Grilled Skirt Steak with Pickle Juice brine

Have you been pouring out the contents of your pickle jar once all the pickles have been eaten? Well stop that! Not only are you missing out on picklebacks (taking a shot of pickle juice after a shot of bourbon), you’re also throwing out a great tenderiser!

Yup, believe it. It’s like a perfectly pre-seasoned pour over for meat. The salt and garlic flavors are already there and the acid in the juice acts as a great meat tenderiser, helping particularly to break down tougher cuts.

I’m having a bit of a love affair with skirt steak at the moment – it’s cheaper than flank, has a beautiful natural marbling and it’s very level in thickness and size so it always cooks up evenly. Skirt has to be cooked right, and does best at medium-rare (140-145f) otherwise it can be a little tough, but that’s why it’s perfect for use with the pickle juice brine!

You know what else is great about this recipe? Sometimes I’m not organised enough to start marinading hours in advance. Or maybe I haven’t figured out exactly what I feel like eating for dinner- who knows if I’ll want tacos or burgers or salad (lol! j/k) This brine only needs a minimum of an hour, so it’s totally do-able at the last minute. But caution – don’t brine your meat for more than 3 hours or it’ll start to break down too far (and rest assured, that’s a pretty gross consistency…).

For the cooking tools: I’m in love with my PK Grill for hot searing, the cast aluminum allows the unit to get hotter than any other charcoal grill I’ve tried, and means I can get a badass char while keeping the interior perfectly pink. My Thermapen is another crucial tool for this method, and will give you a super accurate calibrated read of the internal temp (within 3 seconds!) but I also like that the probe is very slim, meaning you don’t need to leave huge stab marks in whatever you’re cooking, plus it’s more precise for these thinner cuts too. FYI – I use the leftover juice from my homemade pickles, plus a combo of dijon and Whataburger mustard, BECAUSE I CAN!

Give this a try at your next grilling session – it cooks up so easy it also makes a great snack while you’re waiting for the bigger stuff to be ready.

Recipe below:

Pickle Juice brined Skirt Steak

Use this brine for between 1-3 hours. Don’t leave it on any longer or the meat will break down too much.  


  • 1-2 skirt steaks
  • 2 cups pickle juice (or enough to cover meat)
  • 3 tbspn dijon mustard
  • 2 tbspn Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large onion (red, white or brown), sliced
  • Salt


  1. Place onion slices in the bottom of a long shallow pan/container.
  2. Season the meat with salt and smear with mustard on both sides, then place on top of onions.
  3. Add in Worcestershire and pickle juice, cover and put in fridge for 1-3 hours.
  4. Remove meat from fridge at least 20-30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come up to room temperature.
  5. Cook on a searing hot grill for just a few minutes either side until the internal temperature reaches 140f. If you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure the coals are white hot and bunched closely together under the cook surface.
  6. Remove from heat, cover with foil and allow meat to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. Cut against the grain into 1/2″ slices and enjoy!

By Jess Pryles

Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She’s a live fire cook, author, and TV personality with a particular passion for beef and meat science. She’s also a respected authority on Texas style barbecue. Born in Australia, she now resides in Austin, Texas.
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