The Best Way To Cook A Hanger Steak For Maximum Flavor

Cooking steak is one of those skills every carnivore strives to perfect. However, which cut of steak you choose is all-important. It's not recommended, for example, to treat a lean filet mignon, a thick cut of meat that's quite low in fat, the same way you would a hanger steak. 

A hanger steak is thin and comes with some fat marbling, unlike filet mignon. Hanger steak deserves (and indeed, requires) a cooking technique that's suited to its natural composition and the way that it's cut to enhance its flavor and texture. Though the meat has some fat, it benefits from particular steps to ensure it is tender and flavorful. 

The triple-whammy of marinating the meat, cooking it over high heat for a short amount of time, and letting it rest before serving is a surefire way to have a steakhouse-worthy hanger steak, despite it being an affordable cut of meat.

Marinades are the key to juicy hanger steak

Preparing the ideal hanger steak starts before you ever let heat touch it. It's important to marinate the meat to bring out its natural umami flavors and maximize the meat's tenderness.

Any marinades you enjoy will work well with hanger steak. It can be marinated for up to 24 hours but should have at least a few hours in the sauce. Garlic, soy, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce will all increase everything this flavorful cut of meat has to offer. 

Once the meat is done marinating, it's showtime. Cooking the meat quickly and over high heat allows for that crispy brown crust on the outside before the inside of the steak gets too well done. If you're cooking hanger steak in the oven, it can be cooked in the broiler because it's so thin. However, it can also be grilled or pan-seared.

Rest is best

The final step to cooking the perfect hanger steak is doing nothing at all. It's essential to let any steak rest to let the juices redistribute before cutting it, and hanger steak is no different. 

Rather than cutting into that delicious hanger steak immediately and risk letting the meaty juices run all over the cutting board, wait a solid 10 to 15 minutes. You'll be rewarded with a tender, juicy steak that's ready for the dinner plate. 

Hanger steak is ideal in a variety of preparations. Serve it in tacos with homemade salsa, in a Korean-inspired rice bowl with kimchi, or with mashed potatoes and a side salad. The options are as diverse and versatile as the hanger steak itself. Once you've perfected the technique of cooking the perfect hanger steak, the only decision left to make is the delicious one: how to season and enjoy it.