In the world of steak, where T-bones and ribeyes often steal the spotlight, there exists a hidden gem known as the hanger steak. This often-overlooked cut, also referred to as the "butcher's steak" or "onglet" in French cuisine, possesses a unique combination of flavor, tenderness, and affordability that makes it a favorite among steak aficionados.

Apart from its French origins, hanger steak finds a place in various international cuisines. In Argentina, it's the star of the "asado," a traditional barbecue. In Asian cuisine, it can be marinated in soy sauce, ginger, and garlic for a unique twist. We will delve into the fascinating world of hanger steak, covering its history, characteristics, cooking methods, and serving suggestions.

Understanding the Hanger Steak

The hanger steak has a rich history, especially in European cuisine. It was historically known as a butcher's secret, often kept for personal use by those in the know. Originating in France, it has been a staple in French bistros for centuries. In America, it has gained popularity in recent years as chefs and home cooks alike have discovered its potential.

The hanger steak, scientifically known as the diaphragm muscle, is located in the beef's plate section, hanging between the rib and the loin. Its name comes from its resemblance to a "hanging" piece of meat in the butcher shop. While it might not be the largest cut, it packs a punch in terms of flavor and texture. Let's get to know some characteristics of this cut to make a better decision when buying the hanger steak:

Flavor: Hanger steak is known for its robust, beefy flavor. It has a pronounced marbling and fat content, which contributes to its rich taste.

Texture: It boasts a fine, open-grained texture, making it tender when cooked correctly. However, it can become tough if overcooked.

Marbling: The intramuscular fat in hanger steak provides juiciness and flavor, making it ideal for grilling and pan-searing.

Size and Shape: Hanger steaks are relatively small, typically weighing between 8 to 16 ounces, and are shaped like a flat, rectangular strip.

Hanger Steak vs. Skirt Steak: Exploring the Differences

In the world of beef, hanger steak and skirt steak are often regarded as hidden treasures, celebrated for their unique flavors and versatility. However, they possess distinct characteristics that set them apart. Let's delve into the differences between these two delectable cuts. Hanger steak, also known as "butcher's steak" or "onglet," boasts a robust, beefy flavor. It's recognized for its pronounced marbling and intramuscular fat content, which contribute to its rich taste.

Hanger steak features a fine, open-grained texture, making it tender when cooked correctly. It can become tough if overcooked, so precision is key. Hanger steak is relatively small, typically weighing between 8 to 16 ounces. It has a flat, rectangular shape, resembling a hanging piece of meat, hence its name.

Skirt Steak:

Skirt steak offers a distinct flavor profile, characterized by its intense beefy taste. While it has some marbling, it's generally leaner compared to hanger steak.Skirt steak is known for its unique texture, featuring long muscle fibers and a hearty, meaty bite. When cooked correctly, it can be exceptionally tender and flavorful.

Skirt steak is elongated and thin, often with a slight curve. It's typically larger in size compared to hanger steak, making it a great choice for gatherings. Both hanger steak and skirt steak shine when cooked with high heat methods such as grilling, pan-searing, or broiling. Due to their thickness and marbling, they benefit from quick cooking to achieve optimal tenderness and flavor.

Hanger steak's rich, beefy flavor and tenderness make it ideal for serving as a standalone dish, drizzled with chimichurri sauce or paired with caramelized onions. It's perfect for steak enthusiasts seeking a premium experience. Skirt steak's intense beefy taste and unique texture make it a favorite for fajitas, tacos, and stir-fries. It absorbs marinades exceptionally well, enhancing its flavor profile in various international cuisines.

While hanger steak and skirt steak share the spotlight for their exceptional qualities, they cater to different culinary preferences. Hanger steak excels in delivering a rich, tender, and premium steakhouse experience, while skirt steak offers a hearty, beefy bite that's perfect for a wide range of dishes beyond traditional steaks. Both cuts have their place in the world of beef, waiting to be explored and savored.

Why You Need to Try Hanger Steak

This hanger steak is a culinary delight that's bound to win your heart for several compelling reasons. Hanger steak is renowned for its rich, beefy flavor, and this recipe does justice to that natural taste. The marinade, composed of olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice, enhances the steak's flavor, creating a harmonious blend of savory and umami notes. The result is a succulent and mouth watering steak that will leave your taste buds singing with joy.

While hanger steak boasts a taste and tenderness comparable to filet mignon and sirloin, it offers an economical alternative. This makes it perfect for any occasion, whether it's a weeknight dinner or a special celebration. You can impress your guests with a restaurant-quality dish without breaking the bank.

One of the best features of this recipe is its flexibility. You can marinate the steaks in advance, allowing them to soak up all the flavorful goodness. This means you can prepare the steaks the night before and have them ready to grill when you're ready to enjoy. It's a time-saving and convenient approach to meal planning.

Grilling hanger steaks takes the flavor to a whole new level. The high heat of the grill sears the meat, locking in its juices and creating a mouthwatering crust. As the marbled fat melts during grilling, it infuses every bite with moisture and an incredible depth of flavor. If you're a grill enthusiast, this cut is a steak lover's dream come true.

Preparing Hanger Steak for Cooking

Once you've procured the perfect hanger steak, it's time to prepare it for cooking. Begin by examining the steak and trimming any excess fat and connective tissue. While some fat is desirable for flavor and juiciness, removing any tough or excessive fat ensures a more enjoyable dining experience.

An image of seasoning a hanger steak on a cutting board, with various spices and a bowl of marinade

Seasoning: Season your hanger steak generously with salt and pepper. These simple seasonings enhance the natural flavors of the meat and create a delicious crust when seared. Be liberal with your seasonings, as the steak can handle it, but ensure an even distribution over the entire surface.

Resting: Allow the seasoned steak to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. This rest period allows the salt to penetrate the meat, enhancing its flavor and tenderness.

Marinating (Optional): While hanger steak is flavorful on its own, you can elevate its taste by marinating it. Consider using marinades with acidic ingredients like vinegar, citrus juice, or wine. The acid helps to tenderize the meat while infusing it with additional flavor. Marinate the steak for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight in the refrigerator, depending on your desired level of marination.

Patting Dry: Before cooking, pat the marinated or seasoned steak dry with a paper towel. Removing excess moisture from the surface ensures that the steak sears properly and develops a delicious crust when exposed to high heat.

By carefully selecting and preparing your hanger steak, you set the stage for a culinary masterpiece. Whether you're grilling, pan-searing, broiling, or using sous vide, these steps ensure that you make the most of this underrated cut's flavor and tenderness.

Stay tuned as we explore the various cooking methods available for hanger steak in the next chapter, unlocking the secrets to achieving the perfect hanger steak recipe.

Cooking Methods and Temperature Guide for Hanger Steak

Now that you've prepared your hanger steak to perfection, it's time to explore the exciting world of cooking methods. Hanger steak's versatility shines through when you experiment with different approaches, each offering a unique culinary experience. Whether you're a grilling enthusiast, a fan of pan-searing, or intrigued by sous vide, we've got you covered.


Grilling hanger steak over high heat is a classic and popular method. Preheat your grill to around 450°F (230°C), and grill the steak for approximately 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Due to its thinness, hanger steak cooks relatively quickly, so keep a close eye on it to achieve your desired level of doneness. Here's a temperature guide:

  • Rare: 125°F (51°C)
  • Medium-Rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C)
  • Medium: 140-145°F (60-63°C)
  • Medium-Well: 150-155°F (66-68°C)
  • Well-Done: 160°F (71°C) and above


For those without access to a grill or looking for an indoor cooking option, pan-searing is a fantastic choice. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat with a touch of olive oil or butter, and sear the steak for 2-3 minutes per side. This method results in a beautiful crust and captures the rich flavors of the meat.

Sous Vide:

Sous vide is a precision cooking method that ensures consistent results. Set your sous vide device to 129°F (54°C) and immerse the seasoned hanger steak in a vacuum-sealed bag. Cook it for 1-4 hours, allowing the meat to become incredibly tender. Once done, give it a quick sear for about a minute on each side to achieve a perfect finish.


Broiling hanger steak is another indoor option that delivers a delicious outcome. Place the steak on a broiler pan and broil it for about 4-5 minutes per side, keeping a close eye to prevent overcooking. The broiler's intense heat creates a flavorful sear on the surface.

Temperature Guide for Desired Doneness:

  • Rare: 125°F (51°C) - A cool, red center.
  • Medium-Rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C) - Warm, red center.
  • Medium: 140-145°F (60-63°C) - Pink center.
  • Medium-Well: 150-155°F (66-68°C) - Slightly pink center.
  • Well-Done: 160°F (71°C) and above - Little to no pink, fully cooked.

An image of cooking a seasoned hanger steak on a grill, with grill utensils and smoke

Each cooking method offers a unique experience, from the smoky char of grilling to the satisfying sizzle of pan-searing or the precision of sous vide. Depending on your preference and available equipment, choose the method that suits your taste and culinary adventure.

Perfecting Hanger Steak with a Meat Thermometer

Hanger steak, known for its robust flavor and tenderness, deserves precise cooking to achieve perfection. A meat thermometer is your key to unlocking its full potential. Choose a reliable meat thermometer, whether instant-read or digital probe, to ensure accurate readings.

Identify the thickest part of the hanger steak, usually the center. Insert the meat thermometer probe into this area without touching bone or fat. Avoid contact between the thermometer and the cooking surface.

Monitoring the Temperature

Watch the temperature closely as the hanger steak cooks. For optimal results, aim for medium-rare to medium doneness.

Reference the USDA recommended internal temperatures:

  • Rare: 125°F (51°C)
  • Medium-Rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C)
  • Medium: 140-145°F (60-63°C)

Remove the steak from the heat source when it reaches your desired doneness and allow it to rest briefly. To ensure your hanger steak turns out perfectly every time, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:

  • Optimal Marinating Time: For the best results, marinate the steaks for a minimum of 90 minutes but no longer than 8 hours. Over-marinating can lead to a mealy or mushy texture.
  • Bring to Room Temperature: Before grilling, allow the marinated steaks to rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. This ensures even cooking and a perfectly grilled exterior.
  • Pat Dry: After marinating, pat the steaks dry. This step facilitates the formation of a flavorful seared crust on the surface when grilling.
  • Preheat the Grill: Ensure your grill is preheated to a temperature between 450°F and 500°F. The steak should sizzle when it touches the grill grates.
  • Rest and Slice Correctly: Always let the steaks rest for 10 to 15 minutes after grilling. This allows the natural juices to redistribute, resulting in tender and flavorful meat. When slicing, cut against the grain to maintain the steak's texture and flavor.

Nutritional Value

Hanger steak, like other cuts of beef, offers a nutritious profile that includes essential nutrients. Here's a glimpse of its nutritional composition and why it can be beneficial:

  • Protein: Hanger steak is a rich source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle development, repair, and overall health.
  • Iron: Beef, including hanger steak, is known for its iron content. Iron plays a vital role in transporting oxygen throughout the body and supporting energy production.
  • Zinc: Zinc is another essential mineral found in hanger steak. It is crucial for immune function, wound healing, and DNA synthesis.
  • B Vitamins: Hanger steak contains various B vitamins, including B12, which is essential for nerve function, and niacin, which supports metabolism.
  • Selenium: This trace mineral in hanger steak acts as an antioxidant, helping protect cells from oxidative damage.

While hanger steak offers these valuable nutrients, it's important to enjoy it as part of a balanced diet. Pair it with a variety of vegetables and grains to create a wholesome and nutritious meal that satisfies both your taste buds and your body's needs.

In our next chapter, we'll explore creative serving suggestions and accompaniments that will elevate your hanger steak to new heights, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

Serving and Accompaniments for Hanger Steak

Now that you've mastered the art of selecting, preparing, and cooking hanger steak, it's time to bring your culinary journey full circle by exploring the world of serving and accompaniments. Elevating your hanger steak to a memorable dining experience involves thoughtful pairings and creative presentations.

Serving Suggestions:

Chimichurri Sauce: Elevate the flavors of your hanger steak by serving it with chimichurri sauce. This vibrant condiment, made with fresh herbs, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil, complements the steak's richness with its bright and tangy notes.

Caramelized Onions: The sweetness of caramelized onions balances the savory richness of hanger steak. Consider topping your steak with a generous portion of these golden, flavorful onions.

Compound Butter: Create a decadent finish by melting a pat of compound butter over your hanger steak. Garlic herb butter or blue cheese butter are popular choices that add richness and depth to each bite.

Roasted Vegetables: For a complete meal, serve hanger steak with a side of roasted vegetables. The charred flavors of the steak pair wonderfully with the sweetness of roasted carrots, bell peppers, or asparagus.

Accompaniments: By thoughtfully selecting accompaniments and serving suggestions, you can transform your hanger steak into a restaurant-worthy dish that delights the senses. These combinations are endless, so feel free to get creative and tailor your choices to suit your personal taste

Sautéed Mushrooms: Sautéed mushrooms are a classic steakhouse accompaniment that enhances the earthy flavors of hanger steak.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes provide a comforting and indulgent contrast to the steak's bold flavors.

Fresh Salad: Balance the richness of hanger steak with a fresh salad dressed with a simple vinaigrette. The crispness and acidity of the salad cut through the meat's richness.

Red Wine: Pair your hanger steak with a robust red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec, to enhance the dining experience further.

Bread or Baguette: Consider serving your hanger steak with a fresh baguette or artisan bread to soak up any delicious juices and sauces.

In our final chapter, we'll explore the global appeal of hanger steak, showcasing how this versatile cut is embraced and prepared in various cuisines around the world.

Continuing the Journey

As we conclude our culinary journey through the world of hanger steak, let's take a moment to consider high-quality sources for this exceptional cut. For an elevated experience, consider trying Plum Creek Wagyu hanger steaks. Known for their superior marbling and rich flavor, Plum Creek Wagyu hanger steaks are a top choice for those seeking the finest cuts of beef.

Plum Creek Wagyu offers a range of premium Wagyu beef products, including hanger steaks, that promise an exceptional dining experience. Our commitment to quality and sustainable practices ensures that you'll enjoy the best of what Wagyu hanger steak has to offer.

To explore Plum Creek Wagyu's offerings and embark on a truly unforgettable culinary journey, visit our website and discover the world of exquisite Wagyu beef delights.

Thank you for joining us on this flavorful adventure through the world of hanger steak. Whether you're a seasoned chef or an adventurous home cook, we hope this guide has inspired you to continue exploring the culinary possibilities of this hidden gem. Happy cooking, and savor every bite of your hanger steak creations!

January 24, 2024