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Flank v. Hanger Steak

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  • Alex Wolfman Mar 9, 1998 04:36 PM
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Can anyone tell me the difference, in terms of taste, texture and cut, between flank and hanger steaks. I have heard from some that they are one in the same, but others insist that they are in fact very different. I am looking for some insight to set the record straight (actually, I am getting married in a few months, and we want to have some type of beef, but both me and my fiance are tired of seeing filet on every wedding menu. Flank and hanger are two of the leading contenders). Thanks.

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  1. Flank and hanger steaks come from different parts of
    the animal's anatomy. Flank is fairly easy to get but
    hanger is the cut that the butcher used to save for
    himself and his family. (I think it's easier for
    consumers to find nowadays.) The flank is from the
    rear portion of the steer and I believe the hanger
    steak is located nearer the creature's diaphragm.
    I like your idea about serving a different cut of beef
    than the usual filet or prime rib. I'd vote for hanger
    but either flank or hanger steak would be a nice change
    from the norm. (By the way, congratulations.)

    6 Replies
    1. re: Christina Z.

      Thanks Christina! You sure do know your beef. You must either have a restauranteur or butcher in the family.

      From your explanation, I would guess that hanger is likely much more expensive. Regardless of price, however, which would you choose. Also, are there any other cuts of beef which you would recommend for the grill. We had the caterer prepare skirt steak and it tasted great. The only problem, is that it didn't look as appetizing (strictly in terms of presentation) as other cuts of meat because it was in strips, and I guess I am used to a larger piece of meat on my plate. But we found that it had more flavor than the filet, which the caterer also prepared for our test run.

      Thanks again for your help.

      1. re: alex wolfman
        c
        Christina Z. (wish there was a butcher in my family)

        I'm not really sure but I think skirt steak is similar
        to hanger steak and that they are both delicious. Yes,
        you're right, they are not as pretty to look at as
        a filet. In terms of presentation, a Delmonico steak
        looks nice and the favor can't be beat. This kind of
        steak is also called a New York Strip, Sirloin or
        Kansas City steak and is just great grilled.
        (My mouth is watering just thinking about it.) Many
        steak lovers prefer this cut of beef above all others.
        If you're looking for an unusual beef presentation
        that makes use of skirt steak, consider fajitas.
        They are quite popular and I don't people really
        consider that dish "exotic" anymore. Also,
        because fajitas are usually served sizzling and smoking
        on a metal plate, the presentation is quite dramatic.
        However, this is very untraditional and might not
        be suitable if most of your guests are expecting
        traditional wedding fare.

        1. re: Christina Z. (wish there was a butcher in my family)
          j
          jonathan gold

          While hanger steak is a delicious cut
          of meat, it is practically inedible unless
          it is absolutely blood-rare (which will
          undoubtedly freak out a certain percentage
          of your revelers), and it can have a strong,
          organ-y taste that a lot of people love, but
          can also be a little offputting.

          If you're looking for something a little
          different, why not grill up sliced leg of
          lamb, which cooks in seconds, is hard for even
          a caterer to ruin, and is unbelievably good.

          1. re: Christina Z. (wish there was a butcher in my family)
            t
            trifon abatgis

            what cut is a hanger steak

            1. re: trifon abatgis
              s
              Steven Stern

              After many threads on these boards where many people admitted they didn't actually know the answer to this question, it was finally explained definitively by Anthony Bourdain. See link below.

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

          2. re: alex wolfman

            Alex,

            Flank steak is wonderful marinated, especially soy/onion type of marinades. It must be sliced with care. If you do it incorrectly, it can be chewy and gristly. The tradeoff for these problems is wonderful flavor.

            Hanger steak is probably the better bet for simple grilling. It's delicious.

            Dave