This Sous Vide Skirt Steak is super tender, flavorful and evenly cooked edge to edge. The sous vide cooking technique allows you to cook a better steak dinner than the best steakhouse. How wonderful is it when your skirt steak is precisely cooked to the temperature you set with your desired doneness!
This is a no-fail recipe, incredibly easy to make, and packed with flavors! I like to serve it on tacos, sandwiches, or make it into an amazing steak salad!
What is sous vide steak?
Sous vide means “under vacuum” in French. It’s a water bath cooking method by sealing food in a bag, then cooking for a long time to a very precise temperature in a water bath.
This technique is known for being a precise and consistent way to evenly cook your meat or fish, although it takes longer time than the traditional grilling or pan-searing method.
Why sous vide skirt steak?
- Skirt steak is a lean and tough cut of the beef. Sous vide cooking produces a juicer, more tender and flavorful steak than grilling or broiling.
- Sous vide machine cooks the food evenly all the way through, and you’ll get an even doneness edge to edge.
- You can walk away while it’s cooking, as it’s low-stress cooking by eliminating short windows of time for perfect doneness.
How to make sous vide skirt steak
- Marinate the steak with garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, Italian seasoning, green onions, and olive oil in a zip-lock bag for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- When the steak is ready, remove it from the marinade and place it in a new zip-lock bag. Seal the bag using the “water displacement” technique.
- Place the bag in the water bath.
- Set the Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 130°F (54°C) and set the time for 2-4 hours.
- When the steak is cooked, remove the bag from the water and transfer it to the refrigerator.
- Let it chill for about 10 minutes and then grill or sear for about 1 minute per side, just to caramelize the outside.
- Slice your steak thinly and serve with your favorite sauce such as chimichurri sauce.
Note: traditionally cooked steaks need to rest for 5-10 minutes before they are cut and served, but sous vide steaks can be served immediately after searing.
Skirt steak marinade
The marinade helps to boost flavor and tenderize the meat. As skirt steak is a lean and tough cut of beef, it needs marinating to achieve the maximum tenderness. A short marinating time (30 minutes to 2 hours) is ideal for this recipe, as the acidity from the steak marinade can result in mushy meat over longer periods.
It’s important to marinate your steak BEFORE cooking it in the sous vide machine.
Seal the bag without a vacuum sealer
While a vacuum sealer is the best way to do sous vide, it is quite expensive and cannot be used with liquid marinade. I find Ziploc Freezer Bags are perfect for sealing the food, either wet or dry. The trick is called the “water displacement method” by using the pressure from the water to force all the air out of the bag.
Just place your food in the bag, including seasonings or marinades, and seal all but one corner of the bag. Slowly place it in the water bath, and make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag.
How long does it take to sous vide skirt steak?
Skirt steak is a lean and tough cut which requires longer cook time. While it takes 1-2 hours to sous vide center cuts such as rib eye or T-bone steak, it’s not the case for skirt steak. Anova’s website calls for 8-10 hours of sous vide time for skirt steak seasoned with salt and pepper, I find my marinated sous vide skirt steak cooks perfectly after 2 hours.
Temperature and doneness
Set your sous vide cooker at 130°F (54°C) for the best result. It will produce tender and juicy skirt with medium-rare doneness. As skirt steak can get tough and chewy when it’s overcooked, I recommend not going beyond medium for this specific cut. Below are the guidelines for the doneness.
|Skirt Steak Doneness||Internal Temp|
|Rare steak||125°F (52°C)|
|Medium rare steak||135°F (57°C)|
|Medium steak||145°F (63°C)|
|Well-done steak||160°F (71°C)|
Pro tips for making the best sous vide skirt steak
- Marinade BEFORE sous vide cooking: acid from lime juice helps to tenderize the steak. If you marinade in the refrigerator, there’s no need to bring to room temperature.
- Cool down the steak before searing: after the steak is cooked in the sous vide machine, it’s best to cool it down in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes before searing. Also remember to use paper towels to wipe off any extra moisture as it inhibits proper searing.
- Cook to medium-rare: for a tough cut like skirt steak, it’s best to cook it to rare or medium-rare for the most tender texture. Don’t cook your skirt steak beyond medium.
Frequently asked questions:
Can you sous vide skirt steak ahead of time?
Yes, one of the best things about preparing sous vide meat is that you can cook it in advance. For this skirt steak recipe, you can make everything ahead before searing.
What’s the difference between skirt steak and flank steak?
Skirt steak is sometimes confused with flank steak, as they share some common features. However, there are significant differences between the two. Both are long cuts of steak that are budget-friendly and tough, but with strong beefy flavor.
Skirt steak comes from the “plate” section while flank comes from “flank” section. Skirt steak has more tough fibers with even more intense beefy flavor than flank steak. It’s also thinner and narrower than flank steak, cooking much faster as a result. They are interchangeable in most recipes, but require different cooking times.
Can you marinate the steak while it is cooking in the sous vide machine?
For this recipe, the answer is no. The acid-based marinade acts to both tenderize and flavor the meat, so if cooked in sous vide, it will make your meat too sour. If you use a marinade for flavoring only, you can marinate while cooking in the sous vide cooker.
Sous Vide Skirt Steak
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoons ginger minced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
- salt and pepper to taste
- Sous Vide Cooker
- Make the marinade: In a zip-lock bag, add garlic, lime juice, soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, Italian seasoning, and green onions.
- Add skirt steak to the bag, close the bag and coat the meat thoroughly. Let it marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Sous Vide the steak: When the steak is ready, remove the steak from the marinade and place it in a new zip-lock bag.
- Seal all but one corner of the bag, and slowly place it in the water bath. Make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag.
- Add water to the sous vide container or a large pot, set the Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 130°F (54°C) for medium rare doneness. This is my recommended doneness, and if you’d like to cook it more or less, follow the temperature guide in the post above.
- When the water has reached the set temperature, lower the bag into the water bath and make sure it is fully submerged.
- Cook for 2-4 hours. (Your steak will be ready after 2 hours, but you can leave it in the sous vide water bath for 4 hours total.)
- Prepare for proper searing: When your steak is cooked, remove the bag from the water bath and transfer it to the refrigerator. Let it chill for 10 minutes.
- Remove the steak from the bag and wipe off any extra moisture from the cooked steak with paper towel.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Sear the steak: Heat your grill to 450°F (232°C) or place the skillet on medium-high heat. When the grill reaches the set temperature or the pan is very hot, add your steak and sear about 1 minute per side.
- Slice your steak thinly and serve with your favorite steak sauce.
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