It’s hard to beat a 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.
With a nice thick steak like this, you can’t beat the reverse sear method. I’ll show you how to cook a perfect medium rare, plus an optional garlic herb compound butter to finish.
What’s the difference between a Porterhouse and T-Bone steak?
The porterhouse and the T-Bone are essentially the same cut, both coming from the short loin of the carcass.
The porterhouse steak has a larger portion of the tenderloin fillet than the T-bone. To qualify under The USDA, porterhouse steaks must contain 1.25 inches of fillet from the widest point.
The rest of the T-Bone is just that, a T-Bone with a significantly smaller section of the tenderloin fillet.
Buying porterhouse steak
When shopping for a porterhouse steak, look for one with a lot of intramuscular fat.
You should also look for one 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 Snake River Farms is always exceptional.
How long do you grill a porterhouse steak?
Porterhouse is amongst the largest steak cuts. The cooking time for a perfectly grilled porterhouse will depend on the thickness of the steak and the heat of your grill.
I like to use two different methods for porterhouse steak, depending on thickness.
- For steaks that are 1″ thick or less – use the traditional sear method in which case you should allow for 12 minutes from the first touch of the hot grill until it comes off for a rest at a perfect 130°F
- For steaks that are more than 1″ thick+ – use the reverse sear method to make sure the inside cooks evenly and then finish with a quick two-minute sear
For this recipe I was cooking 1.5″ steak, so I went for the reverse sear.
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 the actual grilling.
Take the steak out of the fridge for at least 30 minutes before grilling.
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.
Seasoning wise we’re going to keep it simple using Kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Kosher salt is great for cooking steaks. It isn’t too fine, and it will stay as a crystal for a little longer while grilling. This helps create a nice salty crust on the outer of a charred steak.
2. Setup your grill
You can use a gas or a charcoal grill, or even a searing hot cast iron pan for this cook. I chose to use my
Since I’m going to reverse sear this porterhouse I want a two-zone heating environment inside the grill. High direct heat on one side, and low indirect heat on the other, so fire it up to 200-250°F.
3. Grill your porterhouse steak
If your steak is on the thick side, the best way to get a perfect rare or medium rare finish is to use the reverse sear method.
This method involves slowly brining the internal part of the steak up to temperature on the cool side of the grill, before finishing with a hot sear to get a perfect crust.
Once your grill is up to temperature, place your steak on the indirect side.
Once the steak hits 80°F internal temperature, flip it over and leave until you get to 115°F.
Remove the steak from the heat and crank your grill as high as possible.
When the grill has reached temperature, place your steak back on the grill to sear. The actual sear stage won’t take long. About two minutes total.
Ignore the advice you hear about not turning a steak more than once. Flipping multiple times gives you a more even sear and tastier crust.
Once both sides of the steak have developed a nice crust I start probing with my Thermapen every 20–30 seconds until I hit my desired internal temp of 130°F for medium rare.
When grilling steaks, using a high-quality instant read thermometer is always a good idea.
4. Rest your steak
Is resting steak necessary? In my opinion, it’s crucial to rest a steak.
Why go to the bother of buying a steak, preparing it, and setting up your BBQ to cook it perfectly and then ruin the whole cook by not resting it?
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.
If you want to be a little bit fancy and impress someone, slice the steak and then arrange the slices on the bone for that steak-house presentation at home.
How to make compound butter
The garlic and herb compound butter is optional, but I highly recommend it.
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.
Combine room temperature unsalted butter, chopped rosemary and thyme, minced garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
Once it is all 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 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. Slice off as much as you want to melt all over your perfectly cooked steak.
Other steak recipes to check out
- Reverse seared Tomahawk Steak
- Grilled Rump Cap Steak
- Perfect Medium Rare Steak
- Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Mind blowing side dishes for steak
Grilled Porterhouse Steak With Garlic Herb Butter
- 1.5 lbs Porterhouse steak
- Kosher salt to taste
- black pepper course, freshly ground, to taste
- Olive oil for the griddle
Garlic and herb compound butter
- 9 oz unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp Rosemary finely chopped
- 1 tsp Thyme finely chopped
- Kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- Take the steak out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to grilling.
- Set your grill up with one side direct heat and one side indirect. Get your grill up to a temp of 200-250°F.
- Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Place the steak on the indirect side of the grill.
- Once the steak hits 80°F internal temperature, flip it over and leave until you get to 115°F. Remove the steak and fire the grill up as hot as it will go.
- Sear the steak flipping every 20-30 seconds until it reaches an internal temperture of 130F°.
- Rest for 10 minutes loosly wrapped in foil before slicing and serve with the compound butter.
Garlic and herb 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 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. Slice when reade to serve.