The long and skinny skirt steak may not look like those bulky, mouthwatering steaks at the local steak restaurant, but that doesn’t mean it’s unworthy of your dinner plate. In fact, skirt steak comes from one of the most flavorful areas of a cow. When cooked correctly, it yields and tender and delicious steak.
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about reverse searing skirt steak. This cooking method cooks skirt steak slowly in the oven to bring it to an even temperature before locking in its juices and flavor with a pan sear.
Preparation for Reverse Sear Skirt Steak
The preparation for reverse seared skirt steak is simple. Here’s what to do:
Skirt Steak Prep
If you’re not using a marinade, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and sprinkle salt on both sides. Then, leave at room temperature for 45 minutes before you’re ready to start cooking. If using a marinade, remove the steaks from the marinade and leave them at room temperature for 45 minutes. Just before placing the steaks in the oven, pat them dry (if marinated) and sprinkle black pepper on both sides.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees for medium-rare or 225 degrees for other doneness levels about ten minutes before cooking. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
When the steaks have about five minutes left to cook, heat a skillet with a drizzle of oil to medium-high heat.
Plan for about an hour of cooking time once you place your skirt steak in the oven. This includes oven-cooking time, pan-searing, and resting. You’ll also need 45 minutes before you start cooking to let your steak brine if you’re not using a marinade. Steaks cooked past medium-rare doneness may also need an extra 15-30 minutes.
We’ve included the following temperature chart to help you determine when your skirt steak has reached your preferred level of doneness.
|Steak Doneness||Temperature to Remove from Oven||Final Temperature|
Reverse Sear Skirt Steak to Medium Rare
To reverse-sear skirt steak to medium-rare, salt the steak on both sides and leave at room temperature for 45 minutes. Then, set the oven to 200 degrees. Cook for 20 minutes in the oven. Use a thermometer to check the temperature, and use the chart above to determine if your steak needs a few more minutes in the oven. Sear on each side for 1-3 minutes before resting for 5 minutes.
Reverse Sear Skirt Steak Tips
Here are a few tips to help you reverse sear skirt steak:
Marinating Skirt Steak
First, let’s talk marinating. You can marinate skirt steak to add some flavor and help tenderize the steak. Skirt steak is actually one of the most accepting of marinades because its looser structure leaves plenty of space for the marinade to enter. However, this is completely optional.
If you do decide to use a marinade, remember to pat the steaks dry before putting them in the oven to allow them to crisp.
Rely on a Thermometer
Use a thermometer after your steak has cooked for 20 minutes in the oven to gauge how much more time it might need to cook. A medium-rare steak might be ready to sear, but medium and higher steaks could need a few more minutes. A reliable thermometer is the best tool to check to avoid overcooking.
Choosing the Right Cut
When choosing skirt steak, be sure to prioritize quality. High-quality skirt steaks, like USDA Prime and Wagyu, can offer better results than cheaper steaks. Steaks labeled as wet-aged or dry-aged can also denote the best options, as the aging process can enhance flavor and tenderness.
Reverse Sear Skirt Steak Instructions
The following steps include everything you need to know about reverse searing skirt steak from start to finish.
Step 1: Prepare to Cook
Remove steaks from the refrigerator 45 minutes before you’re ready to cook. Let them rest at room temperature. If you didn’t marinate the steaks, add salt to both sides before resting. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Then, preheat the oven (200 degrees for medium-rare or 225 degrees for medium and up) about 10 minutes before the steaks are done with their resting period.
Step 2: Reverse-Sear Skirt Steak
Move steaks to the pan and into the oven on the middle rack. Cook for 20 minutes, checking the temperature with a thermometer. If needed, place back in the oven for another 10-20 minutes. Sear steaks on each side for 1-3 minutes in a preheated, oiled skillet.
Step 3: What to Do After Cooking
Remove steaks from the heat, tent with foil, and rest for 5 minutes. If slicing, wait until after the steaks are done resting. Then, slice against the grain.
Reverse Sear Skirt Steak Recipe
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes-1 hour
- 1-1 ½ pounds of skirt steak
- Steak marinade (optional)
- Cooking spray
- Olive oil
- Remove steak from the refrigerator and add salt to both sides (if not using a marinade). Let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees if cooking to medium-rare or 225 degrees for higher levels of doneness.
- Transfer steak to a lightly greased baking sheet and put in the middle rack of the oven to cook for 20 minutes. Check the temperature according to the chart above, and continue cooking for another 10-20 minutes, if needed. Sear steak for 1-3 minutes on each side in a preheated skillet with oil.
- Rest at room temperature for 5 minutes on a plate tented with foil.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Reverse Searing Skirt Steak
Still deciding if reverse searing skirt steak is the best method to choose? Here are the pros and cons to consider:
- Mostly hands-free way of cooking
- Relatively quick for skirt steak
- Leads to an excellent sear
- Takes longer than pan-searing
- Requires a watchful eye for thin steaks like skirt steak
Reverse-Seared vs. Pan-Seared
Pan-searing is the traditional method of cooking steak. You start with searing the steak in a heated pan with some oil, searing on both sides for a few minutes. If necessary, you then put the steak in the oven until it reaches your desired internal temperature. Reverse searing switches these two steps, oven-cooking first and following with a pan sear.
FAQs for Reverse Sear Skirt Steak
Should you reverse sear a skirt steak?
Reverse searing is an acceptable method for skirt steak. However, if you’re looking for a quicker cook, you might try pan-searing instead.
How long does it take to reverse sear skirt steak?
In total, it takes about one hour to reverse sear skirt steak to medium-rare, including after-cooking resting time. Higher doneness levels may need closer to 1 ½ hours.
Does reverse searing make skirt steak more tender?
Yes, reverse searing typically helps skirt steak become more tender if cooked properly. Keep the oven temperature no higher than 225 degrees to let it cook slowly before searing.
Should I marinate a skirt steak before reverse searing?
Marinating your skirt steak is completely optional. However, the right marinade can tenderize skirt steak and add a little more flavor. If you choose to marinate your steak, allow it to sit in the marinade for at least 2-4 hours in the fridge for best results.
Reverse Seared Skirt Steak
- 1-1.5 lbs skirt steak
- steak marinade (optional)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- cooking spray
- olive oil
- Remove steak from the refrigerator and add salt to both sides (if not using a marinade). Let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees if cooking to medium-rare or 225 degrees for higher levels of doneness
- Transfer steak to a lightly greased baking sheet and put in the middle rack of the oven to cook for 20 minutes. Check the temperature according to the chart above, and continue cooking for another 10-20 minutes, if needed. Sear steak for 1-3 minutes on each side in a preheated skillet with oil
- Rest at room temperature for 5 minutes on a plate tented with foil