This Grilled Skirt Steak Sandwich is bringing all the summer vibes with crisp radishes, arugula, and a creamy sun dried tomato mayo.
This recipe is sponsored by the Ohio Beef Council. As always, all opinions are my own.
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Skirt Steak: A Primer
When you think of summer grilling, a few things might come to mind. Maybe it’s a classic Bacon Cheeseburger (a sure fire bet), or perhaps something a little spicier, like Chipotle Grilled Chicken. Or maybe a charred hot dog or juicy rib eye is the epitome of summer for you.
We’re a big fan of all those things, but skirt steak is quickly becoming synonymous with summer in our house. This underrated cut of meat is perfect for marinating and throwing on the grill for an ultra fast dinner.
It’s flavorful, and, if done right, extremely tender.
You could easily eat it on its own with a side of Balsamic Grilled Vegetables, but we think we’ve found skirt steak’s true purpose in life with these Skirt Steak Sandwiches.
Thin slices of marinated steak nestled in a sandwich with sliced radishes, arugula, and sun dried tomato mayo? This is the stuff summer dreams are made of.
Today, we’ll teach you how to make some killer steak sandwiches, including the BEST skirt steak marinade and tips for grilling. Soon, you might find skirt steak at the top of your grilling list too!
What is skirt steak?
Let’s start with the basics. Skirt steak is a long, narrow strip of beef that comes from the diaphragm muscles of the cow. It is a lean cut with a robust, beefy flavor. Skirt steak is available at most major grocery stores or butchers. We have found it for a great price at Aldi!
How do you make skirt steak tender?
Skirt steak has a lot of tough fibers. To keep it tender we suggest three things:
- Marinate the meat. Marinating helps tenderize and add flavor to the meat.
- Don’t cook it past medium.
- Slice across the grain.
If you follow these three steps, skirt steak is a really tender, versatile, and flavorful cut of meat to add to your rotation!
How long should you marinate steak?
Skirt steak should be marinated at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
The best way to cook skirt steak
Skirt steak benefits from high heat cooking for a short period of time. Because it’s so thin, it only requires 4 minutes per side for medium doneness.
What is the difference between skirt steak and flank steak? Are they interchangeable?
Flank steak is another long, thin cut of beef. It tends to be slightly more tender than skirt steak, and also have a slightly less robust flavor. That said, these cuts can be used interchangeably for things like fajitas, sandwiches, and stir fry. You can learn more about different beef cuts here.
You can check out my Grilled Flank Steak Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms for more information and tips on flank steak!
What can I use skirt steak for?
This is the best part! Skirt steak is perfect for a variety of dishes, including tacos, stir fry, sandwiches, and salads. Basically, anywhere you might want thin slices of steak, this cut is a great fit!
I love pairing Marinated Skirt Steak with Simple Summer Salad, or sub skirt steak for flank in these Grilled Flank Steak Tacos. You can also check out this collection of 60 Beef Recipes for Every Cut for more ideas on how to use skirt or flank steak.
The Best Skirt Steak Marinade:
Skirt steak is the perfect sponge for a flavorful marinade, and this one packs a punch! It has an excellent balance of savory and citrus ingredients, with the added flavor of fresh herbs! It’s great for skirt steak sandwiches, but would also be a lovely marinade for skirt steak tacos or fajitas!
Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Soy sauce- I almost always use low sodium, but either will work.
- Olive Oil
- Lemon zest and juice
- Chopped fresh basil and parsley
- Red pepper flakes for a little heat
- A hint of honey
How to Cook Skirt Steak on the Grill:
The best way to cook skirt steak is over high heat for a very short amount of time. You can cook it on the stove top, but because of the long shape of the meat, it’s easiest to do it on the grill.
To grill skirt steak:
- Remove the steak (in its marinade) from the fridge while the grill preheats.
- Oil the grill grates, then preheat the grill to high heat (500+ degrees).
- Place the steak on the grill and cook for 3 minutes a side or until it reaches an internal temperature of 135-145 degrees for medium.
- Rest the steak before slicing.
Tips for grilling steak:
These tips apply to the skirt steak, but also for almost any cut of steak you cook on the grill or stove top.
- Salt and pepper the steak generously, even if you’re adding a marinade. I prefer Kosher or coarse sea salt.
- Start with clean and oiled grill grates. To prevent sticking and get those lovely sear marks, always begin with clean and oiled grates. I use a paper towel dipped in vegetable or canola oil to oil the grates.
- Flip once. Again, if you want distinct sear marks and nice char, it’s best to put the steak on the grill and leave it alone. Flip just once at the halfway point.
- Know your temps. The most accurate way to get a steak done exactly as you prefer is to use a meat thermometer (here’s ours). Keep in mind that steak will continue to cook and rise in temperature about 5 degrees after removing from the grill. Here’s the breakdown of temperatures:
- Rare- 125°
- Medium Rare-135°
- Medium Well-150°
- Well Done-160°
- For more information on how long to cook different types of beef, visit this grilling time guidelines chart.
- Let it rest. After cooking, tent steaks with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing so all the yummy juices reabsorb into the meat and don’t end up all over your cutting board!
- Slice against the grain. Slicing against the grain prevents you from trying to chew through tough fibers.
Crafting the Ultimate Steak Sandwich
I really wanted the meat to shine in this recipe, so I kept the toppings pretty simple.
- Add some greens. I prefer arugula, but leaf lettuce or spring mix would also be great.
- Add crunch and color with sliced radishes or cucumbers.
- Bring it all together with a creamy sauce. Plain mayonnaise will work just fine here, but I wanted to add a touch of sweetness, so I whipped up a quick sun dried tomato basil mayo to finish the sandwich.
- Sandwich it in a fluffy, crusty sandwich roll, like ciabatta, or a halved French baguette.
More Beef Recipes to Grill This Summer
Ohio is home to over 17,000 beef farmers, 97% of which are family owned. I’ve had the privilege of visiting a few of these farms and saw firsthand their use of the latest technology and resources to provide excellent care for their animals, protect the environment, and provide safe and healthy beef for families. Learn more about the lifecycle of beef at Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.
Here are a few more of our favorite grilled beef recipes!
- Taco Burgers
- Grilled Steak Kabobs
- Hobo Dinner Hamburger Foil Packets
- Steak and Blue Cheese Salad
- Cajun Burgers
- 1.25-1.5 lbs. skirt steak
- Kosher salt and pepper
For the marinade:
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon honey
For the sun dried tomato mayo:
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the sandwiches:
- Ciabatta rolls or halved baguette
- Sliced radishes
To make the marinade and steak:
- Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
- Season the skirt steak with salt and pepper on both sides, then place in a casserole dish or plastic bag along with the marinade. Cover tightly and place in the fridge. Marinate for at least 1 hour or no longer than 24 hours.
- Remove the steak from the fridge. Clean and oil the grill grates, then preheat to 500+ degrees.
- Remove the steak from the marinade and place directly on the grill. Grill for about 4 minutes/side for medium (or 145 degrees).
- Remove from heat and allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
To make the sun dried tomato mayo:
- Whisk together all the ingredients then season with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble the sandwiches:
- Stack each roll with several thin slices of steak, followed by the sliced radishes and a handful of arugula. Spread the mayo on the top slice and sandwich together. Enjoy hot or cold.
See post above for grilling and temperature guidelines for different doneness. I do not recommend cooking skirt steak past medium.
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