Understanding Skirt Steak Price: Is the Cost Justified?

Skirt Steak: A Premium Cut’s Cost Justified by Its Rich Flavor and Versatility in Dishes.

Skirt Steak

It seems that everyone’s favorite cut of meat is steak, at least in the United States. It is the prime choice of those with an expendable budget who can afford this type of thing.

Unfortunately, it is not accessible to everyone given its high price tag, but that helps to keep the enjoyment of this particular meal very high (or finding a skirt steak alternative).

If you know that you only get to enjoy something on occasion, then you are more likely to truly appreciate it when it comes along. However, we want to take a deeper look at what is so special about skirt steak and why it is so expensive. 

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All Cuts Are Increasing In Price

We should bite the bullet on this one and inform you that all cuts of beef have increased in price in the last few years. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is because of complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. There are issues in the supply chain due to: 

  • A lack of available labor
  • Issues growing the feed necessary to keep as much livestock fed
  • Tensions between various world governments that have raised the prices of virtually every good that is traded between them

These are factors that are outside of the control of anyone in the market for meat, and it means that we will all bear some of the increased prices of certain cuts of meat for some time to come.

It is better to prepare ourselves for this reality than to try to pretend like it doesn’t exist (maybe by buying a whole cow?).

The Public Catches On That Skirt Steak Tastes Great

Skirt Steak

Sometimes, there is a collective moment amongst the public when it seems as if everyone has caught on to a particularly useful detail about modern life all the same time.

Many point to the increasing price of skirt steak as one of those moments. The public started to realize all at once that skirt steak was truly delicious, and they all wanted to have their chance to try it out at the same time (think Tomahawk steak and even beef tongue).

This has worked to drive the price up beyond where it normally would be. This shift in consumer taste was so notable that it has even be referenced in some cookbooks – and the popularity of ranchera meat for carne asada.

The 2016 cookbook titled “Make it Easy: 120 Mix-N-Match Recipes to Cook from Scratch” noted that customers could choose alternative meats if they wanted the skirt steak flavor without the price tag: 

It’s worth knowing when flank steak will do you good, since it is more affordable than interchangeable cuts such as skirt steak. I especially like using it when I’m feeding a crowd, since it’s an easy, cheaper way to serve steak…

This doesn’t mean that you necessarily want to skip out on the chance to order some skirt steak from time to time, but if you are feeding a lot of people, there are some alternatives that you may want to at least consider. If people are being served steak, they have little room to complain in the first place. 

What Makes Skirt Steak Special?

This video from Crowd Cow is an excellent cooking summary.

Skirt steak is a lengthy strip of steak made from the diaphragm of the cow just below the rib. The texture is something that people tend to love, especially for a grilled steak.

They appreciate that it has a lot of fat on it, and that provides the type of beefy flavor that many people are looking for when they bite into a steak. It also make cooking steak easier (similar to ribeyes) even though it still needs some tenderizing.

You can get two different cuts of a skirt steak, so you will want to make sure you know which one you are getting when you make your purchase.

If you are uncertain, you are always welcome to ask the butcher who cuts it for you. The cuts are:

  • Outside skirt steak – You are more likely to get this cut because it is more tender, and thus more desirable. Expect it to be between three to four inches wide and about one inch thick. If you are able to find skirt steak in your local grocery store at all, this is likely the type of cut you will see. 
  • Inside skirt steak – This cut is a lot wider than the outside skirt, but it is not as thick. You might get more volume with this cut, but you sacrifice on substance with it. It is still premium compared to many other steaks and many other foods in general, but it doesn’t quite pack the punch that the outside skirt cut does. Therefore, you need to be mindful of which cut you get before finalizing your purchase. 

Either cut of the steak is great, and it goes with all kinds of different foods from around the planet. You will love to learn how you can mix and match it with some of your favorite flavors from all over.

Don’t sell yourself short on this. You deserve to try the different ways that a skirt steak can be combined with other foods to provide you with the perfect flavor for your taste buds every time.

What Do You Do If You Can’t Find This Steak At Your Grocery Store? 

Grocery Store Steak

You may choose to request that your grocery store bring it back in stock, or you may simply decide on some alternatives until they are able to bring it back.

Remember, when this steak hits the shelves, it is often gone in a hurry. You need to act quickly if you see it out there so you can get your fair shot at trying some. 

Some alternative steak cuts that you might consider if this one is not available include: 

  1. Flap steak
  2. Denver steak
  3. Flank steak
  4. Bavette steak
  5. Top Round steak
  6. Blade Steak
  7. Hanger steak
  8. Flat iron steak
  9. Eye of round steak

These don’t quite have the same flavor that a legitimate skirt steak has, but they pack a powerful punch as well. You can get away with serving these because they still bring a lot of flavor to the table, especially with a good marinade (like gravy to a cheap cube steak).

Your guests may not even be to spot the differences unless they happen to be extremely well-versed in the world of steaks. You should give them a try if you need that skirt steak flavor but can’t seem to get your hands on it at this time.  

FAQs About Why Skirt Steak Is So Expensive

Here are a few FAQs about Why Skirt Steak Is So Expensive.

Is skirt beef expensive?

Yes, skirt steak is more expensive than other cuts of beef because it is a more desirable cut. Skirt steak is a thin, long piece of meat that comes from the diaphragm muscle of the steer. It’s a tough cut of meat, but it’s also very flavorful and juicy. That’s why it’s becoming a more popular choice for steak lovers.

Is a skirt steak tender?

Skirt steak is a type of beef cut that comes from the plate, the area of meat that sits below the rib cage on cattle. The muscle in this area is used a lot, so it’s tough and chewy. But, when cooked properly, a skirt steak can be tender and juicy.

What is a good price for skirt steak?

Skirt steak can vary in price depending on the time of year, and where you are buying it. FarmFoods and Porter Road both have grass-fed skirt steak for $23/lb. Kroger in Atlanta has it for $10/lb. Anything in that range would be a good price.

How much is skirt steak by the pound?

One pound of skirt steak should cost you between $8-$20. ‘Skirt steak’ is best for fajitas, sandwiches, kebabs or stir-fry dishes. You can also find it thinner and slice it into thin strips to make satays or grilled kabobs.

Is skirt steak a good cut of meat?

In general, the higher quality of a cut of meat, the more expensive it is. Skirt steak falls under this category; most budget friendly cuts are composed primarily of tough connective tissue, baby fat and nerves from areas like the belly or shoulder. Skirt steak is a desirable cut because it falls under one of two categories: tender cuts that are composed of muscle and are less fatty, or flavorful cuts that are composed of a mix of muscle, fat and connective tissue.

What is special about skirt steak?

Skirt steak is a cut of beef from the diaphragm or lower abdomen of the cow. It is a relatively thin, long strip of meat that is typically grilled or pan-seared. Skirt steak is flavorful and tender, but it can be tough if cooked too long. That’s why it’s important to cook skirt steak quickly over high heat.

Why is skirt steak more expensive than flank?

Many people believe that it’s because skirt steak is more flavorful than flank. Flank steak can be tough and flavorless, whereas skirt steak has a deliciously rich “steak” flavor, thanks to its higher fat content. Different cuts of meat have different levels of intramuscular fat, and this variation in marbling makes for variations in taste and tenderness.

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