Five-Minute Marinated Skirt Steak

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to marinate a steak overnight to get great flavor—with this marinade, five minutes is all you need—but a bit longer is preferable. Don’t be surprised that the marinade is thicker than most, because it helps cling to the meat.

I have to confess, my radar went up when I saw one whole cup of brown sugar went into the marinade, which seemed excessive indeed. We recommend using only half a cup (or less)—and when I read some of the online reports afterward, I found that many reviewers agreed with the reduction.

When grilling, high heat is the key in order to burn off that sugar and facilitate caramelization. However, to counter balance the sweetness, we added about a 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red paper flakes, resulting in very flavorful, just oh-so-slightly sweet, charred steaks.

It is a GREAT recipe for a busy work week. To make it even simpler, we served the steak with leftover baby smashed new potatoes and haricot verts green beans, which themselves cook up in just minutes.

I marinated our steaks for more than an hour before tossing on the grill.

It’s important to cut the slices against the grain.

We like to pour the juices from the cutting board over the platter of meat.


  • 1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar (we recommend 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1-1/2 lb. skirt steak, trimmed of excess surface fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Combine the sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, garlic, and rosemary in a baking dish or zip-top bag large enough to hold the steak. Add the steak and turn to coat. Let sit at room temperature for at least 5 minutes and up to an hour.
  2. Prepare a high (500°F to 600°F) charcoal or gas grill fire. Take the steak out of the marinade and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Cut into smaller pieces to make grilling more manageable, if you like.
  3. Grill, flipping once, until grill marks form on both sides and cooked to your liking, about 3 minutes per side for medium rare (135°F).
  4. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice against the grain and serve.


Adapted from Pat LaFrieda of Fine Cooking

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