This grilled hanger steak may be the best steak I’ve done at home. I used my Lodge Sportsman’s grill, the great little cast iron hibachi-style beauty from South Pittsburg, TN, and what it produced was as good as any restaurant steakhouse cut pulled from a 1,200 degree salamander grill. Deep, dark crust outside, beautiful medium rare inside. Once heated through the Lodge cast cooking grate sears beef like an artist.
The hanger steak is a hefty, beefy, full of flavor-and-value cut. Maybe not the most attractive cut, especially for the filetophiles, the hanger features a membrane that separates the two “halves” that you have to work around. It’s not a big deal or a detracting factor. Often a restaurant will cut the steak in long halves eliminating the membrane. You can do that if you like; I prefer to grill them whole. Butchers have been taking the unpopular hangers home forever. Now you can find hanger at Whole Foods and their hanger cuts are very good. If you’ve have a “bistro steak” or the “onglet,” you’ve had hanger. Don’t pass on hanger because of its unusual shape or the membrane. It is truly delicious and more than a steak. It’s really a steak roast. Here’s how I’ll grill hanger steak with the Lodge Sportsman’s:
1. Fire up a charcoal chimney with natural hardwood charcoal. Open the red wine and let it breathe. Dump the burning coals onto the fire grate and let the cooking grates heat up to brush clean and oil.
2. Just before grilling pull the steak (1.5 to 2 pounds) out of the fridge and season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Note that the steak is cold inside which will add time to develop the restaurant oven-style exterior crust.
3. Place the steak on the grill and don’t leave your post. Turn it over only when the steak easily lifts off the grate. If it sticks, leave it be. If your heat is so high you risk burning the meat, move the coals aside with your dedicated for charcoal long restaurant supply place metal tongs. Allow this thick cut to cook on one side at least seven to ten minutes. Flip the steak and enjoy that beer you have whenever you’re grilling anything.
4. This hanger steak was thick enough to be grilled on all four sides which provides maximum crust coverage. Lean it against a clean brick set on the grill if necessary. Develop a 360 crust.
5. As it was a windy night on my patio I made a makeshift grill cover with the lid of an outdoor fire pit. This trapped a little heat to encourage the interior to cook through to about 125 – 130 degrees when I pull a steak for rare-medium rare.
Hanger cooks really well over a well established hardwood coal bed and a cast iron grate. Doesn’t have to be roaring hot, either. A good steady heat will cook the steaks through and give you a great crust. Don’t leave your post. Unlike water, a watched steak cooks just fine.