Flap Meat vs Skirt Steak | Find Out Difference.

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The flap meat and skirt steak are two types of steak cut from the primal beef loin. They are both very different but can be used for similar dishes. This article will discuss the differences between flap meat and skirt steak and what to make with them. We will also cover where to buy them, and some FAQs about these cuts of meat.

 What is flap steak?

Flap steak is a sirloin beef cut known to be tender and full of meaty flavor. It’s a relatively lean cut of meat from the bottom sirloin butt, and it can be used in stir-fries, tacos, or carne asada. Flap steak is usually grilled, pan-fried, or broiled.

It should be cooked over high and dry heat to bring out its juicy tenderness. It’s important not to overcook it, as this can make the meat tough. The best way to ensure that your flap steak is cooked to perfection is to check its internal temperatures using a meat thermometer.

What is skirt steak?

Skirt steak is a long cut of meat from the plate primal below a cow’s rib. It is a tough cut of meat due to the pronounced grain, but it’s also very flavorful. Skirt steak is often used in fajita and steak tacos. It should be cooked quickly over high heat so it doesn’t get tougher. The best way to prepare steak dinner is by pan-frying, grilling, or broiling.

What is flap steak used for?

Flap steak is a versatile beef cut from tender regions. Its course texture helps hold well onto marinades and seasonings. It is most commonly used in Colombian dishes, stir-fries, tacos, and carne asada. It can also be used in a fajita, but it’s not as common. Flap steak is also a good ground for hamburger and sausage meat. You will also find it served in restaurants as bistro-style grilled steak.

What is skirt steak used for?

Skirt steaks are often marinated before cooking to minimize toughness. The steak is most commonly used in fajitas, Chinese stir-fries, arrachera, and Cornish pastries.

What to make with flap steak?

Many different dishes can be made with flap steak. It is an excellent addition to bistro steaks and restaurant grills. You can try making sesame-ginger flap Steak and stir-Fried Flap Steak with vegetables

Flap meat vs skirt steak main fact

Flap meat and skirt steak are two popular cuts of beef with moderate marbling. They have differences, the main one being where they are cut from. The skirt steak is from the area below the cow’s rib, while flap meat is from the butt sirloin area. 

Where they are cut from

Skirt steak is cut from a cow’s diaphragm muscle, while the flap steak is from the bottom sirloin butt.


The flap meat and skirt steak have the same flavor profile but are slightly different. Flap meat is known for its robust flavor profile that lack in other cuts of kebabs, no matter your cooking method. On the other hand, skirt steak has a more intense beef flavor. Steak eaters will quickly notice the different steaks just by tasting them. 

Appearance/meat structure

Flap meat is thin, lean, and with a clearly defined meat grain for easier cutting, while skirt steak is a thin, long cut with tough fiber grains. The flap meat fibers give the meat a coarse grain that can be difficult to cut into. The fibers in skirt steak are not knit together like those of flap steak. 


The flap meat and the skirt steak are tender steaks, but their tenderness is different. The texture of well-cooked flap meat fiber is tenderer than skirt steak. However, marinating these cuts of meat makes them tender, no matter the cooking style you incorporate. 


Flap meat is often grilled, but skirt steak can be roasted, grilled, or broiled.  


Skirt steak tends to be a more expensive option compared to flap steak. This is because it takes longer for the butcher to cut and prepare than flap, which is among the cheapest steak.  

Related Topic: Difference between beef broth and beef consomme

 What to do with skirt steak

The skirt steak flavors can handle marinades and dry rubs. Some marinades like garlic, red wine, soy sauce, chopped fresh herbs, and citrus juice are creative. Try a dry rub blend of pepper, garlic powder, coarse salt, mustard, chili powder, Cayenne pepper, cumin, and thyme.

You can then serve the skirt steak as a main dish with some roasted potatoes and tangy avocado chimichurri sauce. You can also slice the steak for fajitas with pepper and onion. Lastly, try putting it on a salad or chop it to make quesadillas.

Do not be shy about trying to pair your seasoned skirt steak with some of your favorite recipes. You might achieve the perfect steak in the comfort of your home. Meat lovers enjoy skirt steak pan-seared.

Where does the skirt steak come from?

The skirt steak is a cut found in a cow’s diaphragm area. It is cut from the muscle flap that covers the diaphragm. Since the diaphragm is a large and heavily used muscle, the steak is tough and sinewy. It however has a rich beefy flavor. 

 Is flap steak the same as skirt steak

Many people confuse flap steak for hanger steak or skirt steak. These pieces of meat share some similarities but are not the same. They have a fantastic beefy taste that can be interchanged in recipes.


  • These two beef cuts are relatively lean, tough, and long. If cooked under extreme heat for long, they can turn rubbery.
  • The meat cuts are cut against the grain to easily cover the rugged texture. This helps break down the long fibers, making the meat tender, and marinades penetrate well.
  • These meat cuts require optimal high heat cooking like grilling and searing, but you should always be careful during cooking time, so they don’t end up having a chewy steak. You can even reduce the cooking time that the recipe calls for.
  • Both skirt steak and flap meat are best cooked medium-rare or rare. Skirt steak gives the intense beef taste, with flap steak gives a robust flavor profile.
  • Since flap meat is similar to skirt steak in texture, it can be used interchangeably in recipes like London brail, tacos, Asada, fajita meat, and steak salad. If your recipe calls for skirt steak and you don’t have it at the moment, then you can use the cheapest steak cuts- flap meat- instead.
  • Both meat fibers are tough, requiring an acidic marinade to tenderize them. You will require an ideal marinade for skirt steak with good acidity. 

Other names for skirt steak

If you are outside the US and you can’t find skirt steak, try finding other names like:

  • Romanian tenderloin
  • Romanian Steak
  • Arrachera
  • Philadelphia steak


Flap steak’s other names

Flap steak has many variations depending on the location you are at. Some names that refer to flap steak are:

  • Bavette D’Aloyau in France
  • Faux hanger
  • Sirloin bavette
  • Sirloin tip in New England

Where to buy flap steak

Finding flap and skirt steak in your supermarket might be problematic since the outer skirts end up in commercial kitchens. You can find these steaks at your local butcher shop or grocery store. You can also order from various specialist butchers if you’re having trouble finding it. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the skirt steak on a cow?

Skirt steak comes from belly muscles in the chest and abdominal cavity, just below the ribs. 

What is beef loin flap meat steak?

Beef loin flap meat is cut from the same area as flank steak. This cut is farther back, close to the round, and shank at the abdominis muscle at the bottom sirloin. 

Why is skirt steak tough?

Skirt steak is from the active muscles in a cow’s abdominal area. For this reason, the meat tends to be tough but can be tenderized using a marinade and cooking under high heat for short period. For this reason, it is essential to be careful when cooking skirt steak.  

Where is flap meat on a cow?

Flap meat is cut close to the shank in the same area as the flank steak.  

Video: Difference between Flap Meat and Skirt Steak

 Final words

Flap meat and skirt steak are little-known beef cuts outshining the better-known steaks. The steaks are flavorful but with some key differences. What differentiates these beef steaks is their tenderness, size, and nutritional values. You can use either of them for a specific recipe. For instance, flap steak can replace skirt steak in fajitas. Ensure you cook these two steaks the right way to get the best out of them.

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