Rachael vs Guy Recipe: Skirt Steak

Early in the season, my grilled skirt steak (along with my roasted jalapeño polentahelped contribute to a win for Team Guy. I was going to slow braise short ribs, but there wouldn’t have been enough time. That was no problem because I love to grill. I worked as a head cook at a steak house in Canada, and I’ve cooked thousands of steaks. I can also proudly say I never had a steak returned in my two-year tenure there. So, needles to say, I’m comfortable with a grill. Still, nervous as heck, but kinda confident . . . I think.



  • 4 lbs. skirt steak
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 liter (33.8 oz. bottle) Coca-Cola
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 oz. bourbon
  • vegetable or grape seed oil


Place skirt steak strips out on a clean work surface or sheet pan. I like to stretch the strips out a little bit. This allows the seasoning to get into the cracks and grain of the steak. Also, when you put a steak on a hot grill it tenses up and constricts, this also helps trap seasoning in the meat. Pat dry both sides with paper towel or clean dish cloth. Salt and pepper the top, then flip and do the other side. Cover and put aside to warm up to room temperature.

In a large pot add your bottle of Coca-Cola, ketchup, and bourbon. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer. Reduce by half.

With a paper towel or dish cloth, wipe your grill with vegetable oil or grape seed oil. These have a higher smoke point then butter and olive oil. (TIP: Put one side of your grill on a medium to high flame, and the other side on low, or off altogether. This way you can cook and sear on one side, cook and warm on the other side. It gives you greater temperature control.)

Place steaks on the hot part of the grill. Listen for that magical sizzle. If you don’t hear the sizzle, take steak off and let your grill get hotter. After 2 minutes flip your steak, and salt & pepper it. After another 2 minutes flip again, and salt & pepper that side. The reason you do this is some of the seasoning will fall off when putting on the grill and flipping.

Now for the last 2 flips, we’re going to dunk our skirt steak into our Coca-Cola bourbon sauce, cook for 2 minutes, dunk again and put back on the grill. (TIP: The reason I do the dunk is; if I put any kind of sauce on a steak or chicken, the sauce will burn. The sauce cooks first, then the steak. Because of this you’ll have a piece of meat that looks cooked, and when you cut into it, it’s under done, and the sauce will be bitter.) This should have your steak cooked to about medium rare. Because skirt steak varies in thickness you may have to cut the thicker parts off, and leave them on the grill a little longer. The sweet and savory steak with a hit of heat from the roasted jalapeno polenta is a wonderful combination (my lamb and potatoes is a pretty rad combination too, if you haven’t tried that already).




In the comments below, please tell me about any other tips you have for perfect grilling!


 photos courtesy of FoodNetwork.com

Gourmet Dad
  • Kendall Fisher

    I’m not a huge meat fan (though I must admit this dish looks delish!). So i have to ask.. does anyone have any tips/advice for cooking veggies on the grill? I’ve always cooked asparagus in foil with a little oil and garlic salt.. but sometimes they end up burnt! NEED HELP, FROM ALL MY VEGGIE LOVERS OUT THERE!

  • Kim

    I love skirt steak but have never cooked it before. I’ve always ordered it out. I’ll have to try this, it looked great on tv. WTG Dean, great job.

  • Mel

    I just finished watching the finale and I have to say I’m soooo glad you won! You’re awesome and seem like such a nice guy! Good job and congrats!! P.S.. Where was your wife at the finale? My DVR cut off a little early but I didn’t see her there at the end. I love how you talked about her a lot and wanted to win for her!

  • LF

    Congratulations:)Well deserved !!!…and Good Luck !!!!!!

  • LinnTwinMomma

    Congratulations Dean! It was so great to see you win! What a great menu you put together.

    My husband makes the most tender and tasty baby back ribs and does it in an hour!
    He grills them in foil. Lay out a large sheet of heavy duty foil. Lay your rack of ribs in the center and fold edges up to form a bowl. Salt and pepper. Pour your bbq sauce all over and half a beer in. Then cover the ribs with a chopped red onion and two bunches of chopped cilantro. Fold up the foil and close it up so that it forms a large packet. Put it on a hot grill for about an hour. When they are cooked, take them out, remove veg and put the ribs directly on the grill to seer the outside and give it that good char.

    They are always super tasty and tender. And quick which is nice. Ribs usually take so much longer. Our four-year-old twin girls devour them. Last night one girl ate four ribs and the other ate three! Seriously, I couldn’t believe it!

  • Adeen1

    I have rooted for you ALL season!! Congratulations!! Love your family, you seem like awesome people!!

  • LinnTwinMomma

    Veggies are great on the grill. Zucchini, eggplant, squash, mushrooms, even tomatoes. They make baskets to put on the grill and you can saut

  • LinnTwinMomma

    I forgot to type, you can cut tomatoes in half and grill them cut side down.
    You can do the same with fruit and it is sooo delicious! Peaches, nectarines, pineapple, mango, whatever your heart desires.
    Happy grilling!

  • Rudy Alapag

    i think Dean should win the competition smoothly.

  • DebbieGville

    The Dragon’s Breath desserts for kids was so creative and cool. You wowed them at the birthday party. I really enjoyed watching you on Season 2. (I have seen both Seasons and the show is great!) Keep up the good work. wish you well in the future with chef training / restaurant management etc.
    P.S. You and Tori have a beautiful family.

  • Cookinglady

    Hi Dean, So glad you won Rachael VS Guy. You should really consider publishing your own cookbook. I would be the first one in line to buy one :)

  • Gabby

    Congratulations Dean!!! So happy you won!!!

  • Sarah

    Congratulations on your win! What a blessing :)

  • Stacey V

    Congratulations, Dean! It’s gotta feel great to get the validation that you’re a great chef! Also winning for charity is wonderful. I was hoping you’d win it all. I like following you and your beautiful family and thank you and Tori for sharing with your fans. Congratulations again!

  • Jules

    Congratulations Dean!!!!! Never a doubt you’d be the one to bring it home…totally the fave from episode #1. You’re an inspiration to so many.

  • Diana Lola

    I’m patiently waiting for your cookbook to come! :) Amazed about your passion to cook, as I’m sure Tori is too! Congrats on the big win…. Next page in the chapter will be a spot on Food Network with your own show! Keep the fire burning and the good food coming! ;)

  • gynyjo

    Congratulation gourmet dad

  • Cindi Warner

    Congrats Dean on your win! My money was on you but you did make me nervous when you were in the bottom 2! Enjoy your success!

  • Diane Buchanan

    So happy you won, I know you would not to sound like a mother witch I’m old enough to be your mom ,if i may say so my boy your looking whipped take some time to rest before you make yourself sick ~love Diane

  • Pati Szpyra

    Wow, I want to try this recipe now!

    You were my choice from the start! I’m so glad you won!