Hanger steak, sometimes called "butcher's steak," and even in Europe, where this beef is often referred to as "skirt," feels incredible. While it's not as famous as ribeye steak, if you're a steak lover, you've definitely cooked it.
What is Hanger Steak?
Hanger steaks belong to a class of beef known as flat steaks, which also include flank and skirt steaks. It gets its name from where it is found, "hanging" on the diaphragm or upper abdomen, between the plate and the waist. And why is it called "butcher's steak" because consumers don't know to want it, so the butcher keeps and enjoys it himself, but now it has become a standard cut of meat in the meat department of supermarkets. Serving only one 1.5 lb coat hanger steak per animal over 800 lbs, this cut is as rare as it is delicious. Despite having a long, inedible membrane in the middle, hanger steak is generally considered the most tender cut of meat. It has a deep layer of intramuscular fat or marbling and, once prepared, offers an undeniably juicy rich flavor.
How to Get Hanger Steaks?
Hanger steak is a primal cut that can be easily removed by separating it from the connective tissue, then trimming away any tough cartilage for a soft, smooth bite. The remaining marbling makes it an especially tasty cut of beef. Next, the thick tender steak that runs straight through the center of the steak is removed, and the remaining beef is usually cut in half to create four mouth-watering tender steaks.
In the US, hanger steak is an affordable and versatile cut that you should be able to find in the meat section of your supermarket or at your local butcher.
How to Cook Hanger Steaks?
Hanger steak is best marinated before grilling, which adds moisture to it and helps tenderize it, allowing it to release greater flavor and juiciness. If you're looking for a tender bite with a nice crust, consider cooking it over direct heat on the grill in a broiler 2 to 3 inches from high heat, or on the stovetop in a smoking hot skillet. To avoid any nasty smoke that may accumulate due to the inherent juiciness of this steak, use a high-smoke point oil, such as avocado oil, when cooking in the skillet. Once you pull it off the heat, it continues to cook.
A hanger steak is at its most tender, juicy, and flavorful when cooked to medium-rare, especially if it continues to cook while it rests. Use a Listime® Instant Read Meat Thermometer or Listime® Smart Bluetooth Meat thermometer as a quick and efficient way to measure whether beef has reached your desired doneness.
Rare 120-130° F
Medium-rare 130-140° F
Well done 160-170° F
How to Cut a Coat Hanger Steak?
As with any other steak, proper slicing can make a huge difference in flavor and tenderness. Steaks should always be cut against the grain, whereas coat hanger steaks have the grain perpendicular to the length of the meat. That's why it's important to cut the steaks into small pieces first, then turn them 90 degrees and slice them into thin strips across the grain. Cutting this way ensures that any chewy, strong fibers are separated out, leaving you with soft, juicy perfection. Serve the steak with chimichurri, or pesto for tender, juicy beef that melts in your mouth.