What is Hanger Steak?

What is hanger steak referring to, and why is it such a popular cut? Some cuts of beef take their titles from how and where people cook them, like London Broil, but the title conferred on hanger steak has nothing to do with how you prepare it. Keep reading to learn more.

What Exactly Is Hanger Steak?

What is hanger steak, and where would you find it? It may surprise you to learn that the term “hanger steak” comes from an actual description of how this steak looks while it is still on the cow—it hangs from the diaphragm.

In Europe, hanger steak’s popularity is far-reaching as a tender, texturally-rich steak. It has been a go-to cut for many decades but is only just starting to make headway within the United States steakhouse niche. Now, it is popping up on more menus than ever before as patrons discover how incredibly tender hanger steak is, thanks to its positioning.

The single cut of meat hangs with little obvious function for the cow’s physique. Unlike other cuts of meat, hanger steak does not see a lot of action or toughen with overuse like other areas. Some even claim that hanger steak is more tender than the loin cuts.

Other Names for Hanger Steak

What is hanger steak known as at the butchery? In the meat industry, hanger steak lingo calls it “140.” The hanger steak might also go by “butchers’ steak” because savvy butchers would like to keep the succulent cut for themselves.

In the United Kingdom, hanger steak usually comes as “skirt steak” (not to be confused with the American skirt steak, a different cut). In France, it is called “onglet.”  Meat lovers in the United States often call it hanging tender, but be careful not to confuse flank steak with hanger steak as these are different cuts of meat.

Where Does Hanger Steak Come from on the Cow?

Hanger steak is a strip of meat that hangs from the diaphragm. It falls right below the tenderloin on the left side of the cow, and there is a single hanger steak per animal. The strip size ranges from one to two pounds, typically one-and-a-half inches to two inches thick.

What Does Hanger Steak Taste Like?

Hanger steaks offer a strong umami quality; some compare the beefiness to a more iron-like taste, where others experience it as an “authentic” beef flavor. However, everyone that tries hanger steak agrees that you do not need more than a pinch of salt and pepper to savor this cut of beef.

Where to Buy Hanger Steak

Hanger steak has long been the “secret butcher cut” in the United States. It can be difficult to find hanger steak at a local butcher shop or grocery store because it is a real beef lover’s delicacy. Why not ask the butcher to place a 140 on special order or search online?

Cooking Methods

What is hanger steak best for? This well-marbled meat adds tenderness and flavor. It has a strong but never overpowering taste, excellent on the grill or under the broiler.

Cooking hanger steak well is about the perfect temperature—take it to medium-rare to bring out its best qualities.

Read: Steak Doneness Guide – Temps & Times Chart

Nutrition & Calories

Hanger steak’s marbling is its greatest quality because what is hanger steak without the signature tenderness? The fatty qualities add to its calorific contributions like other tender cuts. It is also new to American cuisine, so nutritional content is vague; however, you can expect well over 150 calories in an average serving (5 oz).

Hanger Steak Recipes

What is hanger steak without delicious red wine sauce? Combine olive oil with finely chopped shallots and fry for five minutes. Add red wine (1 cup), ¼ cup balsamic vinegar, and rosemary, reducing the liquid by half. Finally, add a tablespoon of butter, pouring the sauce over a medium-rare hanger steak for utter perfection.

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About the author

Adam can tell you the difference between a flank steak and skirt steak and any other cut of meat. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.