Porterhouse vs. T-bone: What’s The Difference

Porterhouse and t-bone steaks

Porterhouse vs. T-bone: what’s the difference between these two premium steaks? Both T-bone and Porterhouse steaks are very similar. Both come from the cow’s short loin and have a t-shaped bone. Both steaks have a tenderloin on one side of the bone and a New York strip on the other side of the bone. The real difference is that they come from different ends of the short loin. Porterhouse steaks have a bigger part of tenderloin filet mignon because it’s from the end of the short loin towards the cow’s back. As the short loin goes from the front of the cow to the back, the tenderloin gets bigger. The T-bone steak from the front of the short loin naturally gets a smaller tenderloin portion.

As you can see, both steaks have a lot in common; however, there are a few differences worth knowing. Let’s start with the differences, and later in the article, you’ll learn about each steak individually.

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The Difference Between a T-bone and a Porterhouse

The Difference Between a T-bone and a Porterhouse

Cooking: Porterhouse vs. T-bone

You can cook porterhouse and t-bone steaks using the same cooking methods; however, the most significant difference is the time it takes to cook the meat. Porterhouse is a bigger cut weighing around 24 ounces, while an average t-bone steak weighs about 12 to 18 ounces. The bigger the steak is, the more time it takes to cook.

Price Difference: Porterhouse vs. T-bone

While T-bone steak is an expensive beef cut, Porterhouse steak is even more costly. Depending on the vendor, expect to pay more than $2-$5 per pound. That’s because Porterhouse has more filet than t-bone.

Size and Appearance: Porterhouse vs. T-bone

T-bone is noticeably smaller. Both cuts have a large strip steak; however, the t-bone contains a smaller filet portion. According to the USDA, Porterhouse steak must have at least 1.25 inches across its widest tenderloin point to qualify as a Porterhouse.

Porterhouse Steak: Brief Overview

Porterhouse steak brief overview

What part of the cow does Porterhouse steak come from? Porterhouse is a beef cut from a short loin close to the rear end. It consists of two steaks attached to the bone. One side of the steak consists of tenderloin steak, while the other half consists of New York strip steak (top loin).

How does Porterhouse steak taste? Since Porterhouse steak consists of two different cuts, both cuts have a slightly different flavor profiles. The strip steak has a beefy flavor, while the filet mignon has a mild taste.

What is the texture of Porterhouse steak? Two beef cuts separated by the t-shaped bone have different textures. While tenderloin cut is less flavorful, it makes up for that with a fork-tender texture. Keep in mind that tenderloin steak is considered the most tender cut. On the other hand, the top loin is relatively tender with a bit of chew.

How to cook Porterhouse steak? Porterhouse steak is challenging to cook because it contains two different cuts. The tenderloin part is lean, while the short loin part has a lot of marbling; therefore, the tenderloin tends to cook faster. The best way to cook a steak is on a grill, smoking hot cast-iron skillet, or in the oven under the broiler. Bring steak to room temperature at least 40 minutes to an hour before cooking. Season porterhouse steak with a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Preheat the charcoal grill or cast-iron skillet until smoking hot. If using the broiling cooking method, here’s an article explaining how to do that. Sear the steak over high heat until the caramelized crust forms. It should take a minute or two. Turn the heat to medium and continue cooking to the desired doneness. When cooking on a grill, move the steak to the indirect heat side of the grill. Turn the steak every 2-3 minutes and check the steak’s internal temperature. It’s best not to cook steak past medium doneness (145 degrees Fahrenheit); otherwise, the steak can become dry. After cooking, leave it to rest for at least 10 minutes to allow steak juices to redistribute throughout the steak’s interior.

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How much does Porterhouse steak cost? Porterhouse is a premium cut; therefore, the price starts at around $24 per pound, depending on the vendor.

Where can you buy Porterhouse steak? You can buy Porterhouse steaks at a local butcher shop or specialized online store. Some supermarkets have it available.

T-bone Steak: Brief Overview

T-bone steak brief overview

What part of the cow does T-bone steak come from? T-bone steak is a cut from the front portion of the short loin. A t-shaped bone separates two beef cuts – the tenderloin and the strip steak. Since t-bone steak is cut from the cow’s front section, the tenderloin narrows, making it smaller than one on a Porterhouse steak.

How does T-bone steak taste? T-bones have a beefy flavor from the strip sections and a mellow flavor from the tenderloin. The top loin section has more marbling hence more flavor, while the tenderloin is leaner.

What is the texture of T-bone steak? The strip part of the t-bone steak is tender with a bit of a chew, while the filet mignon section has an incredibly tender and juicy texture because the muscle is relatively inactive, making it melt in your mouth tender.

How to cook a T-bone steak? Just like a Porterhouse steak, t-bone steak is quite challenging to cook. The tenderloin part tends to overcook much faster than the strip part. However, it’s possible to cook steak evenly with a bit of practice. The best way to cook a t-bone steak is on a grill, frying pan, or under the broiler. Bring steak to room temperature at least 30 minutes before cooking. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Pat steak dry before searing. Sear the steak over high heat in a frying pan or on a grill until caramelized crust forms. It should take about two minutes. Turn heat to medium and continue cooking. When grilling the t-bone, move it onto an indirect heat side of the grill and continue cooking to the desired doneness. Using a meat thermometer, check the steak’s temperature. Turn it every 2-3 minutes if you want to enjoy steak cooked evenly. Remove steak from the heat source when the internal temperature is 5° Fahrenheit below the desired doneness and cover it with aluminum foil. Leave the steak to rest for at least 5-10 minutes. The steak will continue to cook, and at the same time, steak juices will redistribute throughout the steak’s interior.

How much does T-bone steak cost? T-bone steak is an expensive cut starting at around $20 per pound, depending on the vendor.

Where can you buy T-bone steak? You can buy T-bone steaks at most butcher shops, online, and in some supermarkets.

T-bone vs. Porterhouse: Which is Better?

Both the T-bone and porterhouse steaks are identical in terms of taste and texture. The only real difference is size, price, and appearance. Porterhouse steak is a better option for special occasions and family gatherings since it’s a much larger cut. It can be sliced up and served to two people or more. On the other hand, t-bone is slightly cheaper but delivers the same experience with less filet on a plate.

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What is better, Porterhouse or T-bone?

Both steaks are almost identical; apart from that, Porterhouse steak has bigger filet meat. Other than that, they taste the same and have the same texture.

Is T-bone or Porterhouse more expensive?

Pound for pound porterhouse steak cut is more expensive because it contains a larger tenderloin section.

Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas is an accomplished chef with over a decade of experience in the culinary world, having worked in esteemed, high-end restaurants across Europe. With a talent for combining traditional techniques and innovative flair, Renaldas has refined his signature style under the mentorship of respected European chefs. Recently, Renaldas has expanded his impact beyond the kitchen by sharing his expertise through his online platform. Dedicated to inspiring culinary professionals and food enthusiasts, he offers expert advice, innovative recipes, and insightful commentary on the latest gastronomic trends.
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