A very delicious cut of beef that comes from the belly of a beef steer, skirt steak has loads of flavor. Talented chefs know the secret to enjoying this delicious cut of meat in different meals is to marinate it for at least 24 hours before trying to cook it due to inherent toughness.
The marinade helps tenderize it (rather than using a mallet or tenderizer), especially for home cooking.
However, when you are dealing with shortages in the grocery store or if you don’t have time to visit the specialty butchers’ shop, you may want to figure out a substitution for skirt steak. If you’re wondering “What is comparable to skirt steak?” read on and check out our list of acceptable beef cuts for a substitution.
Six Excellent Alternatives to Skirt Steak
A less expensive alternative to skirt steak, flap steak is a good substitution for skirt steak. The flap steak gives you all the delicious flavor of a skirt steak but in a less expensive cut of beef.
This piece of meat is a thin cut, very tender cut of beef that is often used in things like fajitas or on the grill. This cut of meat is leaner than skirt steak, so you will not have to deal with as much flaring up of the fire when grilling.
If you are interested in the rich flavor of the skirt steak, the hanger steak is a great choice to substitute.This piece of meat comes from the diaphragm of the steer along the lower belly.
Despite the fact that this muscle is surrounded by other tough muscles, it actually does very little work when the steer is alive.
This means that they hanger steak is surprisingly tender and juicy with tons of flavor. If you are cooking a dish that calls for lots of beef flavor and a skirt steak is nowhere to be found, hanger steak is a great option.
However, keep in mind that you will not need to marinate the meat for very long since the hanger steak is already so tender. Because this steak is so thin, pay attention while cooking it, so you don’t accidentally overcook it, rendering it tough.
Flank steak might be your first choice when searching for a good substitution for skirt steak. Flank steak is comparable in size and flavor to a skirt steak.
Flank steak has good marbling but can be a bit stringy. Because of this, you should slice flank steak across the grain to break the muscle fiber.
Additionally, take care not to overcook this steak because it will get tough and rubbery should you cook it too long.
Otherwise, cooking flank steak is very similar to skirt steak. Here’s a flank steak recipe that we love.
Sirloin Tip Steak
A very lean cut of steak, the sirloin tip comes from the side of the steer. It is a bit less tender than some other steaks, so it is a good choice for recipes where you might fry the steak or cook it long and low.
The sirloin tip has a strong beef flavor, and it holds marinades well. It is perfect for stir-fry or slow cooking but also works wonderfully in recipes where the meat is covered in a rich, tasty sauce. It is also good when your recipe calls for grilling or searing the steak.
Rib Eye Steak
Ribeye steak is always easy to find, so it is a great alternative to skirt steak. This piece of meat comes from the muscle that reaches from the steer’s shoulder to hip bone, along the ribs.
You can buy it with or without the bones, but the boneless cuts (known as a Spencer Steak) are easier to cook. This steak is tender because this muscle group does not get much exercise when the steer is alive.
Use care when cooking rib eye because, when overcooked, it quickly becomes tough and chewy. It should never be cooked longer than medium to keep it nice and tender.
Flat Iron Steak
Flat iron steaks are more tender than skirt steak. This cut of meat comes from the shoulder of a beef steer and is usually rich in marbling. These steaks tend to be very thick, so if you are using it for tacos or fajitas, you may want to slice it thinly across the grain so that it cooks the way that you want it to. This is a steak that benefits from an acidic marinade to help it stay tender in cooking.
Top Round Steak
Top round steaks are even leaner than skirt steaks, and benefit from being cooked in the same way. They are a solid skirt steak substitute.
They’re a thicker cut though, and not as more suitable to long marinades and short, hot grilling.They make an excellent London Broil and carne asada.
FAQs about Skirt Steak
What is Skirt Steak?
Skirt steak comes from the diaphragm of the beef steer. It is incredibly flavorful and heavily marbled with fat. However, since it comes from a part of the steer that is used a lot, the meat itself is rather tough. If you can find it at the butcher or grocery store and if you know how to cook it, this cut of meat can be quite a treat.
What Are Some Other Names for Skirt Steak?
Most of the time, in the United States, this cut of meat is called skirt steak or plate skirt steak. However, overseas you may see some other names for this flavorful cut of meat. Sometimes, it is called Romanian steak, Philadelphia steak, Romanian tenderloin, or Arrachera.
Why Is Skirt Steak Hard to Find?
Skirt steak is one of the more unusual cuts of beef. It’s less common in the grocery store because there are only four skirt steaks per beef carcass. This is why finding a good substitute for skirt steak is important. However, if you can find the real thing in the butcher’s case, you will enjoy this tasty piece of meat. Unfortunately, this scarcity also makes skirt steak pretty expensive.
How Should You Cook Skirt Steak?
The best way to cook a marinated skirt steak is to cook it over high heat, lightly searing it. This thin cut of beef works well on the grill or pan fried on high heat. You can also broil the skirt steak in the oven. Whatever your skirt steak recipe, just cook it about 4 to 5 minutes per side. It should take about 10 to 12 minutes to cook the skirt steak. A meat thermometer should read about 130 degrees when you remove the skirt steak from the heat. After you let it rest for 10 minutes, the thermometer should read 135 degrees.
How Should You Slice Skirt Steak?
Slicing skirt steak is important too, because the long muscle fibers can be stringy if you cut with the grain. Always cut skirt steak perpendicular to the grain to break up those muscle fibers. You should always let the skirt steak rest for about 10 minutes after cooking to allow the moisture in the muscle to be redistributed.