A smoked hanger steak is the ultimate indulgence for any meat lover out there. If you’re a fan of juicy, succulent, and flavorful steaks, then this recipe is definitely for you. Prepared on a pellet smoker, this hanger steak recipe brings out the best of its natural flavors and adds a smoky and savory twist that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
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While this recipe might seem daunting at first, it’s actually quite simple, and with the right equipment, anyone can pull it off. You’ll need a pellet smoker, BBQ tongs, a sharp knife, and a meat thermometer to ensure the perfect doneness. Don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of experience smoking meat – the detailed instructions will guide you every step of the way.
So get ready to take your steak game to the next level with this delicious and impressive smoked hanger steak recipe. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or just looking to treat yourself to a special meal, this recipe is sure to impress.
What is a Hanger Steak?
A hanger steak is a cut of beef that comes from the plate section of the cow. It is also known as the “hanging tender” or “butcher’s steak” and is highly prized by chefs and meat lovers for its rich, beefy flavor and tender texture.
The hanger steak is long, thin, and has a noticeable grain that runs across the meat. It has a thick, chewy membrane that runs down the center, which needs to be removed before cooking. Hanger steak is typically less expensive than other cuts of meat like ribeye or filet mignon but offers a great balance of flavor and tenderness.
When compared to other cuts of beef, hanger steak has a similar texture to flank and skirt steaks but has a more intense beefy flavor. Flank steak is leaner than hanger steak and has a more pronounced grain, making it perfect for marinating and grilling. Skirt steak is similar to flank steak, but it has a looser grain and is often used in fajitas or other Tex-Mex dishes.
How To Make Smoked Hanger Steak
- Preheat Pellet Smoker
Preheating your pellet smoker is essential to ensure even cooking and to achieve that smoky flavor. The ideal temperature for this recipe is 225°F. This temperature allows the steak to cook slowly and absorb the smoke flavor. Make sure to check that your pellet smoker has enough pellets and that the hopper is full before starting.
- Season Hanger Steaks
While the smoker is preheating, remove the hanger steak from the fridge, generously season the steak with kosher salt and black pepper, and let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes. This will allow the meat to reach room temperature, which helps to ensure even cooking. For a little more flavor, you could try using a ground rosemary steak rub mix to season the steaks.
- Smoke Hanger Steak
Once the smoker has reached the desired temperature, place the hanger steak directly on the grate. Place the steak away from the hot spots or flames to ensure that it cooks evenly.
Close the lid and cook hanger steak until the internal temperature reaches 125°F, which should take about 45-60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak.
- Preheat A Cast-Iron Pan Over High Heat
When the steaks are nearing the target temperature, preheat a cast-iron pan over high heat with a high-heat oil such as avocado oil. The cast-iron pan should be hot enough to sear the steak.
- Sear Hanger Steak
Once the internal temperature of the steak reaches 125°F, remove it from the smoker and transfer it to the preheated cast-iron pan. Sear the steak for 1-2 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature reaches 135°F for medium-rare. The hot grill pan will give the steak a little charred texture crust while keeping the inside juicy and flavorful.
- Let the Steak Rest
Remove the hanger steak from the pan and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Resting the steak will allow the juices to settle and distribute evenly throughout the meat. This step is essential to ensure that the steak is juicy and tender.
- Make the Bourbon Sauce
While the steaks are resting, reduce the temperature of the stove to medium heat and add the bourbon sauce ingredients to the cast-iron pan. Whisk the ingredients for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens. The bourbon sauce will add a depth of flavor to the steak.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Pour the bourbon sauce over the steaks and enjoy a delicious and flavorful meal. Serve it with your favorite sides and enjoy a perfect smoked hanger steak on a pellet smoker.
What To Serve With Smoked or Grilled Hanger Steak
When it comes to serving smoked or grilled steak, there are several side dishes that would complement its rich flavor and tender texture. Here are a few suggestions.
Crispy Fried Onion Rings
Onion rings are a classic side dish that pairs perfectly with this juicy and tender cut of steak. They add a crispy and crunchy texture to the meal, while also providing a slightly sweet and savory flavor that balances the beef’s richness.
To make crispy fried onion rings, slice onions into thick rings, dredge them in a seasoned flour mixture, dip them in a buttermilk and egg mixture, and then coat them in breadcrumbs before frying until golden brown.
Smashed potatoes are a delicious and easy-to-make side dish that would pair well with smoked or grilled hanger steak.
Simply boil baby potatoes until tender, drain them, and then smash them with a fork or potato masher. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven until crispy and golden brown.
Chimi Churri Sauce
Chimi churri sauce is a classic Argentinean sauce made with fresh herbs, garlic, vinegar, and oil. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a hanger steak, as it adds a tangy and herbaceous flavor that complements the beef’s rich flavor.
To make the chimi churri sauce, combine fresh parsley, cilantro, garlic, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar, and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until it has a smooth texture. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve alongside the hanger steak.
Flavorful Smoked Hanger Steak you can try at home.
- Pellet Grill or Charcoal Grill
- Mesquite Wood Chips or Wood Pellets
- 2 hanger steaks
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup bourbon whisky
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp sriracha
- Preheat your pellet smoker to 225°F
- While the smoker is preheating, remove the hanger steak from the fridge, season generously with salt and pepper, and let it rest at room temperature
- Once the pellet smoker has reached the desired temperature, place the hanger steak directly on the grate.
- Close the lid and smoke the hanger steak until the internal temperature reaches 125°F. (This could take about 45-60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak)
- When the steaks are nearing the target temperature, preheat a cast-iron pan over high heat with a high-heat oil (avocado oil is a good option)
- When the steak's internal temperature reaches 125°F, remove them from the smoker. Transfer to the cast iron pan to sear for 1-2 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 135°F for medium-rare.
- Remove the hanger steak from the pan and let it rest for 5-10 minutes
- While the steaks are resting, reduce the temperature of the stove to medium heat, add the bourbon sauce ingredients, and whisk for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour over steaks and enjoy!
Smoked Hanger Steak FAQs
A hanger steak is a cut of beef that is known for its rich flavor and tender texture. It is similar to flank steak and skirt steak but has a slightly different texture and flavor. Butcher’s steak, also known as hanger steak, is cut from the diaphragm of the animal and has a different texture and flavor profile compared to other cuts.
Hanger steak should be smoked or grilled at a temperature of 225°F until the internal temperature reaches 125°F for medium-rare. Then, sear it over high heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 135°F.
Smoking or grilling hanger steak could take around 45-60 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak and the temperature your grill is set to.
The best way to sear hanger steak is to preheat a cast-iron pan over high heat with a high-heat oil, such as avocado oil, or butter. Then, sear the steak for 1-2 minutes on each side until the internal temperature reaches 135°F for medium-rare.
While marinating is not necessary for hanger steak, you can marinate it for a few hours to flavor steaks a bit more. To make the perfect marinade, create a mixture of oil, acid (like lemon juice or vinegar), and seasonings for added flavor.
You can tell if your hanger steak is cooked to the desired doneness by using an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. For medium-rare, the internal temperature should be 135°F, and for medium, it should be 145°F.