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How Long To Cook Skirt Steak On Grill

When it comes to cooking a mouthwatering skirt steak on the grill, it’s all about finding the perfect balance between tenderness and a flavorful char.

Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a beginner barbecue enthusiast, knowing the ideal cooking time is key to achieving that juicy and succulent result.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to determine exactly How Long To Cook Skirt Steak On Grill, ensuring a delicious meal that will have your taste buds dancing with delight.

Choosing and Preparing the Skirt Steak

Selecting the right skirt steak

When it comes to choosing a skirt steak for grilling, there are a few important factors to consider. Look for a skirt steak that is bright red in color and has a good amount of marbling throughout.

The marbling is important as it adds flavor and helps keep the steak moist during cooking. Additionally, it’s important to choose a skirt steak that is relatively uniform in thickness, as this will make it easier to cook evenly.

Trimming excess fat

Before grilling the skirt steak, take a moment to trim any excess fat from the edges. This will help prevent flare-ups on the grill and ensure that the steak cooks evenly.

Use a sharp knife to carefully remove any visible fat, being careful not to remove too much as a little fat can help enhance the flavor of the meat.

Seasoning the steak

To bring out the natural flavors of the skirt steak, it’s important to season it properly. Before grilling, generously sprinkle both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.

You can also add other seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, or your favorite steak seasoning blend for added flavor.

Once seasoned, let the steak sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Preheating and Preparing the Grill

Choosing the right type of grill

When it comes to grilling skirt steak, you have a few options for the type of grill to use. The most common choices are gas grills, charcoal grills, or even a grill pan on your stovetop.

Each option has its own benefits, so choose the one that you are most comfortable using and that best fits your needs.

Preheating the Grill

Before placing the skirt steak on the grill, it is essential to preheat the grill. This allows for even cooking and helps create those beautiful grill marks.

For gas grills, preheat the grill to medium-high heat, around 400°F. For charcoal grills, wait until the charcoal is fully lit and covered with ash before placing the steak on the grates. This usually takes about 20-30 minutes.

Cleaning and Oiling the Grill Grates

To prevent the skirt steak from sticking to the grill, it’s important to clean and oil the grill grates before cooking. Use a grill brush to remove any leftover debris from previous grilling sessions.

Once the grates are clean, lightly brush them with oil using a high smoke point oil such as vegetable or canola oil. This will create a non-stick surface and help the steak cook evenly.

Direct Grilling Method

Setting up the grill for direct grilling

Direct grilling is the most common method for cooking skirt steak on the grill. To set up your grill for direct grilling, simply place the skirt steak directly over the heat source. This method allows for quick and even cooking, resulting in a nicely seared exterior and a juicy, tender interior.

Grilling the skirt steak

Once the grill is preheated and the steak is seasoned, it’s time to start grilling. Carefully place the skirt steak on the preheated grill grates, directly over the heat source.

Cook the steak for about 4-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak and the desired level of doneness. Skirt steak is best cooked to medium-rare or medium for optimal flavor and tenderness.

Flipping and monitoring the steak

While grilling the skirt steak, remember to only flip it once. Flipping too often can prevent proper searing and result in a less flavorful steak. As the steak cooks, use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.

For medium-rare, the steak should reach an internal temperature of 130-135°F, while medium should reach 140-145°F. Keep a close eye on the steak to ensure it doesn’t overcook.

Indirect Grilling Method

Setting up the grill for indirect grilling

If you prefer a more gentle cooking method, or if your skirt steak is thicker, you can opt for indirect grilling. To set up your grill for indirect grilling, simply light one side of a gas grill or arrange charcoal on one side of a charcoal grill.

Place the skirt steak on the side of the grill without direct heat. This method allows for slower cooking and more even heat distribution.

Grilling the skirt steak

Once the grill is set up for indirect grilling, carefully place the skirt steak on the side of the grill without direct heat. Close the lid and let the steak cook for about 10-15 minutes per side. Keep in mind that thicker cuts of skirt steak may require longer cooking times.

Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature and remove the steak from the grill once it reaches the desired level of doneness.

Checking the internal temperature

When grilling skirt steak using the indirect method, it’s essential to check the internal temperature to ensure it is cooked to your liking. Use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak to check the temperature.

As mentioned earlier, medium-rare is typically around 130-135°F, while medium is around 140-145°F. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to achieve your desired level of doneness.

Determining the Level of Doneness

Determining the Level of Doneness
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Using a Meat Thermometer

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Using a meat thermometer is the most accurate way to determine the doneness of your skirt steak. Insert the probe into the thickest part of the steak, avoiding any bones or fat. Be sure to check the temperature a few times throughout the cooking process to ensure that the steak doesn’t overcook or undercook.

The Finger Test for Doneness

If you don’t have a meat thermometer or prefer a more hands-on approach, you can use the finger test to determine the doneness of your skirt steak. Gently press the center of the steak with your index finger. If the steak is rare, it will feel very soft and squishy.

For medium-rare, it will feel slightly firm but still have some give. Medium steaks will feel firmer, and well-done steaks will feel very firm and springy. With practice, you can become more confident in using the finger test to gauge the doneness of your steak.

Resting and Slicing the Skirt Steak

Resting the cooked steak

After grilling the skirt steak, it’s crucial to let it rest before slicing. Resting allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and loosely tender it with aluminum foil. Let the steak rest for at least 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to settle.

Slicing against the grain

To ensure a tender and easy-to-chew skirt steak, it’s important to slice it against the grain. Identify the direction of the muscle fibers and cut perpendicular to them.

This breaks up the long muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender bite. Slice the skirt steak into thin strips, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, for the best texture and presentation.

Serving and Enjoying the Skirt Steak

Presentation and garnishing

When serving skirt steak, presentation is key. Arrange the sliced steak on a platter or individual plates, making sure to showcase its caramelized exterior and juicy interior.

Garnish with fresh herbs or a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to add a pop of color and flavor. Consider serving the skirt steak alongside some grilled citrus slices for a refreshing twist.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overcooking the skirt steak

One of the most common mistakes when grilling skirt steak is overcooking it. Skirt steak is best enjoyed when cooked to medium-rare or medium, as it can quickly become tough and chewy if overcooked. Keep a close eye on the internal temperature or use the finger test to ensure that you achieve your desired level of doneness.

Not allowing the steak to rest

Resting the skirt steak is a crucial step that should not be overlooked. Allowing the steak to rest for a few minutes after cooking allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak. Skipping this step can lead to a less enjoyable dining experience.

Using too much heat

Using excessive heat when grilling skirt steak can cause it to cook too quickly and result in uneven cooking or charring on the outside while leaving the center undercooked. It’s important to preheat the grill properly and adjust the heat as needed to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process.

Alternative Cooking Methods


If you don’t have access to a grill or prefer to cook indoors, pan-searing is a great alternative for cooking skirt steak. Heat a skillet or cast-iron pan over high heat and add a small amount of oil. Sear the steak for 2-3 minutes per side, or until it reaches your desired level of doneness. Remember to rest the steak before slicing.

Broiling in the oven

Another alternative cooking method for skirt steak is broiling in the oven. Preheat the broiler and place the steak on a broiler pan or a wire rack set on a baking sheet. Broil the steak for about 4-6 minutes per side, or until it reaches the desired level of doneness. While broiling, keep a close eye on the steak to prevent burning.

Marinating Tips and Techniques

Choosing a marinade

Marinating skirt steak before grilling can add an extra layer of flavor and help tenderize the meat. When choosing a marinade, opt for one that contains acidic ingredients such as vinegar, citrus juice, or yogurt, as they help break down the muscle fibers and enhance the tenderness. You can also add herbs, spices, garlic, or soy sauce to the marinade for additional flavor.

Marinating time and methods

Skirt steak doesn’t require an extended marinating time due to its thinness. Marinate the steak for at least 1-2 hours, but no more than 24 hours. Too much time in the marinade can result in an overly soft texture.

To marinate, place the steak and the marinade in a resealable bag or a shallow dish, making sure the steak is fully coated. Refrigerate and occasionally flip the steak to ensure even marinating.

Grill Crafted

Hi there, I'm Draha, the author behind Grill Crafted | Your Guide to Grill Mastery. As a passionate grilling enthusiast, I dedicate myself to providing you with the best insights and knowledge on everything related to Cabinet Gas Grills, Portable Gas Grills, portable grill tables, and portable charcoal grills. Through in-depth reviews and comprehensive guides, I aim to help you make informed decisions when it comes to finding the best options in the market. Whether you're looking for the best portable charcoal grills or the top-rated Cabinet Gas Grills, I've got you covered. Join me on this grilling journey and let's master the art of grilling together.