What is Hanger Steak?

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.

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What Is Hanger Steak?

Hanger steak is a prized cut of beef steak that is known for its outstanding flavor and tenderness. This cut comes from the diaphragm and the junction of the lumbar/thoracic vertebrae. An interesting fact is that there is only one hanging cut per animal.

Probably many people are wondering why it is called Hanger Steak? 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.

The single cut of meat hangs with little obvious function for the cow’s physique. Unlike other cuts of beef, 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.

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.

Two raw hanger steaks, also known as butcher's steak or hanging
Two raw hanger steaks

Other Names for Hanger Steak

In the US, Hanger Steak is known as Hanging Tenderloin, Butcher’s Steak or Butcher’s cut. In Europe, we can find it under names such as Onglet in French, lombatello in Italy, and solomillo de pulmón in Spain. In the meat industry, hanger steak lingo calls it “140.”

In the United Kingdom, hanger steak usually comes as “skirt steak” (not to be confused with the American skirt steak (a different cut). 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.

The hanger steak might also go by “butchers’ steak” because, in the past, savvy butchers saved the succulent cut for themselves (It used to be a well-kept secret).

What Part of the Cow is Hanger Steak?

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

What is the Weight of the Hanger Steak?

Hanger steak is a medium-sized, thin cut that usually weighs about 1 to 1.5 pounds (450g is 675g). Most butchers trim the meat, selling it in smaller portions (six to eight ounces).

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. The meat is extremely tender, similar to slightly more marbled cuts like new york strip or ribeye.

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.

Is Hanger Steak Lean?

Definitely, hanger steak is a thin and lean cut. When you remove the inedible tough membrane, you get a tender steak with low saturated fat and cholesterol content. In many rankings, hanger steak takes second place in terms of tenderness.

Hanger Steak Nutrition Information

You can expect well over 152 calories in an average serving of hanger steak (4 oz), 6.25 grams fat (2.68 g saturated fat), 0 g carbs, 58 mg sodium, and 23.2 g protein (data source).

Hanger steak’s marbling is its greatest quality. The fatty qualities add to its calorific contributions like other tender cuts.

NutritionPortion size: 4 oz = 113 g
Total Fat6.25 g
Carbs0 g
Sodium58 mg
Protein23.2 g
Hanger steak nutrition facts based on 4-oz cut

Why It’s Hard to Find Hanger Steak?

The answer is very simple; each cow has only one hanging steak. For this reason, hanger steak is not an easily accessible cut, especially in popular butcher stores and grocery stores.

Where to Buy?

The easiest way would be to ask the butcher for special order or use the meat stores available online. The second option seems to be the best one. Many online butchers sell quality hanger steaks—for example, snake river farms, porter road, and crowd cow.

Is Hanger Steak Expensive?

Hanger steak, quite recently, was one of the cheapest cuts of beef. Currently, the average price per pound of hanger ranges from $20 to $50. Don’t forget that the final price depends on the quality of the beef and the individual store’s policy.

What is Similar to Hanger Steak?  

Probably most steak lovers will say that the best substitute for hanger steak is skirt steak. However, a lot depends on how you want to cook the steak. Other great substitutes are:

  • Flank steak,
  • Flat iron steak,
  • Bavette Steak,
  • Flap Steak,
  • Chuck steak,
  • Tri Tip Steak.

If you can’t get a hanger steak at your local butcher, use any of the above suggestions.

Final Words: is Hanger Steak Good?

Hanger steak is a great cut to add to your cooking menu without worry. The steak itself has a strong beef flavor and superb tenderness. You can prepare it in many ways using the grill, skillet, oven, or even sous-vide. It also pairs great with marinades.

The bad news is that the growing popularity and, at the same time, low availability of hanger steak has caused its price to skyrocket. Anyway, it is a delicious steak that is worth giving a chance.

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Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam is the founder of Steak Revolution. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.