Learn how to transform the underrated hanger steak into a satisfying, steakhouse-quality dinner! This easy recipe starts by soaking the meat in a deeply savory marinade and ends with delicious and tender grilled steaks.
If you’re a fan of sirloin tip roast, ribeye steak, and Denver steak like I am, then you’re sure to love this beef hanger steak recipe as well. It’s an affordable and, quite frankly, underrated cut of beef. In this recipe, the steak is marinated, then fired on the grill until it’s juicy and tender. It’s sure to be a hit for weeknights or summer dinners.
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What is hanger steak?
Hanger steak (or butcher’s steak) is a flavorful and tender cut of beef taken from the diaphragm muscle near the rib and loin area. It’s a well-exercised muscle, which gives this steak its signature beefy flavor and natural tenderness. Despite this tenderness, hanger steak should still remind you of flank and skirt steak because it’s best when it’s marinated and seared over high heat.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Inexpensive, yet elegant. Hanger steak is a great alternative to filet mignon and sirloin for holidays and special occasions because it’s more affordable but is equally as tender and flavorful.
- Make it ahead. Let the steaks marinate overnight, then grill the next day!
- Great for grilling. As the steaks grill, the marbled fat melts into the meat, making every bite extra moist and flavorful. Marinated and grilled hanger steaks are a steak lovers’ dream come true!
While this steak isn’t marbled with as much fat as ribeye or wagyu, it still transforms into a restaurant-worthy piece of meat after it’s marinated. Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need to make it:
- Hanger steaks. This exceptionally flavorful cut of beef is best when the excess fat has been trimmed from the edges, then soaked in a flavorful steak marinade.
- Olive oil. This is the base of the marinade. It helps infuse flavor into the meat and acts as a natural tenderizer.
- Soy sauce. For a rich, umami element in the marinade. It also enhances the depth of beefy flavors.
- Lemon juice. The acidity helps break down the beef and brighten the flavors.
- Worcestershire. This creates an intensely flavorful, well-rounded steak marinade.
- Garlic. To intensify the overall savory flavor profile of the beef.
- Salt and pepper. To taste.
How to cook hanger steak
Ready to savor the mouthwatering flavors of hanger steak? These easy-to-follow marinade and grilling instructions will show you how it’s done:
Step 1 – Make the marinade
Whisk the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl.
Step 2 – Marinate the steak
Season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper, then add them to a large bowl. Pour the marinade over top of the steaks, cover the bowl, and leave them to marinate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
Step 3 – Grill
Cook the marinated steaks on a hot grill until they’re cooked to your desired temperature (see the steak temperature guide below).
Step 4 – Rest, then slice and serve
Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let them rest for at least 10 minutes. Afterward, slice and serve!
Hanger steak temperature guide
Use a meat thermometer and this general guide to grill the hanger steaks to your preferred level of doneness. Remember that the steaks will continue to come up to temperature as they rest, so remove them when they’re 5 degrees away from your desired temperature:
- Rare. 125°F to 130°F (52°C to 54°C).
- Medium-rare. 135°F to 140°F (57°C to 60°C)
- Medium. 145°F to 150°F (63°C to 66°C)
- Medium-well. 150°F to 155°F (66°C to 68°C)
- Well. 160°F to 165°F (71°C to 74°C)
I recommend cooking hanger steak to medium-rare or medium. Anything higher and the steak may become chewy or dried out.
Hanger vs. skirt vs. flank steak
While hanger, skirt, and flank steak share many of the same qualities, they are three distinctly different cuts of steak:
- Hanger steak comes from the tender diaphragm area and has a rich, beefy flavor.
- Skirt steak is a long, thin, and fibrous cut taken from the plate section, so it has a more robust, meaty taste.
- Flank steak is a long, flat, and significantly grainy cut from the abdominal muscles. It’s lean and has a slightly chewy texture with a bold beefy flavor.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Don’t marinate for too long. For the best results, let the steaks soak for a minimum of 90 minutes or a maximum of 8 hours. Any longer, and the meat fibers may become mealy or mushy.
- Bring to room temperature. Let the steaks rest on the kitchen counter for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking to help them grill evenly.
- Pat the steaks dry after marinating. This way, you’ll have an easier time achieving a seared crust on the surface.
- The steak should sizzle when it touches the grill grates, so make sure the grill is preheated between 450°F and 500°F.
- Always let the steaks rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. This allows the natural juices to redistribute, producing extra tender and flavorful meat.
- Slice against the grain. This way, the integrity of the steak’s texture and flavor isn’t affected.
What to serve with this dish
Like arrachera, hanger steak is perfect for slicing into strips for steak tacos and fajitas or serving as a standalone dish drizzled with chimichurri sauce. Make it a meal with any of these side dishes and serving sauces:
- Air Fryer Zucchini
- Sauteed Broccolini
- Air Fryer Asparagus
- Grilled Sweet Potatoes
- Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
- Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- Air Fryer Mushrooms
To store: Keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
To reheat: To reheat leftover steak without drying it out, heat it in a baking dish at 250ºF (or until the internal temperature reaches 110ºF). Heating in a covered pan on the stove also works well.
To freeze: Let cool, then freeze the leftover steak in a container or ziplock bag for 2 to 3 months.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Mixing bowls. To mix the marinade together and marinate the beef.
- Chef’s knife. To trim the fat and slice the steaks in half.
- Grill or grill pan. To cook the steak.
- Meat thermometer. To ensure the steaks are cooked to your desired temperature.
- Tongs. To flip the steaks on the grill.
More beef and steak recipes
- Picanha Steak
- Tomahawk Steak
- New York Strip Steak
- London Broil in Oven
- Beef Barbacoa
- Instant Pot Brisket
Frequently asked questions
Hanger steaks can be purchased from many well-stocked grocery stores, butcher shops, specialty meat stores, and online.
In grocery stores, you may find hanger steak labeled and sold as “butcher’s steak” or “onglet,” which is the French term for hanger steak.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all the marinade ingredients, except the salt and pepper.
- Season the steaks with salt and pepper and place them in a bowl. Pour the marinade all over it, cover, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
- Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.
- Preheat a grill to high heat. Once the grill is heated to high, remove the steaks from the marinade and grill for 4 minutes per side or until they reach an internal temperature of 135F.
- Remove from the grill and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing across the grain.
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