Hanger steak

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Hanger steak
Beef Cuts
Type Plate cut of beef

A hanger steak is a cut of beef steak prized for its flavor. Derived from the diaphragm of a steer or heifer, it typically weighs about 1.0 to 1.5 lb (450 to 675 g). In the past, it was sometimes known as "butcher's steak" because butchers would often keep it for themselves rather than offer it for sale.[1]

Hanger steak resembles flank steak in texture and flavor. It is a vaguely V-shaped pair of muscles with a long, inedible membrane down the middle. The hanger steak is usually the tenderest cut on an animal and is best marinated and cooked quickly over high heat (grilled or broiled) and served rare or medium rare, to avoid toughness.[2]

Anatomically, the hanger steak is said to "hang" from the diaphragm of the steer.[3] The diaphragm is one muscle, commonly cut into two separate cuts of meat: the "hanger steak", traditionally considered more flavorful, and the outer skirt steak, composed of tougher muscle within the diaphragm. The hanger is attached to the last rib and the spine near the kidneys.

Occasionally seen on menus as a "bistro steak", hanger steak is also very traditional in Mexican cuisine, particularly in the north, where it is known as arrachera, and is generally marinated, grilled, and served with a squeeze of lime juice, guacamole, salsa, and tortillas to roll tacos. In South Texas, this cut of beef is known as fajitas arracheras. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as flap steak or flap meat, which is a distinctly different cut.

The hanger steak has historically been more popular in Europe. In Britain, it is referred to as "skirt," not to be confused with the American skirt steak. In French, it is known as the onglet, in Italian the lombatello, in Flanders the kroaie, and in Spanish the solomillo de pulmón.[3]

Its U.S. meat-cutting classification is NAMP 140.


  1. ^ Hix, Mark (2008-04-26). "Hanger steak with baked bone marrow". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2008-08-09. 
  2. ^ Duggan, Tara (2005-03-16). The San Francisco Chronicle http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Butchers-best-kept-secret-Seldom-seen-flap-3255048.php.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b Green, Aliza (2005). Field Guide to Meat. Philadelphia, PA: Quirk Books. ISBN 1-931686-79-3. 
  • Dyce, K. M.; C. J. G. Sack and W. O. Wensing (2002). Textbook of Veterinary Anatomy (Third ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders. ISBN 0-7216-8966-3. OCLC 265038957.