What Is a Hanger Steak?

Everything you need to know about the budget-friendly cut of steak.

February 08, 2023

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Raw marbled black angus beef meat steak. White background. Top view. Copy space.

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Raw marbled black angus beef meat steak. White background. Top view. Copy space.

Photo by: Vladimir Mironov/Getty images

Vladimir Mironov/Getty images

By Alice K. Thompson for Food Network Kitchen

Alice is a contributing writer and editor at Food Network.

We’ve got everything you need to know about where hanger steak comes from, what it tastes like and how to cook it. Read on for all the juicy details.

What Is Hanger Steak?

Hanger steak is a long, flat, flavorful cut of steak reminiscent of flank steak and skirt steak, only more tender.

What Cut Is Hanger Steak?

Hanger steak is a flat V-shaped cut that comes from the plate (belly) of the cow or steer. It “hangs” just below the animal’s diaphragm, giving this connoisseurs’ cut its name. You might also see this full-flavored cut called butcher’s steak, since it’s said that butchers kept this under-appreciated steak for themselves, or hanging tenderloin. The steak is more well-known in France, where it’s a bistro staple known as onglet.

Although tasty and tender, hanger steak’s popularity has lagged behind other so-called flat steaks like skirt and flank. Rising beef prices and consumer openness to alternative cuts, however, have increased its profile. But you probably won’t find it at supermarkets; there’s only one hanger per animal, so mass-marketing hasn’t been realistic. Look for it at butcher shops or online.

What Does Hanger Steak Taste Like?

Hanger steak has full, deep, beefy flavor. It’s similar in taste to its cousins skirt steak and flank steak, with slightly more marbling than those cuts for a bit more richness. Hanger steak is bold enough to stand up to strong spicing and marinades, so it’s popular in highly seasoned dishes like tacos and with robust sauces like chimichurri.

Butchers choice steak Onglet  Hanging Tender beef meat. wooden background. Top view. Copy space.

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Butchers choice steak Onglet Hanging Tender beef meat. wooden background. Top view. Copy space.

Photo by: Vladimir Mironov/Getty Images

Vladimir Mironov/Getty Images

Is Hanger Steak Tender?

Hanger steak comes from a belly muscle that gets very little use so it’s naturally tender when properly cooked. The cut usually has good marbling (interior veins of fat), increasing its tenderness. But there’s a tough white membrane running down the middle of a whole steak. If your butcher hasn’t removed it, cut down along either side to get rid of it before cooking.

How Much Does a Hanger Steak Weigh?

A whole hanger steak weighs somewhere between 1 1/2 to 2 pounds. During trimming, a line of grisly membrane running down the middle is generally removed by the butcher, yielding two long, thin pieces, each around 3/4 to 1 pound.

Is Hanger Steak Expensive?

Although it’s no longer the secret bargain it once was once, hanger steak is still a good value. It’s typically much less expensive than cuts like strip, rib and tenderloin despite being as tender and flavorful. And it’s comparable in price to other flat steaks like skirt and flank while generally considered superior in flavor and texture to these.

How To Cook Hanger Steak

1. Marinate It: Although it’s not necessary, hanger steak benefits in tenderness and juiciness from marinating. Ideally a marinade should contain oil, salt and an acid for best penetration and searing. Marinate hanger steak for several hours and up to 24 if possible, but even a short marinade will improve texture and add great flavor and aroma.

2. Cook It Over High Heat: Hanger steak does best with short, intense heat, so think high-heat grilling, pan-searing or broiling.

3. Cook to Medium-Rare: Cook it to no more than medium-rare (130 to 135 degrees F). Hanger steak cooks quickly since it’s relatively thin, so watch carefully and don’t overcook it.

4. Rest It: Be sure to rest the meat for 5 to 10 minutes after cooking to let the juices resettle, then slice it thinly against the grain for tender results.

Hanger Steak Recipes

This image has been migrated from FGS and has been distributed to our partners.

This image has been migrated from FGS and has been distributed to our partners.

Here’s a taco recipe that puts hanger steak at its best: A quick citrus and spice marinade gives it juiciness and tons of flavor, and a fast sear in a hot cast-iron pan cooks it to a perfect medium rare.

entwine, May 2011

entwine, May 2011

Photo by: Yunhee Kim ©2011, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Yunhee Kim, 2011, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

This four-ingredient recipe shows off hanger steak at its simplest. The steak is rubbed with just salt and herbes de Provence, then grilled over direct and indirect heat and thinly sliced.

Geoffrey Zakarian makes Mediterranean Steak and Potatoes, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Geoffrey Zakarian makes Mediterranean Steak and Potatoes, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Both the steak and the potatoes are grilled in this recipe that bursts with flavor. Za’atar, feta, olives and lots of fresh herbs make it a standout.

Photo by: CON POULOS

CON POULOS

Dijon mustard forms the base for Anne Burrell’s easy treatment of beefy hanger steaks. The recipe uses a generous 3 pounds of steak, so leftovers are a delicious possibility: Terrific steak and eggs, tasty sandwiches or a main-course steak salad could be in your future.

Photo by: David Lang ©2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

David Lang, 2015, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Hanger steak’s rich flavor is a natural for zesty, herby chimichurri sauce. The steaks are paired with sweet fried plantains, but potatoes or rice would be excellent as well.

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