T-bone steaks and porterhouse steaks are very popular cuts of meat across America, but although very similar, they are not quite the same. They are cut from the same region of a cow and a porterhouse can be thought of like a bigger version of a T-bone, but a T-bone cannot be a porterhouse.
Today we’ll look at the best way to grill a T-bone steak and a porterhouse steak, how long to grill a T-bone steak or porterhouse steak, and the best wood pellet grills to cook your perfect steak.
Table of Contents
What is T-Bone Steak?
A T-bone steak is easily recognizable by the T-shaped bone running through the middle of it. This bone separates a New York strip steak and a filet mignon so that you are getting two different steaks in one.
In order for this cut of meat to be considered a ‘T-bone’, the filet mignon side must be at least half an inch wide at the widest point, as set out by the USDA.
What is a Porterhouse Steak?
A porterhouse steak is similar to the T-bone steak, but the filet mignon portion is significantly larger, making it a larger steak overall.
In order for this cut of meat to be considered a ‘porterhouse’, the filet side must be at least 1 ¼” wide at the widest point, as set by the USDA.
Which Part of the Cow Do T-Bone Steak and Porterhouse Steak Come From?
The T-bone steak and the porterhouse steak are both cut from the same area of the cow, called the short loin. The difference is that a T-bone is cut further up the short loin and a porterhouse is cut further down where there is more tenderloin.
Sometimes these cuts are removed from the bone and served separately as a NY strip steak or a filet mignon, but when left on the bone they are referred to simply as T-bone or porterhouse steaks.
T-Bone Steak vs. Porterhouse Steak: Taste, Texture, and Fattiness Comparison
Since they come from the region of a cow, the taste and texture of a T-bone and a porterhouse steak are generally the same. Some people will find that they can tell the difference between the two, and others will be unable to differentiate.
The flavor of the steak is likely to come down to the way you cook it as well as the quality of the beef.
A T-bone steak has a relatively large fat content, which helps it to stay soft and tender, but is not so good for health. With between 180 and 210 calories and 14g of fat per portion (about one-third of which are saturated fats), it is recommended that you moderate consumption of this cut of beef.
A 3-ounce T-bone steak (one portion) typically contains about 23g of protein, along with almost one-third of our daily dose of vitamin B12.
As well as this, a T-bone steak will provide you with vitamin B6, niacin, riboflavin, and trace elements of iron, selenium, and zinc, which are all important for biological processes in our bodies.
Like with the T-bone steak, it is important that you eat porterhouse steak in moderation, as just one pound of this cut of beef can have more than 1,000 calories. One serving of porterhouse steak will contain about 200-250 calories, with 20-25g of protein.
Like T-bone steak, and many other cuts of beef, porterhouse will provide you with vitamin B6, iron, zinc, riboflavin, and phosphorus, as well as other beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Porterhouse steak is high in poly- and mono-unsaturated fats, but also high in saturated fats. If you are concerned about the fattiness of your beef, you can simply trim your beef with the majority of fat before grilling.
Price of T-Bone Steak vs. Porterhouse Steak
Whether a T-bone or a porterhouse steak, if it is certified as USDA prime, it will be on the expensive side. That said, due to the larger size of the filet on a porterhouse steak, it will generally come at a much higher cost than a T-bone.
Costs are likely to vary from steak to steak due to quality, weight, length of aging, and place of purchase. For instance, a T-bone or porterhouse steak from a butcher is likely to be more expensive as it will be of better quality than can be found in a supermarket.
You may find that a porterhouse steak is large enough to feed at least two people, so you could save money by purchasing one porterhouse rather than two T-bones without compromising on quality or flavor.
How to Grill T-Bone vs. A porterhouse on a Pellet Grill
A T-bone steak and a porterhouse steak will cook in a similar way on a pellet grill since they both come from the short loin, with the same texture.
The main difference will be that, due to the larger size of the filet, a porterhouse steak will take longer to cook.
The best way to grill either a T-bone or a porterhouse steak is to season them with your favorite steak rub before placing them on a hot grill. It is recommended to grill your steak on very high heat for a total of 10 minutes (although it will depend on how you like your steak!), making sure to keep an eye on the clock to avoid overcooking.
Grill one side of your steak for 5 minutes and then turn it over. The second side should be cooked for 2 to 3 minutes if you like rare steak (125-130˚), 3 to 4 minutes if you like medium-rare (130-150˚), or 5 to 6 minutes if you like medium (150-155˚).
You should use a meat thermometer to stop grilling at your desired internal temperature, noted above, as going by time alone is very difficult when grilling steak.
You should then let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes, preferably 10 minutes, to allow the flavors to settle in the meat. Here you can learn how to get more smoke flavor from your pellet grill at here.
What are the Best Wood Pellets to Use for Steak?
Regardless of what type of steak you’re grilling, the best wood pellets tend to be those with a deeper flavor. The steak is only on the grill for a short time, so to get some of that delicious smoky flavor, opt for Hickory, Oak, or our Competition Blend.
Whether you favor a T-bone steak or a porterhouse steak really depends on individual tastes and preferences, but, whichever cut of beef you are looking to cook, the right grill is a very important thing. A Z Grill can ensure that you are getting perfectly grilled meat every time, and can intensify those flavors so you will never want your steak any other way.
Recipe for Grilled T-Bone Steak/Grilled Porterhouse Steak
- Preheat your Z Grills pellet grill to its hottest setting (450-500F) (it needs to be very hot to best cook the steaks)
- Coat the steaks with oil, combine the salt and pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl and rub over the steaks
- Once your grill has reached temperature, grill one side of the steaks for 5 minutes
- Flip the steaks and cook for 3-6 minutes depending on how you like your steak (as outlined above) checking the internal temperature as they cook
- Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving with your choice of sides, such as a baked potato and/or a green salad.