This Is The Most Underrated Cut Of Steak

As delicious as steak is, it can be a complex ingredient. If you go in with the assumption that you can just take a chunk of meat, heat it up and enjoy, you might end up with a charred hunk of chewy, barely edible disappointment. It doesn't help that the world is full of strange steak recipes that go nuts with the ingredient — and even if you manage to ace the cooking part, the very act of eating steak is surprisingly easy to mess up.

Fortunately, there are all sorts of cooking tricks to make your steak tastes perfect. However, before you even glance at those, everything begins with the all-important task of selecting the cut of steak. There are all sorts of options out there, from the sublime deliciousness of ribeye steak to certain cuts you should probably avoid. In fact, there are so many beef bits going around, it can be difficult to keep track of what's class and what's trash. As such, some cuts may receive undue respect, while other, infinitely superior ones aren't rated nearly as high as they should. But what's the cut that gets the worst of it? What is the most underrated cut of steak? 

Per Thrillist, it's hanger steak. Sure, it might sound like a vicious piece of meat that's desperately in need of a snack, but don't be driven off by the name – it's actually an extremely delicious cut from the short plate under the rib of the cow.

Many chefs agree that hanger steak doesn't get enough love

Hanger steak is a popular cut among chefs, and many go as far as listing it as the most underrated cut of steak altogether. "You have the tenderness of the filet and the flavor of the New York," says William DeMarco of CRUSH and La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway. "It's also known as the butcher steak because the butchers used to keep it for themselves rather than sell it." Cory Harwell of Eleven Hospitality Group, Carlos Torres of BLT Steak Waikiki, and Jesse Schenker of 2 Spring all agree with the sentiment. "The most underrated cut is hanger because it hangs close to all the organs and all the blood, which gives it a lot of flavor and richness," Schenker explains.

Of course, not all chefs share this sentiment about hanger steak. Some even say that the cut is overrated. According to David Guas of Bayou Bakery, "It's been hangin' around every bistro for far too long," and you'd be much better off with tri-tip. Kate Kavanaugh of Western Daughters Butcher's Shoppe agrees that the cut is overrated, though her main point of contention seems to be that there's too little of it to go around: "Comprising only about a pound and a half of a 900lb steer, this cut, while delicious, is best served infrequently and only bought from your local butcher shop." Hold on, what was that Chef DeMarco said about hanger steak and butchers again?

Chefs think there are many cuts that don't get enough love

Hanger steak may have lots of fans, but don't take that to mean it's the only underappreciated cut worth exploring. 

Hanger steak critic David Guas personally feels that tri-tip – a delicious, triangular bottom sirloin cut – is the true king of the neglected bits of beef. "It is probably the least-expensive, best taste of beef you can purchase," Guas explains. "There's not a lot of connective tissue, so it cooks very quickly and easily. It has been my go-to meat for grilling, it has a way of soaking in the wonderful flavors and allowed a slight caramelization on the outside." Steve McHugh of Cured agrees with the sentiment, though he notes that tri-tip does have its fans, particularly in California. He also helpfully provides a wonderfully simple grilling tip to truly bring out the best of the cut, complete with a wine recommendation. "A good marinade and cooked to medium-rare on the grill, and you have a nice sliceable steak to pair with a little chimichurri and a good malbec." 

Chefs, of course, are people, and different folks have different preferences. Fans of hanger and tri-tip aside, Hosea Rosenberg of Blackbelly says the truly underrated cut is a marbled chuck cut known as the Denver steak. Meanwhile, pitmaster Evan LeRoy of LeRoy and Lewis Barbecue eschews traditional steak cuts in favor of beef tongue, while John Lichtenberger of Péché is a huge fan of... marrow bones.