It doesn’t get any more flavorful and tender than sous vide skirt steak. This often overlooked cut of meat is transformed into something magical when cooked using an immersion circulator.
I never paid much attention to skirt steak. That is, until I went to a fancy restaurant in NYC and they served me one of the best steaks I’ve ever tried. It had the texture of a filet mignon but with the flavor of a ribeye. And there it was, plain as day on the menu: skirt steak.
I’ve been pretty much obsessed ever since.
How to Make Sous Vide Skirt Steak
Equipment and Tools
(I’ve included affiliate links to the exact brands I used)
- Sous vide immersion circulator
- A container for the water
- I used a vacuum sealer & vacuum seal bags for this recipe, but a gallon-size freezer bag will work just fine
- Kitchen tongs
- Optional: A bag clip (note: if your water vessel has a lid, you might not need a bag clip)
You always want to start by seasoning the meat on both sides with salt and pepper. Some of the seasoning will come off while the meat is cooking, and you’ll probably want to add a bit more before searing in the final step.
However, you don’t want to skip this step, because seasoning adheres much better to the raw meat than it does once the steak has cooked.
Place the steak in a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag (or you can use a vacuum-seal bag, as I did here. But as I’ve noted above, it’s not a requirement, just a convenience).
Cook the steak for 5 hours in a water bath with the immersion circulator set to 172°F (78°C). It takes awhile to get that incredibly tender texture, but it’s so worth it.
Once the meat has finished cooking, season it on both sides with salt and pepper, then sear in a hot skillet for about 1-2 minutes per side, until caramelized and crisp. Let the steak rest for a few minutes, then slice against the grain and serve.
Sous Vide Skirt Steak
- 1.75 - 2 pounds skirt steak
- Kosher salt
- Ground black pepper
- A neutral-flavored, high heat oil (such as grapeseed oil)
- Fill a large container with water. Using a sous vide immersion circulator, bring the water temperature to 172°F (78°C).
- Season skirt steak generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Place steak in a 1-gallon resealable freezer bag, pressing out as much air as possible and sealing the bag. Pressing the bag over the edge of a table can help remove the air. Clip weights or attach weighted sous vide magnets to the bottom of the bag to help weigh it down. If using magnets, you can also attach some near the top.
- Slowly lower the bag into the water bath until fully submerged, using kitchen tongs if needed to assist pressing it down. Once the bag is almost completely submerged, open one small corner to release any remaining air, then reseal the bag and clip it to the corner. (Note: If your container has a lid, you might not need the clip; simply fold the top of the bag over the edge and cover with the lid). If your container doesn’t have a lid, top with foil or plastic wrap to prevent water evaporation.
- Cook for 5 hours, then carefully remove the bag. Pat the steak dry with paper towels, then add a bit more salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet (I recommend cast iron, stainless steel or black steel) over high heat, then add a small amount of a neutral-flavored, high heat oil, such as grapeseed. You only need a thin layer to coat the bottom of the pan. Sear the steak on both sides until brown and crisp, 1-2 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a cutting board and slice the meat against the grain, then serve.