Flank Steak vs. Skirt Steak

If you go to a restaurant you will always come across tenderloin, rib eye, or sirloin on the menu. Some of you may have only tasted these popular cuts. Do you know there many other lesser popular cuts that can taste as amazing as rib-eye or beef tenderloin? Besides, these 3 popular steak cuts only contain a small amount of the meat from the entire cow. Flank steak and skirt steak are lesser-known steaks.

They are much tender, juicier, and have a different flavor than the mainstream cuts. Flank and skirt can even rival the popular cuts on the menu without breaking the bank. If you are confused about whether you should try out the flank steak or the skirt, check our article for a detailed comparison between flank steak vs. skirt steak.

Location of the cuts of flank steak vs. skirt steak:

Most of you might not know that flank steaks are sold as a muscle. The flank section is a large, thicker, wider, and flatter piece that is cut from the abdominal area of the animal from the flank section. Regular flank steaks weighs about 115 to 130 grams or 1.75 lbs., it can feed up to 6 people, and however, larger flank steaks of 2.75 lbs. can feed 10 people.

On the other hand, the skirt steak comes from the belly of the cow. The skirt is the diaphragm muscle, and comes from the muscle inside the abdominal cavity. This section is known as the plate. It is a long thin cut and starts from the plate section and is extended up to the chuck area.

As a result, there is an outside skirt and an inside skirt but there is no major difference between them. This portion of meat is under the ribs and is worked thoroughly throughout the life of the animal, hence it is clean, clean, and has a solid tough cut.

Photo credit- Hallmark Channel

Fat content between flank steak vs. skirt steak

Naturally, all meat contains a certain amount of saturated fat in them. However, both flank steaks and skirt steaks contain the same amount of fat in them. Since both of them are cut from the active lean muscle area of the steer, hence they have less fat content than tenderloin, rib-eye and sirloin steaks.

Flank steak and skirt steak both contain 16 – 17.2 g of fat, and 5-6.6 g of saturated fat, providing a calorie of 348-350. It would not be fair to say they have very little fat, in fact the amount of fat attached to them can help tenderize the meat when it is set to grill.

Taste

You know when they say the best flavor comes from the lean muscle steaks, they actually mean you need to cook it well. Both flank steak and skirt steak have a different flavor compared to the other popular types but require more time to cook. Skirt steak has a strong beefy flavor that is way stronger than the sirloin and rib-eye.

However, skirt steak needs to be prepared properly with all the right ingredients and cooking temperature for a delicious meal. Flank steak needs to be marinated well, the secret to the release of all its tender flavor depends on the length of marinating. It also needs to be grilled well for that juicy texture.

Flank steak vs. Skirt Steak: Differences

  • Flank steak is fatter while skirt steak is thinner.
  • Flank steak works well with marinades however skirt steak is cooked for long is much more tender and juicy.
  • Skirt steaks are most used in fajitas and Korean dishes such as the bibimbap.
  • Skirt steak is tougher and has a stronger texture than flank steak.
  • Flank steak is expensive but skirt steak is cheaper compared to all the other steak cuts.
  • Flank steaks have a noticeable amount of muscle grain in the meat compared to the flank steak

Flank Steak vs. skirt steak: Similarities

Flank steak and skirt might be two different types of cut, however, they share a lot of notable similarities between them.

  • Both flank and skirt steaks have been cut from lean muscles. Both of them are relatively tough and have a tender texture.
  • Both of the steak cuts taste best if they are served medium or medium-rare for the ideal texture.
  • Both flank and skirt steak has a beefy strong texture, which might sound obvious but with all the added ingredients they will taste delicious with a beefy flavor. This is not found in the other cuts.
  • Both skirt and flank steak need to be cooked in high heat. They both produce a crispy outer texture while keeping the inside soft and ideal.
  • Both of them are chewy and have a bland taste when over-cooked.
Flank Steak vs. Skirt Steak

Photo credit- NYT Cooking

Which is more tender flank or skirt steaks?

Both skirt and flank steaks are tender no doubt, but if you want to compare the insides of both the steaks, flank would be the winner. Flank steaks have soft insides and are easier to chew compared to skirt steaks.

Which tastes better when grilled?

Skirt steak tastes better when grilled, but if you can marinade well, flank can also taste very good. However, skirt steak has an outer fat layer that can cause it to flare up, so you need to be careful while grilling it. 

Bottom Line

The skirt steak cut may be cheaper, but most people opt for flank steaks even though it costs more. Flank steaks are larger and you can use it in more than one type of BBQ or grill recipes. When grilled it has a special flavor.

If you are looking for a less time-consuming steak skirt would be the best choice, as it takes only 3 minutes to grill on each side. In the battle between flank steak vs. skirt steak who do you think would win? Which cut do you want to buy?

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