Porterhouse vs T-bone - What's The Difference?

Edited July 3rd, 2023

The porterhouse steak and the T-bone steak are two iconic American steak cuts. Is one better than the other? How do you tell the two apart?

Mr. Steak breaks it all down. 

First Thing’s First: The Short Loin

Before getting into the details of the cuts, the first thing to understand is where they come from. Both come from the same primal region of the cow, the short loin. The short loin is toward the rear of the cow, between the ribs and the sirloin sections.

It features a T-shaped bone running through its center. Because these muscles perform less work, they are among the most tender and well-marbled beef in the cow.

What is a Porterhouse?

The Porterhouse is a composite steak (meaning two steaks in one) cut from the rear end of the short loin. This is where the tenderloin and top loin meet. Once divided into individual porterhouse steaks, the T-shaped bone separates the top loin section from the tenderloin section.

The top loin, also called the strip loin, is where the New York strip steak comes from. The tenderloin section is where the filet mignon steak comes from. So, a porterhouse steak is a New York strip steak plus a filet mignon connected by a T-shaped bone.

What is a T-Bone?

The T Bone cut comes from from the same primal section of the short loin as the porterhouse. The difference lays in where the butcher makes his cut. The T-bone comes from the front, not the rear. This results in the T-Bone having a similar sized New York strip, but a smaller sized filet, than the porterhouse

Mr. Steak's 18 oz USDA Prime TBone Steak is ideal for a date night or sharing among friends. It serves 1-2 people.

T Bone Steak

What's The Difference Between T Bone and Porterhouse?

The Porterhouse Steak vs. T Bone - what’s the difference? The only difference between the T-bone and the porterhouse is the size of the filet mignon portion.

T-Bones have a tenderloin length less than 1.24 inches. Porterhouses have a tenderloin length of 1.25 inches or greater. Both cuts give you a strip steak and a filet mignon. Butchers cut the T-Bone closer to the front of the short-loin, resulting in a smaller tenderloin.

The T-Bone vs Porterhouse - which steak wins? We love them both. They both have the signature T-Shaped bone in the middle and the tenderness and beefy flavor from the Short Loin.

An 18oz T-bone is typically going to serve 1-2 people. A 24 oz Porterhouse will serve from 2-4 people.

Difference between t bone and porterhouse

T Bone vs Porterhouse cooking

Preparing a T Bone or Porterhouse

One or two days before cooking your steak, transfer it to the fridge from the freezer. This allows ample time for it to defrost evenly. A couple of hours before cooking, take it out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature.

Once the steak is at room temperature, dry it with a paper towel and season it with your favorite steak seasoning. Our favorite is Mr. Steak's Super Blend, but you can never go wrong with salt & black pepper. Mr. Steak always says, "Keep it simple, but do the simple parts right" 

Remember to prepare your side dishes beforehand because steak cooks quickly.

How to Grill a T bone (Cook Time: 10-20 mins)

Preheat the grill to high heat before putting the TBone on the grill. A charcoal grill will take longer to preheat than a propane or infrared.

Make sure the grill is as hot as possible before putting on your steaks. This will sear your steak and char the outside. The inside will remain tender and juicy. 

Mr. Steak cooks his T-Bone Steak for 4-5 minutes one each side. This produces a medium rare on his grill. Your grill may take longer, and that's okay. Use a meat thermometer to gauge the steak's internal temperature.

Use this guide to cook your steak exactly how you like it:

  • Rare: 120-130°F 
  • Medium Rare: 130-140°F
  • Medium: 140-150°F
  • Medium-Well: 150-160°F
  • Well Done (never recommended): >160°F

Let your porterhouse cut sit for 4-6 minutes. The juices will move back to the middle of the steak.

Here are some great T Bone grilling recipes that we recommend:

Pan Searing a T-Bone: (Cook Time: 10-20 mins)

The T-Bone is a thick cut. You may enjoy searing t bone steak on a cast-iron skillet first. Then finish it off in the oven.

After preparing your steak, set your oven to 425°F. and heat your cast iron skillet to high heat. Add oil. Mr. Steak recommends high-smoke point oil such as canola oil or grape seed oil.

Olive oil smokes at too low a temperature for cooking steak.

Add butter to the pan as well. You may enjoy adding garlic cloves, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme and other steak seasonings. Sear each side of the T Bone on a hot skillet for about 2 minutes. This locks in the beefy flavor with a golden crust.

Place your steak in the oven for about 2-3 minutes for medium-rare. Allow your steak to rest just as you did with the t bone.

Here are some T-Bone Pan-Searing Recipes that we recommend:

How to Grill a Porterhouse: (Cook Time: 15-25 mins)

Due to the size and thickness of the Porterhouse, we don't recommend pan searing. Instead, grill your porterhouse the Mr. Steak way.

Prepare your steak by seasoning it and bringing it to room temperature. Preheat the grill to the highest setting. Make sure the grill gets as hot as possible before the porterhouse touches it. This will ensure a nice charred outside with a juicy interior. 

Grill for 5 minutes on each side for that nice medium-rare interior.

Some Porterhouse steak recipes we recommend:


Try Mr. Steak's 24 oz USDA Prime Porterhouse

Try Mr. Steak's 18 oz USDA Prime T-Bone

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