Porterhouse and T-bone steaks are two of the finest premium beef cuts in the world. But which one should you choose? Whether you prefer filet mignon or the New York Strip, here are the differences you need to know.
Many people may tell you that ribeye and ribeye are the same, but that’s not true. Sure, they both have that T shape and similar fat compositions, but there are big differences between them.
Yes, they both come from the short loin(the section between the ribs and the tenderloin).
Where are you from
Both the T-Bone and the Porterhouse come from the short back of the cow. This area of the cow has a T-shaped bone running down the middle( called the lumbar vertebrae ) that can be seen in both cuts of beef. As a result, both steaks look almost identical.
T-bones are cut from the front of the short loin while the porterhouse WILL be cut from the back. This gives the porterhouse steak more fillet.
Each has a New York Strip on one side and a filet mignon filet on the other.
What really sets the two apart is the size of the loin section in each. The US Department of Agriculture has stated that any cut with a sirloin section at least 1.25 inches wide( source ) should be classified as a porterhouse steak.
As a result, any steak with a sirloin between ½ inch and 1.25 inches is defined as a T-bone. Anything shorter is generally classified as a boned strip.
It’s a very technical definition, so it’s easy to see why the two are often confused with one another.
We all know that steaks tend to cost more with more meat, so it should come as no surprise that the porterhouse is more expensive than the T-bone.
Porterhouse has more tenderloin, one of the most tender and delicious cuts of beef you can get.
Which is the best?
It depends. That’s a boring answer, I know. But it depends on how many you’re cooking for and what you value in a good cut of steak.
The only real difference between the two is the amount of fillet steak in each, so there may be instances where porterhouse is too much.
If you’re only cooking for yourself, choose T-Bone. It’s more than enough meat to fill you up and still give you a good cut of New York roast beef and steak.
If you’re cooking for two, choose Porterhouse. The added filet mignon should give you and your guest a good helping of New York fillet and steak each, and should be more economical for two.
Steak buying tips
Anyone who has regularly shopped for meat will tell you that no cut of the same meat is ever the same. It’s not uncommon to buy two ribeyes and find that they are very different in size and thickness. Here’s also what you need to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting the best for yourself.
Once you’ve decided whether you want T-bone or Porterhouse, make sure the stripe side of the steak is a good size. Most people focus so much on the steak side that it’s easy to toss the strip side only to end up with a lean cut of meat.
Especially with Porterhouse, make sure that not too much connective tissue runs through the fillet. Some porterhouse cuts are cut too close to the cow’s sirloin, which means the meat can contain a lot of tough tendons. This uses up a lot more muscle mass, which means the meat can be a lot tougher and tougher and doesn’t pack a lot of flavor. As a result, you risk paying porterhouse prices for poor-quality meat.
Also look for generously sized, wide cuts of meat with small tendon cross-sections. If you have to choose between a medium cut with good grain or a large cut with lots of sinew, always choose the smaller piece.
How to Grill Porterhouse or T-Bone
Despite coming from the same part of the cow, the composition of the two steaks is so different that you need to treat them(slightly) differently.
Check out our reverse ribeye recipe
Steak tends to contain less fat, so it cooks faster. Cooking it at a slightly lower temperature should help it cook at about the same speed.
Heat the grill to around 230°C. Place both fillets on the grill, but with the New York Strip closer to the heat. Sear both steaks for about 4 minutes per side.
After grilling, let the steaks rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the meat juices to settle in the meat and you get wonderfully tender results.