What Cut Of Beef For Fajitas


How to know what cut of beef for fajitas is the best. If you want to buy meat online use this article as a guide. Helpful tips and info.

When you are making fajitas, what cut of beef do you use? There are several cuts that you can use. This article explains the differences between the tianguis and the thick steaks listed above, and also gives cooking tips for each one as well.

How To Cut Beef Fajitas?

Cooking a steak on the grill or in the oven impacts how tender and marbled it will be, as well as how it will taste when grilled or baked.

How do you cut fajita meat?

It is marinated and then grilled before being sliced into strips and served with a sauce. Cutting perpendicular to (across) the grain of the flesh is the most effective method of obtaining a tender piece of meat. The grain of the meat does not always run parallel to the surface of the flesh and might change direction multiple times, making it difficult to cook consistently.

What is a fajita?

Fajitas are now used to refer to any strips of meat or vegetables that have been grilled or stir-fried with onions and peppers. Among the most popular alternatives are chicken, pig, shrimp, lamb, salmon, and all of the many kinds of beef, as well as vegetables in place of meat.

How to choose the best beef for a fajita?

A fajita’s most significant component is the beef. However, how can you select the best beef for this dish? Here are some suggestions for getting the best possible cut of beef for your next Tex-Mex dish: 1. Purchase fresh meat rather than frozen beef. The flavor of fresh meat is sweeter than the flavor of frozen beef.

How to slice meat properly with a knife?

Perpendicular to the grain, or at a 90-degree angle to the grain, slice the meat in half with a sharp knife. Instead of cutting through lines, it would be more like slicing through the lines themselves.

What cut of beef would be most appropriate to use for fajitas?

Skirt steak is the standard cut for fajitas, and it is the most tender. It used to be affordable, but now days it isn’t so inexpensive; flank steak is frequently less priced. Either option will be a wise decision. Give Fajitas, a Tex Mex Classic, the Respect They Deserve is featured in this article.

Do you cut skirt steak before or after cooking?

Leave them alone; they’ll melt away throughout the cooking process and contribute significantly to the overall flavor. After you’ve trimmed away the excess fat from the skirt steak, divide it into four equal pieces. This makes hammering a lot less difficult.

Do you cut fajita meat before cooking?

For the greatest texture and flavor, steak for fajitas should be cooked to a rare or medium-rare temperature. Thinly slice the meat against the grain. When you cut meat against the grain into thin strips, you shorten the muscle fibers, which reduces the amount of work you have to do to chew it and makes even the toughest cuts taste soft.

How do you cut raw fajita meat?

Take a close look at the surface of the meat. If you look closely, you should be able to detect some grain going across it in the form of extremely fine lines. Perpendicular to the grain, or at a 90-degree angle to the grain, slice the meat in half with a sharp knife. Instead of cutting through lines, it would be more like slicing through the lines themselves.

How do you cut onions for fajitas?

To cut the onion, place the knife on one side, closest to the cutting board, and at an angle so that you are following the lines drawn on the onion with the knife. Begin by cutting into the onion using a radial motion, which should result in a slice with onion layers that are all of the same length. Continue by placing the knife on another onion line and repeating the process.

What temperature do you cook fajitas?

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for grilling at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Season both sides of the fajita meat with the fajita spice mix to taste. Grill the fajitas for 6 to 8 minutes each side, or until they are cooked to the desired degree of doneness on both sides.

How do you soften beef strips?

Preparing the grill for grilling (375°F) using charcoal or gas is recommended. Make sure to season all sides of the fajita meat with the spice mixture before grilling. Fire up the grill for 6 to 8 minutes on each side, or until the fajitas are cooked to your preference.

What part of the cow is skirt steak?

Skirt steak is a thin, savory cut of beef that is found in the diaphragm area of the cow, whereas flank steak is found right beneath the cow’s loin. Both cuts are delicious. The dimensions are as follows: Compared to skirt steak, which is a lighter, but longer piece of meat, flank steak has more fat, is broader, and is a thicker, heavier cut of beef.

What part of the cow is fajita meat?

The inner skirt steak is a boneless section of the flank that has been stripped of all fat and membranes before being cooked. In addition to fajitas, skirt steak may be used to make Mexican arrachera, Cornish pasties, Chinese stir-fry, churrasco, and Bolognese sauce, among other dishes.

How to make the best beef fajitas recipe?

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 12 tablespoons olive oil, 12 tablespoons sweet soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, salt, and chili flakes.
  2. Place the meat in a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the top of the meat.
  3. Cook the beef for 2 minutes per side in a cast-iron skillet sprayed with oil over medium heat.

What kind of meat is perfect for steak fajitas?

  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 tablespoon lime juice
  3. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  5. 2 pounds skirt,flank,sirloin,or hanger steak sliced into 12 inch strips
  6. 1 red pepper deseeded and sliced into thin strips
  7. 1 green or yellow pepper deseeded and sliced into thin strips
  8. 1 medium onion peeled and sliced into thin strips

What type of steak do you use for fajitas?

For fajitas, skirt steaks are by far the most preferred cut of meat due to their tenderness and flavor. The beef is gritty and has loose muscle fibers, which is just what you want for this meal. Skirt steaks are made from the diaphragm muscles of the cow, which are located beneath the heart and lungs.

The Best Steaks for Tacos and Fajitas

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Tacos and fajitas are staple dinner dishes in many American households (who doesn’t love Taco Tuesday?). However, most tacos use the traditional ground beef, while some families like to switch out the primary ingredient with beans, chicken, or — our favorite — steak. Fajitas are more accustomed to hosting steak as the star of the show.

But you probably don’t want to spend a fortune on steak for tacos and fajitas that are just going to get cut up and thrown into a tortilla or taco shell. Plus, tacos and fajitas usually have sauces and other ingredients that somewhat cover up the flavor of steak, unlike a steak that sits apart from everything else on your plate.

But if you go too cheap, you’ll risk getting chewy beef that makes for anything but a palatable taco or fajita experience. Use this guide to find some of the best steaks for tacos and fajitas.

The Best Steaks for Tacos and Fajitas

Determining the best steak for any kind of dish is somewhat of a subjective thing. However, you’re here to find the best steak options for tacos and fajitas, so we’re here to give you our input. Here are a few of the top choices for your Latin-inspired steak dishes.

Flat Iron Steak

Flat iron steak is one of the more costly versions of taco and fajita steaks, so this is one to choose if you don’t mind sticking with a bit of a higher budget. This cut comes from chuck shoulder portion of the cow, making it more muscle-rich than other steaks. But when it’s cooking all day in a slow cooker, you’ll enjoy a high-flavor and super tender cut of meat.

Flat iron steak also works well with a marinade that breaks down some of its toughness as it works its magic. If you love flavorful steak with a bit of tang or spice for your tacos or fajitas, a flat iron steak will do the trick.

Flank Steak

Flank steak is one of the most well-known kinds for anything that requires thin steaks. This thin cut works well for slicing, as required for tacos and fajitas. It’s also relatively affordable compared to top-of-the-line steaks like ribeye and New York strip. 

While flank steak doesn’t have as much full beef flavor as other options, it’s still an excellent choice for tacos and fajitas, especially if you go for more understated versions without a bunch of sauces and ingredients. It’s also one of the healthier cuts of steak, boasting 2.6 grams of saturated fat per 3-ounce serving. 

Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is another affordable steak option for fajitas and tacos. It comes from the diaphragm area of the animal, making it pretty tough when it’s not given the care it needs to cook. Like other steaks best for tacos and fajitas, this one should have plenty of time to cook on low heat slowly, allowing its fibers to break down over time.

This steak cut tends to have a heartier beef flavor than flank steak, making it a good option for tacos or fajitas with lots of ingredients that could overwhelm a milder steak. Use a marinade to tenderize the steak and add even more flavor before the cooking process.

Hanger Steak 

There’s no doubt about it: A hanger steak will cost more than flat iron, flank, and skirt steak, so it’s definitely not a go-to for sticking to a strict budget. But if you’re making an upscale version of steak fajitas or tacos, hanger steak will be right up your alley.

This steak cut offers rich beef flavor and a tender bite, similar to what you’d find with a ribeye. It comes from the upper belly area of the cow, so it has a good balance of muscle and fat. Season it with some salt and pepper, give it a good sear, and let it rest for several minutes before slicing it for your tacos or fajitas.

Strip Steak

While on the upper end of the budget for tacos and fajitas, boneless strip steaks are a prime choice for steak lovers. Strip steak is full of flavor and, when cooked properly, super tender. Still, it works well with a marinade if you decide to go that route or keep it classic and simple with a good helping of salt and pepper. 

How to Prepare and Tenderize Not-So-Tender Steaks for Tacos and Fajitas

Generally, cheaper cuts of steak require a little more care to make them ready for steak tacos and fajitas. That’s because they’re naturally not as tender, so they may need a little extra cooking time over low heat or a marinade that’ll break down the toughness of the meat resulting in a better texture for each bite.

First, let’s talk marinating. A marinade should have an acid, oil, and spices. The acid helps break down the meat to let it absorb the flavor, while the oil works as a tenderizing component for touch meat. Keeping steaks in the fridge soaked in a marinade overnight is best, but even a few hours can do the trick.

Next, consider the cooking method. Tougher cuts, like flank and skirt steak, should be cooked slowly in a crock pot or smoker to create more tender meat. However, a strip steak, which is already pretty tender on its own, can work for quicker cooking methods, like searing or grilling.

Slicing the steak correctly is also an important step for keeping it tender. Let your meat rest for at least five minutes before slicing to let the steak soak up juices from cooking. Then, slice the steak against the grain, the opposite direction of its muscle fibers. This results in a more tender piece of meat, regardless of its price point.

It’s Taco and Fajita Night!

Now that you know what steaks to buy, it’s time to prepare for your taco or fajita night. Whether you buy a cheap cut of meat or go a little more extravagant with hanger steak or strip steak, you can still have a yummy meal with all your favorite toppings.


Whether you’re firing up a cast-iron skillet or the grill, working with flank or skirt steak, this classic Steak Fajitas Recipe is as adaptable as it is delicious. It begins with a simple cilantro-lime marinade that packs a great big punch of Tex-Mex flavor and ends with tender strips of beef, wrapped in a warm tortilla and topped off with a colorful trio of fajita veggies!

A tray of steak fajitas surrounded by fajita veggies and tortillas.

With this easy recipe, you can transform a restaurant classic into a family-favorite weeknight staple. Serve it with Spanish Rice and Charro Beans for an authentic Mexican meal at home! Got leftovers? Add cheesy Steak Quesadillas to the recipe lineup!


To put it bluntly, there is no “best steak” for fajitas, although skirt steak is the one you’ll find most often served at Mexican restaurants. You can use either skirt or flank steak and get phenomenal, authentic, delicious results from both cuts of meat. 

Fajita skirt steak grilled and set on a sheet pan.

Flank steak comes from the bottom abdominal area of the cow, while skirt steak comes from the underside of the short plate. As you can see from the diagram above, the two cuts are very close in proximity and have quite a bit in common.

Cuts of Beef

They are both revered for their great big beefy flavor, yet also somewhat notorious for being tough, chewy cuts of meat. However, when cooked properly and sliced correctly, either cut can be thoroughly enjoyed.

NOTE: Flank steak will take longer to cook than skirt steak.


If you’re working with flank steak, take care not to purchase too thick of a steak. Any more than ¾” thick, and you’re going to have to add on/adjust your cook time quite a bit.

Shoot for an internal temperature of 140°F when making flank steak for fajitas, somewhere between medium-rare and medium in doneness.


Skirt steak is long, thin, and cooks up fast. The important thing to keep in mind when working with this cut of beef is that you really don’t want to over-cook it. This cut of meat is best enjoyed at a proper medium-rare, with a warm red center. 

A sheet pan full of sliced fajita veggies and beef.


When it comes to making steak fajitas, you can use a gas or charcoal grillor you can use a searing hot pan on your stovetop. There’s no denying flame-grilled beef is the more flavorful option of the two, but luckily, the flavor imparted by the marinade will go a long, long way whether your cooking indoors or out.

The choice is really yours, and below, you’ll find cooking methods for both.

An overhead shot of steak fajita marinade in a zip top bag with steak inside and sealed up.


Before you fire up any heating elements, you’ll want to set some time aside for a marinade. A marinade will add a great deal of flavor to your Steak Fajitas, and it is well worth the small amount of effort it takes to throw one together.

This marinade, in particular, comes together quickly with a rough chop of cilantro, jalapeño, and onion. Then, you’ll combine the veggies with seasoning, lime juice, and oil, add the beef and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.


Once the time is up, wipe off any dripping excess marinade. This will ensure you get a good sear on the beef and help to prevent flare-ups if you are cooking on the grill.

Next, drizzle your beef or flank steak with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and rub all over to adhere. There really is no need for any kind of special spice blend or “fajita seasoning” when prepping these Steak Fajitas. The marinade adds all the flavor you need.

And, now…it’s time to cook.

An overhead shot of beef mixed with white, red, and green fajita veggies.


If you are preparing a charcoal grill to cook your fajitas, you can determine if the grill is ready by one of two ways: the look of the coals or the “hand test.”

  1. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill and bring the heat to medium-high. You will know the temperature is right when the coals are glowing brightly and have a faint coating of ash.  You could also hold your hand about 6″ above the grate (with caution, of course), and begin counting. You should have to withdraw your hand by the count of 3.
  2. Once the grill has come to temperature, add the beef. Cook skirt steak for about 7-8 minutes total, turning it half-way through. Cook the flank steak for about 12-14 minutes total, turning it about half-way through.

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