Inside Vs Outside Skirt Steak: Which Is Better?

Skirt steak is not a new term in the grilling world; you must have heard about it. There are two types of skirt steaks: the inside and the outside skirt steak. So, which one is better between the inside and outside skirt steak? 

There are various ways of determining which type of skirt steak is best. Their flavour, the part of the cow they come from, how to prepare them, and how to cut the skirt, among other different factors. The outside skirt steak is preferable and the best due to its texture, flavour, and marbling. The inside skirt steak has many firm muscle fibres that make it chewy.

However, they are all called skirt steaks; they have some significant differences that put them in various preferences. This article gives you all the details about inside vs. outside skirt steak. 

What is skirt steak?

Skirt steak is the muscle of a cow situated between the cow’s abdomen and the chest. It is usually cut from the diaphragm of a cow which is long and made up of a lot of marbling and solid connective tissues. It is categorised into two: inside and outside skirt steak. Notably they both have a fantastic beef flavour. However, in most cases, the outside skirt is considered more flavorful than the inside.

Check out the Skirt Steak Vs. Flank Steak

What is the taste of skirt steak?

If you have never had a skirt steak, you probably wonder what it tastes like. A skirt steak has a stronger beefy flavour than the rest of the steaks, such as flank steak. Additionally, skirt steak is best prepared by marinating; this makes it easy for the piece to absorb and retain all the flavours.

The following are the two main varieties of skirt steak you should know:

Inside skirt steak

The inside skirt steak is located under and quite far away behind the outside steak skirt. It is situated explicitly inside the body wall hence its name inside. Its muscles lie flat below the ribs and go further beyond the ribs’ position to meet the beef flank primal cut that makes a bigger part of an animal’s hindquarter.

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Further, it is usually thinner and with an irregular shape; also, it is tougher than the outside skirt steak. Notably, it is the type of skirt that is sold mainly in grocery stores.

How to prepare

As mentioned earlier, this skirt steak is sometimes challenging to cut from the cow due to its tough muscles. Also, it is located where there are a lot of connective tissues and is connected with the area of a cow’s breathing. Thus, cutting it and expecting it to come out clean can be a big challenge. Therefore, ensure you clean it to the highest standards possible when preparing it. Do this by removing the excess fatty parts and then removing the membrane to make it easy to cook.

How to cook

The inside skirt steak always has a lot of fat; it is recommended that you first trim off the excess fats from the steak before you go ahead to cook it. This also means that when you cook your inside skirt steak, you should expect it to shrink because of the fat trimmed off.

Once your steak is clean, you should marinate it and wait for it to absorb the flavour for ten minutes before you season it and grill it in hot and fast heat. Due to the fact that it is thin, you should not spend a lot of time cooking. Sear it nicely and quickly to ensure that it remains tender inside.

Outside skirt steak

On the other hand, the outside skirt steak is cut from the diaphragm muscle of a cow situated between the 6th and the 12th rib of a cow. The outside skirt usually is softer and thicker because it is derived from where the cow gets little exercise, and thus the connective tissues are not tough. It has a uniform shape, and its membrane is still intact when you buy it. It is rarely found in grocery stores because it is mainly made in commercial kitchens. When cooking this skirt steak, you will be required to remove its fatty membrane first.

How to prepare

The outside skirt does not need a lot of preparation before cooking it. The butcher can perfectly clean it for you before selling it because it is easy to cut from the source and clean. The main thing you can do is run a boning knife through it, and you are done with cleaning up. Sometimes you will get prepared skirt steak provided by online dealers, which makes your work a bit easier.

How to cook

It is perfectly cooked under rare, medium heat to sous vide at 130 degrees for 36 hours, then refrigerated. Then you will need to sear your skirt steak on an iron skillet to give it the best crust possible. The actual cooking takes only fifteen minutes when the previous processes are all taken care of.

Inside vs outside skirt steak

The inside and the outside skirt steak are confused with each other because of their close appearance, where they are cut from, and the fact that you all call them skirt steaks. For an expert, it is so easy to tell the differences. The following are some of the common differences that exist between the inside and the outside skirt steaks.


The outside skirt steak is usually broader and longer than the inside skirt steak due to its location in a cow. However, it is also thinner; thus, it takes very few minutes to cook and requires minimal time for cleaning. On the other hand, the inside skirt is longer and has a bigger width, but it is thicker and thus more tasty and flavorful when cooked.

Preparation for cooking

The inside skirt contains a lot of fat; its thicker membrane requires extra attention when cleaning before you start cooking your steak. The outside skirt is lean and thinner; thus, you need to do less cleaning up before preparation. However, it is made up of the right amount of fat that will make it juicy after cooking and flavorful.


The outside skirt steak is rarely found because it is always in high demand in commercial kitchens and sometimes exported to outside countries. Thus, it is less available in the grocery stores and is also expensive, thus making many people avoid it. Therefore, the inside skirt steak is what you will find most of the time in grocery stores; it is also cheaper.


However, both skirt steaks have a beefy flavour; one has a deeper flavour while the other has a typical flavour. The outside skirt will give you an intense deep beef flavour than what you will get from the inside skirt. This difference exists because of their thickness and amount of fat content.

Cooking method

The inside cut grills up perfectly without fearing overcooking due to their thickness. This enables you to get a delicious crust but still have it medium rare. The outside skirt is easy to cook because it is thin, but you will need to be careful to ensure that it does not overcook. That is why it is essential to start with the sous vide method and then sear it on high heat for a few minutes.

There are apparent similarities between the outside and inside skirt steak, such as muscle density, general flavour, and where they are cut from.

Bottom line

The inside and outside skirt steaks are fantastic for grilling. However, the outside skirt is the best to go for. You might have difficulties finding it, but it gives you an easy time cleaning, preparing, and enjoying its deep flavour. For more differences on Inside Vs. Outside Skirt Steak, refer to


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