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Skirt Steak - Against the grain versus pieces


Jfood loves skirt steak and the jfoods love this "special" treat.

Every thread on the subject has many of you suggesting to slice across the grain. Now jfood understands the concept as he is the knife-monger for all carvings in jfood-land but jfood has found that the family and the steak itself seems to do better when jfood offers up chunks of skirt (usiallu in 4-6" sections) versus slices, but that's a personal preference thing.

Question jfood has how people sliceg the skirt against the grain. The skirt istelf has the "grain" in the following fashion,

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII (hey it's the best jfood could do with a qwerty keyboard)

so do you-all (see other threads about servers calling custos that) slice perpendicular (and jfood has somewhat of a brain cramp on that) or do you-all slice at a 45 or 60 degree angle?


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  1. I usually cut the skirt steak into 7-8" pieces before I cook it, then cut it against the grain - i.e., perpendicularly. Since I use a grill pan, there is no way I could cook the entire skirt steak without cutting it first.

    1 Reply
    1. Skirt steak is one of my favorites, and I never slice it perpendicular. (always slice it on the short side, not the long slide). I find it is more tender if you cook the entire piece, instead of curring it up into smaller pieces before cooking. That being said, if I have to cook it inside on a grill pan, I do cut it into whichever pieces fit on the grill pan.
      I slice it all up into very thin slices, while it is still warm.

      1. I've eaten skirt steak in restaurants where it was plated after being cut into small squares.


        1. Slicing it perpendicular to the grain (straight up and down) would yield the shortest fibers thus the most tender pieces. Slicing it on the bias at a 45-60degree angle would make a slightly tougher piece but would look better for presentation purposes.

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          1. If I'm serving it as steak I slice in in 4-6 in pieces as you do. The diner can slice it either way as they choose. For sandwiches, fajitas, tacos, salads and so forth which are typically eaten without a knife I do slice it cross fiber to make it easier to bite.

            1. We tend to eat skirt steak as only fajita meat, so on nachos, tacos or in a wrap or salad. I don't serve mine in strips or chunks, but instead I dice it in about a 1/2 to 1/4" dice. That's how it is served in our favorite "street food" settings.

              1. Hi Y'all
                As mschow said skirt steak is most tender if it is cooked whole. Try Marinating it in lime juice. Isn't that what grills are for - cooking nice big pieces of meat!
                Get your self a nice long slicing knife - at least 12 inches. Keep it very sharp. Always slice the skirt steak across the grain, about a 45 degree angle as thin as you can - to get nice slices with short grain.

                BTW Scrapironchef - do you really eat sandwiches, fajitas and tacos with a knife? You silly chef you!

                1 Reply
                1. re: cheftori

                  I said "typically eaten without a knife" but I have seen the idiotically fastidious eating them with knife and fork.

                2. I don't understand what slicing "perpendicular" means.
                  If the steak is 12 inches long and 3 inches wide "|||||||||||" laid out in front of you with the 12 inches east to west as jfood describes above, are you supposed to slice it east to west, north to south, or some other compass angle?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bklyngirly

                    AGAINST the grain, which would be east to west