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What Is A Porterhouse Steak?

A Porterhouse steak is two cuts of prime beef separated by a bone. Each Porterhouse contains 1 tender Filet Mignon and 1 strip steak. Porterhouse steaks are large and usually served in restaurants as a dinner for two. Many can weigh over 24 ounces which is more than a pound and a half of beef. The meat is cut from the point where the tenderloin and top loin meet. As a Porterhouse there’s a bone in which separates the filet and strip steaks. However, if you remove the bone and cut out the two steaks that make up a Porterhouse, you get a tenderloin steak and a top loin (or New York strip steak). So a Porterhouse is actually two prime cuts of beef in one.

Porterhouse steaks vary in size and thickness. A 2 inch thick cut can easily weigh over 2 pounds. But the average size is around 1 inch thick and 24 ounces. A few different cuts of steak come from the same area of the cow. According to the U.S.D.A., a tenderloin section at least 1.25 inches across at its widest point qualifies the steak as a porterhouse. Anything between 1.24 inches and 0.51 inches makes the steak a T-bone. And if the cut is less than 0.5 inches it’s a bone-in strip steak.

Porterhouse can be served whole or sliced. The filet is more tender while the strip has a meatier flavor. Both cuts are fairly lean and great when cooked on a grill, oven or in a cast iron pan. Because the two cuts are cooked similarly, they’re great when served together.

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What Cut Is A Porterhouse Steak?

A Porterhouse steak is actually two cuts in one separated by a bone.

One side of the Porterhouse is a tender Filet Mignon. On the other side of the bone is a NY strip.

A Porterhouse is very similar to a T-Bone. They’re both cut from the exact same section of beef called the short loin and both contain both a filet and a strip. However, the Porterhouse has a larger cut of filet.

According to the U.S.D.A., to qualify as a Porterhouse the filet needs to be at least 1.25 inches at its widest point. If the filet is between 1.24 and 0.51 inches the steak is a T-bone. And if it’s less than 0.5 inches it’s a bone-in strip steak.

Porterhouse steaks can be served as one large steak or cut up and served in pieces. In most restaurants they’re sold as a meal for two because of their large size. In some cases, they can weigh over 2 lbs.

How To Cook Porterhouse Steak

There are a few great ways to cook a porterhouse steak.

Grill: To grill a porterhouse, start with a really hot sear. Searing the outside of the steak locks in juices as you slowly cook the inside. Cook it to the point right before the fat starts to burn, then flip it over and sear the other side.

To get restaurant-style diamond grill marks, rotate the steak 45 degrees on the same side before you flip it, then repeat on the other side.

Once the steak browns on both sides, move it to a cooler part of the grill. Finish cooking on a cooler temperature to your desired doneness.

To add richness, place a pat of butter in the center of the steak a few minutes before you pull it off the grill. This is a popular restaurant trick that brings out the flavor.

Broiler: You can cook a great Porterhouse in a broiler. Start with a good sear on either a grill or cast iron skillet. Once both sides are seared, move the steak into the broiler and finish slow cooking. Broilers are great because you can add sauces and vegetables into the pan.

Cast Iron Skillet: My favorite way to cook a Porterhouse is in a cast iron skillet. Get is super hot and sear the steak first. Then lower the temperature and finish cooking to your desired doneness. I like the skillet because it lets me baste the steak in butter and garlic sauces as it cooks.

Seasonings: Most diners agree the best way to season a Porterhouse is with pepper and salt. But I like to add some butter and a little garlic, ginger and soy sauce or a spice rub.

What Does Porterhouse Steak Taste Like?

A porterhouse steak is two cuts in one. A Filet Mignon and a NY strip.

  • The Filet Mignon portion of a Porterhouse is more tender but less flavorful. It’s leaner with a milder flavor.
  • The NY Strip portion of a Porterhouse has a meatier beef flavor but it’s a little less tender. It also contains a bit more fat than the filet.

The great thing about cooking a Porterhouse is that both the Filet and Strip portion of the steak are cooked in the same way. So cooking them both together as a whole steak with the center bone is easy.

Most Porterhouse recipes are just salt and pepper on both sides. Get a good sear on a super hot grill or in a skillet and then slow cook to your desired doneness. However, I like to get creative with sauces, spices and marinades.

One of my favorite Porterhouse recipes is basting the meat in garlic butter with some fresh herbs while it slow cooks in a skillet. I also like using a marinade of garlic, ginger and a little soy sauce.

Spice rubs and dipping sauces are another great way to add flavor to your Porterhouse.

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Nutritional Value Of Porterhouse Steak

Porterhouse steaks are large and are generally served in restaurants for two. They contain a full size Filet Mignon and a NY Strip. The average size Porterhouse is 24 ounces which is 1 1/2 pounds of beef. But many can top 3 pounds.

One pound of porterhouse can be over 1,000 calories.

A serving size of steak is generally considered 3 ounces. For a Porterhouse, this equals about 200 to 250 calories per serving.

A Porterhouse has 0 carbs and about 20 to 25 grams of protein per serving. It’s an excellent source of iron, phosphorus, riboflavin, zinc, Vitamin B6, and other vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Many nutritionists consider beef to be one of the most complete nutritional sources a person can eat.

Be careful about the amount of animal fat you eat. A porterhouse is fairly lean but it does contain some fat. However, it’s easy to trim away the fat because it’s usually found around the bone and away from the meat. The filet portion is especially lean and only contains some marbling that can be cooked away.

Even though a Porterhouse is a large meal all by itself, it’s usually eaten with sides like potatoes and a salad. make sure you also consider the extras you eat along with the steak.

Don;t forget to also add the nutritional value and calories of whatever you cook the steak in. I like to baste my steaks in a butter garlic sauce which definitely adds to the calories and fat.

T-Bone Or Porterhouse Steak?

Many people get Porterhouse and T-bone steaks confused because their basically the same. Both steaks contain one Filet Mignon, a center bone and a NY Strip. The difference between the two is that a Porterhouse is generally thicker and contains a larger Filet.

To be called a Porterhouse, the tenderloin must be at least 1.25 inches across at its widest point. If it’s between 1.24 inches and 0.51 inches the steak is a T-bone. Other than that small difference in filet size, a T-Bone and Porterhouse are the same steaks.

There’s a third very similar steak called a Bone-In Strip Steak. It’s exactly the same as a T-Bone and Porterhouse except the filet is less than 0.5 inches.

Porterhouse Steaks Are T-Bones

All Porterhouse steaks are technically a T-Bone. But not all T-Bone steaks are a Porterhouse.

For a T-bone steak to qualify as a porterhouse, the U.S.D.A. says the filet must be at least 1.25 inches thick at its widest point.

Thickness is measured from the bone to the widest point of the filet.

Porterhouse Steaks are cut from the rear of the short loin where the tenderloin is thickest. The result is a large cut of steak.If the filet is between 1.24 inches and 0.51 inches the steak is a regular T-bone.

Many porterhouses weigh around 24 ounces and are served as a dinner for two.

The great thing about a Porterhouse is that you get two prime cuts of beef in one steak. The Filet Mignon is very tender and lean while the NY Strip has a beefier flavor.

Tips For Buying Porterhouse Steak

There are a few things you should look for when buying a Porterhouse Steak.

Look for a cut at least 1.5 inches thick. A true Porterhouse is a big, thick steak. You need that mass in order to cook the steak properly without drying it out. If you find a Porterhouse that’s too thin, the sear will not only cook the outside but also the inside.

A Porterhouse that’s at least 1 1/2 inches thick sears on the outside but stays juicy inside.

A fresh porterhouse should have a deep, rich color without any gray. Fat should be white and not yellow. Look for marbling throughout the meat, especially in the loin portion. Stay away from steak that doesn’t look fresh because it’s probably been sitting out for too long.

Make sure the filet portion is at least 1.25 inches wide at its widest point. If it’s any less the steak is either a T-bone or Bone-In Strip and not a Porterhouse.

Porterhouse is a large, expensive steak. It contains two prime cuts, a large filet and a strip. It won’t be cheap, but you can still find a bargain from time to time.

Properly Storing Porterhouse Steak

Porterhouse Steak is best when its eaten fresh. However you can freeze and refrigerate it for a while.

You can generally refrigerate a Porterhouse in its packaging or in a marinade for 3-5 days unless the “Sell By” date comes before that time. Be careful when buying steak too close to”Sell By” date because that means its been sitting on the shelf for a while.

Steak lasts much longer when frozen. You can safely eat beef that’s been frozen for 4-12 months.

For long freezer storage I like to vacuum-seal the steak. It helps prevent freezer burn which preserves the beefs taste and texture.

A fresh porterhouse steak should look deep red and not have any gray coloring, slippery film or unpleasant smell when you’re ready to cook it. The fresher the steak is when you buy it, the longer it can be stored.

If you can’t cook steak within a few days of buying it, you should place it in a freezer storage bag instead of keeping it refrigerated. Remove as much air as possible before you place it in the freezer. This will help preserve the steak and prevent freezer burn.

Summary: What Is A Porterhouse Steak?

A Porterhouse steak is two cuts of prime beef separated by a bone. Each Porterhouse contains 1 tender Filet Mignon and 1 strip steak. Porterhouse steaks are large and usually served in restaurants as a dinner for two. Many can weigh over 24 ounces which is more than a pound and a half of beef. The meat is cut from the point where the tenderloin and top loin meet. As a Porterhouse there’s a bone in which separates the filet and strip steaks. However, if you remove the bone and cut out the two steaks that make up a Porterhouse, you get a tenderloin steak and a top loin (or New York strip steak). So a Porterhouse is actually two prime cuts of beef in one.

Porterhouse steaks vary in size and thickness. A 2 inch thick cut can easily weigh over 2 pounds. But the average size is around 1 inch thick and 24 ounces. A few different cuts of steak come from the same area of the cow. According to the U.S.D.A., a tenderloin section at least 1.25 inches across at its widest point qualifies the steak as a porterhouse. Anything between 1.24 inches and 0.51 inches makes the steak a T-bone. And if the cut is less than 0.5 inches it’s a bone-in strip steak.

Porterhouse can be served whole or sliced. The filet is more tender while the strip has a meatier flavor. Both cuts are fairly lean and great when cooked on a grill, oven or in a cast iron pan. Because the two cuts are cooked similarly, they’re great when served together.

If you have any questions about steak, email any time.

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