The Difference Between Porterhouse and T-Bone

Many people will surely try to convince you about the difference between porterhouse and T-bone steaks. They will also further tell you that they are made of the same cuts or slices of meat. Well, this is pretty much understandable, for many people could surely be confused with these two types of steak cuts.

The truth is—the porterhouses and the T-bones come from the same cattle’s body section. So, both hold almost the same kind and quality of meat. Their meat is called “tenderloin filet” and “NY strip.”

The Similarity of T-Bone and Porterhouse

Since the T-bone and the porterhouse are somewhat similar to each other according to many people, let us try to figure out this similarity before we delve into their differences. If you are not a meticulous diner, you will readily say, as many other people would say, that both T-bone and porterhouse are the same.

Well, they surely have similarities for both slices of meat are taken from the same section of the cattle referred to as “short loin.” The T-bone steak, of course, is named after the T-shaped bone in that section.

But within that section, there are basically two distinct kinds of strips that run through it. On the one side of this bone is the NY strip which is considered as one of the best qualities of beef, second only to the rib-eye. The tenderloin filet, on the other hand, runs on the other side of the T-bone.

The tenderloin filet is very tender and extra-lean. Each cut is usually removed from the T-bone and eventually served individually. But if both the strip and filet are left together with the bone, it is only then that you get a T-bone or a porterhouse.

Difference Between Porterhouse and T-bone

Having known the similarity between the T-bone and the porterhouse, you should also know the differences between the two that set each one from each other. Well, experts will tell you that the difference between the two lies in their sizes of filets. Let’s look at the filet of the porterhouse.

Upon closer scrutiny, you will readily see that the filet of the porterhouse is more than that of the T-bones. This difference is arbitrarily settled by the Institutional Meat Purchase Specifications of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It says that the porterhouse’s tenderloin should be 1.25-inch wide (32mm) at its widest part. The T-bone, on the other hand, should be 0.5-inch wide at least.

You should be wary of this technical difference in the size of the tenderloin because this is the main difference between the two. So, the difference between the two boils down to how much filet is present in the steak.

The next time, therefore, that you order a T-bone steak and you are given a steak that measures 1.25-inch thick, you can complain on grounds that you are receiving a porterhouse. But kidding aside, this is the only remarkable difference between the two. Thus, you should measure the thickness from the filet’s widest point to the bone.

Another point to consider is that the porterhouse is usually taken from the short loin’s rear part. In that part, the tenderloin appears to be the thickest. Thus, you will readily distinguish the T-bone from the porterhouse by its size and weight, for the porterhouse is much heavier than the T-bone and usually weighs within the range of 24 ounces.

Is T-bone a Porterhouse?

The above question will be your next logical question. If the T-bone comes from the same short loin of the cattle, is it justifiable to call T-bone a porterhouse? Well, even if they come from the same section of the cattle, the T-bone can never be called a “porterhouse.” The reason for this is that it falls short of the specifications delineated by the USDA.

If the T-bone is only .25-inch thick, then, it is better to call it “T-bone” or a “Club steak or a “Bone in NY Strip.” Moreover, since the T-bone is smaller in size and has fewer filets, it is usually less expensive than the porterhouse.

Plus, the T-bone—since it is leaner in size and thickness—must be cooked differently from that of the porterhouse. They also have different tastes.

So, having read the abovementioned differences, the next time you would order a steak, you should no longer get confused as to the difference between a porterhouse and T-bone steaks.