Hanger Steak vs Skirt Steak: 7 Differences You Need To Know

When it comes to steak, there are a variety of cuts to choose from, each with its unique texture and flavor.

Two popular cuts that are often compared are hanger steak and skirt steak, and while they may look similar, there are some key differences to consider when deciding which one to cook for your next meal.

Hanger steak is a tender and flavorful cut from the cow’s diaphragm, and it has a rich and beefy flavor with a slightly chewy texture.

On the other hand, skirt steak is a bit tougher and chewier but has a more pronounced beefy flavor.

Both cuts are best cooked to medium-rare and sliced against the grain for maximum tenderness.

When it comes to cooking methods, both hanger and skirt steak can be grilled, pan-seared, or broiled to perfection.

Overall, the choice between hanger steak and skirt steak comes from personal preference and how you plan to prepare them.

If you’re looking for a tender and flavorful cut that’s easy to cook, go for hanger steak.

However, if you’re a fan of bold, beefy flavors and don’t mind a bit of chew, skirt steak may be the way to go.

Whatever you choose, always let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing to ensure optimal flavor and tenderness.

Hanger Steak vs. Skirt Steak
The main difference between Hanger Steak and Skirt Steak is their texture and flavor. Hanger Steak is a thicker, tender cut with a beefier flavor, while Skirt Steak is thinner and has a more pronounced, grainy texture. Both cuts benefit from marinating and are best cooked quickly over high heat.

What Is Hanger Steak?

Most steak lovers have probably heard of hanger steak.

It’s a popular cut of beef that has gained a lot of attention in recent years thanks to its rich flavor and tender texture.

But what exactly is hanger steak?

Hanger steak is a cut of beef from the diaphragm muscle of the cow; specifically, it is located in the upper belly, near the rib cage.

It is sometimes referred to as “hanging tenderloin” or “butcher’s steak” because it used to be a cut that butchers would keep for themselves instead of selling it to customers.

Hanger steak is a relatively small cut of meat, weighing in at around 1-1.5 pounds, meaning that there are only two hanger steak cuts per cow, making it a rare and sought-after piece of meat.

It is also a muscle used frequently by the cow, meaning that the muscle fibers are well-developed and the meat is flavorful.

To prepare a hanger steak, it is important to remove the tough membrane that runs down the center of the cut; this can be done by carefully slicing it away with a sharp knife.

Once the membrane is removed, the steak can be cooked using various methods, including grilling, broiling, or pan-frying.

Overall, hanger steak is a delicious and unique cut of beef that is well worth trying if you haven’t already.

The tenderness and rich flavor make it a top choice among steak enthusiasts, and its scarcity only adds to its appeal.

What Is Skirt Steak?

Skirt steak is a type of beef steak cut from the plate, which is the lower belly of the cow; it is a long, thin, and flat cut of meat known for its rich flavor and unique texture.

Skirt steak is sometimes called “American skirt steak” or “Philadelphia steak.”

Skirt steak is one of the four beef cuts referred to as “flat steaks,” which also includes flank steak, flap steak, and flat iron steak.

These cuts are all similar in texture and flavor but come from different parts of the cow.

In terms of texture, skirt steak is known for being a bit tough and chewy, but it can be incredibly tender if cooked correctly.

It has a distinct grain that runs along the length of the steak, which should be cut against when slicing to make it more tender.

Skirt steak is best prepared using high heat and quick cooking methods such as grilling or pan-frying.

This helps to sear the outside of the steak and lock in the juices, resulting in a flavorful and juicy piece of meat.

Overall, skirt steak is a delicious cut of beef that is perfect for a variety of different dishes.

Whether you want to grill up a steak for dinner or add some beef to your tacos or stir-fry, skirt steak is a great choice that will surely please your taste buds.

What Are The Differences Between Hanger Steak And Skirt Steak?

When choosing between hanger steak and skirt steak, there are several differences to consider.

Both cuts are flavorful and tender but have unique characteristics that set them apart.

Here are the seven main differences between hanger steak and skirt steak:

1. Location and Shape

Hanger steak is cut from the plate section of the cow, which is near the rib cage; the cut is long and thin, with a V-shape.

Skirt steak, on the other hand, is cut from the diaphragm muscle, which is located under the ribs; it is a long, flat cut that is wider than a hanger steak.

2. Tenderness

While both hanger steak and skirt steak are tender cuts of beef, hanger steak is slightly more tender due to its location on the cow.

The hanger muscle is not used as much as the diaphragm muscle, which makes it more tender.

3. Flavor

Both cuts are flavorful, but hanger steak is known for its rich and beefy flavor, while skirt steak has a more robust and distinctive taste.

4. Cooking Time and Method

Hanger steak is thicker than skirt steak, meaning it requires a longer cooking time; it is best cooked over high heat, such as on a gas grill or hot cast-iron skillet.

Skirt steak, on the other hand, is thinner and requires a shorter cooking time; it is best cooked quickly over high heat, such as on a hot grill or cast-iron skillet.

5. Preparation Method

Hanger steak is a versatile cut that can be prepared in various dishes, such as steak tacos and steak sandwiches; it can also be marinated or dry-rubbed before cooking to enhance its delicious flavor.

Skirt steak is best suited for quick cooking methods, such as grilling or pan-frying, and is often used in fajitas or stir-fries.

6. Connective Tissue

Hanger steak has a small amount of connective tissue, which makes it more tender.

Skirt steak, on the other hand, has more connective tissue, which can make it slightly tougher.

However, skirt steak can still be tender and delicious if cooked properly.

7. Internal Temperature and Personal Preference

Both hanger and skirt steaks should be cooked to a temperature of 130-135°F for medium-rare.

However, personal preference plays a role in the cooking process.

Some people prefer their steak more well-done, while others prefer it rare.

It’s essential to cook the steak to your desired level to ensure you enjoy it.

In conclusion, hanger steak and skirt steak are both delicious cuts of beef with their own unique characteristics.

When choosing between the two, consider the location, tenderness, flavor, cooking time and method, preparation method, connective tissue, internal temperature and personal preference to make the best decision for your taste buds.

Hanger Steak vs. Skirt Steak: are they the same?

In this article, you have learned the differences between hanger and skirt steaks.

Both of these cuts of beef are flavorful and versatile, making them excellent options for a variety of dishes.

Hanger steak is a thicker cut of meat with a coarse grain that excels at holding in marinades and seasonings.

It is a good source of vitamin B12, protein, and zinc.

On the other hand, skirt steak is longer and narrower than hanger steak, with a beefier flavor.

It contains high amounts of selenium, niacin, and phosphorus.

When it comes to cooking these steaks, both hanger and skirt steaks are best prepared to medium-rare for tender, mouthwatering results.

Skirt steak can be grilled or pan-seared, while hanger steak is best cooked on the grill or in a cast-iron skillet.

Ultimately, the choice between hanger steak and skirt steak comes down to personal preference and the specific dish you are preparing.

Both cuts of beef have their unique qualities and can be used in various recipes.

So, next time you’re at the butcher shop, consider trying out both to see which one you prefer.

FAQs

Which cut of steak is better for grilling: hanger steak or skirt steak?

Both hanger steak and skirt steak are great options for grilling.

However, hanger steak is a bit thicker and has more marbling, which makes it a bit juicier and more flavorful.

Skirt steak, on the other hand, is thinner and more delicate, which makes it cook faster and crisp up nicely.

Ultimately, it all comes down to your personal preference.

Can you substitute hanger steak for skirt steak in a recipe?

Yes, you can substitute hanger steak for skirt steak in most recipes.

However, keep in mind that hanger steak is thicker and more marbled than skirt steak, so it may take longer to cook and have a slightly different flavor and texture.

What are some popular recipes for cooking hanger steak?

Hanger steak is a great cut of meat that can be cooked in many ways.

Some popular recipes include hanger steak fajitas, hanger steak with chimichurri sauce, hanger steak salad, and hanger steak with roasted vegetables.

How do you properly marinate and cook skirt steak?

Skirt steak is a thin, delicate cut of meat that benefits from a good marinade to help tenderize it and add flavor.

To marinate skirt steak, combine your desired marinade ingredients in a large zip bag or dish, add the steak, and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

To cook skirt steak, preheat your grill or pan to high heat, remove the steak, and cook for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Let the steak rest for a few minutes before slicing against the grain.

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( Former Private Chef )

After acquiring a professional culinary education at the Culinary Institute of America, Andrew honed his culinary expertise by working in some of the most prestigious restaurants and catering companies, where he gained valuable experience in crafting delicious and visually stunning gourmet dishes.

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