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Air Fryer Skirt Steak (Carne Asada)

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After a simple marinade, this flavorful air fryer skirt steak cook ups in about 6 minutes! Enjoy carne asada for a quick and easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love.

Juicy slices of air fryer skirt steak with carving fork

Looking for a budget-friendly beef recipe that still turns out tender, flavorful, and delicious? This air fryer skirt steak only requires a few minutes of prep for an easy dinner the whole family will love!

The quick marinade is the secret to tenderizing this traditionally tougher cut of beef. And as an added bonus, it gives the meat amazing flavor too! Best of all, once you’re ready to eat, the steak cooks up in the air fryer in about six minutes flat.

Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:

  • How to make delicious and tender skirt steak in the air fryer
  • How long to cook your steak depending on your desired level of doneness
  • The difference between skirt steak and flank steak
  • What to serve with skirt steak
  • How to reheat leftover carne asada in the air fryer

I just love how versatile this cut of meat is. You can drizzle it with a flavorful chimichurri sauce, serve it up with your next Mexican-inspired meal, or simply enjoy your air fryer carne asada as-is for a hearty weeknight dinner. You can’t go wrong!

I made this recipe using the 5.8 QT Cosori Air Fryer. Its square basket makes it the perfect size for our family of 4.

prepared ingredients for skirt steak in air fryer

How to Make Air Fryer Skirt Steak

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: In a measuring cup, combine the olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, chiles, garlic, cilantro, salt, cumin, oregano, paprika, and pepper.

Place the steak in a gallon-size zipper bag, pour the liquid into the bag, then seal and marinate for at least 4 hours (or overnight), turning the bag at least once. 

marinate the skirt steak for at least 4 hours

STEP TWO: Remove the steak from the marinade and allow it to come to room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

STEP THREE: Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.

cook marinated skirt steak in air fryer

STEP FOUR: Place the steak in the air fryer and cook for 3 minutes. Flip the steak, then cook for an additional 3 minutes then check it with an Instant Read Thermometer.

flip skirt steak over during air fryer cook time

STEP FIVE: Transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent it with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

Is Skirt Steak the Same as Flank Steak?

While they have a few similarities, these are actually two different cuts of beef. Both are long, narrow cuts, but skirt steak comes from the diaphragm muscles while flank steak comes from the abdominal area under the loin. Skirt steak is a thinner cut.

How Long Does it Take to Cook a Skirt Steak in an Air Fryer?

This depends on your desired level of doneness. Skirt steak is best served medium-rare, which only requires cooking 3 minutes per side for a total of 6 minutes. 

For medium, you can increase the time to 8 minutes total. For well done, you would cook for 10 to 12 minutes total. However, I’d advise against cooking skirt steak to anything past medium.

I recommend using an Instant Meat Thermometer to get the skirt steak every time.

air fryer skirt steak cut into slices

What to Serve with Air Fryer Carne Asada

What Temperature Do You Cook Carne Asada To?

Medium-rare means cooking your skirt steak to anywhere between 130 and 135 degrees F. Medium would be 135 to 145 degrees F, although I would strongly suggest staying on the lower end. Anything past that is going to give you a drier, chewier steak.

sliced air fryer skirt steak with lime wedges

Can I Cook This Recipe with Flank Steak Instead?

You bet! Just keep in mind that this cut is going to have a different cooking time and temperature than skirt steak. I recommend checking out my Air Fryer Flank Steak recipe if you want to know more!

Tips to Make the Most Delicious Carne Asada in the Air Fryer

  • Give the meat at least 4 hours to marinate. This will help break down the tougher fibers so you get a juicier, more tender piece of steak.
  • Don’t cook the steak past medium. Because skirt steak is a very lean cut of beef, cooking it too long will cause the meat to dry out and become chewy.
  • Make sure to flip the steak halfway through the cook time to ensure it cooks evenly.
air fryer skirt steak slices with lime wedges

How to Reheat Skirt Steak in the Air Fryer

I recommend using this leftover steak in our Carne Asada Quesadilla recipe — it’s delicious! But if you would like to reheat it as is, follow the directions below.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay the leftover carne asada in the air fryer basket.
  3. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until heated through.

You can learn more tips about reheating steak in your air fryer here.

Can You Cook Frozen Skirt Steak in the Air Fryer?

You bet! You’ll just want to increase the cooking time to ensure it cooks all the way through. 

For more details about cooking frozen steak, make sure to check out my Ribeye Steak in the Air Fryer post and scroll down to the section about cooking the steak from frozen!

Other Air Fryer Beef Recipes You’ll Love:

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Yield: 4 servings

Air Fryer Skirt Steak (Carne Asada)

sliced air fryer skirt steak with lime wedges

The marinade turns this tough cut of beef into a juicy and flavorful air fryer skirt steak! Perfect for busy weeknights.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Marinate Time 4 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 4-ounce can green chiles, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound skirt steak (or flank steak)

Instructions

  1. In a measuring cup, combine olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, chiles, garlic, cilantro, salt, cumin, oregano, paprika, and pepper. Place the steak in a gallon-size zipper bag and pour the liquid into the bag. Seal and marinate for at least 4 hours (or overnight), turning the bag at least once. 
  2. Remove the steak from the marinade and allow it to come to room temperature for at least 20 to 30 minutes. 
  3. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.
  4. Place the skirt steak in the air fryer and cook for 3 minutes. Flip the steak, then cook for an additional 3 minutes (for medium-rare; increase time to 8 minutes total for medium, 10 to 12 for well).
  5. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent it with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving

Notes

How to Reheat Skirt Steak in the Air Fryer

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lay the leftover carne asada in the air fryer basket.
  3. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until heated through.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 469Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 964mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 29g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

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