Cooking skirt steak in the air fryer is a game-changer when grilling isn’t an option. In just six minutes, you can have a juicy and flavorful steak without any hassle. This recipe will show you how to transform a tender cut of beef into a mouthwatering dish that can be enjoyed in various ways.
Skirt steak has always been a personal favorite, but surprisingly, I’ve only used it once in all my recipes. It’s such a simple and versatile ingredient that I never really thought to highlight it. However, after discovering how incredibly easy it is to cook skirt steak in the air fryer, I had to share this fantastic method with you.
Living in New York, where the temperatures have been freezing, grilling outdoors is out of the question. But fear not, the air fryer comes to the rescue! Skirt steak is one of the best cuts of meat for grilling, but until the weather warms up, the air fryer is my go-to cooking appliance.
Ingredients to Make the Most Delicious Air Fryer Skirt Steak
To create this flavorful air fryer skirt steak, you only need a handful of ingredients:
- Skirt steak
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Black pepper
Instead of marinating the steak, we will use a dry rub to infuse it with incredible flavors. Fresh lime wedges will be served alongside the cooked steak to add a tangy twist reminiscent of the classic carne asada dish.
How to Make Skirt Steak in the Air Fryer
Preheating the air fryer is essential for achieving the perfect sear on the steak. So, begin by preheating your air fryer at 400°F for five minutes. While it’s heating up, brush the room temperature skirt steak with olive oil.
Combine the steak seasonings in a small bowl and rub the mixture over both sides of the steak, ensuring to coat the entire surface. To fit it more easily into the air fryer, cut the steak in half.
Place both halves of the skirt steak into the preheated air fryer, either in the basket in a single layer or on trays if you have an air fryer oven.
How Long to Cook Skirt Steak in the Air Fryer
Air fry the skirt steak for approximately six minutes, making sure to rotate the trays or flip the steak in the air fryer basket halfway through. The exact cooking time may vary depending on your desired level of doneness and the thickness of the steak. For medium-rare, remove the steak from the air fryer when the internal temperature reaches 130-135°F in the middle.
Once cooked to your liking, remove the steak from the air fryer and transfer it to a cutting board. Cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least five minutes before slicing. This resting time allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a tender and succulent steak. Serve your air-fried skirt steak with fresh lime wedges and chopped cilantro.
Flank Steak vs. Skirt Steak
Flank steak and skirt steak are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct differences. Skirt steak is thinner and has a higher fat content, making it more flavorful. It’s beloved by steak enthusiasts because of its tenderness and affordability. Skirt steaks are cut from the diaphragm of the cow, while flank steaks are cut from underneath the loin area. Skirt steak cooks faster and absorbs marinades better than flank steak due to its loose grain structure.
Do I Need to Pan Sear Skirt Steak Before Air Frying?
Pan searing the skirt steak before air frying is not necessary, but it can add a nice crispy crust to the steak, mimicking the flavors you would achieve with grilling. If you choose to pan sear the steak, reduce the air frying time by 1-2 minutes. To pan sear, heat a cast iron skillet over high heat with a bit of oil or ghee. Sear both sides of the seasoned skirt steak until charred and browned. Transfer the steak to the air fryer and cook as directed.
How to Slice Skirt Steak
When slicing skirt steak, it’s important to cut against the grain to ensure tenderness. Slicing with the grain can result in a chewier texture. So, be sure to use a sharp knife and slice the steak against the grain for the best results. This simple technique will preserve the natural tenderness of the meat.
What to Serve With Air-Fried Skirt Steak
To complement the carne asada vibe of the dish, you can serve your air-fried skirt steak with cilantro-lime rice or a similar themed side dish. If you’re feeling adventurous, try slicing the steak on top of some curry cauliflower rice for a fusion twist. Alternatively, you can pair it with garlic mashed yuca or easy side salads like a simple summer corn and tomato salad or a refreshing jicama salad. You can also use the sliced steak for tacos or fajitas for a Tex-Mex feast.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
If you have any leftovers, allow the steak to cool completely and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to a week. When reheating, it’s best to use a hot cast iron skillet to quickly sear the slices. This method will retain the steak’s juiciness and prevent it from overcooking. Alternatively, you can enjoy leftover skirt steak cold in salads for a refreshing and protein-packed lunch option.
If you’re craving a delicious steak but can’t grill, the air fryer is your answer. With its simplicity and convenience, you can enjoy a tender and flavorful skirt steak any time of the year. Give this easy recipe a try, and you won’t be disappointed. For more mouthwatering air fryer recipes, visit Ekilove. Happy cooking!