Grilling Porterhouse Steaks

porterhouse-steaksGrilling Porterhouse steaks may seem difficult at first because of the large size of the steak, but you’ll realize it’s not much more different or difficult than any other of your favorite steaks, such as the ribeye.

A porterhouse is a cut that includes the top loin (commonly referred to as a New York Strip Steak) as well as the adjacent tip tenderloin, commonly known to most as filet mignon. It’s a great steak to share with family or friends, though I’ve seen a few people eat one completely by themselves before as well! T-Bone steaks are similiar in cut to the Porterhouse steak, though a much smaller variety and typically less of the filet mignon part.

Here’s the step by step instructions on how to grill the perfect Porterhouse steak:

1. Choose Your Cut: When we’re shopping for steaks we’re always looking for well marbled pieces (those are the little white lines you see running through a steak) as this helps make it nice and tender. There are many different grades of beef available (Prime, Choice, and Select) with Prime being the best – and most expensive typically. You may pay anywhere from $20-$35 for a single Porterhouse steak.

2. Season: Because the top loin part of this steak can be pretty tough, and even the filet part if the top loin is taking too long to cook, we recommend a nice mixture of salt and pepper and any of your favorite steak seasonings. Being generous with the salt will greatly help increase the likelihood of it being tender – and you can always wipe off any excess if it’s more than you’d like when you’re ready to grill. Porterhouses are also a great steak for using steak marinades.

3. Fire Up That Grill: While you’re firing up the grill, let the steak sit out and “warm up” from being in the refrigerator. For food safety reasons, you don’t want to leave it out for too long, especially if it is very hot weather – but for the most part 30-45 minutes is generally okay. You’ll want to light your charcoal or propane grill as hot as you can get it. With charcoal, this means using lots of charcoal! (Though don’t go overboard either – you still need to have room in your grill for air to flow and for you to fit the grate back on top!) If anyone eating steaks with you wants their steak “well done” and no pink in the middle, you’ll probably want to butterfly the steak so to avoid the outside burning and the inside being raw. Rare to Medium lovers won’t need to worry about this so much.

4. Cook It Up: This is the part everyone is the most afraid of, but if you’ve done the first three steps you really probably won’t have a whole lot to be nervous about. Once the grill is ready and as hot as you can get it, place the steak with the New York Strip side over the hottest part of the grill. (Ideally you’re grill is hot all over, but we know that usually right about the burner or the middle of the charcoal is typically hotter, and since the strip part will cook longer than the filet part this will help it cook while you keep the filet more tender) When you place the steak on the grill, you should hear a sizzle – if there’s no sizzle, you might want to make sure your grill is hot enough. (You shouldn’ be able to hold your hand close to the grill for more than a second or two!)

The secret to any great steak on the grill is to minimize flipping time. This is one of the biggest problems many people face, as they get bored standing out there for 20 minutes and want to flip that poor steak a million times. So resist that urge and cook for about 8-10 minutes on the first side and then flip and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Obviously this is only an estimate as grill temperature will have a lot to do with it. But, everybody always asks “how long do I grill a Porterhouse steak?” and that should give you a good idea. After the second side is done, pull out your handy dandy digital meat thermometer. (Don’t have one yet? Get one now for next time! Amazon’s got this one super cheap). Meat thermometers make it so you know the steak is cooked to the right temperature – see out chart of steak temperatures for details.

5. Take off the grill and Cover With Foil or Lid: Covering the steak for about 5 – 10 minutes after you are finished grilling helps it keep cooking but without worrying about it burning. Not everybody does this step, but the true steak grilling aficionados out there do!

As you can see, cooking a porterhouse steak on the grill is no more difficult than any other steak, though you will want to pay special attention because of it’s thickness and size. Hope you enjoy your dinner!

Have any other tips for grilling Porterhouse steaks? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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