5 Best Substitutes for Skirt Steaks

Steaks are an integral part of every cuisine; they are either grilled, roasted or cooked in stews for a luscious serving. Steaks come in different varieties, and each of them is sourced from a different beef cut.

Skirt steak is a popular beef cut that is cooked in different styles. This steak is an expensive one, and it is difficult to find it in every other meat shop all the time. So, if somehow you don’t get to find skirt steak in your freezer or at the butcher shop, then there are some options that you can try to replace skirt steaks in all type of recipes.

Some of the best substitutes for skirt steaks include strip loin steak, ribeye steak, flank steak, flap steak and hanger steak. 

Before we start choosing the right substitute for skirt steaks, let’s learn about some of the defining features of this steak and how they can be replaced.


Skirt Steaks – A Quick Review

Skirt steak is known for its flavor. It is a cut of beef steak, which is carved out of the plate area of a cow. This steak is long, flat, thin, and less tender than other steaks. 

It is often confused with flank steak, due to the thinness of the latter, but flank steak is cut out of a rear quarter of the animal whereas skirt steak is cut out of the plate, which is present beneath the ribs of a cow and for this reason, the skirt steak has a texture and taste different from the flank steak.

 As the skirt steak is taken out of the short plate, it is covered with a membrane, which is usually removed before cooking.

Skirt steak is commonly used in making fajita, Chinese stir fry, and Cornish pasties. The toughness of the skirt steaks can be treated by long-term marination. A well-marinated skirt steak can be cooked easily.

On average, a skirt steak weighs about 16-17 pounds, equal to almost 2 pounds. The steak is thin and long, almost 2 feet long and 3-4 inches wide. It has ¾ inch thickness. That is why skirt steak usually takes only 4-5 minutes of cooking time on medium heat to get soft and tender.


Uses of Skirt Steaks in Cooking

The long and thin shape of the skirt steaks is great to use their meat for recipes like

  • Fajitas
  • Beef Stir Fry
  • Beef Salads

The 2 feet long skirt steaks can be cooked directly or slice them first then add to the fajitas, beef stir-fries, and salad toppings. Long thin strands of skirt steak beef are perfect for Chinese and Japanese recipes. 


The 5 Best Substitutes for Skirt Steaks

Let’s face it; not everyone can afford to buy skirt steaks! They are expensive and rare to find all the time. Luckily, you can find other cheaper and easily available alternatives to skirt steaks and add them to a number of recipes to have a juicy taste and the finest flavors.


1. Strip Loin Steak

This strip loin steak is a beef cut, which is taken from the Short loin of a cow. Unlike the tenderloin, it has soft meat due to all the muscles present in this area. The short loin is a large-sized muscle, which gives a  large loin steak.

Skirt Steak Substitute - Strip Loin Steak

This strip loin steak is also known by many other names in different parts of the world. For instance, In Australia, Canada, and New Zealand it is known as Sirloin steak and in Uk, it is known as Porterhouse steak. This cut is usually known as strip loins. The difference between the strip loin steak and the skirt steak is that strip loin steak is thicker. So, to replace the skirt steak with a strip loin steak, you can ask your butcher to give you a thinner cut of the strip loin steak. This juicy steak can be used in all sorts of recipes like noodles, pasta, making stir-fries and salads, etc. This steak is particularly good for grilling and making kababs or skewers. It is best to season this steak with spices and sauces.


2. Flank Steak

The flank steak is another type of beef. This steak is cut out of the abdominal muscle of a cow, which is right behind the plate.

Skirt Steak Substitute - Flank Steak

It is a flat, long steak and these qualities make it a suitable substitute for the skirt steak. It makes a good replacement for skirt steaks in stir-fries, BBQ, pasta, soups, and braised beef recipes. The grain in the flank steak is very prominent. And the steak must be cut across this grain to get the tender and juicy texture after cooking.

Flank steak is usually used in Chinese and French cuisine. It is often enjoyed as a medium-rare steak with sauces poured on top. To make this beef cut tender, you can try pounding it with a mallet a little before cooking. This will give the steak, soft and juicy texture.


3. Ribeye Steak

Ribeye steak needs no introduction. It is perhaps the most commonly used beef steak in the world. The reason why rib-eye steak is popular is because of its flavor, and its thick-meaty texture.

Skirt Steak Substitute - Ribeye Steak

The ribeye steak is taken from the rib section of a cow. This section covers the area between the sixth and twelfth rib of a cow. So, the ribeye steaks are composed of muscles that are present in this area. For this reason, this steak is tender and succulent. Ribeye steak always remains high in demand so you can buy the steak and keep it in your freezer to enjoy it anytime. 

You can replace skirt’s steak with ribeye steak in any recipe you like. Ribeye steak is particularly good for making barbecues, serving as a salad topping, to make sandwiches, burgers, and veggies. It tastes best when it is cooked to medium-rare.


4. Flap Steak

The flap meat or flap steak is a beef cut that is taken from the lower end of a cow. It comes from the bottom sirloin of the beef. So, it is a thin steak, and it can best substitute skirt steak. The flap meat is also known as the sirloin tips, and it has fatty mixed lean meat. It is one of the most sold beef, that you can find. This steak meat is particularly suitable to make burgers to cook.

Skirt Steak Substitute - Flap Steak


5. Hanger Steak

Are hanger steaks and skirt steak the same? Although hanger and skirt steaks are cut out on the same plate area of a cow. They both are two different beef cuts. The hanger steak is a smaller and thicker beef cut. And you can get to have one hanger steak per cow. Whereas the skirt steak is usually thinner and longer than the hanger steak, and you can get 2 skirt steaks per cow. Hanger steak also comes labelled as butcher’s steak. Skirt steaks are usually two feet long and three to four inches thick. Whereas the hanger steaks are only six to seven inches long.

Skirt Steak Substitute - Hanger Steak

Despite all those differences hanger steak still makes a good substitute for skirt steak. You can cut the hanger steak into pieces and add it to stir-fries, soups, salads, and veggie-like skirt steaks. This steak would need a good amount of seasoning and marination to get the best taste.


Table: Skirt Steak and Its Substitutes

Steaks vary in size and shape, so they all require different cooking time to get soft and tender. The following table will help you select the best skirt steak substitutes and will tell you how to cook it accordingly.

Skirt Steak Flank Steak Ribeye Steak Strip Loin Steak Hanger Steak
Cut Plate Plate Ribs Short loin Plate 
Thickness ¾ inch 1 inch 1½ inches 1 ¼ inches   1 inch
Size 2ft long

3-4 inches wide

1 ft long

5-6 inch wide

8½ inches long

5½ inch wide

16-18 inches long 6-7 inches long
Cook time


5 minutes 8-9 minutes 11-13 minutes 10-12 minutes 8-9 minutes


Frequently Asked Questions

What else is skirt steak known as??
Skirt Steak is also known as Romanian tenderloin, Romanian and Philadelphia steak or Arrachera.
Can I substitute flank steak for skirt steak?
Yes, Flank steak is thin and long with a skirt steak-like texture. After sirloin steaks, the flank steaks are considered the most appropriate substitute for flank steaks.
Can you substitute round steak for skirt steak?
The round steak is taken from the top of the rear legs of a cow. So, this cut has lots of juicy and tender meat. Round steak does not carry the shape and texture that would resemble skirt steaks, so it is not usually recommended as an alternative. But you can try this as a substitute when there are no other options.
Why is skirt steak so expensive?
Skirt steak is exported to Asian countries, especially to Japan and China, where they are widely used in soups and noodle recipes. Due to this reason, the skirt steak always remains high demands and turns out to be comparatively more expensive than the rest of the steaks.

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