Grilling Guide

All About Hanger Steak

A hanger steak, also known as butcher’s steak or hanging tenderloin, is a cut of beef steak prized for its flavor. Hanger steak is an often-overlooked great cut that is inexpensive and packs plenty of flavor in every bite. This is one cut of steak you really need to try, but what is hanger steak?


What is Hanger Steak?

Hanger steaks belong to the flat steak group along with flank and skirt steaks. This cut is taken from the plate, which is the upper belly of the animal, full of muscle that helps support it. The meat sits between the loin and ribs, essentially “hanging” out in that spot, giving it its unique name. In the past it was among several cuts of beef sometimes known as “butcher’s steak” because butchers would often keep it for themselves. The hanger is a very tender thin cut of steak with a robust, meaty flavor that has the potential to become a household favorite.


Hanger Steak vs Flank Steak

Hanger, flank, and skirt steaks are very similar and can be substituted in most recipes. However, you might notice quite a bit of difference is the tenderness of the cuts. The hanger is protected by the rib cage and has a good balance of meat and muscle that leaves it flavorful and tender. The flank portion comes from the end of the belly, close to the hind legs, and is very lean. Flank steaks do well with a marinade to help tenderize them. Hanger steaks can be marinated, but do not necessarily need it.


Hanger Steak vs Skirt Steak

The skirt steak is the least tender of the flat steaks and the least expensive of the bunch.  It is a fibrous piece of meat that sits between the abdomen and chest of the animal. It works hard so it is full of muscle and tends to be on the chewy side. Skirt steaks should be prepared with a meat tenderizer and marinade. It is a good choice for fajitas, steak tacos, or steak sandwiches.


How to Cook Hanger Steak

Hanger steak is a versatile cut that can be cooked using your favorite method but aim for a medium-rare doneness. The hanger steak can lose its tenderness even if slightly overdone. Grilling is the most popular way to bring out the flavor of the hanger steak and get the perfect cook. Use high heat to cook them quickly and to get a perfect char.


Grilling Hanger Steak

Season with salt and pepper or a mild steak seasoning to bring out the incredible flavors without becoming overbearing. Fire up the grill and wait for it to come to full temperature. Place the steaks on the grill and cook for about two minutes on each side. Use a meat thermometer to ensure temperature is between 120° and 125°F. Remove from the grill and allow them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

“Blackened” Hanger Steak Sweet Potato Hash and Fried Egg

Serves: 4


2 8-ounce trimmed hanger steaks

3–4 tablespoons Blackening Seasoning (recipe follows)

Sweet Potato Hash and Fried Egg (recipe follows)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish


Blackening Seasoning

3 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons granulated garlic

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dark chili powder


Sweet Potato Hash and Fried Egg

6 slices bacon, cut into pieces

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, parboiled and thoroughly drained

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup roughly chopped yellow onion

1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into slivers

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces fresh spinach

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

4 large eggs, cooked sunny side up

For the steak:

If your steak is not pre-trimmed, remove any silver skin and excess fat from each steak. Then cut in half along the middle sinew and trim each steak. Season the steaks heavily and place in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 4 to 6 hours.

Before grilling, remove from the fridge and leave out 
for at least 30 minutes to dry and come to room temperature. Prepare a grill to cook on high or very hot if using a charcoal grill. For this recipe, my preference is definitely using lump charcoal, as it will burn hotter and still impart a smoke flavor. Oil the grill grates and place the steaks on the grill. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then roll one quarter of the way over and repeat for all four sides. Remove from the grill when an instant-read thermometer reads 130°F to 135°F in the thickest part of the steak, depending on your temperature preference. Cover lightly with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The temperature of the steak will increase 3°F to 5°F while resting.


For the Blackening Seasoning:

Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir by hand until well incorporated. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.


For the Sweet Potato Hash and Fried Egg:

Cook the bacon in a large, nonstick skillet until crispy, then use tongs to remove the bacon, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.

Turn the heat to medium and cook the potatoes for 5 to 6 minutes, then raise the heat to medium-high and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned. Keeping the stove on medium-high heat, add the butter to the skillet and cook the onion and bell pepper until softened and browned, 5 or 6 minutes. Add the garlic, cooked bacon, salt, pepper and spinach, and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme and stir carefully to incorporate. Remove the pan from the heat and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Right before plating, fry eggs sunny-side up and serve warm, shingled over sweet potato hash.

To Plate:

Place a 5-inch burger ring in the middle of a plate. Fill with the hash, then lightly press to form in the ring (without breaking up the potatoes if possible). Remove the ring, then top the hash with the fried egg seasoned to taste with salt and pepper. Slice the hanger steak against the grain into 1/2 to 3/4-inch-wide strips and shingle pieces around the hash. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs and serve.