How To Grill a Porterhouse Steak

The Porterhouse is a man’s steak if there ever was one. It’s basically two steaks in one the NY Strip on one side of the bone and the filet on the other. The bone gives both cuts tremendous flavor and when cooked just right, you won’t find a better steak. That’s why the Porter House demands the most money on restaurant menus.

I like them about 1 ½” thick which weighs in around a whopping 24oz. For you light weights you may want to stick to a petite filet or small Ribeye but if you’re serious about wanting a steak than you should go with a porter house.

I shot a video that walks you through the entire process of cooking this monster….

For me, the porterhouse is all about beef flavor. It doesn’t require any marinades or fancy seasonings or rubs. I just want to enhance the beef flavor in the meat – and it only takes 3 simple ingredients… salt, black pepper and a touch of garlic.

The key to cooking this steak is having a hot grill. I’m talking temps in the 500 degree + range. I want to quickly sear the outside to lock-in all the flavors and juices of the steak. And I don’t believe in taking steaks past medium rare… that’s sacrilege in my book. If you want something well-done, you might as well go with a meat loaf.

It takes about 20-25 minutes for the coals to get ready. And that’s the perfect amount of time for the steaks to set out and come up to room temperature. The meat needs to set out because the steak will cook more evenly if it’s all the same temperature throughout.

While the coals are getting hot, I brushed the outside of my steaks with a little olive oil and then seasoned them lightly with black pepper, garlic and just a touch of salt. I don’t go heavy on the salt at the beginning because it tends to draw-out too much moisture from the meat… so I save most of the salt until the end.

Steaks this size need about 5 minutes on each side. But to get the diamond pattern, you give them a 90 degree turn half-way through the cook. This is a very fast cook, so you want to keep a timer on it because you don’t want it to get away from you since your cooking at such a high temperature. After the first 2.5 minutes you turn 90 degrees – keeping the steak cooking on the same side. Then after another 2.5 you flip your steak to the other side. Let it go another 2.5 minutes and turn 90 degrees again to create the cross-hatch pattern on that side. And after another 2.5 minutes you’re done.

If you just have to check the internal temp it should be right at 125 – 130 degrees.

The most critical part is the rest. Since you cooked this steak so hot and fast, it needs to sit there and calm-down. It allows the juices that were trying to escape to settle-down and the rest will make the meat juicier. You will also gain another 5 degrees during the rest period. Don’t forget to sprinkle on just another tough of salt at this point. It will really make the beef flavor pop.

Malcom Reed
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Comments 4

  1. I live in North Carolina, and one steak dilemma that I’ve faced over the last few years is whether to use a grilling or pan-searing method. I’ve experimented, using a variety of meats, heats, and durations–I’ve even tried an old fashion cast iron skillet–but I still haven’t reached a conclusion. On one side a pan-sear provides an even, delicious crust, while charcoal provides the signature grill marks and smoky flavor. Either way a well cooked steak is a beautiful thing, and I agree that no good piece of meat should be seasoned beyond the basics, but have you ever compared the two and taken a side?

    1. Post
      Author

      Yep. I use a cast iron skillet to cook steaks with the pan-searing method. It works, makes a great crust just like you said… but to me, it’s just missing the flavor a grilled steak has. I use the pan method when it’s really cold or raining, and it makes a great steak. But my personal preference is grilling.

  2. Pingback: Comment on How to BBQ Right’s “How To Grill a Porterhouse Steak” | Frey Facts

  3. Hi . We are having a company bbq on friday . And sence I’m always the guy bbqing and bringin it to work for my lunch at least 3 times a week .I was nominated to ne the cook. The meat is porterhouse steaks on a charcoal grill. Mabe u can give me some tips. My methood is 2 to 2 1/2 min then turn the meat at a 90 dagree angle for another 2 min to get that reastaraunt look to it then flip and do the same on other side. Im looking for a med rear . Dose that sound right thanks. Dino.

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