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Hanger Steak vs. Skirt Steak - Beef Cuts Explained

Mehgan Zheng
top view of hanger steak vs skirt steak

Do you need help choosing a hanger and skirt steak for your next meal? If that is the case, you're not alone. When it comes to the hanger steak vs skirt steak, there are many things to consider.

Both the hanger steak and the skirt steak offer unique flavors and textures. This makes it even more challenging to choose one over the other. This article will explore the differences between skirt steak and hanger steak. We will also take a closer look at each steak's price and availability, flavor and texture, cooking methods, and uses to help you make an informed decision.

If you want to become an expert and learn about even more kinds of beef cuts, check out our ultimate guide to beef cuts.

What is a Hanger Steak?

The hanger steak (also known as the butcher's steak) is a beef cut from the diaphragm muscle of the cow. As you may have already guessed, this steak got its name because butchers traditionally kept it for themselves.

The butcher's steak has a beefy flavor and tender texture with a slightly coarse grain. As for cooking methods, you can cook it in a grill, pan, or broiler. For the best results, we recommend cooking it to medium-rare or medium. Otherwise, you can end up overcooking it.

raw hanger steak

After the culinary process, it is critical to let it rest for some minutes to allow the juices to disseminate evenly. This particular cut is often used in steak sandwiches, salads, and fajitas.

If you choose hanger steak vs. skirt steak, read more about how to cook hanger steak to perfection.

What is Skirt Steak?

The skirt steak is a long, flat steak from the cow's lower chest and abdominal area, known as the plate. This steak is a relatively inexpensive cut. It is popular in many cuisines, particularly Latin American dishes such as fajitas. It's also spectacular once rubbed with the right spices and cooked low and slow in a smoker or slow cooker. For skirt steak, we recommend any of the Taste of Home Seasonings by Gustus Vitae.

grid showing what cuts of meat come from which part of the cow

The skirt steak’s texture is generally quite coarse. It features prominent muscle fibers that can make it chewy if poorly prepared. However, if you cook it correctly, the steak can be very tender, tasty, and juicy.

In regards to flavor, skirt steak has a strong and beefy taste. Some say it has a slightly sweet undertone. It's pronounced grain and rich, savory flavor is well-suited to bold marinades and spice rubs.

Skirt steak is typically best cooked over high heat. You can grill it or sear it in a hot skillet. You can also braise or slow-cook it. However, it requires more care to prevent it from becoming tough.

Differences between Hanger Steak and Skirt Steak

So, where is the difference? In this section, we will review the differences between skirt steak and hanger’s steak.

Price and Availability

Before we tell you the difference in flavor, it is important to note the differences in terms of cow anatomy. First, there are two skirt steaks: inside and outside skirt steaks, but there is just one hanger cut in a cow. The hanger's cut is also smaller than either of the skirt steaks.

As such, the butcher's cut is generally more expensive and hard to come by. Skirt steak, on the other hand, is available in most stores and less expensive.

Flavor and Texture

The flavor and texture also make a huge difference between the hanger steak vs. skirt steak. First, the hanger steak is very flavorful and tender. It also has a slightly grainy texture. Its rich and meaty flavor has led many steak lovers to think the hanger steak is a cross between ribeye and flank steak.

Skirt steak, on the other hand, has more connective tissues. It has a distinct grain and a chewy texture.

cooked skirt steak on a wooden cutting board

Cooking Method

While both the hanger steak and the skirt steaks are versatile cuts, the cooking method that brings out the best flavors and texture differs. The hanger steak is best cooked over high heat. You can grill, broil, or pan-sear it. Also, when cooking this steak, keep an eye on the steak to avoid overcooking and to preserve the tenderness.

On the other hand, the skirt steak benefits from a longer cooking time, such as slow roasting or braising.

If you prefer a smoker, both types of steak will need to rest before you cut into them. We recommend resting smoked meat on a cutting board for at least one hour before slicing it.

Hanger Steak vs. Skirt Steak: Which Is Better?

Everyone has their own meal plan and personal preference. As such, there is no clear winner between the hanger and skirt steak. It is all a matter of personal choice and the cooking method. If you want to make steak tacos, go for the hanger steak. In addition, the hanger steak is more expensive. Therefore, for a cheaper cut, go for the skirt steak.

Ultimately, the decision between hanger steak and skirt steak comes from personal preference and the desired cooking method. Just ensure you cook them delicately to bring out the best of both steaks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can hanger steak be substituted for skirt steak in recipes?

Yes. You can replace the hanger steak for skirt steak in most recipes. However, remember that hanger steak is more tender than skirt steak. As such, you may need to modify the preparation time. Aside from a shorter cooking time, you can substitute it without your guests noticing.

What is the best way to cook hanger steak?

The best way to cook the hanger’s steak is over high heat. You can grill, pan-sear, or even roast it. It's best complimented with a premium Montreal Steak Seasoning. No matter the cooking style you prefer, always opt for medium-rare doneness. The steak can be touchy even if it is slightly overcooked. On the other hand, the steak can have a slimy texture if undone. Lastly, remember to let the steak rest for some minutes after it is cooked.

Can skirt steak be grilled?

Yes. The skirt steak is perfect for grilling.

How should I season hanger steak?

The hangers steak is a versatile cut when it comes to seasoning. You can choose to go simple with salt and pepper. However, we recommend any of the seasonings from Gustus Vitae's Craft BBQ Collection. We also have a huge selection of steak seasonings and rubs here at Virginia Boys Kitchens.


The hanger steak and skirt steak are both delicious beef cuts. Each offers unique flavors and textures. While the hanger steak is more expensive and harder to come by, it has a tender texture and rich, meaty flavor. The skirt steak is less expensive and more widely available, with a chewy texture and rich, beefy flavor.

When cooking them, the hanger steak benefits from high-heat cooking methods. On the other hand, the skirt steak requires a longer cooking time to break down its fibers. The decision of one over another relies on personal preferences and uses. To that end, we hope you can now make an informed choice.


View our entire collection of Salts, Seasonings, and Rubs by Gustus Vitae - there are so many ways to elevate the flavor of your best beef cut. Find the perfect seasoning for your next steak, bbq, stew, or smoked meat!

top view of different seasonings by gustus vitae arranged on a wood cutting board

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