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Skirt Steak - good or great?


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Skirt steaks are hard to find where I live so I'm in the flat iron camp. All the local grocery stores have flat iron steaks and they are reasonably priced. Marinated then cooked on a CI griddle.

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Looks good!


Skirt is harder to find because there is so little of it per cow.  Also note there are 2 distinct kinds of skirt, inside and outside.  I like to use it but I'm more inclined to cook flap steak when given the option between the 2.  Flap is thicker and can stand up to more time on the grill.  That means more time on the grill = more caramelization.

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I like all the cuts mentioned but I have to say London broil is a favorite in my house because it's cheap. That said it's really good if  cooked right. Simply from a price perspective we have London broil more than any other steak during the course of a year. 

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For me it is easier to list the beef that I do not like. I do not like the round but with the right recipe and method-- even that is theoretically possible. I can get a good crust on it and have it rare or medium rare but just does not excite me.


All of the rest is good when cooked right.


Chuck steak roast heavily browned on both sides and cooked over a thick bed of dark brown caramelized onions with dry red wine for the braze is absolutely awesome.  We add the vegetables at the end that were cooked on the stove top. 450 in a cast iron Dutch Oven with a foil seal under the lid for about 90 minutes---until it is soft like butter and a fork turns easily.  Ten to twenty minutes can make a huge difference. It tastes so rich and awesome.

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Skirt steak is my wife's favorite cut. Don't get me wrong I love it to. Skirt steak was the piece I used when I first heard about flipping your steaks alot. I cut one in half and flipped one every 30 seconds while the other just got flipped once. The every 30 seconds one had a little less crust but was noticeably more tender. Since then I've done the flip every 30 seconds or so on London broil and skirt steaks.


I find this interesting.


I read about this technique in one of Adam Perry Lang's books. He used it cooking direct over a wood fire. By using the 30 second flip and rotating -- he was able to get a very dark crispy and even crust with no burning on a two inch thick piece of meat. By flipping the top side cooled off a bit and gave a longer time on the grill with out burning-- so that the interior of the steak could cook more.


I used a version of this with my gas infrared. I flipped and turned at 1 minute intervals until I got a hard brown crust. Then i finished  the  2 inch thick steak indirect to 125 to 130. I kept fliping and the cust got softened by the juices from the steak and it was awesome.


When I tried this on a skirt steak I ended up with a well done over cooked piece of meat that was tough and no real browning at all.


How do you know when to pull it?


Using this method changes the time till done and takes my usual ball park reference of 4 minutes a side away.   I gather from my results--- browning is not the intent when flipping a thin piece of meat at 30 seconds.


I remember Alton Brown advocating putting skirt steak directly on the coals to stop flare up and to get maximum canalization as quick as possible.


I am not criticizing--I just am curious. Obviously there is something here that I do not understand.

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