How to Prepare Hanger Steak

by Hannah Wickford

If you are looking for hanger steak, head to your favorite butcher as you are unlikely to find it in the meat case at your local supermarket. Hanger steak comes from the muscles that sit below the diaphragm between the last rib and the kidney, which lends additional flavor to this particular cut of meat. Since a cow only has two small muscles of this type, hanger steaks are unlikely to be found in great supply. Because they are derived from a muscle, using the proper cooking technique is essential to ensure that the steak remains tender and juicy.

Marinate the Steak

Purchase a store-bought marinade or make your own at home. Many marinades have an olive-oil base combined with seasonings, such as herbs, spices, garlic and shallots, and at least one acidic component, such as vinegar, citrus juice or soy sauce. Marinades with an acid component not only lend flavor to the meat, they also help to tenderize it by breaking down the fibrous tissues.

Place the hanger steak in a resealable plastic bag and pour in at least 1/2 cup of the marinade. Seal the bag and shake it to make sure that the meat becomes coated.

Place the bag in the refrigerator and refrigerate the steak for up to 24 hours.

Remove the steak from the marinade and allow any excess marinade to drip off. Season the steak with salt and pepper before cooking it. Reserve the marinade for basting the meat during the cooking process.

Grilling

Coat the grates of a grill with cooking oil and preheat the grill to high heat.

Place the steak directly over the flame and cook it for 4 to 5 minutes. Brush the steak occasionally with the remaining marinade.

Flip the steak using tongs or a spatula, and cook it for an additional 4 to 5 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 140 F for medium-rare. Remove the steak from the grill and allow it to rest for at least 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Pan Searing

Add 1 tbsp. of butter and 1 tbsp. of olive oil to a saute pan. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat.

Place the steak in the pan when the butter melts and the oil becomes very hot, and cook the steak for 4 minutes.

Flip the steak and cook it for an additional 4 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 140 F for medium-rare. Baste the steak with the oil-and-butter mixture from the bottom of the pan a few times during the cooking process.

Remove the steak from the pan and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving it.

Broiling

Place the oven rack roughly 6 inches below the broiler element, and preheat the broiler to high heat.

Place the drained hanger steak on a broiler pan and place it under the broiler.

Broil the steak for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 140 F for medium-rare. Remove the steak from the broiler and allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving it.

Tip

  • To ensure a tender steak, cut it into thin slices against the grain before serving.

Photo Credits

  • Chuck Place/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

After attending Fairfield University, Hannah Wickford spent more than 15 years in market research and marketing in the consumer packaged goods industry. In 2003 she decided to shift careers and now maintains three successful food-related blogs and writes online articles, website copy and newsletters for multiple clients.