Because of the lack of tenderness, we recommend only cooking skirt and flank steaks to medium rare (not medium or longer). This will help out a lot with the results.

Cutting Against the Grain

One of the most important things with both skirt and flank steak is to cut against the grain. By cutting the “grain”, you are cutting the fibers that are tough to chew.

Cutting the grain fibers will make the meat seem a little more tender since you have done the hard work with a knife instead of with your teeth!!

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