Iva Carter
Published by Iva Carter
Last Updated On: March 20, 2023

As a meat enthusiast and steak connoisseur, I've had the pleasure of cooking and sampling countless cuts of meat. However, one cut always stands out to me - the porterhouse steak.

In this article, I'll share my knowledge of what makes this steak unique and my top tips for consistently achieving the perfect porterhouse.

Let’s get into it.

Quick Summary

  • Porterhouse steak comes from the short loin of a cow.
  • It's similar to a T-bone steak but with a larger portion of tenderloin.
  • Porterhouse steaks are at least 1 ¼ inches thick and can weigh up to 2 pounds.
  • They're often served in high-end steakhouses and are considered a premium cut of meat.

What Is Porterhouse Steak?

A top view of raw porterhouse steak on a wooden board

Porterhouse steak is a premium cut of beef that comes from the rear end of the short loin section of the cow. It is a composite steak from the tenderloin filet and the top loin or New York strip steak [1].

Though basically the same cut, the porterhouse steak is larger than the T-bone steak. The T-bone will have a higher proportion of the top loin portion, but the porterhouse cut will have more of the tenderloin steak or filet.

Bigger than T-bones, the porterhouse steak must be at least 1 ¼ inches thick to be considered a true porterhouse cut. Often weighing a pound or two with the bone, it's often called the "king" steak due to its size and high quality.

Porterhouse steak has a more significant portion of the tenderloin steak than the T-bone, making it one of the most tender and flavorful cuts of steak available.

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Preparing Porterhouse Steak

Two porterhouse steaks being cooked on a grill

It is relatively easy to cook porterhouse steak, but it requires some attention to detail to ensure the perfect steak. These steaks are usually one to two inches thick, and they need longer cooking times because of that thickness.

Grilling is one of the most popular cooking methods for porterhouse steaks because it allows for a good sear on the outside while keeping the inside tender and tasty.

However, besides being grilled, they can also be cooked in a cast-iron skillet or the oven under the broiler.

The key to porterhouse steak perfection is all in the preparation.

  • First, ensure your meat has come to room temperature before heating it. This will ensure even heat distribution throughout the entire cut.
  • Next, season your meat with salt, pepper, or any other light seasoning you prefer. Some people like to add chili powder or chipotle powder for an extra kick of flavor.
  • If using the grill, preheat it on high heat for at least 10 minutes before placing your steak on it. If using a skillet, heat it over medium-high heat.
  • Once heated, sear each side of the porterhouse for about 2-3 minutes until rich color forms. Then move it to indirect heat and cook for another few minutes depending on how done you want it to be.

Tips for the Perfect Porterhouse

A close up shot of a perfect medium rare porterhouse steak

A meat thermometer is also helpful to ensure that the steak is cooked to the desired doneness, as preparation times can vary based on the thickness of the steak and the method used.

For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of around 130-135°F while medium should be about 135-140°F [2].

Marinating a porterhouse steak is generally unnecessary because it is already a flavorful cut of meat. That said, you can let it sit in a marinade for a few hours before preparing it if you desire that extra flavor.

However, resting the meat after preparation is crucial to allow the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and delicious steak. Let the steak rest for a few minutes before serving for the best results.

"Porterhouse is my favorite cut of steak. You get two steaks for one: a filet and a New York strip. It's the best of both worlds."
- Tom Colicchio, Chef

Learn More: How to Marinate Meat?

Grilling a Porterhouse

When it comes to grilling porterhouse steak, preheating the grill is essential. The grill should be hot enough to sear the meat on the outside and create grill marks but not so hot that it burns the outside before the inside is cooked.

Once the steak is cooked on one side, it should be flipped and cooked on the other until it reaches the desired doneness.

Also Read: Grilling Tips and Tricks

Porterhouse Steak in a Cast-Iron Skillet

A top view of porterhouse steak in a cast iron skillet pan

Porterhouse steaks are also great when seared in a cast-iron skillet. Heat the pan over high heat until it's hot enough to sear the steak.

Add a small amount of oil to the pan and place the steak in the pan, cooking it for a few minutes on each side until finished.

To finish the steak in the pan, add a small amount of butter and garlic, basting it until it is coated with the melted butter.


What Does Porterhouse Steak Taste Like?

Porterhouse steak tastes beefy but generally has a milder flavor than most cuts.

What Two Cuts Make up a Porterhouse?

The tenderloin and the New York strip steak make up a porterhouse. The tenderloin is found on one side of the bone, while the New York strip is on the other side of this thick steak.

Is Porterhouse Steak a Good Cut?

Yes, porterhouse steak is a good cut of meat because it contains both the flavorful strip steak and the tenderloin. It is also relatively lean due to its lower fat content.

Why Is a Porterhouse More Expensive Than a T-Bone Steak?

A porterhouse is more expensive than a T-bone steak due to its larger size. The porterhouse contains both tenderloin and strip steak, making it the ideal choice for those looking for a bigger cut of steak than a T-bone.

Is Porterhouse Steak Tough?

No, porterhouse steak is not tough. It contains parts of the tenderloin, known for its tenderness, and the strip steak, which is delicious and juicy.

Is Porterhouse Steak Worth It?

Overall, porterhouse steak is a high-quality cut of meat that is perfect for those with a hearty appetite. With its beefy flavor and tenderness, porterhouse steak is an excellent choice for those who want a good source of protein in a flavorful steak.

The key to a great porterhouse is starting with high-quality meat, and over the past three years, ButcherBox has been my go-to place for premium cuts, including porterhouse.

This meat delivery service specializes in grass-fed and grain-finished beef, ensuring the highest quality steak for your dinner.


  1. https://beef2live.com/story-whats-difference-between-porterhouse-t-bone-steak-0-112651
  2. https://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/packages/food-network-essentials/how-to-check-steak-doneness
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