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posted September 11, 2019

Grilled Skirt Steak with Chipotle Dry Rub

This Skirt Steak is an affordable way to enjoy a good, tender steak and the homemade chipotle seasoning is the perfect balance of heat and sweet. Eat is as-is, or use it for some delicious carne asada. However you eat it, it’ll be full of flavor and totally tender.

Sliced grilled skirt steak with chipotle dry rub piled on a wood cutting board with decorative text.

Grilled Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is a rather cheap cut of beef (when compared to more popular cuts like the New York strip or ribeye). If you’re grilling on a budget, skirt steak is for you! You can cook one skirt steak and it will feed your entire family. You truly get a little bit more for your buck with these guys.

Grilled skirt steak is often used for carne asada. It is great in tacos, salads, burritos, and so much more. If you are feeding a crowd, make a couple of skirt steaks, and slice them into thinner slices for everyone to enjoy.

Due to its thickness and size, this meat takes on marinades and dry rub well. The chipotle seasoning used in this recipe is not a traditional carne asada seasoning, but it would still taste amazing in any Mexican-style recipe (plus it’s completely delicious on it’s own).

Raw whole skirt steak on a wood cutting board.

What is Skirt Steak?

A skirt steak is a cut of meat that comes from interior of the rib cage that supports the diaphragm. There are a lot of different muscles that are connected by fat in this cut, meaning it’ll have a fantastic fatty flavor.

Don’t expect a skirt steak to taste like a traditional steak. It actually tastes quite different from a rib eye or New York strip. It has its own unique flavor within the steak family (but don’t let this scare you, it’s still a tasty cut of beef). I personally love the specific beefy flavor of a good skirt steak.

Skirt steak can get really tough if you overcook it. The tissues tighten up, and it becomes really chewy even if you slice it the right way. To avoid this, I recommend not cooking a skirt steak over medium rare (aim for rare to medium rare). My preferred doneness for skirt steak is 130 degrees F.

Because this steak is so thin, it cooks quickly. I find it’s best to use high direct heat to grill it to perfection. Either turn on all the burner on a gas grill, or on your charcoal grill with the meat directly over the coals. You want as much contact with heat as you can to get to achieve a crispy char on the exterior and medium rare on the interior.

Chipotle seasoning on a skirt steak on a wood cutting board.

Skirt Steak Seasoning

Honestly, skirt steak is delicious enough to eat with just a sprinkle of salt and some char from the grill. To take this steak to the next level, flavor-wise, I developed a seasoning that adds a kick. The dried chipotle powder add some delicious smokiness and spice. I’ve been able to find chipotle powder easily in the grocery store, but if you are struggling to locate it, you can sub the chipotle powder for more smoked paprika, just make sure to use the cayenne in the recipe below to get the heat. 

How to Cook Skirt Steak

Skirt steaks are not only budget friendly, they’re also fast and easy to grill. Get that grill cooking hot, and stand by, because this will be done in less than 10 minutes!

  1. Fire up the grill! Preheat your grill (gas or charcoal are both fine options) to High heat (aim for 400-450 degrees F) for direct grilling.
  2. Trim and season. Trim any silver skin or excess fat left on the steak. You can leave in anything that runs between the muscle.
  3. Season with the chipotle seasoning. Season liberally with the homemade chipotle seasoning. Use your fingers to really press the rub into the meat.
  4. Grill! Place the steak on the grill grates directly over the heat. Grill for approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Use a reliable meat thermometer and stay close. Your steak will reach a doneness of 125-135 degrees F quickly.
  5. Remove, rest, slice, and enjoy. Promptly remove your steak from the grill when it has reached your desired doneness. Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and enjoying.

Seasoned skirt steak on the grill.

How to Cut Skirt Steak

A skirt steak comes in a 14-in piece if you purchase the full cut. It’s thicker on one end, and becomes thinner on the opposite side. Because muscles run across the width of the meat, you can’t cut a skirt steak like you would a flank steak from one end to the other.

So here’s the 411 on how to cut this tasty cut of beef. I recommend cutting the steak into three 4-6 inch sections. After you have your three sections, turn each section 90 degrees before slicing so you make sure you are cutting against the grain.

Ta-da! Now you have a plethora of perfect 4-5 inch strips of meat to add to a salad, taco, or eat as-is.

Skirt steak cut into three sections on a wooden cutting board.

Cut skirt steak on a wooden cutting board.

More Steak Recipes

Here at Hey Grill Hey we LOVE steak. And we love all kinds of steak prepared in a variety of ways. For more delicious steak recipes, check out some of these winners below:

Reverse Seared Tomahawk Steak
New York Strip Steak
Marinated and Grilled Flank Steak

Skirt Steak Recipe

Follow the recipe, and I’ll teach you the simple steps to making your own delicious BBQ at home. Hey Grill Hey is dedicated to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. You can find more of my smoking and grilling recipes and videos on YouTubeInstagram, or our Facebook Page.

Grilled Skirt Steak with Chipotle Dry Rub

Susie Bulloch (
This Skirt Steak is an affordable way to enjoy a good, tender steak. Eat is as-is, or use it for some delicious carne asada. However you eat it, it'll be full of flavor and totally tender.
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 10 mins
Total Time : 25 mins
Servings : 4
Calories : 13kcal



  • 1 1-2 pound skirt steak

Chipotle Seasoning

  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chilis
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional for added heat)


  • Preheat your grill to High heat (400-450 degrees F) for direct grilling.
  • Trim any excess fat or silver skin left on the skirt steak (the stuff that runs in between the muscle is fine).
  • Season liberally with the chipotle seasoning, using your fingers to press the rub into the meat.
  • Place the steak on the grill grates directly over the heat and grill for 3-4 minutes per side. Stay close and monitor until the internal temperature reaches 125-135 degrees F. You won't have much carryover with this, so take it off right when you hit the correct temp.
  • Remove the steak when it has reached your desired doneness. Rest for 10 minutes.
  • Slice against the grain by cutting the long steak into three shorter sections first and then cutting into thin strips. Enjoy with your family and friends, and revel in the joy of being a BBQ hero.


Calories: 13kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 19mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 195IU | Iron: 1mg
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