Hibs defender David Gray and striker Farid El Alagui - who spent last season on loan at Tannadice - made their debuts in front of the Easter Road faithful, and the latter soon threatened, heading over from an early corner.
The lively Alex Harris went close before Sam Stanton's header was saved by Radoslaw Cierzniak who was tested again by Harris early in the second-half.
Hibs had a goal disallowed for offside before manager Alan Stubbs made half a dozen substitutions but it was a United replacement who was to make the biggest impression, midfielder Erskine producing a fine finish from 18 yards to win the game..
Hibs open their Championship campaign against Livingston on Saturday August 9 while Dundee United's first Premiership fixture is at Aberdeen on the following day.
Hull City target Andrew Robertson was at Easter Road but played no part and United manager Jackie McNamara admitted he was braced for the full-back's departure to the Premier League.
He told Sky Sports News: "We've accepted a bid from Hull and he will go down and speak to them on Monday and decide what's best for him and we'll take it from there. The lad's got a big decision to make and he's going down to speak to them and we will see what happens from there.
"Obviously from my point of view I would like to keep him at the club for a lot longer. But whatever decision he makes will be the right one for him."