This Grilled Skirt Steak recipe is FAST (10 Minutes) and so delicious! It is served with a black garlic aioli that adds a sweet and earthy depth of flavor that will make your mouth water!
Everything you need to know on how to grill a skirt steak to come out tender, juicy and melt in your mouth is right here and it couldn’t be more simple. Topped with a fast black garlic aioli sauce simply takes it the next level of grilling.
🍽️ Why This Works
Fast – I love recipes that taste amazing, but take just minutes to make. This cut of meat is best cooked on 450°+ temperatures for just three or four minutes per side. You’ll probably spend more time heating up the grill than actually cooking.
Aioli – I used a black garlic aioli which was remarkably sweet and earthy. You can make this ahead of time to save even more time.
Delicious – We loved this dish straight off the grill and the leftovers too. I swear that some meals get better in the fridge overnight – and this is one of them!
📝 Ingredient Notes
Inside Skirt Steak – This thin cut of beef is from the diaphragm muscles and contains tough, white fibers that you can see. There are a couple of tricks to help address that and we’ll cover those later in the article. If you can’t find inside skirt steak, you can substitute it with the flank our outside skirt. If you don’t see it on the store shelf, ask the butcher and decide if you want the prime vs the choice version.
Black Garlic Aioli – The star of the show here is the black garlic. These are just regular garlic cloves that have been treated to very warm temperatures in a humid environment for several weeks until they turn black. They change their flavor profile during this time and the ‘sharp’ garlic flavor goes away. In its place is a sweet, earthy taste that is extremely smooth. If you haven’t ever tried this, now is the time!
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Food Processor – You will need a small food processor to make the aioli. It doesn’t have to be very large.
Grill – This recipe works great on gas and Kamado grills alike. The key is bringing the temperature up to at least 450°.
GrillGrate – This is one of my favorite grilling tools. I wrote a GrillGrate review if you want more detailed information on it. It serves two primary purposes. First, the fins become super-heated and seals in the juices. Second, the valleys minimize anything dripping into hte flames, creating undesired smoke.
Step One: Add all of the ingredients to a small food processor and pulse it a few times until it is well mixed.
Step Two: Add red pepper to taste after you have tasted it. We like a little bit of heat in a dish, so the red pepper added a kick. Try it first!
Step Three: Pour the aioli into a small jar and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
Note: I find that letting the aioli’s flavors enhance after a day in the fridge, so I try to make this ahead of time. As a benefit, it saves me time during the day of the cook.
Grilling the Skirt Steak
Step One: Lay the skirt steak out flat and add salt and pepper to each side. You’ll see a lot of recipes say that you should marinate this cut of meat in order to keep it tender, but I have found that the hot and fast cooking method drives the tenderness more than a marinade.
Step Two: Preheat the grill to 450° on direct heat. I added the GrillGrate as it spreads out the heat and virtually eliminates hot spots. I find it helpful to oil the grate with olive oil to minimize sticking.
Step Three: Grilling the skirt steak each side for three minutes and remove it.
Note: You’ll want the internal temperature to be medium rare to medium (135° to 145°). Unfortunately, this cut of beef is so thin, it may be hard to take the temperature. If you are in doubt, cut it open and check.
Step Four: Remove the skirt steak from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
This cut of meat can be tough it you aren’t careful. The hot grill makes the biggest difference, but when it is time to slice, make sure you cut it into thin slices against the grain.
Drizzle the aioli over the steak. You really won’t believe how delicious this is!
Don’t let the steak cook to more than a medium temperature or it risks become tough and chewy.
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
Slice the steak and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Keep the aioli stored in a jar. To reheat, you can use the microwave, but don’t let it cook for too long or it may toughen up.
You can add the steak to a hot skillet to heat up as well.
Definitely make the aioli a day or two ahead of time. While it is a super fast recipe, I would rather you spend time with your family and friends during the day of the grilling.
The steak is seasoned with salt and pepper which doesn’t require a lot of preparation.
Prepare any vegetable or sides ahead of time, or plan it out knowing the grill will be hot and the steak finished in just a few minutes.
Additions and Substitutions
Marinade – A marinade is not necessary for this recipe, but if you do want to use one, go for it. Most marinades include olive oil, garlic, honey, soy sauce and red pepper flakes, but this is completely customizable.
The oil in the marinade will help minimize the skirt steak from sticking to the grill.
There are several cuts of beef that can be used as a substitute. Don’t worry if you can’t find this exact cut.
With this fast of a recipe, you’ll want a vegetable or side dish that is made quickly as well.
Grilled Broccolini – This simple recipe works perfectly with the steak. It is light, bright, and has a refreshing crunch.
Grilled Sweet Onions – The sweetness of the onions complements the aioli and you’ll love the combination of the flavors.
Grilled Tater Tot Bombs – You don’t have to be a kid to love tater tots! These are wrapped in bacon and you’ll have a line of empty plates with folks asking for more!
❓ Recipe FAQ
The skirt steak is cut from the cow’s diaphragm where the flank steak is cut from the loin. More noticeable is that the flank steak is thicker and wider than the skirt. It is the thin cut that makes this recipe so quick and easy.
Skirt steak is the generic term of both inside and outside skirt steak cuts. While the outside skirt is a bit larger and thicker, they both are ideally suited for hot and fast grilling.
It can be tough, but taking a few precautions, including the slicing, will minimize this. Cooks hot and fast and sliced thin against the grain will make all the difference.
On a very hot grill, grill it 3 minutes per side and allow to rest. This is not the best cut of meat to cook until it is well done.
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Grilled Skirt Steak
- Food Processor small
Black Garlic Aoili
- 6 cloves Black Garlic
- 2 cloves Garlic
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 1 ½ tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- pinch Red Pepper Flakes crushed
Grilled Skirt Steak
- 2 lb Skirt Steak
- Salt and Pepper
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small food processor and pulse a few times until it is a smooth consistency.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
Grilled Skirt Steak
- Heat grill up to 450 degrees. It is critical that the grill is hot before starting to cook.
- Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper.
- Place the skirt steak on the GrillGrate or Cast Iron Skillet and grill for three minutes per side. That should result in a medium rare temperature. If you aren't sure, slice it open to check. Getting a thermometer in this thin cut of beef is tough.
- Remove from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes. Slice it AGAINST the grain and drizzle with the black garlic aioli to serve.