What is a Porterhouse Steak?

Porterhouse steak enjoys a fantastic reputation among meat lovers and is one of the most popular steaks in fine steakhouses worldwide. In this guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about porterhouse steak, including answers to frequently asked questions like where on the cow it comes from, why it’s expensive, and why it is one of the most challenging steaks to cook.

What Is Porterhouse Steak?

A Porterhouse steak is a premium steak cut from the cow’s short loin. It is often referred to as a two-in-one steak because it combines a strip cut and a tenderloin cut, divided by a T-shaped bone. This cut offers a unique flavor profile, combining the tenderness of the tenderloin with the rich, beefy flavor of a strip steak. Because of its substantial size, a porterhouse steak is ideal for sharing between two people.

The porterhouse steak is often mistakenly referred to as the t-bone steak. While the two cuts are almost identical, one key difference exists between them. The tenderloin section of the porterhouse is wider than that of the t-bone. Check our Porterhouse vs. T-Bone steak article for a side-by-side comparison and a visual understanding.

Raw porterhouse steak
Raw porterhouse steak
cooked porterhouse steak
Cooked porterhouse steak

Where Is the Porterhouse Steak on a Cow?

A Porterhouse steak comes from the cow’s loin primal area, specifically from the front part of the short loin subprimal, right where the tenderloin starts. It comes from where a cow’s top loin connects with the tenderloin.

Other Names for Porterhouse Steak

The Porterhouse steak is not commonly known by many other names. Occasionally, you may come across it referred to as the king steak, although this is quite rare. However, it is often confused with the T-Bone steak, but we’d like to remind you that this is a mistake.

Buying Porterhouse Steak

Porterhouse is one of the best cuts of beef, so it’s readily available even in supermarkets. However, when purchasing this type of steak, it is crucial to ensure it meets specific criteria. Ideally, it should be at least 1.5 inches thick and has a good amount of marbling. While your local butcher store may offer a wide selection, if you’re looking for something unique or have limited options in your area, online butcher shops can be a way better alternative. 

Butcher shops available online are an excellent option for highly graded steaks with home delivery. Below, we have listed for you a few tried-and-true retailers:

  • Snake River Farms
  • Crowd Cow
  • Porter Road 
  • Holy Grail Steak

Porterhouse Steak Nutrition

NutritionPortion size: 3 oz = 85 g
Calories241 kcal
Total Fat16.8 g
Protein21.1 g
Zinc3.48 mg
Potassium217 mg
Vitamin B-60.558 mg
Vitamin B-121.71 µg

Nutrition facts based on cooked 3-oz porterhouse steak (choice-grade).

Data source: USDA.

Porterhouse Steak Cooking Techniques

The best methods for cooking a porterhouse steak involve using either a grill or a broiler. Both methods offer better temperature control than a pan, which is crucial for achieving the perfect cook. For beginners, we do not recommend pan-searing as it can be more difficult to control the temperature and achieve the desired level of steak doneness.

Pan-searing a porterhouse steak can be challenging for inexperienced cooks because the steak consists of two distinct cuts on either side of the bone. During cooking, the meat tends to shrink, which can cause the bone to stick out and prevent perfect contact with the pan surface. Additionally, the tenderloin section, which has less fat content, cooks faster than the strip steak, making it difficult to achieve optimal doneness for both cuts simultaneously.


Is porterhouse steak good?

Without a doubt, the porterhouse steak is a very delicious two-in-one steak. The strip section boasts a robust flavor and juiciness. On the other hand, the tenderloin section, although leaner, is the most tender cut and can melt in your mouth when cooked to perfection. As you can see, the combination of the two cuts in a porterhouse steak gives the perfect balance of tenderness and flavor.

Due to its size, a porterhouse steak is an excellent option, even for two people. Although it has a higher price tag, its exceptional presentation and taste make it a popular choice for special occasions. If you enjoy a tender and juicy steak with a beefy flavor that looks impressive, you will not be disappointed with a porterhouse steak.

Is porterhouse steak expensive?

Yes, the porterhouse is one of the more expensive cuts of steak because it includes two premium cuts in one. Each porterhouse consists of a strip steak and a tenderloin, with a bone separating them. Additionally, the size of the steak itself makes a big difference – the average porterhouse steak weighs about 2 lbs. For this reason, many steakhouses recommend one porterhouse steak for two people.

What’s the difference between ribeye and a porterhouse steak?

One of the most significant differences between ribeye and porterhouse steak is their origin. Ribeye is a single cut taken from the rib’s primal, whereas porterhouse is made up of two steaks – the strip and the tenderloin – both from the loin primal. While both cuts are considered premium, ribeye is known for its generous marbling. In terms of flavor profile, the porterhouse offers a richer taste experience thanks to the tenderloin’s tenderness and the strip’s beefy flavor. Another advantage of ribeye is its ease of cooking. As for prices per pound, they are similar for both cuts, as they are both considered premium options.

In conclusion, we prefer ribeye as an everyday steak, but we would choose porterhouse for special occasions. To learn why we think ribeye is the better choice for inexperienced cooks, check out our article on porterhouse vs. ribeye.

Discover Other Beef Cuts

Feel free to explore other cuts similar in flavor or tenderness to the porterhouse steak. Here are our suggestions:

Photo of author

Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam is the founder of Steak Revolution. He loves sharing his knowledge of steaks with everyone, ensuring you get the perfect steak every time.