5 Tips for Cooking the Perfect Skirt Steak

On Chopped Teen Tournament, four young chefs battled for the final spot in the Chopped Teen finale and a chance to win the $25,000 prize. The Chopped Champion hopefuls put their cooking skills to the test, turning pairings, such as Linzer torte cookies and rabbit in a can, into something worthy of the critical judges’ plates and palates.

In the entree round the three remaining competitors opened their baskets to find bison skirt steak — not so unusual, considering the canned rabbit the contestants worked with in the appetizer round. However, this skirt steak proved to be the undoing for some and the salvation for others when it came time to judge their technique. 

Skirt steak is a tricky cut for some cooks. It requires knowing a little bit about the meat before your start to cook. For one, it’s thin. It needs only to kiss the grill to be cooked through. Second, it has lots of connective tissue. Slicing the steak is as important as the cooking temperature.

Quick cooking methods work best, which is why Shawna’s deep-fried dice roll worked out well, but the intense direct heat from grilling is also an excellent option — Eliana’s chosen method. Unfortunately for her, the competition didn’t leave much time for proper resting.

If you want to cook a skirt steak, even a bison skirt steak, like a Chopped Champion, follow these simple tips:

1: As with any piece of meat, season well.

2: Heat is key: hot pan, hot grill. Everything simply must be preheated.

3: Skirt steak is thin and cooks in just a few minutes, one to five minutes per side depending on thickness.

4: Rest your steak, so the juices have time to redistribute and don’t run out onto your cutting board.

5: Finally, slice your meat against the grain for tender bite.

Want more kitchen tips?

How to Cook the Perfect Pot of Quinoa

Photo by Angela Carlos

Next Up

10 Tips for Cooking the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey [Infographic]

Armed with our top 10 turkey tips, you'll come out looking like a pro on Thanksgiving Day. Whether you're hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner or your fiftieth, these indispensable tips will help you turn out a terrific turkey.

How to Grill the Perfect Burger

Here are the tips you need for cooking the best possible burgers in your own backyard.

5 Recipes That Prove Pound Cake Is the Perfect Summertime Dessert

Fresh fruit and sunny citrus turn this indulgent cake into the most delicious warm-weather treat.

How to Make the Perfect Frozen Margarita

Plus, how to whip up every flavor imaginable.

How to Put Together the Perfect Kwanzaa Menu

Get an inside look into how sisters Tonya Hopkins and Kenya Parham developed a stunning set of modern, Afro-centric recipes for new Food Network digital series, The Kwanzaa Menu.

5 Simple Tips That Will Give You Picture-Perfect Madeleines Every Time

These pretty French cakes are actually a cinch to make.

This Is the Perfect Travel Mug for Iced Coffee

My drinks stay ice cold (literally!) for hours.

Test Kitchen Tricks to Making the Perfect Baked Alaska

We broke down each layer and discovered some fun facts about your meringue, ice cream and pound cake.

5 Cooking Tips We’ve Learned from 50 Years of the Big Green Egg

This backyard kitchen icon is a workhorse — and all your favorite chefs love it.