Long and Thin, the Flavorful but Tough Inside Skirt Steak is often Used as Fajita Meat.
Inside Skirt Steak
Resources > Food > Meat > Beef > Inside Skirt Steak

Are you a Smart Kitchen™ Chef?

Try it FREE or take a TOUR to explore Smart Kitchen!
+ -


An Inside Skirt Steak, NAMP 121 D, is often confused with an Outside Skirt SteakNAMP 121 C, and with a Flank SteakNAMP 193, because the British call some Flank Steak, Skirt Steaks.

An Inside Skirt Steak is a “Flat Steak” made from the Transversus abdominis muscle of the interior of The Flank Primal Cut. The Transersus abdominis is a “core” muscle located on the interior of the rib cage which helps stabilize the animal by compressing/moving the rib cage and in internal “pushing” as in giving birth.

The Outside Skirt Steak is made from the diaphragm muscle of The Plate Primal Cut that allows the animal to breathe. Outside Skirt Steak is longer and thinner than Inside Skirt Steak, which is the wider and thicker of the two. 

There are two Inside Skirt Steaks per beef, one on each “Side” of the animal. Inside Skirt Steak weighs around weighs 16 to 17 ounces (453.6 g to 482 g) on average, but can run close to 2 pounds. Our Inside Skirt Steak in the photo weighed about 1 3/4 pounds when cut from the Steer and trimmed.


Inside Skirt Steak is available all year long.


The production of beef is carried about by three primary types of operations: Cow & Calf Operations, Weaner Calf & Yearling Operations, and Dry-Lot Feeding Operations (also known as “Backrounders”) which are the most expensive operations in the Beef Industry. To learn more about Beef Producers just follow the link to Smart Kitchen’s Page on Beef Producers. The Beef Producers are represented by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

American cattle production has remained almost stagnant between 1985 and 2009, growing just 6.4%, while the amount of beef imported has nearly tripled in that time, according to an analysis of USDA figures conducted by R-CALF USA, another the trade group that represents cattle producers.

Once raised, Beef is typically sold to Meat Packers who slaughter, inspect, and butcher the animals to provide Primal Cuts to butchers and portion cuts to consumers.

The Meat Packing Industry is in a period of consolidation. In 1999, the 10 largest beef-packing firms accounted for more than 90 percent of all Steer and Heifer slaughter in the U.S. In 2011, according to the Western Organization of Resources Councils three major companies controlled Beef market. Visit Smart Kitchen’s Meat Packers Resource Page to learn more.


When buying Inside Skirt Steak, be cognizant of the meat quality. Higher grades of meat will yield better results. Also, ascertain if the Inside Skirt Steak has had its minor outer membrane peeled. If it has not, you should do so before working with the cut as an ingredient.


Raw Inside Skirt Steak should last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Add an extra day of cold storage time if the Inside Skirt Steak is Marinated or oiled. Raw Inside Skirt Steak will keep for 2-3 months in the freezer without any appreciable deterioration in quality.

Cooked Inside Skirt Steak should be refrigerated for up to 1-3 days.

Culinary Uses

Inside Skirt Steak is a tough Portion Cut of Beef. On Smart Kitchen’s Home Plate it should be Cooked, it is Tough, it can be Thin or Thick depending on how it is cut, it is Dry, and Lean. Using the Home Plate we would call it Cooked, Tough, Thin or Thick, Dry, and Lean or noted in the home plate shorthand Inside Skirt Steak would be (C, T1T3-T4, D, L).

Skirt Steak, especially the Outside Skirt Steak, is so long and thin looking, that it is called “Faja” or “belt” in Spanish. Fajitas are a traditional Mexican method of cooking the faja, or Skirt Steak. Fajitas is one of the primary uses of both Inside Skirt Steak and Outside Skirt Steak, which can also be sold as “Fajita Meat.”

Inside Skirt Steak can also be found manually Tenderized, rolled up, held with skewers and merchandised as London Broil or sold as 2 roughly 8 ounce (226.8 g) Steaks which may be labeled “Bistro Steaks.”

The Inside Skirt Steak, as you can see in the photo, contains a lot of Marbling and Connective Tissue and is consequently a flavorful but tougher cut. Inside Skirt Steak has minimal membrane to remove but a very pronounced Meat Grain of long muscle fibers. Inside Skirt Steak is a bit thinner, more stringy and more uneven than Outside Skirt Steak and generally costs less.

Cooking Inside Skirt Steak is an exercise in Tenderizing, managing the connective tissue and long muscle fibers so that the flavorful cut of beef is not a “Tough Chew.”  One method is “high & quick” which relies on physical tenderizing and then on Marinades Rubs for further tenderizing before cooking quickly (Grilling or Pan Frying) over High Heat to Rare or Medium Rare and cutting the meat across the grain to portion cut it for service (to shorten/sever the tough, long muscle fibers). 

The second cooking method to employ with Inside Skirt Steak is “low & slow” typically with a Moist Heat Method, like Braising.

Portion Size

Allow 6 to 9 ounces (170 g to 255 g) per person of Inside Skirt Steak as a Serving Size.

Gluten Free


Low Fat


Low Calorie