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8 tips for grilling perfect skirt steak all summer long

Justina Huddleston is an editor and the head writer for TDmonthly Magazine. She has been a freelance writer for several years, though her real passion is cooking. You can see the recipes she creates on her vegan food blog, A Life of Litt...

All hail skirt steak — quite possibly the easiest cut there is to grill

With its incredible flavor, reasonable price and large cuts, skirt steak is the perfect beef for summer grilling. I don't know about you, but buying rib-eye for a crowd isn't exactly an option with my budget, so when I'm hosting a crowd, skirt steak (literally) fits the bill.

Before you throw your meat onto the barbie, check out these tips. You'll be serving up perfectly charred, tender and juicy skirt steak in no time.

1. Pound to even thickness

Your skirt steak is going to cook up in a matter of minutes, so you want to make sure it's an even thickness all the way through. If one side is much thicker than the other, use a mallet to gently pound the steak to even thickness through and through.

2. Marinate

Skirt steak is super-flavorful, but it's great marinated too. The marinade will help tenderize the meat while injecting it with extra flavor. Add the skirt steak to the marinade one to four hours before you'll be grilling — longer than that, and it might start to get mushy.

More: 18 homemade marinades and rubs to kick your grilling game up a notch

3. Bring to room temperature

An hour before you're ready to grill, take your skirt steak out of the fridge, and bring it to room temperature. This will help the meat cook evenly.

4. Salt ahead of time

About 40 minutes before you start grilling, salt your steak liberally. This will help concentrate the flavor of the meat.

5. Pat dry

Before grilling, pat your skirt steak dry. A dry surface will create the best crust when you add the meat to the grill.

More: Marinades that will transform your flank steak into a flavor phenom

6. Sear over super-high heat

Skirt steak is superthin. You want to a get a great crust, but you don't want to overcook the meat. The solution? Get your grill superhot before adding the steak. Then cook it for three to five minutes on each side, until it's well browned on the outside and cooked to no more than medium doneness. Any more than that, and you risk getting tough meat. Remember, meat keeps cooking even after you take it off the grill.

7. Let it rest

After you take your skirt steak off the grill, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing it. This will give the juices in the meat time to redistribute so your steak doesn't wind up dry.

8. Slice it right

For tender skirt steak every time, cut your meat across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Skirt steak is made of long, stringy muscle fibers, and if you cut with the grain, they're almost impossible to chew. Cutting across the grain gives you tender meat that works in fajitas, salads and more.

More: 9 essential tips for cooking the perfect steak

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