Hanger steak is the best choice if you want a juicy and flavorful steak. Not every grocery store carries hanger steak, but if you can’t find it there are plenty of other excellent meats to use in its place. Can you recommend some tasty alternatives to hanger steak? Delicious cuts of beef include the shoulder, skirt, and flank. You can also use chicken breast if you’d like a leaner meat option without sacrificing flavor. Firm tofu is a great choice for anyone looking for a meatless meal. Of course, the taste and consistency of each alternative is unique. Why don’t we see how these options stack up against hanger steak?
What Is Hanger Steak?
The rib and tenderloin portions of the cow are used to make hanger steak. Because it literally hangs from the cow’s abdominal muscles, it is known as a hanger steak. It has a very tight grained and tender texture as a result. Although there may be some connective tissues on the steak that give the tender meat a little texture, hanger steak is very lean.
Butcher’s steak and hanging tenderloin are other names for hanger steak. Because there is only one piece of hanger steak per cow, it can be both expensive and hard to find. Many people enjoy marinating hanger steak to enhance the flavor because it has such a lovely, savory flavor. To enjoy the rich flavors of the steak, you can also prepare it simply with salt and pepper.
The fact that hanger steak is so simple to prepare is one of its best qualities. Because this is the best way to preserve the flavor of the steak and appreciate its tenderness, it is typically cooked rare or medium-rare. The steak can easily lose its tender, juicy texture if it is overcooked.
Grilling hanger steak over a hot fire is the best way to savor a perfect piece. With this technique, the meat can be cooked quickly and given a smoky char exterior without becoming dry. Hanger steak doesn’t require marinating; a few sprinkles of salt and pepper can perfectly bring out the rich flavor of the meat. The meat only needs to be grilled for two minutes on each side after that to produce the ideal steak.
Prior to slicing, allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes. After that, the cooked steak needs to be thinly cut across the grain. Hanger steak is an incredibly tasty and filling meal when cooked correctly.
Best Substitutes For Hanger Steak
Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s take a look at some great hanger steak substitutes in case you can’t find any in your local stores!
1. Shoulder Steak
Shoulder steak is a fantastic choice if you want a steak that is flavorful and juicy. This meat comes from the cow’s shoulder and is prized for its capacity to hold onto juice. Because of this, it’s a fantastic option for grilling or frying. Additionally, the fat that is marbling in the shoulder steak contributes to its flavorful richness. Shoulder steak contains more fat than other beef cuts, so it won’t dry out as quickly.
However, this kind of steak can be challenging to cook evenly due to its high fat content. Shoulder steak has the disadvantage of not being as tender as hanger steak, so you can’t experience the melting flavor that hanger steak can provide. However, it will become just as tender if you cook it slowly over low heat.
Because of this, shoulder steak will go perfectly with recipes that call for diced or thin strips of beef as well as slow cooker recipes. These methods will improve the tenderness and enjoyment of the shoulder steak. Most grocery stores carry shoulder steaks, which are occasionally referred to as chuck steak.
2. Skirt Steak
Skirt steak and hanger steak are both flavorful cuts of beef, so skirt steak can stand in for hanger steak if you cook it properly. The skirt steak is a thin piece of meat taken from the middle of the animal. The fine grain on the exterior is what typically makes the meat so tender. On the other hand, the internal meat may be more coarse and tough. That’s why skirt steak is usually less tender than hanger steak. Both cuts, however, have a hearty, beefy taste that works well in savory preparations.
Skirt steak is a lean and flavorful cut of beef that benefits from being marinated or seasoned heavily and cooked at a high temperature. Skirt steak is best when cooked on the grill or in a wok over high heat. In addition, fajitas benefit greatly from using this cut of beef. Skirt steak should be a deep red color and have no discernible fat when purchased. Marinating skirt steak in your preferred sauce before grilling is a surefire way to ensure a tender and flavorful meal.
3. Flank Steak
The flank steak is a long, flat cut of beef derived from the cow’s abdominal muscles. It’s a lean cut of meat with a rich flavor reminiscent of a hanger steak. The texture of the two types of steak differs significantly. This difference is due to the fact that flank steak contains fewer grains than hanger steak, making the meat more difficult to cook. If you don’t know how to work with flank steak, it’s easy to get a tough, chewy steak.
Marinating flank steak for several hours or overnight before cooking is one of the best ways to enjoy it. This allows the marinade flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in a more flavorful dish. The procedure will also aid in the tenderization of the meat.
It’s worth noting that flank steak can take longer to cook than other cuts of beef, so give it plenty of time to reach the desired temperature. Flank steak is juicy, flavorful, and tender when cooked properly, making it an excellent choice for any meal. It’s also fairly lean, making it a good choice for those watching their fat intake.
4. Chicken Breast
Because chicken breast is frequently considered to be lean and healthy meat, it can be used as a healthy alternative to hanger steak. In terms of nutrition, chicken breast and hanger steak are comparable; both are a good source of protein with little to no fat. Chicken breast can also be comparable to hanger steak in terms of texture. When cooked properly, chicken breast has a texture that is firm yet tender, much like hanger steak.
Therefore, if you’re trying to cut back on red meat or are looking for leaner meat, the chicken breast might be a good choice. However, if you attempt to prepare chicken breast without any marinade or seasoning, it may turn out to be very bland and dry. As a result, we would advise against cooking chicken breasts on their own.
If you’re looking for a hanger steak substitute that you can grill or pan-fry, this is most definitely not a good option. Instead, dishes that call for marinating or situations where other ingredients can mask the bland flavors of chicken breasts, like meat stews or fajitas, can use chicken breast as a replacement.
Finding meat substitutes that are both nutritious and satisfying is one of the challenges of veganism. Tofu is a popular option for vegans looking for a hanger steak substitute! Tofu, which is made from soybeans, is an excellent source of vegan protein. It is also high in iron and calcium and is low in fat. Furthermore, tofu is extremely versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes. It can, for example, be pan-fried and served with vegetables, or cubed and added to soup or stir-fried.
Tofu can also be marinated and grilled, making it a great option for a vegan barbecue. If you’re looking for a steak substitute, look for tofu steak, which is designed to look (and sometimes even taste) like steak. If you can’t find tofu steak, you can get extra firm tofu and press it for about 30 minutes to condense it and make it more dense and meaty.
However, because tofu cannot perfectly replicate any type of meat, you may still notice a difference in texture — it is not the perfect substitute in terms of texture. Tofu is also very bland; it has no flavor at all and thus cannot be cooked on its own. Tofu absorbs sauce very well, so you can marinate it in soy sauce or barbecue sauce before cooking to allow it to soak up the flavors and more closely mimic the flavors of hanger steak.