T-bone and porterhouse steaks are some of the common varieties of steak for meat lovers. The fact that they look alike in appearance does not mean they are the same. Various organizations have demarcated strict rules to clarify the illusion of similarity between T-bone and porterhouse steak. The best cut of steak depends on your taste and preferences. However, many people find it difficult to choose between a T-bone and porterhouse steak when they have no idea of the differences between the two types of steak. This article makes it easier for you by giving the major differences between T-bone and porterhouse steak and the desired option for most people when ordering food in a steakhouse.
What is T-bone steak?
A T-bone steak is smaller than porterhouse in size. It is extracted from the saddle and can be recognized easily by the T-shaped bone that separates the sirloin and tenderloin on both sides of the steak. The side with sirloin is usually larger and insulated by fat. However, professional cooks use several tricks to get both sides done just right. A classic T-bone steak is beautifully seared on the grill, cut up against the fibers and left to rest before being served with garlic-scented butter to enhance the flavor.
What is a Porterhouse Steak?
The larger tenderloin muscle of a porterhouse steak is what differentiates it from T-bone steak. It is a composite steak derived from the rear of the short loin, which contains the thickest layer of tenderloin. Once you have cut out the two steaks that make up porterhouse steak and then remove the bone, you will be left with a top loin and tenderloin steak. You can always expect larger portions when ordering porterhouse steak, as it is often marketed in steakhouses as a meal for two.
Major Differences between T-bone and Porterhouse Steak
- Size and Source of Meat
The size of the filet can differentiate a T-bone from a porterhouse steak. Generally, porterhouse steaks have more filet compared to T-bone steak and are always a preferable meal for two people. The size of a porterhouse steak should be at least 1.25 inches thick as they are derived from the rear of the short loin where the tenderloin is in abundance. A T-bone steak contains less filet as it is derived from the saddle, which has small amounts of tenderloin.
- Method of Preparation
A T-bone steak is made for grilling where the tenderloin remains tender and flavorful as the generous bits of fat keep the steak moist. The T-shaped bone provides a sturdy handle to grab and flip the steak without the need for puncturing through the meat. The steak should be cooked hot and fast and requires little adornment with light oiling and seasoning. While a porterhouse steak can be cooked on a grill, you can achieve better results with a hot smoking cast iron skillet on the stovetop or the broiler. Starting hot and fast gives the surface a good sear. Unlike T-bone steak, porterhouse requires more time for preparation depending on how you want the steak done.
- The Appearance of Steak
T-bone steaks are distinguished by their T-shaped bone with sections of meat on each side. They are comprised of smaller amounts of tenderloin and are often cut closer to the front. Porterhouse steak is differentiated from T-bone steak by its thickness as it contain larger amounts of tenderloin. Both steaks may include the T-shaped bone but a porterhouse will have a large strip steak and more tenderloin on the other side of the bone.
Which Type of Steak is Better?
The decision to choose between T-bone steak and porterhouse steak is determined by individual tastes and preferences. Either portion can be expensive but a porterhouse steak is likely to serve two people with leftovers given the amount of tenderloin in the steak. Ordering a porterhouse and a T-bone is like doubling your meal delight especially when dining on a Certified USDA Prime. The final taste depends on the method of preparation and doneness of the steak based on individual preferences.
Both T-bone and porterhouse steaks are made of two kinds of beef, cook at different rates and taste best at different temperatures. However, porterhouse steaks have more filet compared to T-bone steaks and are best for people who want bigger portions for two. Generally, the USDA has strict guidelines on the size of filet present in a steak for it to be qualified as a porterhouse. Keep in mind that thickness is sometimes not used as a standard measure since each of these steaks can be served separately from the bone.