Grilled Skirt Steak With Mojo Marinade Recipe

A garlicky, citrusy mojo marinade makes this buttery grilled skirt steak pop.

Grilled skirt steak with mojo marinade served on a plate with lime wedges

Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Why This Recipe Works

  • Skirt steak is a particularly good cut for marinating, with its heavy grain and ability to pick up flavors.
  • Grilling over very high heat builds a nice charred crust while ensuring the center of the steak has a buttery, medium-rare to medium, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

For my money, there's no better cut for marinating and grilling than skirt steak. It has a deep grain that sops up flavors nicely, and a rich, buttery texture that becomes meltingly tender when grilled over high heat. This version gets a garlicky, citrusy marinade based on Cuban mojo.

The key to cooking skirt steak is heat, and plenty of it. It's a relatively thin cut of meat, which means that it cooks fast. In order to get that great contrast between the crisp, charred exterior and warm, moist center, you need to really blast it. How do we do this? By using a two-zone fire—a fire in which all of the coals are piled up under one side of the grill, maximizing heat under the steak.

Some steaks are best medium-rare, but skirt steak, with its coarse grain and high fat content, is better at around medium, where its somewhat slippery texture turns moist and juicy. Once it's cooked, you'll want to slice it against the grain to shorten its long muscle fibers, resulting in slices that are more tender.

As for the marinade, it's tasty enough that I'm loathed to waste any of it. That's why I recommend reducing the extra marinade in a pan on the stovetop (or on the grill), thickening it slightly and using it as a post-cooking sauce for the meat. That last-minute hit of acidity really brings out the steak's flavor. Turns out that sometimes double-dipping can be a good thing.

This steak is great as-is or with some simple grilled potatoes, but it's also delicious tucked into corn or flour tortillas with some salsa. Plan on doing so if you have leftovers (which, to be fair, is an unlikely scenario).

April 2014

Recipe Details

Grilled Skirt Steak With Mojo Marinade Recipe

Active 15 mins
Total 90 mins
Serves 4 servings

A garlicky, citrusy mojo marinade makes this buttery grilled skirt steak pop.


For the Steak:

  • 2 pounds skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat (see notes)

  • 2 tablespoons juice from about 2 limes, plus 1 extra lime for serving

  • 1/4 cup juice from 1 orange

  • 2/3 cup olive oil, divided

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems


  1. Place skirt steak a resealable bag and add lime and orange juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Seal and squish around to combine. Place in the refrigerator to marinate at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

    Skirt steak combined with lime and orange juice, ⅓ cup of olive oil, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper inside a resealable bag

    Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. When ready to cook, remove meat from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer marinade to a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half over medium heat.

    Marinade being brought to a simmer inside a small saucepan over medium heat

    Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.

    Gray ash covered coals spread evenly over half of coal grate

    Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Place skirt steak on hot side of grill and cook, flipping occasionally, until well-charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted into their center registers 115°F to 120°F (46°C to 49°C) for medium-rare or 125°F to 130°F (52°C to 54°C) for medium. Transfer steak to a large plate, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

    Skirt steak placed on grill

    Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Alternatively, to finish indoors: Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil in a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add steak and cook, turning frequently, until well-browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into its center reads 115°F to 120°F for medium-rare or 125°F to 130°F for medium. Reduce heat as necessary if steak smokes excessively or starts to burn. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and allow to rest 10 minutes.

    Well-browned steak transferred to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet

    Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Slice steak against the grain, drizzle with pan sauce and sprinkle with cilantro. Cut extra lime into wedges and serve with steak.

    Steak sliced against the grain on cutting board

    Serious Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Special Equipment

Grill, chimney starter, instant-read thermometer


An equivalent weight of flap, hanger, or flank steak can be used in place of skirt steak. This steak can also be prepared indoors. See Step 5 for pan-frying instructions.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
876 Calories
70g Fat
4g Carbs
57g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 876
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 70g 89%
Saturated Fat 18g 92%
Cholesterol 135mg 45%
Sodium 276mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 57g
Vitamin C 11mg 53%
Calcium 48mg 4%
Iron 7mg 38%
Potassium 837mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)