Grilled Bison Skirt Steak

Jane Bruce

Taken from the Bison’s short plate, the skirt steak is a tender cut of meat that is lower in costs than other cuts. Simple seasonings such as lemon zest, garlic, and red pepper flakes add a mild flavor to this grilled steak, letting bison’s natural and rich flavor speak for itself.


Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 Pound bison skirt steak
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon pepper
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil


Calories Per Serving258

Folate equivalent (total)5µg1%

Riboflavin (B2)0.3mg18.7%

5 Tips for Cooking the Perfect Skirt Steak

On Chopped Teen Tournament, four young chefs battled for the final spot in the Chopped Teen finale and a chance to win the $25,000 prize. The Chopped Champion hopefuls put their cooking skills to the test, turning pairings, such as Linzer torte cookies and rabbit in a can, into something worthy of the critical judges’ plates and palates.

In the entree round the three remaining competitors opened their baskets to find bison skirt steak — not so unusual, considering the canned rabbit the contestants worked with in the appetizer round. However, this skirt steak proved to be the undoing for some and the salvation for others when it came time to judge their technique.

Skirt steak is a tricky cut for some cooks. It requires knowing a little bit about the meat before your start to cook. For one, it’s thin. It needs only to kiss the grill to be cooked through. Second, it has lots of connective tissue. Slicing the steak is as important as the cooking temperature.

Quick cooking methods work best, which is why Shawna’s deep-fried dice roll worked out well, but the intense direct heat from grilling is also an excellent option — Eliana’s chosen method. Unfortunately for her, the competition didn’t leave much time for proper resting.

If you want to cook a skirt steak, even a bison skirt steak, like a Chopped Champion, follow these simple tips:

1: As with any piece of meat, season well.

2: Heat is key: hot pan, hot grill. Everything simply must be preheated.

3: Skirt steak is thin and cooks in just a few minutes, one to five minutes per side depending on thickness.

4: Rest your steak, so the juices have time to redistribute and don’t run out onto your cutting board.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ pounds bison skirt steak
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons finely shredded lemon zest
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 25 to 30 6- to 8-inch skewers*
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper

Cut bison skirt steak across the grain into 1-inch wide strips. Place bison strips in a resealable plastic bag set in a shallow bowl.

For marinade, combine oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, the 3 cloves garlic, the 1 teaspoon salt, the oregano, and the 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Pour marinade over bison strips. Seal bag turn to coat bison strips. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours, turning bag occasionally.

Drain bison strips discard marinade. Thread bison strips accordion-style onto skewers, trimming as necessary.

For a charcoal or gas grill, place bison skewers on the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling. (Or place skewers on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil for 3 to 4 inches from the heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning once.) Serve with Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce.

Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce: Combine yogurt, cucumber, green onion, the 2 cloves minced garlic, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

* If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes drain before using.

Note: Recipe developed and tested by the Better Homes and Gardens(R) Test Kitchen using High Plains Bison products.

Bison Steak Recipes

In a heavy bottomed sauce pot on medium heat melt the butter and add the leeks.

Season with salt and pepper, put the pot on low and slowly simmer the leeks until buttery. Keep warm.

Season the bison filet and char on a hot grill to the desired temperature. After cooking allow to rest for 5 minutes.

For the rosemary oil: warm oil and rosemary gently in a small sauté pan to infuse the flavor

To finish: divide the leeks evenly in the center of two dinner plates, place the bison filet on top, garnish with the oil, sprig of rosemary and smoked salt.

Bison Strip-Steak with Spicy Red Onion Marmalade

Chef Brandt Evans l Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern, Cleveland, OH

1 can of Unsweetened Coconut milk

1 Tablespoon minced Garlic

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh Rosemary

Season Bison Strip Steak with salt and black pepper generously on both sides.

Place on heated grill cook each side for about 5 minutes to achieve a Medium Rare to Medium or to about 130 internal temperature.

In a sauce pot add olive oil and sauté onions, garlic till translucent.

Add sugar and coconut milk and curry paste (if you do not like spicy food then do not add Curry Paste or cut in by half) and whisk until paste is dissolved. Reduce until you have a thick glaze consistency, fold in fresh chopped Rosemary.

Place Steak on plate and top with the Red Onion Marmalade and serve.


Served with roasted green chili potato purée and Maple Nut Brown Beer – mushroom demi place

baby spinach salad with Red Camper’s Deliciousness Colorado Whiskey – peach vinaigrette

Served at a National Bison Association Annual Benefit Dinner

Chef Patricia A. Belaire l Colorado Culinary Academy

Chef Mike Wills l Kitchen Table Cooking School

2 C. Baby Spinach, dried and stored chilled

½ oz. Red Camper’s Deliciousness Colorado Whiskey – Peach jam

2 oz. Goat cheese, crumbled

½ oz. Walnuts, toasted, chopped

Emulsify vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and reserve. Dress spinach with vinaigrette, adjust salt/pepper, plate and top with cheese and nuts.


1 lb. Baking potatoes, medium starch and mealy like Idaho

2 oz. Butter (cut into ½ inch cubes left a room temp)

2 oz. Roasted Anaheim chilies or Poblano or a blend, small diced

1 ea. Shallot, diced (or onion)

2 ea. Garlic cloves, minced

¼ lb. Cremimi mushrooms, thinly sliced

¼ C. Tommy Knockers Maple Nut Brown Ale

1 C. Beef stock, or more if needed

1 Tbsp. Heavy cream or cold butter chunks

Salt and pepper, as needed

1. Peel and cut potatoes into 1” cubes. Place in a pot of cold water

2. Bring water and potatoes to a boil then add salt. Reduce to simmer and cook until tender. Be careful not to hydrolyze (saturated with water) the product by over cooking

3. Drain the potatoes then place on a sheet pan and dry them in a 350º oven for a few minutes

4. Purée in a food mill or ricer then pass through a tamis for a super fine purée

5. Flavor with hot cream or milk, room temperature butter, and roasted chilies

6. Season with salt and pepper

7. Hold in bain marie or finish potatoes to order over the stove by adding the above ingredients

1. Combine flour and butter in a pan. Melt. Cook to blonde

1. Season bison fillets and season both sides with salt and pepper

2. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over high heat. Once hot, add the bison and sear until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the pan – Finish cooking in oven to 130˚F internal temp.

3. Reduce the heat of the pan to medium and add the butter

4. Once melted add the shallots and the garlic and sauté until translucent

5. Then add the mushrooms and sauté the until the liquid is evaporated and the mushrooms are tender, about 8 minutes

6. Deglaze the pan with the beer by adding it to the pan while scraping up the browned bits. Reduce the beer by half

7. Then add the beef stock to the pan and simmer on low

8. Add ½ of the roux and bring sauce to a boil

9. Finish with cream or cold butter

Hickory Grilled Bison Tenderloin

4 Bison tenderloin, 5 ounces each

1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 Tablespoon Garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon Rosemary, fresh, rough chopped

1 Teaspoon cracked Black Pepper

1 Quart Hickory Wood Chips for grilling

1. Marinate bison steaks overnight in the refrigerator with oil, garlic, rosemary and black pepper.

2. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator, and remove the large pieces of rosemary. Then season with salt and pepper on all sides of bison. Allow the steaks to sit at room temperature for twenty minutes to allow the salt to dilute and penetrate the meat.

3. For grilling of the steaks, you will need to soak the wood chips in warm water for 30 minutes prior to grilling. The wood chips should be added to your charcoal five minutes prior to grilling to allow them to burn and produce the necessary smoke you will need for the flavor in the steaks.

4. Grill steaks on each side for approximately five-eight minutes for a medium rare steak, depending on thickness of the pieces. Grill longer for more more doneness. Remove from grill and allow to rest for five minutes prior to serving.

Wild Huckleberry Reduction

1 Cup Huckleberries, fresh when in season or frozen

1 teaspoon Bitter Chocolate

1/2 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Mirepoix (medium dice of carrot, celery, onion, leek)

1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. In a heavy sauce pot, sauté the mirepoix for 8 minutes on medium heat in the oil.

2. Add the Port Wine, 1/2 cup of the huckleberries, and demi glace, allowing this to reduce by one third, about twenty minutes. Strain through a sieve and return to a clean sauce pot. Can be set aside in the refrigerator for as long as three days.

3. Prior to serving, bring sauce to simmer and add the chocolate, remaining huckleberries, and butter

Blackberry Port Sauce

The ultimate serving sauce with grilled bison!

Chef Mick Rosacci l Tony’s Market, Denver, CO

1 Tablespoon minced shallots

½ cup vintage character or ruby Port

¼ cup demi glace (suggested: “More Than Gourmet” instant demi glace)

1-2 teaspoons brown sugar or honey

Sauté minced shallots in olive oil until soft. Add port and simmer 5 minutes. Add fresh berries (reserving a few for garnish) and demi glace, simmering and smashing with a fork for about 10 minutes. Balance acidity with brown sugar or honey. When sauce tastes rich and thick, strain and reserve. Variation: For a creamier sauce, whisk in 1 Tablespoon of fat free sour cream into cooled sauce. Serve at room temperature.

How to grill bison steak on a barbecue.

Bison steaks taste best when grilled to rare or medium (still pink in the centre) so avoid overcooking. This meat is high in iron, giving it a great taste but over-cooking will make it taste like liver and you don’t want that.

The expert butchers at Sayersbrook Bison take great care to uniformly cut the meat, allowing the steak to cook more evenly.

Remove the steaks from the fridge one hour before barbecuing.

The best way to barbecue a bison steak is a simply as possible – sea salt and ground pepper with a spray of olive oil and voila you have a masterpiece. Even pepper is optional. For charcoal barbecuing, use briquettes arranging them on one side of the grill. there should be no direct charcoal heat coming from the other side of the BBQ. When the coals are covered in a grey ash, the steaks are ready for grilling.

For a gas grill: preheat one side of the gas barbecue on high heat for at least 15 minutes. It has to be hot 475° – 500°F. It’s easier to get the heat from a charcoal grill but many of us like the convenience of the gas grill. Brush the grill grate with oil. Once the steaks are cooked let them rest for 5 minutes. The steak continues to cook after it is removed from the heat so consider this when grilling for a rare steak.

TIP! Using a fork to turn the steaks punctures the meat, Use tongs or a spatula instead

Charcoal Grilled Bison Skirt Steak with Spring Inspired Chimichurri

Charcoal Grilled Bison Skirt Steak with Spring Inspired Chimichurri

- 1 ½ lbs Buffalo Skirt Steak

- Marinate overnight with 1/4 cup of good olive oil, a couple of sprigs of thyme, 4 garlic cloves, 1/4 jalapeño sliced, and 6 whole scallions. Dry toast all the ingredients(not the steak or olive oil!) in a skillet to really wake up the aromatics, then transfer to an appropriate size dish, add olive and the bison skirt steak. Wrap, refrigerate and marinate overnight.

- When ready to grill, heat your grill (in this case a charcoal kettle grill) until it’s hot, real hot! We’ll be cooking this thin steak hot and quick!

- Pull the marinated steak out of the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Wipe off excess marinade.

- Season the steak liberally with good sea salt, that’s it!

- Cook over the hot coals until desired doneness (we recommend medium and under). Rest the steak for at least 5 minutes. Carve against the grain with a sharp knife.

- Transfer to a warm platter and liberally sauce with the Spring Inspired Chimichurri (recipe to follow)

Spring Inspired Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce

- 1 bunch of scallions or spring onions, thinly sliced

- 1 jalapeño (preferably charred lightly over the coals), minced

- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped

- Few sprigs of thyme leaves, chopped

- Few sprigs of mint leaves, chopped

- 1 cup good extra virgin olive oil

- 1 tsp. course ground black pepper

- Combine to form an oily, herbaceous sauce! Have lots of roasted potatoes or grilled bread around for soaking up the extra!

Recipe and Images provided by: Chef Ambassador Eric Bartle (@wildernesshunter)

Grilled Bison Skirt Steak with Quick Pickles Recipe

After an amazing Food Trip to Alberta Bison Ranch, Cela and I were energized to get back in the GetJoyfull kitchen.

Adding to our excitement was a visit from executive chef and culinary visionary, Shane Chartrand. Shane shared his recipe for “Grilled Bison Skirt Steak with Quick Pickles.” A rustic, family-style dish, that’s sure to be an ongoing favourite.

If you aren’t already – please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @GetJoyfull, where I share behind the scenes fun as Cela and I embark on different GetJoyfull adventures.

Thanks so much for watching and remember to Fill up on Family Time.


Bison Skirt Steak

  • 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) Fresh Oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) Shallot, finely chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Quick Pickles

  • 2 English cucumbers, sliced lengthwise
  • 4 Carrots, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) Pickling spice
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) Sea salt
  • 1 small White onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) Wildflower honey or white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) Whole peppercorns
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) Water
  • 1-2 sprigs Fresh dill

Recipe By

Shane Chartrand
Executive Chef at Sage.
Curator of progressive Indigenous cuisine.


PREP TIME: 30 minutes

COOK TIME: 8 minutes (steak), 1-2 hours (pickles)

SERVES: 2-3 people


Bison Skirt Steak:

  1. Prepare marinade and coat bison steak. Store in refrigerator in airtight container for 1 to 24 hours.
  2. Preheat grill, or cast iron skillet on high. Add skirt steak and cook for 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. Remove bison from skillet and allow meat to rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice into long strips, against the grain. Serve family style on large platter with grainy mustard and crusty sourdough bread.

Quick Pickles:

  1. Slice cucumber, white onion and carrots.
  2. Prepare pickling liquid: add water, vinegar, pickling spice, whole peppercorns, fresh dill, honey and sea salt to wide-bottom saucepan.
  3. Add vegetables to saucepan/pickling liquid and cook for 5-10 minutes on medium-high. Refrigerate cooked mixture, for approximately 1-2 hours, or until completely cooled and flavors have intensified.

Serve on a platter “family style” with mustard and pickles “piled” on top. Enjoy!

What You'll Need For Grilling Skirt Steak

  • 2 pounds skirt steak
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 small shallot minced - This should equate to roughly 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil - Feel free to use an oil lower in fat such as vegetable oil. However, I strongly recommend olive oil because it adds a richer flavor to the marinade.
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 2 pads of butter cut into small pieces (optional)

Save this recipe in your Cave Tools BBQ app or download other recipes from the community recipes exchange!

Step 1: Marinating The Skirt Steak

To make your marinade, place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. If you like things a little spicier, go ahead and add the chili powder as well. You may be wondering why you've added mustard to a red wine marinade and the answer is simple. The marinade you're making is a suspension - a mixture of liquid(s) and solid particles that are large enough to sink. The mustard acts as an emulsifier to help blend together the oil and vinegar as well as to keep your spices evenly dispersed. Let the marinade sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine before giving it one final round of whisking.

Take your skirt steak and use a sharp knife to score both sides against the grain roughly 1/8 of an inch deep at 1-1/2 inch intervals. This will help create more surface area for your marinade and make it easier to penetrate the meat completely. Place your steaks in a gallon ziplock bag and pour in the marinade. Take about a minute to massage the marinade into the meat, then seal the bag and place in the refrigerator. It's a good idea to place the bag into a bowl to prevent a mess in case it has a leak. Let the steaks marinade for at least 6-8 hours, although I prefer overnight. The longer the marinating time, the more flavor the steaks absorb.

Skirt steak - sometimes known as Hanger steak - actually comes in two different cuts: the outside cut and the inside cut. The inside is the thinner and tougher cut as well as being the cheaper of the two. The outside cut is generally considered the more desirable because it's thicker and has a higher fat content that gives it more flavor. However, outer cuts may be harder to find since the vast majority end up in commercial kitchens. If you can source an outer cut, do so! Just remember these cuts have the membrane still attached which will need to be removed before marinating.

Step 2: Grilling The Skirt Steak

Prep and preheat your grill for indirect heat. If you've never set up a grill for indirect heat before, don't worry because it's easy. Indirect heat means there is no heat source directly under the food. The coals or gas burners on the outsides of the grill are lit and the food is placed in the center. For this recipe, you will be cooking on direct heat to start so don't put your coals so close to the walls that you can't fit the steaks over them.

While your grill preheats, take the steaks out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature. This helps to ensure they will cook evenly. Taking care to save the marinade, remove the steaks and place on direct heat. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side for rare (internal temperature should be 120 degrees F). If you prefer medium rare (130-135 degrees F), place the steaks on indirect heat and close the lid for 2-3 minutes. I don't recommend cooking skirt steak any more than medium rare due to its habit of becoming extremely tough beyond that. Remove your steaks from the grill and let them rest for 5-10 minutes so the juices redistribute evenly. Cut the steaks across the grain and serve.

If you want to check to see how done your steaks are just by touch, there is a popular and usually reliable method I've used since I learned to grill in a Chicago steakhouse. Start by making an "okay" sign by touching your thumb and forefinger together. Now poke the meaty part of your palm at the base of your thumb. That is what a rare steak feels like. Touch your middle finger and thumb for medium rare, ring finger and thumb for medium well, and pinky and thumb for well done. Quick, easy, and accurate most of the time.

Step 3: Sauce (optional)

If you or those you are cooking for like a little extra sauce to dip your steak into, take your saved marinade and pour it into a pot. Add the cubed butter, stir, and bring everything to a boil for 3 minutes before removing from heat. Let the sauce cool, then serve directly over your steaks and enjoy.

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With only 3g of fat per 6 oz. steak, 180 calories and 38g protein, this steak is incredibly lean, but meaty. But even though there’s only 3g of fat per steak, you don’t lose out on any flavor or tenderness from this delicious tenderloin.

Even better, with this easy to follow recipe, there’s no need to be nervous about cooking the Bison Filet either! Check out our video and see the instructions written out below. I guarantee this will be one of the most tender delicious steaks you’ve ever enjoyed!

Bison Filet Mignon on the Cast Iron Skillet

1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.

2. Season both sides of filets with black pepper.

3. Add steaks to hot skillet and sear each side for one minute.

4. Add 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup dry red wine to pan. Turn down to medium low heat.