9 Best Substitute For Hanger Steak

Hanger Steak Substitute

If you’re an aficionado of flavorsome cuts of beef, you’re likely familiar with hanger steak. This particular cut, also known as the butcher’s steak, is prized for its delectable balance of tenderness and intensely beefy flavor. Sourced from the diaphragm of the cow, hanger steak boasts a unique texture and marbling pattern that is truly in a class of its own. But herein lies the challenge – each animal yields only one hanger steak, making it a rather rare find.

But worry not! The world of butchery presents a host of other cuts that can serve as excellent stand-ins for hanger steak. Whether you’re looking for similar tenderness, comparable flavor, or both, there’s a substitute that perfectly suits your needs. This guide sheds light on the best alternatives to hanger steak, providing insights into their characteristics, ideal cooking methods, and nutritional profiles. So, even if you can’t locate a hanger steak, you can still create a meal that tantalizes your palate and satisfies your cravings for this elusive cut.

What is Hanger Steak?

Hanger steak, also known as ‘butcher’s steak’, is a cut of beef prized for its flavor. This cut is taken from the lower belly of the cow, specifically the diaphragm, thus providing a unique mix of tenderness and flavor-packed marbling. In terms of texture, it is somewhat similar to flank or skirt steak but stands apart due to its more pronounced flavor.

The Handy Hanger Helpers: Quick View of Substitutes

  • Flank Steak
  • Skirt Steak
  • Flat Iron Steak
  • Ribeye Steak
  • Strip Steak
  • Tri-Tip Steak
  • Sirloin Steak
  • Beef Tenderloin
  • Onglet Steak

Best Substitutes For Hanger Steak

In the sections below, we delve deeper into each substitute for hanger steak, highlighting their characteristics, cooking tips, and the culinary contexts in which they shine.

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Flank Steak

Flank steak, a long and flat cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow, is a fantastic substitute for hanger steak. Its grain is dense and it has a robust, meaty flavor that can stand up well to marinades and intense cooking methods. Though it’s not as tender as the hanger steak, its thicker texture can be advantageous in certain dishes, providing a satisfying chew.

To get the best out of flank steak, it’s recommended to marinate it for a few hours or overnight to tenderize the meat. It cooks quickly, so grilling or broiling on high heat is ideal to achieve a caramelized exterior while keeping the interior juicy. Remember to slice it against the grain to shorten the muscle fibers and ensure tenderness in each bite.

Skirt Steak

Skirt steak, hailing from the plate of the cow, shares a similar location to hanger steak, offering a comparable level of flavor intensity. It’s characterized by a thin, long shape, and a hearty, robust flavor that endears itself to marinades. Like flank steak, skirt steak is also lean and fibrous but with proper treatment, it can deliver a flavor punch.

Marinating skirt steak is key to breaking down the tough fibers and imparting flavor. High-heat quick cooking methods like grilling or broiling are best for this cut. And, just like with the flank steak, slicing it against the grain post-cooking ensures a tender chew.

Flat Iron Steak

The flat iron steak, sometimes referred to as the ‘top blade steak’, is a relatively modern cut. It comes from the shoulder area, specifically the chuck, and has a significant amount of marbling that contributes to its flavorful profile. The flat iron steak is thick and uniform in shape, leading to an even cooking experience.

This cut is already tender, so a simple seasoning with salt and pepper before grilling would suffice. It also responds well to a brief marinade. The flat iron steak is best when cooked to medium-rare or medium doneness to maintain its juiciness and flavor.

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Ribeye Steak

Renowned for its rich marbling, the ribeye steak is a luxurious substitute for hanger steak. This cut is from the rib section of the cow and has a satisfying balance of fat and meat. The marbling melts during cooking, infusing the steak with a burst of flavor and rendering it remarkably tender.

The ribeye is a versatile cut that can be cooked using various methods. However, it shines the most when grilled or pan-seared to a medium-rare or medium degree of doneness. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper allows the intrinsic richness of the ribeye to come forth.

Strip Steak

The strip steak, also known as New York strip or Kansas City strip, comes from the short loin of the cow. This cut has a tighter texture compared to hanger steak but offers a well-balanced fat-to-meat ratio that translates into a flavorful eating experience.

Whether grilling, broiling, or pan-searing, it’s crucial to not overcook strip steak to retain its moisture and flavor. This steak is best enjoyed at medium-rare to medium doneness. A basic rub or marinade can enhance its taste without overshadowing its inherent beefy flavor.

Tri-Tip Steak

The tri-tip steak, sourced from the bottom of the sirloin, is another worthy substitute for hanger steak. This triangular cut has a rich beefy flavor with a moderate amount of marbling that renders a juicy result when cooked correctly.

Tri-tip steak can be roasted, smoked, grilled, or even slow-cooked. It’s important to keep the seasoning simple to let the natural flavor of the meat shine through. Be sure to slice against the grain for maximum tenderness.

Sirloin Steak

Sirloin steak, coming from the back of the cow, is a lean cut of beef with a decent amount of flavor. While it’s not as richly marbled as hanger steak, sirloin is versatile and can be tender when cooked properly.

Sirloin steak works well with a variety of cooking methods like grilling, broiling, and pan-searing. As it is lean, it’s best served at medium-rare to medium doneness to prevent it from drying out. Marinating sirloin can also enhance its taste and texture.

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Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin, located in the middle of the cow beneath the ribs, is the pinnacle of tenderness in beef cuts. Though it lacks the intense flavor of hanger steak, its melt-in-the-mouth texture more than compensates for it.

Beef tenderloin can be roasted whole, but individual steaks also fare well when grilled or pan-seared. Given its delicate flavor, it’s best to stick with minimal seasoning and let the natural taste of the meat take center stage.

Onglet Steak

Lastly, the onglet steak, also known as the French hanger steak, shares the same anatomical location as the hanger steak, albeit in a different breed of cattle. This cut has a similar texture and flavor profile as the hanger steak, making it an excellent alternative.

Just like the hanger steak, the onglet should be cooked over high heat and served medium-rare to ensure a tender, juicy steak. Light seasoning is all you need to enhance its natural, beefy flavor.

Substitutes for Hanger Steak: Nutritional Profile

SubstituteCalories (kcal)Fat (g)Carbs (g)Fiber (g)Protein (g)
Flank Steak1586.30023.3
Skirt Steak1445.40022.6
Flat Iron Steak1596.40023.6
Ribeye Steak19012.10023.4
Strip Steak1555.10025.6
Tri-Tip Steak1485.30022.8
Sirloin Steak1605.80026.0
Beef Tenderloin1627.20022.7
Onglet Steak1545.90023.9

(Values per ¼ cup)

Final Thoughts

As we’ve explored, the culinary world offers a cornucopia of alternatives to the elusive hanger steak. While each of these substitutes comes with its unique characteristics and flavor profiles, they all can deliver a satisfying experience when treated correctly in the kitchen. Remember, the joy of cooking lies not only in the final dish but also in the journey of discovery and learning. So, the next time you can’t find hanger steak at your local market, take it as an opportunity to experiment with one of these equally delightful substitutes. Happy cooking!

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