Grilled skirt steak benefits from a good marinade: the meat gets juicy, packed with flavor, and super tender. I go big in this grilled steak recipe with a daring mix of garlic, lemon, and fragrant Mediterranean spices like cumin and Aleppo pepper.

a half-sliced grilled skirt steak on a wooden cutting board with a knife.
Photo Credits: Mariam Hamdy

Grilled skirt steak with a nice char and tender, buttery center rivals any “fancy” cut of meat—watch out filet mignon! Though skirt steak costs a fraction of the price, this no-fail recipe with a flavorful Mediterranean marinade makes for a restaurant-worthy steak that’s sure to impress at your next BBQ. 

Skirt steak is a lean, thin cut of meat, which means for the best results you need to cook it hot and fast. You'll only need 3 to 4 minutes per side for a golden brown, crispy crust that gives way to a decadently juicy, pink interior. Ideally, go for rare to medium-rare and no longer.

A spread of effortless sides like Grilled Corn Salad, Mustard Potato Salad, and Grilled Watermelon will make your summer BBQs vibrant, colorful and healthy! 

Table of Contents
  1. Grilled Skirt Steak Ingredients
  2. How to Grill Steak
  3. How Long to Grill Steak
  4. Go Against the Grain! How to Slice Steak 
  5. What to Serve with Grilled Skirt Steak
  6. Fire Up Your Grill with These Delicious Recipes 
  7. Grilled Skirt Steak Recipe
ingredients for grilled skirt steak including skirt steak, salt, pepper, shallots, garlic, parsley, cumin, aleppo pepper, paprika, lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.

Grilled Skirt Steak Ingredients

Though grilled steak may elicit a summer feeling, the ingredients for this recipe can be easily found year-round. Simply turn to your grill pan in the winter months and your outdoor grill in the summer to make this easy steak recipe all year!

  • Skirt steak: Comes from the plate section of the cow, right below the rib and between the brisket and flank. Rich and flavorful, it cooks quickly and is less expensive than fancier cuts like tenderloin. But, it can be just as tender when cooked properly—fast and hot is best!  
  • Seasoning: Kosher salt, black pepper, cumin, Aleppo pepper, and sweet or smoked paprika bring a Mediterranean flair to the marinade. If you don’t have Aleppo pepper on hand, you can find it at our shop or substitute with red pepper flakes. 
  • Alliums: A healthy dose of shallot and garlic adds an irresistible sweet and savory flavor.
  • Parsley: Brings freshness to the marinade. Opt for the flat-leaf Italian variety, as curly parsley tends to be bitter. 
  • Acidity: The juice and zest of 1 large lemon and red wine vinegar bring balance and lightness to the savory marinade. 
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil tenderizes and enriches the meat. Use a smooth variety like our Italian Nocellara or Spanish Hojiblanca for a peppery kick. 
  • Neutral oil: A small amount of neutral oil on your grill prevents sticking. 
close up of a sliced grilled skirt steak on a wooden cutting board.

How to Grill Steak

This no-fail steak recipe leans on a savory marinade, which keeps it juicy and flavorful as it cooks. You only need to sear it! Cook it fast and hot so it stays juicy. 

  • Get ready: While the steak is still cold, use a sharp knife to trim off any extra fat. Work in a slow, deliberate manner to avoid removing too much meat.
  • Make the marinade: Rub a 2-pound skirt steak well all over with salt and pepper. Place in a resealable bag or glass container. Add 2 chopped shallots, 4-6 crushed or minced garlic cloves (minced for the strongest flavor), and ⅓ cup of minced parsley. Season with 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and Aleppo pepper (or red pepper flakes), ½ teaspoon of paprika, and the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Add ¼ cup of red wine vinegar and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil. skirt steak marinading in a baking dish.
  • Marinate the steak: Seal the bag shut and massage to distribute the marinade. Set it in your refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes-24 hours, then allow it to come to room temperature on your counter for 30 minutes. If you're short on time, let it marinate on your counter for 30 minutes. 
  • Grill: Lightly oil your grill grates and preheat the grill to high heat (400-450°F for direct heat). Give the steak a gentle shake to remove excess marinade. Arrange on the grill directly over the heat. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the temperature reaches 125-130°F for medium-rare. uncooked marinated skirt steak on a cast iron grill pan.a grilled skirt steak on a cast iron grill pan.
  • Rest, slice, and serve: Transfer to a wire rack or cutting board to rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the skirt steak against the grain. Arrange the pieces on a large platter, fanning them to show off your beautiful work! Serve immediately. a half-sliced grilled skirt steak on a cutting board.

How Long to Grill Steak

Grilled skirt steak is best cooked to rare or medium rare over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side. This will create a beautiful sear without overcooking. From there, cook according to your preference: 

  • Rare: 2-3 minutes per side, with an internal temperature of 115-120°F. The steak will be browned on the outside and red on the inside, with a warm and juicy center.
  • Medium-rare: 3-4 minutes per side, with an internal temperature of 125-135°F. The steak will be browned on the outside and pink in the center, with a warm and juicy center.
  • Medium: 4-5 minutes per side, with an internal temperature of 140-150°F. The steak will be browned on the outside and pink in the center, with a slightly firmer texture than medium rare.
  • Medium-well: 5-6 minutes per side, with an internal temperature of 150-160°F. The steak will be browned on the outside with a hint of pink in the center, and will have a firmer texture.
  • Well Done: 6-7 minutes per side, with an internal temperature of 160-170°F. The steak will be browned on the outside and fully cooked through, with no visible pink and a very firm texture. I do not recommend cooking it to this temperature.

If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can test the steak’s doneness by performing the “bounce test.” When meat is cooked, it goes from soft and mushy to giving resistance when pressed. To test for medium rare, make a fist with one hand and squeeze. Use your other hand to press on the area between your pointer finger and thumb. The amount of resistance is similar to how the thickest part of the steak should feel! 

a sliced grilled skirt steak on a wooden cutting board.

Go Against the Grain! How to Slice Steak 

The “grain” refers to the long lines you see running across the meat’s surface. Those lines are the muscle fibers, which take some extra work to break down when you chew. When you slice against the grain, you cut the fibers into shorter pieces. This does some of the work for you, making the meat more tender and less chewy. To slice against the grain: 

  • Let the steak rest. Always allow meat to rest after cooking. A good rule of thumb is to allow meat to rest for half of the amount of time it took to cook. This resting period gives the juices time to redistribute throughout the meat so they don’t spill out when you slice them. 
  • Locate the grain: Look closely at the steak and try to identify the direction of the muscle fibers. The grain will appear as long lines running along the surface of the meat.
  • Position the steak: Place the steak on a cutting board with the grain running lengthwise in front of you.
  • Slice against the grain: Use a sharp knife to cut across the grain of the meat, perpendicular to the muscle fibers. The thickness of the slice is a personal preference, but most people like ¼ to ½-inch thick.
overhead photo of grilled skirt steak slices on a plate with a side of shopska salad and a fork.

What to Serve with Grilled Skirt Steak

When we grill skirt steak for a backyard bash, I like to serve it with a spread of small plates and salads. Try to make your table as colorful as possible!

Set out platters of grilled steak alongside Grilled Corn Salad, Mustard Potato Salad, Grilled watermelon or mango, and a Summer Berry Salad. Keep things effortless and let your guests serve themselves. 

For drinks, keep it casual and easy with pitcher cocktails. Sangria, Rosé Lemonade, and Agua De València always get the party going in my (professional) experience! For those who prefer a booze-free lifestyle, I'm a big fan of Mediterranean Mint Lemonade!

Fire Up Your Grill with These Delicious Recipes 

Give Your Steak a Peppery Kick

Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil from 100% Hojiblanca Olives

A bottle of extra virgin olive oil.

Browse all Mediterranean recipes.

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5 from 4 votes

Grilled Skirt Steak

Suzy Karadsheh
a sliced grilled skirt steak on a wooden cutting board.
A punchy marinade scented with Mediterranean spices and lemon zest tenderizes and infuses this skirt steak with bold flavor. From there, it needs only a few minutes on the grill to get a nice sear and buttery-soft, juicy center. If you can, start marinating the steak the night before for the strongest flavor. Even 30 minutes on your counter will do the trick, though, if you’re short on time.
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 6 minutes
Resting Time 35 minutes
Total – 51 minutes
Cuisine:
Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Entree

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed of extra fat
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4-6 large garlic cloves, minced or crushed
  • cup chopped Italian parsley leaves and tender stems
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Neutral oil, for grilling

Instructions
 

  • Make the marinade: Rub the steak well on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper. Place in a resealable bag and add the shallot, garlic, parsley, cumin, Aleppo pepper (or red pepper flakes), and paprika. Add the lemon juice, zest, red wine vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Seal and gently massage the skirt steak to distribute the marinade.
  • Marinate the steak: If you have the time, marinate it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 24 hours, turning the bag every so often to distribute the marinade. Then, allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling. Otherwise, allow the steak to marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes. (It is best to bring the meat to room temperature before grilling so it will start with an even temperature throughout).
  • Get ready: Lightly oil the grates and preheat the grill to high heat (400 to 450°F for direct heat). Keeping the steak in the bag, hit the steak with a mallet or rolling pin to tenderize the meat.
  • Grill: Remove the meat from the sealed bag and gently shake off the excess marinade. Arrange on the grill directly over the heat. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until the temperature reaches somewhere between 125-130°F.
  • Slice and serve: Transfer to a wire rack or cutting board to rest for 5 minutes. Thinly slice the skirt steak against the grain and arrange the pieces on a large platter. Serve with your favorite sides and salads (see notes for ideas).

Video

Notes

  • If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can test the steak’s doneness using the “bounce test.” When meat is cooked, it goes from soft and mushy to giving resistance when pressed. To test for medium rare, make a fist with one hand and squeeze. Use your other hand to press on the area between your pointer finger and thumb. The amount of resistance is similar to how the thickest part of the steak should feel!
  • Serve with effortless sides and small plates. Grilled Corn Salad, Mustard Potato Salad, Grilled watermelon or mango, and a Summer Berry Salad would make for a vibrant and colorful spread filled with texture and flavor. Pitcher cocktails like Sangria, Rosé Lemonade, and Agua De València get the party going.
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oilshoneyjams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 410.4kcalCarbohydrates: 4.4gProtein: 33.4gFat: 29.4gSaturated Fat: 6.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 18.1gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 95.3mgSodium: 110.7mgPotassium: 541mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 1.2gVitamin A: 482.5IUVitamin C: 15.3mgCalcium: 30.4mgIron: 3.6mg
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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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