Grilled Porterhouse Steak

9 Min Read

Looking for a perfect steak for grilling? Want to master the coals and impress your guests with an expertly charred piece of meat at your next gathering? Look no further than a Grilled Porterhouse Steak. It’s exactly what you want to pick up from your local butcher if you want flavor and a real rustic presentation.

When it comes to good steak recipes, a meaty ribeye may be the fan favorite, and the mighty tomahawk cut is showstopping, but the Porterhouse steak is the king of cuts. It’s huge and loaded with rich beefy flavor, making it our choice when we want dinner to impress friends and family or for a special occasion.

The Cut: What is Porterhouse Steak

This steak, the King Cut, packs a huge bang for the buck as it’s two steaks in one, usually 1 1/2 inch to 2 inches thick and often around 2 pounds, and is rumored to be favored by none other than Charles Dickens himself. Cut from the rear of the short loin, it consists of a huge tenderloin steak and a strip steak also known as a Kansas City strip, if bone-in, or New York strip steak, if boneless, with the iconic T-bone in the center.

Because of the size of the porterhouse steak, we love a good pan sear or mastering how to grill a steak with a watchful eye. Quick cooking methods can leave the outside with a great crust but underdone internally, so using a high-quality instant-read thermometer is a must for the best results with this cut of beef.

What is the difference between a porterhouse and a T-bone steak?

Altho they look alike, the easiest way to tell a porterhouse from a t-bone is the thickness and the size of the cuts on the sides of the steak. A t-bone is about 1″ thick, and the 1st cut porterhouse should be over 1.5 to 2″ thick steak.

This specific cut of meat also has a larger tenderloin (aka, filet mignon) section due to being further back on the short loin, than the T-bone. Where this perfect porterhouse steak recipe is great for date night dinners and the occasional splurge, we find the grilled t-bone steak to be more of a manageable weeknight staple.


For this simple recipe on the grill, it’s best to gather everything you need ahead of time.

  • Porterhouse Steak – Look for a steak that has an even red color and good marbling. Not sure where to get one? We’ve done the research by testing over 20 places to buy meat online for delivery right to your door.
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Ancho chili powder – this is optional, but we love the subtle kick it gives the beef. Alternatively, for incredible beef flavor, consider using Girl Carnivore Ooomami mushroom powder.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Smashed garlic cloves
  • Fresh rosemary – dried rosemary won’t do for this cut, as we’re making an herb brush for basting.

How to Grill a Porterhouse Steak

  • Start by prepping your steak. Remove it from the packaging and pat it dry. Season it liberally with salt and let it rest on a wire rack over a baking sheet in the fridge overnight.
  • Rub the steak with a sprinkle of pepper and ancho powder and let it sit at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes before you’re ready to grill it.
  • Prep your charcoal grill for a 2-zone fire by lighting charcoal in a charcoal chimney until they are about 70% ashed over. Then carefully pour the coals, stacking them on one side of your grill, creating a 2-zone fire. Clean the grill grates, add wood chips, cover the lid and adjust the air vents to get the temperature to around 400 degrees.
  • When the grill has preheated and the smoke is burning blue and clear, add the porterhouse to the cooler side of the grill.
  • Grill the porterhouse with the lid on the grill and without touching it for about 2-3 minutes before rotating it 45 degrees.
  • Add a small cast iron or heatproof pan to the cooler side of the grill and add the smashed garlic and butter to melt. Cover the lid and let it cook over indirect heat for another minute or two.
  • Meanwhile, make your herb brush by tying the fresh rosemary to long tongs or a thick skewer.
  • Flip the steak when good grill marks have formed, about 5 to 6 minutes in total, and start basting it with the melted garlic-infused butter using the herb brush. Allow the porterhouse to cook to about 115 degrees F.
  • When it’s reached 115F, carefully transfer the steak to the hottest part of the grill, directly over the coals. Sear the steak, getting a great crust on both sides. The melted butter and fat will cause flare-ups, so use long tongs and gloves.
  • Grill the steak until it reaches 120-125 degrees F, for rare to medium rare, at the thickest part of the tenderloin with an instant read thermometer. Remember, the tenderloin will start to dry out at anything past medium; however, cook to your desired doneness..
  • Remove the perfectly cooked steak from the grill, and top it with the herbs and a dollop of your favorite compound butter recipe to rest for 5 to 10 minutes. As the juices redistribute, the butter will melt over the steak for a more mouthwatering beefy flavor.
  • To serve, use a sharp knife to slice the juicy steaks from the bone and carve them into thin strips. Nestle the perfectly grilled porterhouse steak back on either side of the bone for presentation.

What to serve with Grilled Porterhouse

Steak lovers can enjoy this as a whole meal by itself, but what really makes it a great steak is an amazing restaurant-quality pairing. Top it with a luscious crab imperial from the smoker or one of our favorite steak sauces like a red wine pan sauce for steaks or our easy peppercorn sauce.

The richness of this grilled steak can handle a variety of your favorite side dishes. Consider putting the grill to work from bacon brussels sprouts or mac and cheese in a cast iron skillet. Alteratively, we love keeping it simple with these crispy fries coated in beef tallow or Traeger baked potatoes.

Wine Pairing

Pair this thick-cut steak with a lively Syrah or a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.

Leftovers and Reheating

Chances are, because of the size of this steak, you will have leftovers. Wrap them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

To reheat, take out what you need, and reheat wrapped in foil in a preheated oven set to 325 degrees F until heated through, about 10 – 12 minutes. Alternatively, dice up leftover porterhouse steak and use it in wraps, salads, hash, and egg scrambles.

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