There are many meat cuts to choose from, but there is something about a skirt steak that you cannot find in any cut. So here is how to cook skirt steak on a pellet grill for a delicious meal.
While we love to eat a whole bunch of meat, it is also great to limit it once in a while. Skirt steaks give you the same beefy taste as other cuts of meat, but they are relatively thinner.
They consist of a lot of muscles, so the taste is meaty. Skirt steaks also have just enough marbling with a little bit of tendon to make the meat tasty and juicy enough when cooked right.
While most people prefer cooking skirt steaks over a stove, you can make them in almost any cooking appliance. I find it best to cook them on a pellet grill for the extra flavor and texture.
Pellet grills can produce the smoky flavor that we always love in barbecues and steaks. They are also very convenient and easy to use, so there is not much work needed here.
Just follow the instructions below, and you will be having yourself a delicious meal with the best skirt steak cooked over a real fire with the tasty flavor coming from the wood pellets on the grill.
What You Will Need
While it is not necessary to cook a thin cut of meat over low and slow temperatures, it is best to make the grill go with low heat to enhance the flavor from the smoke produced.
So when you decide to cook the skirt steak on a pellet grill, make sure to get enough wood pellets to prepare for a longer cooking time. There are two main cooking procedures here.
Get the best dry rub that you can also add flavors to the steak or make your own. There is no need to overdo the seasoning, so you can go with a simple combination of salt and pepper.
However, since you are cooking over direct fire, I found it best to marinate the skirt steaks. Marinating the skirt steaks will prevent them from drying out when cooked or smoked.
I suggest going with natural marinades such as orange and lemon juices. You can then add some basic spices such as garlic, cilantro and add some real spice with jalapenos and peppers.
Either way, your goal is to prevent the skirt steaks from drying out so you can add as many spices as you want for the flavor, just as long as you put enough moisture on the meat.
Step 1: Prepare The Marinade
Get a large bowl and mix all the ingredients for your marinade. Mix them well all together and make sure that the ingredients such as the salt and powders dissolve into the liquid mixture.
You can also mix the marinade in a large pan. The larger pan’s idea is to make sure that the skirt steaks will also fit in it when the time comes that you mix them with the marinade.
Using a bowl is good, but it is better to have a flat surface when it comes to mixing the marinade. That way, you get to spread the marinade easily and evenly onto the skirt steaks.
Step 2: Prepare And Marinate The Skirt Steak
Get your skirt steaks ready by trimming off the excess fats from them. You can also cut them into smaller pieces if you want; I usually divide the skirt steaks into three equal pieces for this.
Slicing the skirt steaks ahead of time allows the steak to absorb more of the marinade later on. You will also disconnect some of the tendons that can be hard to chew on when cooked.
After removing the excess fats, you can then marinate the skirt steaks. Put them in a large resealable bag and then pour the marinade in the bag with the skirt steaks, then close the bag.
From there, press onto the skirt steaks with your fingers, so the marinade goes deeper into the meat. Put the bag in the refrigerator and let it marinate for at least two hours.
Step 3: Get The Pellet Grill Ready
Thirty minutes before cooking, remove the skirt steaks from the marinade and let them rest at room temperature. While waiting, get your pellet grill ready by loading the pellet hopper with fuel.
Preheat the pellet grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Close the grill’s lid for about 15 minutes and if it has a smoke-enhancing feature, then turn it on to bring out the flavors from the pellets.
I used the Traeger Timberline 850, which has a SuperSmoke feature that enhances the smoke produced by the firebox so that a thicker cloud of smoke can seep into the skirt steaks.
Step 4: Smoke The Skirt Steaks
Once the skirt steaks cool down, you can even season them again with a dry rub. From there, you can place them directly on the grill grates and let them smoke for a good 45 minutes.
Close the grill’s lid, and unless necessary, do not open the grill so that the smoke can get into the skirt steaks. Let them slowly cook and measure the temperature inside.
Keeping the temperature on track is easy for most pellet grills because of their advanced digital displays. So check if the grill is constantly putting up the set temperature for smoking.
Step 5: Rest And Grill
After around 45 minutes, remove the skirt steaks out of the grill and let them rest. The internal temperature of the skirt steaks should be a little short of 130 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare.
Let the steaks rest on the side and while they are resting, set the pellet grill to searing temperatures. Add more fuel if needed, and then set the temperature to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Again, close the lid for 15 minutes so that the grill can get up to the desired temperature easily. Place the skirt steaks again in the grill and sear them for 2 minutes on each side.
Get your meat probe ready and stick it on the thickest part of the skirt steak. For medium-rare doneness, aim for an internal temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit before removing the steak from the grill.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!
Just let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes before slicing them into thinner cuts. Pair them with your favorite salad or side dish, serve and then enjoy the delicious beefy meal!
Tips To Improve The Skirt Steaks
Here, we have some easy tips that you can use to make the skirt steaks have a better finish and for a tastier meal. You do not have to do them all the time, but they can help in the cooking process.
Dry The Skirt Steaks
Before putting the steaks in the marinade, pat them dry with a paper towel so that the meat can absorb more of the marinade. You can also dry them after the smoking process.
This will prevent any excess moisture from creating steam when you are searing the meat and will therefore produce a nice browning on the surface of the skirt steaks once it’s cooked.
Do Not Overcook
It is important to keep track of when cooking skirt steaks because they are thin cuts of meat. So you need to make sure that the heat does not go overboard and harden the steaks.
Just make sure that you get just the right amount of browning on the steaks’ surface and remove them from the fire. If not, the insides of the steaks will become too hard to chew on.
When you are trying to cook skirt steaks for the first time, I would not suggest doing it with pellet grills. It involves precise timing and proper techniques to avoid making the steaks too hard.
However, it only takes a few practices to perfect the cooking techniques, so you can practice with a cast-iron skillet first. Cooking the skirt steaks on a pellet grill gives a lot of additional flavors.
It makes the meat super smoky, which is very delicious and it helps soften the steaks if done properly. So follow the instructions above and make the best skirt steak on your pellet grill!
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