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Nov 5, 2007 11:28 AM

what the heck is 'hanger steak'?

we are heading to Sonoma valley in December after I run my first ever marathon in Sacramento. I tend to have steak cravings after that kind of exercise. I have been trying to find a place to have steak near where we are staying (Healdsburg, have posted with no luck), all I can come up with is a plethora of 'hanger steak'. I am from Alberta, pretty attached to a good steak, also a self professed steak snob, nothing less than a NY strip. I have never even heard of hangar steak....anyone tried it? will I 'approve'??


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  1. hanger steak is a cut of meat that is cut from the area between the diaphragm and the rib. In France, it's called onglet.

    It is somewhat similar in texture to a skirt steak, or a flank steak, in that it is a grainy, flavorful cut, but not quite like either.

    You can see a picture and description here:

    3 Replies
    1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

      interesting, I have never seen that on a menu up here, or at the store for that matter. Is it any good?

      1. re: cleopatra999

        Frankly, I'd reather have a skirt steak, or a flank. I find the hanger to be a bit more "livery" in flavor (like the difference between a strip steak, and a sirloin.).

        You see it in stores by me, but it is usually associated with bistro style french is the cut you'd expect in a bistro if the menu just reads "steak".

        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

          Some say it has a bit of kidney-like flavor - which it is near.

          As with similar textured steaks, you need to cut it across the grain.


    2. Here's a pretty good definition.

      Some of my DCs had it at Ming Tsai's restaurant in MA and *loved* the way he prepared it. I just watched. Don't eat red meat, with a few exceptions.

      1. Lovely flavor. One of my favorite cuts. That said, if you're standard is the NY, you may find the texture a bit too tough. Personally, I prefer a robust flavor to a tender texture, but I realize that I'm in the minority.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Morton the Mousse

          That's exactly why we like hangar, flank and skirt steak - great flavor!

          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            My family and circle of friends agree with you MTM. Great flavor which holds up well to marination and grill, especially when aged a bit.

            Slice and served as an open-face steak sandwich, this cut is wonderful with fried onion rings! Makes me salivate just thinking about it!

          2. They called it the butchers steak, as there is only one to a cow, and the butcher knew how good it was and took it home for himself!!! I for one love the Flat Iron steak. I just found out about it this summer, and would take it over a Flank steak any day. Very tender, does not need to be marinated, and cooks on a grill in a few minutes. YUM!!!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mother of four

              Did you know that with a little knife work, you can cut your own flat-irons for less than three bucks a pound?

              Check out this link:

              I have a book by Merle Ellis that has all kinds of great tips for eating better for less by learning how to do some cutting from cuts you can buy at the butcher/grocery store.

            2. I like a ribeye or a good old fashioned T-bone from time to time, but the hanger steak is, to my palate (and along with skirt), the most delicious. The big beef flavor is wonderful and I, for one, love the greater striation in the meat (I am definitely not a fine-grained filet mignon person). I think the hanger steak is not as "tough" as the skirt or flank, as it seems to me to not be as exercised a muscle. We've had wonderful luck with a brief marinade of choice, and a grilling to med. rare. Try it, at least, as it's a delicious cut. Although, I'd hate to see the price go up more with popularity. In that case...hmmm...maybe don't try it. ;-)

              7 Replies
              1. re: cayjohan

                Hmmmm...interesting. so i wonder why it is not on menus up here in the beef capital?? is it just becoming more popular? tenderloin has always been my absolute favorite, but I guess I can venture outside the box. as I said I have not even seen it in grocery stores. maybe I will have to ask about it. If i am exploring this option, I should make sure it is marinaded and grilled to med rare? is medium okay?

                  1. re: cleopatra999

                    As Mother of four posted, the reason you don't generally see it on menus is because there is only one per steer.

                    1. re: cleopatra999

                      I think marinating should be to one's taste. You might be fine with an s&p treatment. We just like a little garlic and fresh lime and olive oil and herbs on ours, since we mainly have it in the summer as a grill item. I personally wouldn't grill the hanger too long, as I think those thicker muscle fibers bunch up at high grill heat and give you a tougher "chew;" plus the flavor is so good at med. rare. A longer cook is certainly not going to ruin the flavor, if you like a longer cook for your palate. Talk to your butcher and play with the cut - it's great if you like any sort of steak sandwich, tacos, or, as we often use it, in SE asian applications after the grilling. Cut thinly and across the grain, though, just as in a London broil.

                      1. re: cayjohan

                        One thing to keep in mind - there is a tough layer of connective tissue across the middle. Last time I cut it out, dividing the steak into two pieces. Removing it isn't hard, easier than removing silver skin from a pork tenderloin, for example.


                        1. re: paulj

                          Many hanger fanciers like that tendon and object to butchers removing it unbidden, btw.

                      2. re: cleopatra999

                        If your benchmark is tenderloin, it may not be the cut for you. Hanger is the anti-tenderloin.

                        That is, it has a pronounced grain and is full of flavor; tenderloin is noted for an absence of both.

                        It should not be cooked to more than medium rare. It needs no marinade; marinades supply flavor (which this cut does not need) but do not tenderize, popular misconceptions notwithstanding.