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Skirt Steak vs. Hanger Steak: What is The Difference

hanger steak and skirt steak

Skirt steak vs. hanger steak. How do these two cuts of meat compare? Well, they are pretty similar cuts. Both skirt steak and hanger steak come from the plate primal of the cow. Both are incredibly flavorful, and both are chewy cuts of meat. However, the are a few minor differences between them.

Choosing a steak for someone who knows very little about different cuts can be overwhelming. You can choose from various beef steaks: lean steak cuts, fatty steak cuts, extremely tender steak cuts, and steak cuts for grilling or steak cuts for pan-frying. As you can see, you can find a steak that suits your taste and preferred cooking method.

In this article, I’ll explain the differences between hanger and skirt steaks. It’s hard to believe that these two excellent cuts were used for ground beef not that long ago. Thankfully now you’ll see more people using a grilled hanger steak or a grilled skirt steak as their go-to steak for a weekend grill party.

What is Hanger Steak

what is hanger steak

What Part of the Cow Does Hanger Steak Come FromHanger steak is a cut from the diaphragm of a cow (lower belly), better known as a plate section. It’s a long and thin muscle comprised of a pair of muscles. It has a membrane running down the middle of the steak.

How Does Hanger Steak Taste Like – Hanger steak has a rich beefy flavor. It’s a relatively lean cut; therefore, it’s not the most flavorful, especially when compared to ribeye or New York strip steak; nevertheless, it does pack a good amount of beefy flavor. Hanger steak resembles skirt steak in taste. It’s hard to tell which one is which when cooked the same way.

The Texture of the Hanger Steak – Hanger steak is a tough piece of meat. Because it’s located in a plate area of the cow, it’s a well-worked muscle. It’s best to tenderize the steak before cooking it. In terms of texture, it’s slightly chewier than the skirt steak.

How To Cook Hanger Steak – It’s best to cook hanger steak quickly over high heat. Grilling, stir-frying, or pan-frying on a scorching hot pan will yield the best results. Slow cooking is yet one more way to cook hanger steak. It’s better to use a marinade or a tenderizing method (tenderizing steak with salt) to make hanger steak more tender. When the steak is overcooked, it’s too chewie to eat. Recommended doneness level is rare to medium-rare. After cooking, leave the steak to rest for at least 5-10 minutes. It’ll give time for the steak juices to redistribute throughout the interior of the steak.

How Much Does Hanger Steak Cost – Hanger steak costs somewhere between $11.99/lb to $13.99/lb.

Where Can You Buy Hanger Steak – You can buy hanger steak at grocery stores, butcher shops, and specialized online stores.

Also Known – Hanger steak is also known as Onglet (in France), hanging tenderloin, and butcher’s steak.

What is Skirt Steak

what is skirt steak

What Part of the Cow Does Skirt Steak Come FromSkirt steak is a cut from the beef’s plate section. It consists of two cuts of meat – inside skirt steak and outside skirt steak. Both cuts are flat and about 24 inches long. Outside skirt steak has a membrane that needs to be removed before cooking.

How Does Skirt Steak Taste Like – Skirt steak is a very flavorful piece of meat. It has a rich beefy flavor. However, it’s a lean cut of meat without much marbling. The less marbling the steak has, the less flavorful it is. Both the hanger steak and the skirt steak are very similar in terms of flavor. However, compared to the flank steak or the flat iron steak, the skirt steak is packed with a more intense beefy flavor.

The texture of the Skirt Steak – Skirt steak has a chewie texture. It comes from a well-worked plate area of the cow, so it’s not as tender as a filet mignon or ribeye steak. It does need tenderizing before cooking.

How To Cook Skirt Steak -The best way to cook skirt steak is on a scorching hot cast-iron skillet, scorching charcoal grill, or stir-fry. It’s best not to cook it past rare or medium-rare. The steak’s internal temperature determines how juicy and tender the steak is. So if you overcook the meat, it can become too chewy and dry. And last but not least, leave the steak to rest for at least five minutes after cooking.

How Much Does Skirt Steak Cost – Depending on the supplier, skirt steak come at around $8-$20 per pound

Where Can You Buy Skirt Steak – You can buy skirt steak at a grocery store, butchers shop, or online store.

Also Known As – Skirt steak is known as Philadelphia steak, Romanian tenderloin, Romanian steak, and Arrachera.

What Are the Main Differences Between Skirt Steak and Hanger Steak

What Are the Main Differences Between Skirt Steak and Hanger Steak

Here are the main differences between skirt steaks and hanger steaks:

Size

One of the most significant differences between hanger steak and skirt steak is size. Hanger steak is a bit thicker and shorter compared to the skirt steak. It comes at around 6-7 inches long, while the skirt steak can measure 20 to 24 inches long and three to four inches across.

Cooking Time

The rule of thumb is the thicker the steak is, the longer it takes to cook. Since hanger steak is a thicker cut than skirt steak, it takes a few more minutes to reach the desired doneness.

Cut

Even though both hanger and skirt steaks come from the plate area, there are two cuts of skirt steak. One is called the inside skirt, while another is the outside skirt. In comparison, there is only one hanger steak.

Conclusion: Which is Better – Skirt Steak or Flank Steak?

Both the skirt steak and the hanger steak are evenly matched in many regards. However, since skirt steak is a slightly more tender cut and has a bit more flavor due to the fat content, it’s a better option.

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FAQ

Can you substitute skirt steak for hanger steak?

Yes, you can substitute skirt steak for hanger steak since both cuts are similar in flavor and texture. In fact, many chefs and home cooks use two different cuts for the same dishes like tacos, fajitas, or salads.

What is the difference between skirt steak, flank steak, and hanger steak?

All three cuts are very similar in texture, flavor, and appearance. All three cuts can be used interchangeably in similar dishes such as fajitas, tacos, and stir-fry dishes. However, while skirt steaks and hanger steaks come from the plate area, flank steak is located in the cow’s flank area close to the thigh.

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