Skirt steak is a popular choice for dishes that require thinner slices of steak, like fajitas or steak salads. When cooked properly, skirt steak has an excellent chew and flavor. However, its thin profile can make it easy to overcook if you’re not careful.
But, sous vide cooking practically eliminates that problem. This method keeps skirt steak moist throughout the cooking process, preventing it from drying out as it can in an oven or skillet. Learn how to sous vide skirt steak to achieve tasty results.
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Preparation for Sous Vide Skirt Steak
Get ready to sous vide! All you need to sous vide skirt steak is a precision cooker or pot with water and a thermometer clipped to the side, sous vide bags, and your choice of spices or a marinade. If using a marinade, leave the steak in the marinade for at least two hours or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. Otherwise, season with salt, pepper, and other choice seasonings. Seal the steaks in sous vide bags while you prepare the water bath.
A sous vide skirt steak typically cooks to your desired doneness level in about two hours, although you can leave it in the water bath for up to four hours. After you sous vide, you’ll need about 10 more minutes to sear and rest the skirt steak before eating.
A digital thermometer can help you check the internal temperature of your sous vide skirt steak after cooking it. Refer to the following chart to determine the final temperature range for your steak based on your preferred doneness level.
Cooking to Medium Rare
Medium-rare is our recommended cook for sous vide skirt steak. To achieve this doneness, cook the steak in a water bath set to 130 degrees for two hours or a maximum of four hours. After cooking, sear the steak in a preheated skillet with a drizzle of oil for 1-2 minutes on each side. Rest on a foil-tented plate for 2-3 minutes before serving or slicing.
Skirt Steak Sous Vide Tips
When you’re ready to start cooking your skirt steak, follow these sous vide tips for extra guidance.
Use Your Favorite Marinade
Skirt steak is one cut that pairs well with your favorite steak marinade. A marinade adds flavor while tenderizing the steak. Although sous vide does an excellent job with tenderizing skirt steak, using a marinade can also help. Best of all, you can add whatever flavors you enjoy most to your marinade. Try our teriyaki pineapple marinade or sweet balsamic steak marinade to start.
Check the Temperature with a Digital Thermometer
Skirt steak is easier to cook to the right doneness level than other steaks because it’s thin, but it’s still a good idea to use a thermometer to check its internal temperature. After you sous vide, insert the probe of your thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. For medium-rare, it should read about 130 degrees. The temperature will rise slightly after searing and resting, allowing it to reach the 130 to 135-degree temperature range.
Choosing the Right Cut
If available, look for Premium Angus or USDA Prime skirt steak. These top-tier cuts represent some of the highest quality steaks based on color, marbling, and overall quality. Starting with a quality skirt steak can yield better results with any cooking method, including sous vide.
Also, find cuts marked as wet-aged or dry-aged. The aging process tenderizes steak and enhances the flavor by allowing the steaks to “age” in a controlled environment over several weeks. Learn more about our aging process.
Sous Vide Skirt Steak Instructions
Ready to get started with learning how to sous vide skirt steak? Follow the steps below.
Step 1: Prepare for Sous Vide
Preheat your water bath to 130 degrees for medium-rare (add another 10 degrees for each level of doneness, like 140 degrees for medium).
With sous vide skirt steak, it’s a good idea to use a marinade beforehand to help tenderize the meat and give it a little extra flavor. However, it’s entirely optional. If you do choose this route, be sure to let the skirt steak marinade for at least two hours before cooking. Better yet, leave it overnight in the refrigerator.
Reserve a small amount of liquid for the sous vide bags. Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Cut the steak in half and place each half in a sous vide bag with a couple of tablespoons of marinade. Seal the bags, releasing as much air as possible.
Step 2: Sous Vide Skirt Steak
Submerge the bags into the preheated water using tongs. Set a timer for 2 hours, or a maximum of 4 hours. Remove the steaks from the water with tongs and rest for 2-3 minutes before opening the bags.
Step 3: Sear and Rest
Remove steaks from the bags and pat them completely dry. Preheat a skillet with one tablespoon of oil. Sear the steaks on each side for 1-2 minutes. Finally, rest the steaks on a foil-tented plate for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Sous Vide Skirt Steak Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
- 1 ½ pounds of skirt steak
- Marinade (optional)
- Olive oil
- If desired, allow steaks to marinate for at least two hours. Remove from marinade, season with salt and pepper on both sides, and place in sous vide bags (you may need to slice the steak in two and add to two separate bags). Seal each bag, removing as much air as possible. Preheat a water bath to 130 degrees.
- Lower the bags into the water, allowing them to fully submerge. Cook for 2 hours for medium-rare or up to 4 hours, maximum.
- Remove steaks from their bags and pat them completely dry. Preheat a skillet with oil to medium-high heat. Sear steaks on each side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Rest steaks for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Sous Vide FAQ’s
Does skirt steak get more tender the longer you cook it sous vide?
Yes, sous vide is an excellent method to use with skirt steak because it tenderizes this cut, which is known for being quite chewy. However, cooking it past 4 hours could result in a somewhat mushy steak. It’s best to cook for 2-4 hours to achieve the right texture.
What temp should I sous vide skirt steak?
For medium-rare skirt steak, set your sous vide water bath to 130 degrees. Set it 10 degrees higher for each level of doneness, such as 140 degrees for medium and 150 degrees for medium-well.
How long should I sous vide skirt steak?
Sous vide skirt steak typically takes about 2 hours for medium-rare. However, you can leave it in the water bath for up to 4 hours.
How do I sous vide skirt steak to medium-rare?
Add steaks to bags after seasoning. Lower the bags into the water bath carefully, and cook for 2-4 hours. Then, remove steaks from their bags and sear in a preheated skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side.
Sous Vide Skirt Steak
- 1.5 lbs skirt steak
- marinade (optional)
- olive oil
- If desired, allow steaks to marinate for at least two hours. Remove from marinade, season with salt and pepper on both sides, and place in sous vide bags (you may need to slice the steak in two and add to two separate bags). Seal each bag, removing as much air as possible. Preheat a water bath to 130 degrees
- Lower the bags into the water, allowing them to fully submerge. Cook for 2 hours for medium-rare or up to 4 hours, maximum
- Remove steaks from their bags and pat them completely dry. Preheat a skillet with oil to medium-high heat. Sear steaks on each side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Rest steaks for 2-3 minutes before serving