T-bones and also porterhouses are a steak lover’s nirvana—a brand-new York strip and also a tenderloin, a.k.a. Filet mignon, connected by a gnaw-worthy T-shaped bone.

But what’s the difference? a viewer asked after watching a video clip of me grilling Caveman T-Bones.

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Are they various names because that the very same steak? A “tomato-tomahto” thing through which Texans contact it T-bone and also Yankees surname it porterhouse?

I know the confusion. The steaks have the right to look virtually identical. Both are cut from the short loin. However, that is the size of the tenderloin section the determines the steak’s classification.

According come the U.S. Room of Agriculture, a tenderloin section that is at the very least 1.25 inches throughout at that widest suggest qualifies the steak as a porterhouse. Anything in between 1.24 inches and also 0.51 inches renders the steak a T-bone. Anything less than 0.5 inch is bone-in strip steak.

Thus all porterhouses room T-bones, yet not every T-bones room porterhouses.

Confused yet? “Porters come native the sirloin end of the quick loin (the finish closest to the back of the steer),” explains Lori Dunn the Wisconsin-based Strauss brands (purveyors of the well grass-fed beef we supplied on the Project Smoke TV show). “T-bones come native the middle-to-rib end of the loin because the tenderloin narrows and tapers together it moves forward in the carcass towards the ribs.”

If you really want to impress your butcher, stimulate the steaks by their IMPS (Institutional Meat acquisition Specification) numbers: 1174 is a T-bone; 1173 is a porterhouse. Climate there have to be no mistake.

Beef is the most common resource of T-bone and porterhouse steaks, however you also find similar cuts in veal, lamb, and also pork (all are frequently referred to together loin chops).


There’s no an enig as to just how T-bones to be named. Yet what around the porterhouse?

In the at an early stage to mid-1800s, travelers might find respite native the roadway in establishments called “porter houses.” castle often readily available lodging. (Now that’s a B&B concept: bed and also beefsteak!) Porter—a stout dark beer brewed indigenous brown or scorched malt—was a renowned beverage at the time.

One story is the the great English writer Charles Dickens, having eaten an evidently memorable steak in Sandusky, Ohio, in 1842, followed the southern coast of Lake Erie come Buffalo, brand-new York, where he inquiry a neighborhood hotelier because that a steak like he’d eaten at “the porter home in Sandusky.” The shrewd proprietor of the Buffalo establishment easily put “porterhouse steak—the one Charles Dickens likes” ~ above his menu. The story is somewhat credible together Charles Dickens’ signature to be reportedly uncovered in 1923 in one archived register of the Sandusky porter house. (A referral to “porter residence steak” can likewise be found in The career of Puffer Hopkins by Cornelius Mathews, and published in 1842.)

But the Oxford English Dictionary suggests the name could have come from a new York City porter residence in procedure in 1814, even though there is no modern-day evidence to assistance the legend. It likewise references the opportunity that 19th century Cambridge, Massachusetts, restaurateur and hotelier Zachariah B. Porter could have called the steak.

My assumption: v is the term evolved organically together wayfarers spread the word about porter home steaks.


The thickness that the steaks doesn’t affect their classification, back porterhouses room often reduced thicker than steaks offered as T-bones. Periodically astonishingly so, prefer the monster steak served at the Los Angeles holy place of meat, Chi Spacca (“The Cleaver”). The restaurant’s monumental bistecca fiorentina weighs 50 ounces, so thick it can quickly stand upright. Seasoned merely with salt and pepper, it is scorched over one almond timber fire, carved in the kitchen (each slice is as huge as a deck of play cards), and also served—blood rare—in a swimming pool of olive oil and meat juices. When they speak blood rare, they median it: the kitchen cooks every porterhouse come 100 levels F.

See more: 30 X 40 X 30 Cm To Inches - Cm To Inches (Cm To In) Converter

For grilling, I like a T-bone or porterhouse that is at the very least 1-1/2 to 2 customs thick and also preferably grass-fed. Another great option is a prime T-bone or porterhouse that has been aged for at least 3 weeks.

Either alternative is expensive, however one steak will easily serve two people with leftovers. Monitor my accuse for cooking so you nothing squander your investment, which given the price of beef, might be sizeable.

In our following blog post, I’ll phone call you mine fail-proof technique for grilling a perfect T-bone or porterhouse—no matter just how thick. (Hint: it requires standing the steak up like a flagpole.) And, yes, girlfriend grill the bone. In the meanwhile, here are three of my favourite T-bone and also porterhouse recipes: