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Apr 23, 2008 12:36 AM

bavette & onglet

whats the difference between a bavette and an onglet ?

as far as i am aware the onglet is the skirt steak which hangs from the diaphragm. i recently saw oliver rowe on tv explaining that an onglet can come from two differenmt parts of the animal ?

i have been told the bavette is an extension of the flank which i have presumed is the thick flank found on the indside of the front of the back leg.


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  1. Short answer:

    Onglet = hanger (or hangar) steak
    Bavette d'aloyau = skirt steak
    Bavette de flanchet = flank steak

    Long answer:

    The problem is that there are no universally followed translations of French steak names into English. But this is a topic that has interested me for some time, and here's what I've come up with.

    Strictly speaking, onglet is hanger steak - it's a piece than comes from between the kidneys, which helps account for its particularly bold flavor. The real thing is hard to find as there's only one per cow. It's also unusually dark, so if you're looking at a bright red piece of meat it is almost certainly not a true onglet.

    There are two cuts called bavette in France: bavette d'aloyau, a flat muscle from the side of the animal which is usually called skirt steak here but is also (confusingly) sometimes sold as hanger; and bavette de flanchet, which is the extension of the flank you refer to above and is sold as either flank or skirt, depending on the knowledgeability (and integrity!) of the butcher.

    Hope this helps.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BobB

      Great answer. The only things I'd add are that (1) the problem stems from the different approaches to butchering the animal, which produces cuts in one system that don't exist in the other (though onglet is exactly the same cut as hanger steak) and (2) French butchers actually distinguish between three bavettes: bavette d'aloyau, bavette de flanchet and bavette à pot au feu, a stewing cut that surrounds the bavette d'aloyau "like a sandwich" (according to the Centre d'information des viandes).

      The CIV has a nifty Flash illustration that will help people visualize this. Go to and scroll to the bottom of the page. Then move your cursor over the various cuts to see their French names (onglet is 20, bavette d'aloyau 22 and bavette de flanchet 23). Click on a cut to pop up a description, recipe ideas, etc. (in French only).

      1. re: carswell

        I know it's an old thread, but interesting.. To add more confusion to the mix really there are two skirt cuts in American Butchery: Inside Skirt, the Transversus
        abdominis as well as Outside Skirt, the costal muscular portion of the