It’s hard to beat two for one deal. That’s exactly what you get with a porterhouse steak. You get the tender taste of Filet Mignon on one side and the rich beefy flavor of the New York Strip steak on the other side.
Now that we know what we are dealing with, what is the best way to cook porterhouse steak on the grill? Keep reading to find out.
What’s the difference between a Porterhouse and T-Bone steak?
It really depends on what part of the T-Bone you get.
Both the Porterhouse and the T-Bone are essentially the same cut, both coming from the short loin of the carcass.
The porterhouse steak comes from the rear of the animal and has a larger portion of the tenderloin fillet than the T-bone does. In fact, to qualify under The United States Department of Agriculture, porterhouse steaks must contain 1.25 inches of fillet from the widest point.
The rest of the T-Bone is in fact just that, a T-Bone with a significantly smaller section of the tenderloin fillet.
Items that will help you cook these are:
- A charcoal grill (I’m using the 22” Weber Kettle)
- Heat proof gloves
- Charcoal briquettes
- Basting brush
- Small pot
- Instant-read thermometer
Porterhouse buying guide
We all see these brands and types of meat thrown at us – Wagyu, Angus, Prime, etc.
You can feel pressured into buying the very best of the best every time you go to buy something.
I preach that you should buy what you can afford, some days that may be a prime, others it may not.
So long as you prepare and cook the piece of meat you have selected properly you will end up with a delicious steak no matter what cut of meat you have to work with.
Now, I’m not saying a standard steak will ever taste like a Wagyu but with some extra care, you can make a lower cut taste great.
You should never just buy the steak that is sitting on the top. Always have a dig through and look for one that has the most intramuscular fat. You should also look for one that is sliced evenly, there’s nothing worse than an uneven steak where one end cooks quicker than the other.
You should be able to find porterhouse steaks at your butcher or local supermarket. If you want to treat yourself the quality of steak from Crowd Cow is always exceptional.
How long do you grill a porterhouse steak?
A porterhouse steak is a massive cut of beef, so the cooking time of perfectly grilled porterhouse steak will depend on the thickness of the steak and the heat of your grill.
To give you a rough idea the 1 and a half-inch black Angus porterhouse steak took 12 minutes from the first touch of the hot griddle until it came off for a rest for a perfect 145°F medium. So the total cook time for your steak will also depend on the desired doneness.
Porterhouse steak temperature guide
You can use the same steak doneness guidelines as any other steak for deciding when your porterhouse is done.
- Rare 120-130°F
- Medium Rare 130-135°F
- Medium 140-150°F
We have a detailed guide to steak doneness that you can check out for lots more information.
How to grill a porterhouse steak
1. Prepare and season your steak
Prepping the steak is just as important as how you are going to cook it.
Take the steak out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before grilling.
If the center of the steak is still cold when you place it on a hotplate, frypan, or grill, you will have to overcook the outside to bring the internal temperature up to the desired doneness.
By allowing the steak to rise a little in temp out of the fridge, you can grill your steak knowing that as long as you monitor the inside temp, it will be perfect inside and out every single time.
When we season steaks, we are trying to amplify the flavor that is already there, not mask it up with a rub of 30 different ingredients.
Why buy a good piece of meat and then slather it with rubs or worse, standard table salt.
There are different salts for various uses and you should be using the correct one when it comes to cooking.
Kosher salt is a great salt for cooking steaks. It isn’t too fine and it will stay as a crystal for a little longer while grilling, helping to create a nice salty crust on the outer of our charred steak. Salt flakes are a great alternative as well, as they dissolve at roughly the same rate as kosher salt does.
A more coarse salt, like sea salt, can sometimes still be partially intact and feel like grit when biting into a thinner cut of steak.
2. Setup your grill
You can use a gas grill or a charcoal grill or even a searing hot cast iron pan for this porterhouse steak recipe.
I personally chose to use a cast iron griddle on my
Following my setup, you will need to ¾ fill a chimney starter with briquettes and light them up. Once they are all alight, place them into a vortex in the middle of the charcoal grate, and then place your griddle or cast iron pan over the top of the hot briquettes.
If you don’t have a vortex or similar device you’ll need to use more charcoal to reach the right temperature for searing.
Allow the griddle to heat up for 10 minutes for direct searing.
3. Cook your porterhouse steak
How do you perfectly cook a steak that consists of two steaks that are totally different?
My preferred method to cook porterhouse steak on the grill is the old flip-it-every-minute technique.
Long gone are the days when people said you can only flip a steak once or it will be tough.
Wrong and this has been proven by many who have experimented with the style of flipping steaks.
Get your griddle or pan very hot, 600°F plus is what we are looking for. Put some olive oil on the griddle and place your steak down over direct heat and start a timer, you are going to be flipping your steak every minute.
This 1 and a half-inch black Angus porterhouse took 12 minutes from the first touch of the hot griddle until it came off for a rest.
When it comes to grilling steaks, using a high-quality instant read thermometer is always a good idea.
After a few flips on each side, start monitoring the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer placed into the thickest part of the steak. Don’t leave this to a timer, use a meat thermometer to check what temperature your steak is at throughout the cooking process.
You will find the fillet will cook a little quicker than the New York strip, so I tend to angle the fillet to the cooler side of the griddle or the outer where it is less hot.
Take the steak off when it is 4-5°F off your target temp. While resting it will climb by a few degrees so by taking it off before it hits the internal temperature of medium at 145°F, you will have a perfectly grilled steak after it has had a rest of 5 minutes.
As opposed if you took it off exactly as it hit 145°F and then rested it for minutes and now you would have an over cooked steak around 149°F internally.
If you prefer your steak rare then just take it off around the 130°F mark instead.
4. Rest your steak
Is resting a steak 100% necessary? In my opinion, it is crucial to rest a steak.
Why go to the bother of buying a steak, preparing it, seasoning it, and setting up your BBQ to cook it perfectly and then ruin the whole cook by not resting the steak?
The rest shouldn’t be looked upon as waiting to eat, it should be looked upon as the final stage of cooking.
It is these last few minutes that the fibers relax, the juices redistribute and the internal temperature keeps climbing to finish cooking to perfect doneness.
A 5 minutes rest is all it takes, the time it takes you to set the table and pour a drink.
How to make Compound Butter
The whiskey compound butter is optional, but a highly recommended part of this recipe.
Compound butter is one of those things that once you realize how easy it is, you’ll make all manner of flavor combinations going forward.
I normally have three to four various compound butter in my fridge at any one time, why? Because they are easy and add so much flavor to so many dishes.
You’ll need a block of unsalted butter around 9 oz that is at room temperature, just so it is easier to work with. 1 tablespoon of whisky, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 4 garlic cloves finely chopped.
Mix this all up in a bowl, I find using the back of a fork is pretty handy here.
Once it is all mixed thoroughly, lay it all out in a line roughly 8 inches long on some cling wrap. Then roll it up and grab both ends of the cling wrap and keep winding and you’ll notice it will start to become a solid log.
Once you are happy with the shape, place it in the fridge to harden up and when ready, slice off pieces to use in any dish you please. Like seasoning a steak while resting.
Other steak recipes to check out
- Reverse seared Tomahawk Steak
- Grilled Rump Cap Steak
- Perfect Medium Rare Steak
- Mind blowing side dishes for steak
Grilled Porterhouse steak with whisky compound butter
- 1.5 lbs Steak Black Onyx (Black Angus) MBS3+
- Kosher salt to taste
- black pepper course, freshly ground, to taste
- Olive oil for the griddle
Whisky Butter ingredients:
- 9 oz unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp whisky
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- Take the steak out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to grilling.
- Set up BBQ for direct searing, at high heat temps of around 600°F or above.
- Season the steak with salt and pepper.
- Oil the hot griddle.
- Place the steak on the hot part of the griddle, keeping the filet to the cooler or outer edge.
- Flip the steak every minute, checking the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer.
- Once the internal temperature reaches 141°F, remove the steak from the heat.
- Apply a slice of compound butter to the top of the steak and let rest for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, the steaks internal temp should be a perfect 145°F medium.
For the compound butter
- Allow the butter to come up to room temperature, or warm for a few seconds in the microwave without melting.
- Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, using the back of a fork to help combine ingredients.
- Once butter is mixed thoroughly, lay it out in a line roughly 8 inches long on some cling wrap. Then roll it up and grab both ends of the cling wrap and keep winding until you have a solid log.
- Place it in the fridge to harden up and when ready, slice off pieces to use in any dish.
- With mashed potatoes.
- With steamed vegetables.
- With hot chips.