The Best Steak Cut To Use For Your Next Fajita Night

Steak fajitas with guacamole
Steak fajitas with guacamole - Drong/Getty Images

Nothing gets a table's attention more than a giant pile of sizzling fajitas at your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant. And while that distinctive sound is always exciting when dining out, fajitas can be a fairly nutritious meal to make at home for the perfect weeknight dinner, too. Homemade steak fajitas are easy, but it all starts with choosing the right cut of steak. And for this tasty meal, you'll want to go with either skirt steak or flank steak.

Both of these cuts are fairly thin, which makes them great for marinating -- plus, a thin cut will cook in no time and can be sliced easily. When making fajitas, you generally want to marinate the steak to add flavor and tenderness. While you can marinate overnight, even letting a thin steak soak for just an hour will be long enough to enhance its flavor and texture. Just be careful how long you cook these thinner cuts because they can quickly become overdone.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

Thin, Quick-Cooking Steak Cuts Are Best For Fajitas

Sliced skirt steak on board
Sliced skirt steak on board - Michael Kraus/Shutterstock

It's fairly easy to make a skirt or flank steak very tender for fajita night. When properly marinated, cooked, and sliced (you'll want to go against the grain), both cuts can achieve a melt-in-your-mouth texture. The other fillings, such as grilled peppers, onions, and cheese, are tender, so the last thing you want is a tough steak bite.

One of the big differences between flank steak and skirt steak is that the former is cut from near the cow's loin, while the latter comes from right below the chest. If you're seeking maximum tenderness, choose the skirt steak over the flank steak. Although flank steak can be tender when properly cooked and sliced, it is generally a little tougher, which can take more finesse in the kitchen. When making your marinade, add an acidic element for optimal tenderness, which will help break down the tougher muscles in the steak.

When it comes to cooking either of these cuts, you want a good sear on the outside, and rare to medium-rare doneness in the center. (If you like your meat well done, you can cook it more, but it will likely be tougher.) For the best results and a beautiful crispy sear, use a cast iron skillet, and cook on medium-high heat for 2-5 minutes per side to achieve the rare to medium rare doneness.

Tips For Making The Best Homemade Fajitas

Steak fajitas with in flour tortillas
Steak fajitas with in flour tortillas - Mironov Vladimir/Shutterstock

The meat is the star of the show in steak fajitas, so you'll want to take great care in preparing it. The flavor profiles of your marinade are up to you. Something simple like olive oil, lime juice, and cilantro works well. A little soy sauce would be great here, too, or add a smoky element like chipotle. (Just don't forget that acid.)

Fajitas are best served on flour tortillas, which tend to be bigger and a bit softer than corn tortillas; their size helps them hold more fillings. Lightly grill the flour tortillas on either side first, then fill them up with your tender sliced steak and other ingredients. Veggies are typical, such as grilled sweet onions and bell peppers, but you can also add heat by thinly slicing jalapeños, or drizzling chipotle mayo. Your favorite condiments like hot sauce, sour cream, Mexican crema, or salsa are all fantastic toppings.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.