What is a Hanging Tender Cut of Beef? A Guide to This Delicious Steak

The hanging tender, also known as a hanger steak or butcher’s steak, is a little-known cut that delivers big on flavor. Located near the rib section of the animal, this thin and flat steak offers a uniquely tender yet robust taste

If you love exploring new cuts of meat, the hanging tender is one you need to try. Keep reading to learn all about what makes this cut so special and how to cook it to perfection.

Where Does the Hanging Tender Come From?

The hanging tender cut comes from the plate primal, which is the upper belly of the steer. It consists of two small muscle groups called the crura, which attach the diaphragm to the last rib and lumbar vertebrae.

These tapered muscles literally “hang” from the diaphragm, suspended between the rib section and the loin primal The tenderloin sits right above it

Since this muscle does minimal work, it remains extremely tender. It’s located in the most tender section of the animal, enveloped by the rib bones for protection.

Key Traits of Hanging Tender Steak

Some key qualities of the hanging tender steak include:

  • Flavor – Robust, deep beefy flavor similar to ribeye
  • Texture – Tender yet dense with good marbling
  • Shape – An elongated oval shape, tapered at both ends
  • Size – Around 8-14 ounces each, sold as a pair
  • Fat – Thin membrane and surface fat for moisture

When trimmed and separated into two steaks, the hanging tender offers a uniquely delicious cut sized just right for a single serving.

Why Butchers Love This Cut

In the past, the hanging tender was treasured by butchers, who would often keep this flavorful steak for themselves. Customers were not as familiar with this lesser-known cut.

Today, more restaurants and gourmet butchers offer the hanging tender on their menus. Its surge in popularity comes from discovering how tender and delicious this cut can be.

The hanging tender rivals tenderloin for tenderness but has a bolder, beefier taste similar to ribeye. It provides a premium steak experience at a fraction of the price of the more coveted loin cuts.

How to Cook a Hanger Steak Perfectly

The hanging tender benefits most from quick, high-heat cooking methods that give it a nice char while keeping the interior moist.


Grilling over very high direct heat is ideal for this cut. Grill no more than 4 minutes per side for medium rare doneness. Any more and it will quickly get overcooked and dry.

Pan Searing

In a cast iron or heavy stainless steel pan, heat oil over high heat until smoking. Add the steaks and sear 1-2 minutes per side. Finish in a 400°F oven for about 5 minutes until medium rare.


Place steaks on a broiler pan and broil 4-5 minutes per side under high heat, until medium rare (130°F). Keep a close eye to avoid overcooking.

Sous Vide

For the most tender, fool-proof hanger steak, cook sous vide at 130°F for 1-2 hours until medium rare. Finish by searing briefly on both sides.

No matter how you cook it, use a meat thermometer to monitor temperature. Slice against the grain before serving.

Sampling Hanger Steak Cuts

If you want to try this underrated cut, here are a few ways to sample it:

  • At a gourmet butcher shop or steakhouse, order a hanger steak entree
  • Purchase pre-cut hanger steaks at a local butcher or online
  • Buy a whole beef plate primal and have the butcher cut hanging tender steaks
  • Alternatively, substitute hanger steak in recipes calling for skirt or flank steak

With its rich, meaty flavor in a convenient personal-sized steak, it’s easy to see why the hanging tender has gained popularity. This cut delivers big steak flavor at a wallet-friendly price point.

Serving Suggestions for Hanger Steak

The robust taste of hanger steak pairs wonderfully with bright, acidic ingredients. Some tasty serving ideas include:

  • Chimichurri – An Argentinian green sauce with parsley, garlic, and vinegar cuts through the richness.

  • Gremolata – Chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic makes a bright topping.

  • Onions – Caramelized onions balance out the meatiness.

  • Salsa – Fresh tomato salsa adds a punch of flavor.

  • Wine – An earthy red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Beyond sauces, the hanger steak also shines when sliced for steak sandwiches or fajitas. Take this tasty cut in endless directions!

Common Questions About Hanger Steak

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the hanging tender cut:

What’s another name for hanger steak?
The hanging tender, butcher’s steak, and hanging tenderloin are other common names.

How much does it cost?
Around $15-25 per pound since it’s considered a specialty cut. Still less than premium cuts like tenderloin.

What’s the best way to cook it?
Quick, high-heat methods like grilling, broiling, or pan searing help develop the crust while keeping the inside tender.

Can it be substituted for flank or skirt steak?
Yes, the thin shape and hearty flavor profile makes it a good replacement in fajitas, stir fries, etc.

How long does it take to cook?
Aim for 4-7 minutes total cooking time depending on thickness. Use a meat thermometer to check for 130°F (medium rare).

Discovering the Hanging Tender Steak

The hanging tender delivers a uniquely tender, deeply flavorful steak experience. Now that you know how to identify and cook this underappreciated cut, it’s time to try it for yourself. Just one bite will help you understand why butchers have long treasured this cut.

Everything You Need To Know About Hanger Steak


Is a hanging tender a good steak?

Is hanger steak a good cut? Many people wonder, “What’s hanger steak, and is it a good cut to use?” Hanger steak is a little-known cut, but its excellent flavor makes it stand out. It’s thin like flank steak or flat iron and it can be used in many of the same dishes.

What is hanger steak called in the grocery store?

A hanger steak (US), also known as butcher’s steak, hanging tenderloin, skirt (UK), or onglet, is a cut of beef steak prized for its flavor and tenderness. This cut is taken from the plate, which is the upper belly of the animal.

Is hanging tender the same as skirt steak?

The hanger steak is a cut of beef that’s similar to skirt steak but taken from the diaphragm of a cow, or plate. It is also known as the “butcher’s steak” because butchers would often keep it for themselves. It is a long, thin cut of meat that is a little tougher than skirt steak, but can be cooked in many ways.

How to prepare beef hanging tender?

Season meat on both sides generously with salt and pepper. Grill over hot coals uncovered, 2 to 3 minutes a side until a thermometer registers 125ºF for medium rare or 135ºF for medium. Transfer meat to a board to rest for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

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