Along with its close relative, the “Porterhouse Steak”, the T-bone is arguably one of the most prestigious cuts in meat history. Both cuts have their origins in American steak culture, where they are considered absolute classics.
The international terms
- Germany, Austria, USA, UK – T-Bone/Porterhouse
- France – Steaks de Petite File/Steaks de Gros File
- Italy – T-Bone/Porterhouse or Bistecca alla Fioretina
- Spain – Filete de Hueso T/Bistec de Filete
What is the difference between the T-bone and porterhouse?
Both cuts originate from the short rib (the middle rear section of the saddle) and both have a sirloin and tenderloin component. The two cuts – very sophisticated in and of themselves – are separated from each other by the T-shaped, vertically halved vertebral bone. It is precisely this T-shaped bone that gives the T-bone steak its name. Between the transverse process and the vertebral body lies the fillet. The only difference between the two cuts, in this case, is the size. The porterhouse has a considerably larger fillet portion, which makes it the more desirable of the two steaks. In order to be declared a porterhouse, the cut of tenderloin must have a thickness of at least 3 centimetres – a characteristic that also determines the price you pay.
How can I recognise a really good T-bone / porterhouse steak?
Probably the most decisive feature here is the size, or rather the thickness of the steaks. Both should be cut roughly 5-6 centimetres thick for really optimal results. An official porterhouse can weigh between 1-1.5 kilos.
Other positive characteristics include its deep, dark red meat, a pronounced marbling, a clearly recognisable fat rind on the sirloin portion and, of course, the typical quality criteria:
- Type of farming
- Age of the animal
- Maturation time of the meat
How do I prepare a T-bone steak?
T-bone and porterhouse are two cuts that inspire a fair amount of trepidation even in experienced meat fans when it comes to preparing them at home. But the two steaks are not only the preserve of the most sophisticated home cooks. With a little know-how, these magnificent specimens can also be prepared by anyone at home with ease, for example, on the gas grill. If you choose to use the grill you’ll find that the having the bone in the steak really enhances the flavour of the meat.
Ensure that the meat rises to room temperature before it comes into contact with the grill for the first time – it is best to let it rest for one to two hours while covered with kitchen towels. Aluminium foil, on the other hand, is not advisable, as the acid from the meat reacts the foil and oxidation can occur.
When grilling, both steaks – due to their enormous size – must, in any case, be pre- or post-cooked for a correspondingly long amount of time, in order to achieve an optimal core temperature. This is 53°C (before the resting phase) and should not be exceeded if possible.
That means: These steak giants are first seared until you can see clear traces of roasting –this provides the necessary depth of flavour. The sear burner with the Professional PRO Line is particularly suitable for this. This high-performance burner reaches temperatures of up to 900°C and thus achieves perfect grill stripes and unique roasting aromas. Afterwards, it takes a little patience to bring the steaks to their perfect core temperature. This works best in a zone with moderate, indirect heat. The steak is done to perfection when it has formed a dark crust on the outside and is juicy and flavoursome on the inside. The best way to find the perfect cooking point is with a digital meat thermometer which reliably displays the temperature at the thickest point.