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Inside Vs. Outside Skirt Steak: Which Is Better?

Inside Vs. Outside Skirt Steak: Which Is Better?

The skirt steak is one of the most delicious cuts of beef. There are two types of skirt steaks that you can choose from; one might be better than the other. So, Inside Vs. Outside Skirt Steak, which is better?

While the outside and inside skirt steaks look similar, they have some flavor and muscle density differences. The inside skirt steak is more flavorful, tender, and delicious than the outside steak. Further, the inside skirt steak has more fats and grills up nicely, thanks to its thickness.

If you want to fire up your grill for a delicious steak but are undecided on inside vs. outside skirt steak, then you are at the right place. Before you get to the bottom of this article, you would have known everything concerning inside vs. outside skirt steak.

skirt steak

What Is Skirt Steak?

A skirt steak is a tasty cut of beef derived from the plate section of a cow. Even though it also adds up as being a bit tough, it is one of the most flavorful cuts of beef best for grilling. Most recipes recommend marinating the skirt steak before grilling to enhance its tenderness and flavor. Moreover, due to its loose structure, the steak never disappoints when it comes to absorbing the flavors of the marinade.

The skirt steak is cut from either of the separate muscles called the outside skirt/diaphragm muscle or the inside skirt/ the transversus abdominis muscle.

Although the inside and outside skirts look pretty similar as they are long with thick grains, they vary in several ways.

The Inside Skirt Steak

The inside skirt steak is obtained from below the ribs of a cow. It is a fatty and chewy kind of meat that often the butcher removes its membrane before selling it. This explains why it is an easy cut to cook. In addition, the inside steak is tougher, thinner, and more irregular in shape when compared to the outside skirt steak.

The Outside Skirt Steak

The outside skirt steak is derived from the diaphragm muscle of a cow. It is situated between the 6th and 12th ribs. It has a more regular shape when compared to inside skirt steak, and butchers sell it with its membrane attached. Therefore, when preparing the outside skirt, you must remove the fatty membrane before proceeding with its cooking. Notably, it is hard to find outside skirt steaks in the grocery because they mostly end up in commercial kitchens.

Inside Vs. Outside Skirt Steak: What Are The Differences?

If you find it hard to differentiate between the inside and the outside skirt steak due to the similarities, here is a quick rundown on their differences.

The Size

The outside skirt steak is longer and wider than the inside skirt steak due to its location. However, it is thinner, making it faster to cook as it does not require a lot of clean-up.

On the other hand, the inside skirt steak is shorter in width and length but thicker, making up for the lost length. Moreover, the thickness benefits more from the marinade and sear.

The Preparation

Another difference that will always emerge when comparing the two cuts is based on the finish/preparation. The inside cut has more fats and a thick membrane that you need to clean before you can cook it. Nevertheless, in most cases, the butcher removes the membrane so that you do not have to prepare much.

The outside skirt cut is leaner than the inside cut, but it still has enough fat to cook it and make it more delicious.

The Cooking Method

To get the most sweetness from the skirt steak, you must know how to cook it best. The thickness of the inside steak makes it ideal for grilling as you do not have to worry about overcooking it. Without worrying about overcooking, you can allow it to develop a delicious crust and keep things at medium-rare.

The Flavor

While both have a tasty beefy flavor, the inside skirt steak is tender and more flavorful, making it a better choice if you want something delicious.

Why Should You Try A Skirt Steak?

Everyone agrees that a steak is a delicious cut from a cow. However, the fact that there are many types of steaks can make it a bit difficult for anyone to pick the best steak. The skirt steak is among the popular types of steaks in the grocery, and there are many compelling reasons to try it.

Excellent For Marinating

Marinating is an ideal way of enhancing the flavor of your meat. If you are always keen to marinate your favorite cuts before grilling them, then skirt steak will be the best cut. It has a large surface area with thick grains, efficiently absorbing the marinade.

An Excellent Source For Vitamins And Protein

The essence of eating is to introduce vital nutrients to the body. The skirt steak is a perfect source of protein and vitamin B6, which assists in conserving the energy from other proteins and produces hemoglobin, essential for circulating oxygen around the body.

Value For Your Buck

When you go out shopping for a steak, you want to purchase a steak that will give you value for your money. Even though the skirt steak is among the expensive cuts on the market, its fibrous freshness gives you plenty of meat to feel the value of your money.

Easy To Store

The skirt steak can last for a maximum of five days in a fridge and up to a year in a freezer. Its narrow cuts and malleable surface make it fit perfectly into your freezer. In addition, the skirt steak freezes well, so you do not have to worry about losing its flavor after storing it for a long time.

kinfe steak

Alternative Names For The Skirt Steak

If you have ever walked into a store and the attendant seemed not to recognize what a skirt steak was, you must have wondered, “what is skirt steak called in the grocery store.”

The main alternative names for a skirt steak are the Romanian tenderloin, Arrachera, and Philadelphia steak. The Romanian tenderloin is a Jewish name, Arrachera Mexican, while the name Philadelphia steak came into existence since the skirt steak is an excellent choice for cheesesteak sub.

Tips For Cooking The Skirt Steak

With a skirt steak at your disposal, there are several flavorful recipes that you can make out of it. Here are a few essential tips you should embrace when cooking either inside or outside skirt steak.

  • Marinade your steak for at least thirty minutes before you can start cooking it. Marinating is crucial because it makes the steak develop more flavors and softens the tough muscle fibers to make it tender.
  • Grill over high heat – the best way to cook your skirt steak is to grill it over high temperature. Grilling over high temperatures gives the steak a nice char while keeping the inside tender.
  • Slice the steak properly – Another secret to preparing a delicious skirt steak is to ensure that you slice it properly. In other words, ensure that you cut the steak against the grain when serving.
  • Give the steak a dry rub – Rubbing the skirt steak with black pepper before cooking gives it a flavorful crust making it even more delicious.


Skirt steak is one of the most flavorful cuts of a cow, with the beefy taste that people are always looking for in those prominent cuts of beef. While there are distinct differences between the two, your pick is all about preference. Some believe the outside steak is better than the inside skirt steak.

The truth is that the inside steak is more flavorful and tender than the inside skirt steak, and you should not be afraid to embrace it if you are looking for a delicious beef steak.