Difference Between Porterhouse and T Bone


There are many similarities among different kinds of beef steaks. But what’s the difference between a Porterhouse and T-Bone steak? Or are they different?

t bone steaks
t bone steaks

What’s the Difference Between a Porterhouse and a T-Bone Steak?

The differences between a Porterhouse and T-Bone Steak boil down to the size of the meat, the method of preparation, and the appearance of the steak.

Size and source of meat. The source of the meat for T-Bone and Porterhouse is the same as they both come from the rear end of the short loin.

T-Bone: The requirement for the tenderloin portion of a T-Bone is that it needs to measure between 0.5 to 1.24 inches.

Porterhouse: The requirement for the tenderloin portion of a Porterhouse is that it needs to measure between 1.25 or more inches.

Method of preparation.  The two kinds of steaks can be prepared similarly or differently depending on one’s personal preference. Grilling or pan frying are popular methods for preparation for each one.

Appearance of steak. The appearance of each type of steak is different as well because of the size difference. A Porterhouse steak as the requirement of being wider.

difference between t bone porterhouse
difference between t bone porterhouse

What is a Porterhouse Steak?

A Porterhouse Steak is considered to be a premium cut of steak that comes from the short loin of the cow. It includes a “T” shaped bone.

Where is This Cut Located?

The Porterhouse Steak comes from the short loin of the cow which is located approximately in the center back of the cow.

What Is a T-Bone Steak?

A T-Bone Steak is considered a premium cut of steak, but is a bit smaller than the Porterhouse. It too comes from the short loin of the cow and includes a “T” shaped bone.

Where is This Cut Located?

The short loin is located approximately in the center upper back of the cow.

Beef Cuts Illustration
Beef Cuts Illustration

How Long Do I Cook a Porterhouse Steak?

Following is a table that shows what the internal temperature of your beef should be in order to achieve a specified level of doneness. 

Medium-Rare 130F
Medium-Well  150F
Well Done        155+F

To test the temperature of your steak, use a meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part to test the temperature.

Nutritional Value of Porterhouse Steak

A 1 lb Porterhouse Steak can easily top 1000 calories. However, they are low in carbs which can be beneficial to those whose focus is a low carb diet.

Porterhouses Are T-Bones

Indeed, a Porterhouse Steak is a T-Bone Steak as it must be 1.25 inches thick according to USDA to be sold as Porterhouse. They are typically served as meals for two.

But a T-Bone Isn’t a Porterhouse

A T-Bone cannot be a Porterhouse because they must be at least 0.25 inches thick to be sold as T-bone, but that’s not thick enough to be considered a Porterhouse.

Otherwise, the cut is sold as bone-in NY Strip Steak if the meat doesn’t meet the 0.25 inch minimum threshold.

Porterhouse vs T Bone: Price Difference

You might be wondering how the prices of the two cuts compare. A Porterhouse is priced higher, and those marked with USDA prime will have highest cost because it will include nearly perfect steak with excellent marbling.

The cost difference between the two cuts is determined by quality, marbling, its weight, and where it’s purchased from.

Grilled T-bone steak
Grilled T-bone steak

Cooking Porterhouse vs T Bone

When thinking about how to cook T-bone and Porterhouse Steaks, they cook similarly because they have the same texture and come from the same part of the cow.

The cooking time is what will be the difference because a Porterhouse steak is thicker.

We recommend cooking them in a cast iron skillet and seasoning the steak with salt and pepper. Finish in the oven if desired, tenting the steak with foil.

When Is My Porterhouse Steak Done Cooking?

Your Porterhouse steak is done cooking when a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the steak reaches the internal temperature desired.

See our table above for temperatures relating to doneness. Then, let your steak rest, serve and enjoy.

Alternatives to Porterhouse Steak

What are the best alternatives to Porterhouse steak if you’re unable to find that cut or are looking for a more economical option? Here are some recommendations:

T-Bone Steak
Filet Mignon
Strip Steak

Do Porterhouse and T-Bone Steaks Taste Different?

Both Porterhouse and T-Bone Steaks taste the same. They are milder in flavor than some cuts such as ribeye, and both will be tender when cooked properly.

How to Grill Porterhouse and T-Bone Steaks

The best way to grill a Porterhouse or T-Bone steak is following our step-by-step instructions below.

1. Apply salt and pepper and any seasonings and allow the steaks to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Trim off any excess fat.

3. Oil the grill grates with high heat tolerant cooking oil such as vegetable oil or canola oil. We don’t recommend olive oil because the smoke point is too low.

4. Heat your grill to medium-high heat.

5. Place the steak directly over the heat. In 5 minutes, flip the steak and test for the desired doneness.

6. Allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Grilled porterhouse with seasonings
Grilled porterhouse with seasonings

How to Store Steaks Properly

Steaks can be properly stored in the refrigerator or freezer, depending how soon you intend to use them. For long term storage, use the freezer and for use within a few days, you should use the refrigerator.

Refrigerator.  Steaks can be stored in their original packaging in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. After that time, they should be cooked and eaten or transferred to the freezer.

Freezer. When freezing steaks, you can store them in a freezer bag, removing any excess air and leaving them in the freezer for up to 2 months for the best quality.

Which Is Better T-Bone or Porterhouse?

Both steaks can be absolutely delicious if they’re cooked properly. However, a Porterhouse steak is considered the higher grade cut because it has to meet more strict criteria as far as its size.

Tips for Choosing The Best Cut

Following are our top 3 tips for choosing the best cut of Porterhouse steaks.

Strip side is generous.  Look for steaks where the strip side or the narrower side is wider or more generous. This is a key indicator for a good quality Porterhouse steak.

No connective tissue. Search for a steak that has little to no connective tissue. This also indicates a higher quality cut.

Thicker steaks vs thinner ones. Select a steak that’s thicker compared to a thinner one. This will allow for a juicier outcome as well as more flavor.

porterhouse steak on wood board
porterhouse steak on wood board

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to the difference between both kinds of steaks. If you have a question that’s not answered here, please drop it in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

Can You Find T-Bone and Porterhouse Steaks Online?

Yes, you can buy steaks online. However, for freshness reasons we’ve not given that a try. If you have and you’ve had a good experience, let us know.

Is a Porterhouse Steak the Same as a T-Bone Steak? 

No, both are from same section of a cow. Both are from the short loin, but both require different technical specifications to allow them to qualify as a Porterhouse or a T-bone. We’ve outlined those differences above.

What Costs More – T-Bone or Porterhouse?

A Porterhouse is the more expensive cut because it’s larger than a T-bone. Porterhouse is often considered a steak for two.

Why Do They Call It Porterhouse Steak?

Porterhouse Steak originated from pubs in England that served porter ale, over time they became known as Porterhouses.

What is the Difference Between Porterhouse and Ribeye?

The main difference between the Porterhouse and ribeye are the bone content as well as the fat. While the Porterhouse steak contains a “T” shaped bone, the ribeye can come with a bone in or without a bone. Also ribeye steaks tend to have a higher fat content. 

Which is More Tender T-Bone or Porterhouse?

It really depends how it’s cooked as to which one is more tender. The reality is they should both have about the same tenderness since they’re from the same cut.


How Long Does Cooked Steak Last In the Fridge?

tbone and porterhouse Pinterest Pin
tbone and porterhouse Pinterest Pin

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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