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How long to wait for skirt steak?

Skirt steak, also known as fajita or Philadelphia steak, is a delicious and popular cut of beef that is often used for grilling or frying. When cooking skirt steak, it is important to know how long to let it rest after cooking before slicing and serving for maximum tenderness and juiciness. Here is a look at how long you should wait before slicing into skirt steak.

Why Let Skirt Steak Rest?

Allowing skirt steak or any meat to rest after cooking serves a few important purposes:

  • It allows the fibers in the meat to relax and reabsorb some of the juices that were forced out during the cooking process. This helps keep the meat tender and moist.
  • It gives the juices that were driven to the surface of the meat time to redistribute back into the fibers throughout the steak. This prevents a loss of moisture when you cut into it.
  • It evens out the internal temperature of the steak. The outer parts of the steak are often much hotter than the center right after cooking. Resting allows the inside to come up to temperature.

If you slice into steak immediately after cooking, the juices will run out onto the cutting board and the meat will end up dry. Letting it rest prevents this. The length of recommended resting time depends on the thickness and doneness of the steak.

How Long to Rest Skirt Steak

For a 1-inch thick skirt steak cooked medium-rare to medium, allow it to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into it. Use these guidelines for different thicknesses and doneness levels:

Skirt Steak Thickness Doneness Minimum Resting Time
1 inch Rare 5 minutes
1 inch Medium-rare to medium 10 minutes
1 1/2 inches Rare to medium-rare 10 minutes
1 1/2 inches Medium 15 minutes

For skirt steaks thicker than 1 1/2 inches, allow about 5 additional minutes of resting time per extra 1/2-inch thickness. Always check for doneness a few minutes before the estimated cooking time and remove from the heat when it is 5°F below your desired temperature. The temperature will continue rising during resting.

Steps for Resting Skirt Steak

Follow these easy steps for perfect results when resting skirt steak:

  1. Transfer the cooked steak from the grill, pan or broiler to a clean plate or cutting board. Do not cover with foil right away.
  2. Lightly tent the steak with foil, but leave an opening so steam can escape. This prevents the steak from continuing to cook.
  3. Allow to rest for the recommended time based on thickness and doneness. Resist the urge to cut in right away!
  4. Once rested, remove the foil and cut the steak against the grain into slices. The meat fibers will be relaxed and moist.
  5. Serve the sliced steak immediately while hot. Enjoy!

Resting Tips

  • Resist cutting into the meat to check doneness during resting. This will lead to losing juices.
  • Use a digital instant-read thermometer to check doneness before resting. Insert into the thickest part.
  • Rest on a wooden cutting board or plate instead of metal, which will draw heat away.
  • The thicker the steak, the longer the rest. Thin steaks like skirt can be as quick as 5 minutes.
  • After slicing, pour any collected juices over the steak for added flavor and moisture.


Allowing skirt steak or any steak to rest appropriately after cooking is a vital step to ensure the meat stays tender and juicy when you finally slice into it. Follow the guidelines for how long to let skirt steak rest based on its thickness and doneness level. Be patient and let it rest for at least 5-15 minutes covered loosely with foil before cutting. Proper resting results in steaks that are cooked to perfection.