Cooking Hanger And Skirt Steaks
Since the size of each steak varies vastly, knowing the right methods of cooking each cut really lets you taste the difference between these two similar cuts of meat. While you can marinate hanger and skirt steaks for optimal flavor, you need to grill a skirt steak for three to five minutes on each side and then rest the meat for five minutes, while hanger steaks take two to three minutes per side and must rest for ten minutes to develop optimal flavor . According to Food and Wine, if you want a more well-marbled piece of meat that can give you a much more luxurious dining experience, opt to grill the hanger steak.
When you crave some red meat, get ready to pay. A pound of skirt steak can set you back at least $20 , while hanger steaks come in at around $25 , but expect prices to vary based on location. When you need to invest in a good cut of beef, truly knowing the difference between both flavorful options really helps you develop the intricate flavors of both steaks. While you might not be able tell which cut is which at first glance, knowing just how to approach them makes all the difference the moment you take the first bite.
The Three Beef Kings Of Flavor
There are three beef steaks that stand out as being unique. While most great steaks come from the loin and the rib, these steaks come from other regions and are not cut from thick roast sections. These three great steaks are the Flank, the Skirt, and the Hanger. They are not sliced by the butcher, they are the shape and size they are. These three steaks are full of flavor but can be very tough, so they need to be marinated and properly cooked. And I am talking about some serious marinades here. Good strong marinades that these steaks are soaking in for a good long time. Before we get into the details of preparing these steaks, we’ll look at them individually.
Hanger Vs Skirt Steak: Cooking Temperatures
The cooking temperature for hanger and skirt steak depends on the desired doneness, but you can cook both cuts at high heat.
Hanger steak is best when cooked to medium-rare or medium, while skirt steak is best when cooked to medium-rare or medium-well.
For hanger steak, the ideal cooking temperature is 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The internal temperature should reach 130 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare or 145 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for medium.
For skirt steak, the ideal cooking temperature is slightly higher, at 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit . The internal temperature should reach 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare or 140 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-well.
Its essential to monitor the steak’s internal temperature while cooking, as overcooking can result in a dry, tough texture. A digital thermometer ensures that you cook the steak to the desired level.
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Could Hanger Steak Serve As A Suitable Substitute For Flank Steak
To tell you the truth, hanger, flank, and skirt steaks are very comparable to one another and could probably be swapped for one another in the majority of the dishes that call for them. The softness of the cuts is where you will see a significant amount of contrast between these options. The rib cage surrounds and shields the hanger, which allows for a delicious and soft cut of meat that is also well-balanced in both flesh and muscle. The section of the animal that comes from the end of the belly and is closest to the rear legs is known as the flank, and it is quite lean. A marinade may help tenderize flank steaks quite well, but a hanger steak can handle a marinade just fine on its own and doesnt necessarily require one. Flank steaks, on the other hand, do very well with marinades.
Characteristics Of A Skirt Steak
Skirt steak is a fibrous and thin piece of meat that separates the cows chest from the abdomen, which is in the plate location on the cow.
This steak is the cows diaphragm muscle attached to the cows 6th rib through to the 12th rib on the underside of the cows short plate.
This means that the whole skirt steaks muscle is a hardworking muscle constantly used throughout the cows life as it helps the cow breathe.
The cut of meat was a hardworking muscle, so the skirt steak meat can be pretty chewy if it is not cooked correctly, even as medium rare.
Skirt steaks are generally covered by a tough membrane that needs to be removed from the steak before you cook it, but usually, your butcher has already done this for you by the time you buy the skirt steak meat from the shop.
Skirt steak is often confused with flank steak and hanger steak due to their similar cooking time and preparation, but all three of these cuts are very different.
It is recommended that you marinate your skirt steak or apply a dry rub to help keep the steak tender and help flavor the meat. It applies regardless of your preferences, like medium rare skirt steak.
Skirt steaks are short but thick cuts of meat that usually weigh about two pounds, and they are thicker than hanger steaks, flank steak, and flat iron steak.
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What Does Hanger Steak Taste Like
Hanger steak is best known for its distinct earthy taste thats hard to describe, but youll know it when you taste it. Its not necessarily an unpleasant flavor it just isnt what most people are accustomed to when they think about steak.
The hanger steak has a rich, beefy taste that is often described as gamier than other cuts of beef. A good way to describe this cut would be like eating liver with mushrooms, garlic, and onions.
Hanger steak is not a common cut of meat in American supermarkets or restaurants because most people prefer other types of beef like ribeye or sirloin. However, if youre adventurous enough to try cooking this cut at home then go for it!
Shopping For Hanger Steak
Hanger steak is sold either whole, looking somewhat like a “V”, or trimmed of the center gristle, in which case they resemble a tenderloin. If you get a whole piece, make sure to cut away and discard the center main gristle that connects the two tenderloin-ish pieces.
If hanger steak isn’t available where you are, you might want to try this recipe with a flank or skirt steak.
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Hanger Steak On The Grill
Keep in mind that this cut is best medium rare, a higher internal temp over that and it will be chewy.
The best way to grill hanger steak is by first searing it at a high temp, approximately 400 degrees or higher, on both sides for about a 1 ½ minutes or until a nice crust has formed, and then letting it continue to cook on indirect heat until the internal temp has reached 125 degrees as measured with an instant read thermometer I recommend the Thermapen .
Keep in mind that this cut of meat will cook quickly so you may not to need to cook it very long on indirect.
If cooking in cast iron, you would essentially sear the steak on both sides and then pull it off the heat so it doesnt continue to cook.
What’s The Difference Between Skirt Flank Hanger And Flat Iron Steaks
You know the drill its whats for dinner.
Sara Tane is a classically trained chef who has worked in restaurant kitchens, test kitchens, and home kitchens. She can bridge the gap between the professional chef and the home cook from her 6 years of experience in food media, sharing her knowledge on specific ingredients, techniques, and everything you need to know to become a more confident cook.
Ribeyes, filet mignons, T-bone steaks, and most other higher cost cuts of beef are pretty easy to spot in a butcher’s case because they all sport some kind of obvious identifier. Oftentimes they’re bone-in, super thick, rich with marbling, and they’re hand-cut individually by the butcher all of which can give away their specific cut. In other words, I know a New York strip when I see one, you know?
However, when you move away from these richer cuts of beef in the rib, short loin, and sirloin area , and move to the front in the short plate and flank region , all the different cuts of meat start to look exactly the same: long, relatively thin, and without a ton of marbling. This is where you’ll find skirt, hanger, flank, and flat iron steaks.
Now, here are the subtle, yet important, distinctions between these frequently confused cuts of beef.
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Hanger Steak Storage Tips
Hanger steak is best stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can also freeze it for up to three months if you wish. When freezing hanger steak, wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in a freezer bag and then remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag closed with a twist tie or clip.
Here are some ways to use hanger steak:
- Sear and slice thinly for tartare or carpaccio
- Grill or pan fry until charred on both sides then slice thinly across the grain into bite-sized pieces and serve with chimichurri sauce
Preparation And Serving Method
In terms of the muscle groups on the cow, the hangar steak doesnt get as much work as the skirt steak. Because of this its slightly more tender than the skirt steak.
This means that marinating the hanger steak is not critical to tenderize the meat, although it will still help!
When preparing a skirt steak its always best to marinate it for at least 1-2 hours before cooking it. This way it adds acidity or salt, which penetrates into the meat and starts to tenderize it. This is made famous by the London broil, which is a popular steak dish using lean steaks that turns out exceedingly tender. This is very popular when cooking skirt steak for a group.
A hanger steak will still benefit from the marination, but you can also simply season with salt and pepper and cook it in a cast-iron skillet or on high heat on a grill to your degree of steak doneness. Grilled hanger steak like this will blow your mind.Both hanger and skirt steak can be used to make some pretty great lean ground beef too!
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What To Serve With Hanger Steak
This recipe calls for a delicious shallot sauce drizzled on top of the sliced steak. We picked up the recipe from our local butcher at Corti Brothers who in turn got it from Chef Daniel Boulud. According to Chef Boulud, French bistros traditionally serve this hanger steak along with pommes frites .
Hanger Vs Skirt Steak: Cut Origin
People often confuse hanger steak and skirt steak as the same beef cut since both come from the cow’s diaphragm. However, they have different origins.
The hanger steak, also known as the butchers steak, is the inner portion of the diaphragm, cut into thick and shorter slices, around 6-7 inches thick.
On the other hand, the skirt steak is the outer part of the diaphragm with many muscles, making it tougher than the hanger steak. Skirt steak is longer and thinner. It can reach two feet long and only 3 to 4 inches in width.
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Outside Vs Inside Skirt Steak: What’s Better
Though most grocery stores will label the meat as skirt steak, finer butchers will sell you two varieties: Outside skirt and inside skirt. A cow has two of each:
We highly prefer the outside skirt, which measures 3 to 4 inches wide and between a half to one-inch thick. Try to avoid inside skirt, which is wider , thinner , and is far chewier than the outside skirt. In Japan, the outside skirt is called harami and prized for its beefiness, often marinated in miso or soy sauce and grilled.
The 3 Best Substitutes For Hanger Steak
Have you ever had a hanger steak? Its a delicious beef cut that is sometimes referred to as the butchers steak because it was traditionally given to the butcher instead of being sold.
While it used to be one of the more inexpensive cuts of beef, it has become increasingly popular in recent years and is now often seen on restaurant menus.
If youre curious about hanger steak, read on for everything you need to know, including how to cook it and the best substitutes.
Hanger steak is a cut of beef that comes from the diaphragm of a cow.
Unlike other cuts of beef, hanger steak is very tender and has many flavors.
When cooked properly, it can be melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Unfortunately, hanger steak can also be tough and chewy if not cooked correctly.
If youre thinking of trying hanger steak, here are some tips on how to cook it and use it in your dishes.
When cooking hanger steak, its important to remember that its a lean cut of meat.
This means that it doesnt have much fat, so it can dry out quickly if overcooked.
The best way to cook hanger steak is to cook it quickly over high heat.
This will help seal the juices and prevent the meat from drying.
Hanger steak is also delicious when cooked using a slow cooker or braised in liquids like red wine or beef broth.
Hanger steak is most commonly used in dishes that are served rare or medium rare.
However, it can also be sliced thinly and used in sandwiches or salads.
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Is Hanger Steak High Quality
Hanger steak is a cut of beef that is often overlooked. However, those in the know realize that a hanger steak is a great option for a delicious and affordable steak dinner. When cooked properly, hanger steak has excellent flavor and tenderness. Moreover, the price per pound is hard to beat.
For all these reasons, a hanger steak is a great option for those looking for a high-quality cut of beef.
What Are Skirt And Hanger Steaks
In a brief cow anatomy lesson, skirt and hanger cuts come from the bottom or belly of the animal. The skirt is the diaphragm muscle of the cow. It’s a thin and long piece of beef. There’s an inside skirt and an outside one, the primary difference being that the inside skirt has less membrane, although any good butcher will automatically take care of this for you.
Here’s what’s useful to know about a skirt steak:
- It has a strong beef flavor.
- It’s the cut of beef that is almost always used for faitas and Philly cheesesteaks.
- The cut toughens if it’s cooked to more than medium.
- While the cut can be tough, if it’s cooked only to either rare or medium rare, and then sliced, it is in fact very tender.
- The cut is usually less than half the price of a good strip or rib eye steak.
Hanger steaks are very similar. It’s a smaller piece of the animal that is attached to or “hangs from” the diaphragm. This inexpensive cut has been called a butcher’s steak because butchers and chefs have long knowingly saved this juicy piece for themselves.
Both hanger and skirt steaks have a rich flavor and a slightly grainy, thready texture. I find that because these steaks have so much flavor that my craving for beef gets satisfied even faster than when I have a more expensive cut so I eat less of it.
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Dishes That Use Flank Steak
Flank steak can substitute for a lot of the same dishes as skirt steak. However, there are a few dishes that exclusively use skirt steak like:
- Matambre – Argentinian dish where the flank steak is stuffed.
- Beef jerky – So I personally go with cheaper cuts like eye of round for beef jerky but its size, shape, and lack of fat lend perfectly for jerky.
- Mongolian beef – Dish from Taiwan that typically uses Flank steak paired with scallions or mixed veggies over rice.
- Grilled flank steak – As simple as it gets Salt, pepper, and granulated garlic over high heat.
Hanger Steak Vs Flank Steak
Is hanger a good substitute for flank steak? Honestly, hanger, flank, and skirt steaks are fairly similar and could likely be substituted in most meals youd use them in. Where youll 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, which comes from the end of the belly, close to the hind legs, is very lean. Flank steaks do well with a marinade to help tenderize them, whereas a hanger steak can take to one just fine, but doesnt necessarily need it.
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The 5 Best Substitutes For Skirt Steak
Skirt steaks one of the most flavorful cuts of beef, thanks to its high-fat content, but it can also be quite tough if not cooked properly.
Skirt steak is best suited for quick cooking methods such as grilling or pan-frying.
Its also often used in Mexican and South American cuisine for dishes such as carne asada and fajitas.
If you cannot find skirt steak at your local grocery store, there are a few good substitutes that will work just as well.
In this article, well share the five best substitutes for skirt steak that will give you the same great flavor and texture.