Skirt Steak is typically used in recipes such as pulled beef sandwiches, dinner steaks, beef fajitas, chimichurri, and carne asada.
Many meat-lovers consider skirt steak one of their go-to meats, but what if the butcher runs out of it? You can check the following list to know what you can substitute it with.
Among the best skirt steak substitutes include the following:
- Flat iron steak
- Flank steak
- Flap steak
- Strip loin steak
- Ribeye steak
- Hanger steak
- Beef tenderloin
- Sirloin tip side steak
- Denver steak
Before we go in-depth on why each substitute is suitable to replace skirt steak, let us understand a bit more about this popular meat cut.
15 Best Substitute For Skirt Steak
Skirt steak comes from a cow’s diaphragm’s section under the ribs cut long and thin. This beef cut has minimal fat, and the meat is more tender and flavorful.
The meat is usually seared in a cast iron pan or hot skillet with olive oil or butter. However, it tastes sumptuous as long as it is cooked right, even when roasted or grilled.
You have to be careful not to overcook the meat, or else it will get tough. It is best to cook it to medium-done. You can pair it with a variety of dishes and side dishes.
Flat iron steak is a meat cut from the animal’s shoulder area or chuck. This is also referred to as butler steak, book steak, and boneless top chuck steak.
It’s thicker than skirt steak, has a rich beefy flavor, and is exceptionally tender. It’s also easier to find than skirt steak.
It’s best used as a substitute for skirt steak in taco filling. Thinly slice the meat, and it will taste sumptuous and meatier.
In cooking, sear it on high heat quickly, then finish cooking at a lower temperature. You can use it for grilling, searing, slow cooking, and more.
The flank steak looks similar to the skirt steak since they are both flat and long, with each cut having a different grain. However, the cut on both meat runs opposite of each other.
Flank steak goes by different names, depending on where you are. For example, it’s called sobrebarriga in Columbia and bavette in France.
This cut comes from the lower chest part of the abdominal area of a cow. It has leaner meat compared to skirt steak and less fat.
Many chefs recommend marinating the meat in flavorful seasoning before cooking to make it tastier. Additionally, it is crucial that you don’t overcook the flank steak if you don’t want it to be gummy and dry.
It makes a good skirt steak substitute no matter what you are cooking, but it tastes best when grilled on charcoal or slow-cooked when added to a goulash soup.
You can also pound the meat to make it thinner, softer, and more tender, which will prevent the meat from having a gummy texture when cooked. However, this is not applicable when making a simple steak recipe since the meat has little fat and is quite lean.
No matter how you use flank steak in substituting skirt steak, always be cautious to avoid the meat from getting dry.
This cut of meat is called sirloin tips in England, which comes from the bottom sirloin butt. It makes a perfect balance of fatty, lean meat, and thinly sliced like the skirt steak.
Flap steak has been gaining popularity in many beef dishes and as a choice for steaks. Many butcher shops grind this cut of meat to make beef patties because of the meat’s richness and juiciness.
Aside from being delicious, flap steak is also a more affordable choice than skirt steak. It’s suited to be served as steak for your main dish or slice the meat before whisking it into various Mexican-inspired dishes.
When making the substitution, it is recommended to cook flap steaks at high temperatures. You can marinate it overnight to get a richer flavor, especially before pan-frying or grilling the meat.
It’s a diverse cut that will go well with noodles, vegetables, and stir-fried recipes. You will hardly notice its difference with skirt steak, even when used in soups, sauteed with carrots and potatoes, or tossed with salad greens.
This cut, also called strip steak, comes from the lower area of a cow’s loins. It’s juicy, tender, and is an excellent skirt steak substitute.
It doesn’t differ much from skirt steak, except for the thicker cut. You may want to cut it thinner before cooking or have it cut the way you want by the butcher upon buying.
The fresher the meat is, the sweeter and juicier it will be. So it’s recommended that you use it fresh from the shop.
Additionally, it tastes better when marinated while partly cold. You can easily add this cut of meat to many recipes and pair it with other dishes.
You can top it on pasta, noodles, salads, and more. You only have to make sure that the meat is cooked using the right temperature to achieve the perfect texture.
Ribeye steak is one of the most popular and well-loved cuts of meat worldwide. It comes from the muscle covering an animal’s rib section.
It’s tender, similar to strip loin steak, since both come from the part of an animal with less movement and with a longissimus type of muscle. The best thing about this meat cut is that it is easy to find due to its high demand for its aroma, texture, and taste.
When using it as a substitute for skirt steak, make sure it’s fresh, seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper, and cooked at medium-rare. You can also mix it with salads, beef sandwiches, and barbecues.
It also tastes good when cut into strips, marinated, and used in making spicy fajitas. You can use it in any dish that requires skirt steak, and it will taste delicious with a juicy texture.
This is the more flavorful cut of a cow’s diaphragm. Hanger steak comes next to tenderloin when it comes to tenderness.
This cut of meat is also called butcher’s steak or hanging tenderloin. It offers a distinctive taste and coarse texture.
When used as a substitute for skirt steak, it is best to marinate the meat before cooking for added flavor. You can also add intense spices to boost its taste.
To ensure the right texture and maintain the meat’s chewiness and tenderness, it is recommended to cook the meat in rare to medium-rare heat settings.
It comes from an animal’s short loin and has a delicate texture because it doesn’t have connective structures. Many favor it as a substitute for skirt steak because of its juiciness, delicate texture, and buttery flavors.
It tastes quite rich that you no longer need to add marinade before cooking. However, you can choose to rub the meat with spices that will complement the dish you’re cooking.
Additionally, a spice rub works best when using beef tenderloin in making casseroles and soups. The meat retains its richness and soft texture even when fully cooked.
Sirloin tip side steak
This cut of meat is also called round, which comes from the cow’s rear muscle. Its boneless lean cut makes a good substitute for skirt steak.
You can marinate the meat before cooking to boost its flavor. It has loose grain, making it easy to absorb the marinade’s flavor.
You can use this meat instead of skirt steak in making stir-fried dishes, Fajitas, tacos, and other meat dishes served with juice sauce and rice.
It comes from the cow’s chuck section, the same as flat iron steak. It’s thicker than skirt steak, so make sure that you adjust its cooking time when using it as a substitute.
It’s a slice of tender meat perfect for stir-fried dishes, Fajitas, sous vide, and grilled and pan-seared dishes. Moreover, you have to cook it medium or rare for best results.
Aside from being more affordable than skirt steak, tri-tip steak makes a good substitute for the meat because of its rich flavor and tenderness. It has the same amount of fat as skirt steak, so they have a similar marbled texture.
The cut of meat comes from the area of a cow in between the flank and round. However, this is not easy to find, and same as skirt steak, it becomes tough when overcooked.
Chicken breast has the same levels of firmness as skirt steak and would go well for people who want to lessen their intake of red meat. The best thing about this meat is that it is easy to find and is cheap.
To ensure that you won’t overcook the meat, keep the temperature at a minimum of 165 degrees F. You can cut it into strips before or after cooking if the recipe calls for it.
Chicken breast makes a good substitute for skirt steak in making stir-fried dishes. It also goes well with various ingredients, including beef, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.
This is highly sought by vegans or vegetarians who want to substitute skirt steak in stir-fried dishes. It’s made from soybean curds, rich in protein, gluten-free, and low in calories.
When used in frying or as a substitute for steak, make sure that you get the ones with a firm texture so they will hold their shape even after cooking. You can use the softer kinds in making smoothies or soups.
The firm texture of mushrooms makes it a suitable alternative to skirt steak. As long as seasoned and prepared right, mushrooms can easily obtain a meaty flavor and make a great addition, especially in stir-fried dishes.
You can use either oyster or shiitake mushrooms in making the substitution. You won’t even notice that the dish lacks meat, as long as you put enough mushrooms in it.
Round Top Beef
This large cut of meat comes from the cow’s leg and rump. It’s lean and makes an excellent alternative to skirt steak in slow-cooked dishes.
However, the large cut of this meat makes it ideal if you are cooking for many people since it is best cooked while fresh from the store.
This is another good option for vegetarians in substituting skirt steak. It’s made from gluten and wheat gluten flour.
You can usually buy it in a marinade, so you no longer need to season or add other flavors. This is better to use than tofu in making fajitas since it is firmer and holds its shape better.