T-Bone Steak: Its Location, Names, Flavor Profile, and Size

The T-bone steak is one of the most recognizable cuts of beef available at any steakhouse. This impressive cut combines two cuts of meat separated by a T-shaped bone. In this guide, I have compiled the most important facts about the T-bone steak, along with answers to the most frequently asked questions.

What Is T-bone Steak?

T-bone steak is a cut that comes from the short loin region of the cow. What sets it apart is its unique “T-shaped” bone, which separates two contrasting cuts of beef. On one side of the ‘T’, you’ll find a New York strip known for its robust beef flavor and medium tenderness. On the opposite side lies the tenderloin, highly prized for its extreme tenderness and subtly mild beef flavor. These two cuts create a great combination that offers an exciting culinary experience.

Raw T-Bone steak closer look: Tenderloin section on the left, strip section on the right.
Raw T-Bone steak closer look: Tenderloin section on the left, strip section on the right.

Where is the T-bone Steak on a Cow?

The T-Bone 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.

T-bone steak location on cow

The loin area is also the source of other mouthwatering cuts of steak, including the strip steak, tenderloin steak, and porterhouse steak – these are some of the best cuts of steak in terms of flavor and tenderness.

T-bone Steak Nutrition

NutritionPortion size: 3 oz = 85 g
Calories250 kcal
Total Fat17.9 g
Protein20.6 g
Zinc3.42 mg
Potassium204 mg
Vitamin B-60.563 mg
Vitamin B-121.52 µg
Nutrition facts based on cooked 3-oz t-bone steak (choice-grade).

Data source: USDA.

Where to Buy T-bone Steak?

While supermarkets and grocery stores may have T-bone steaks available, the quality of those cuts may not be the best. For a truly high-quality cut of T-bone steak, your best bet is to visit a local butcher. Not only can you find better quality steaks there, but you also have the advantage of selecting the thickness of the cut according to your preference.

If, on the other hand, there is no good butcher store in your area, you can take advantage of the wide range of online meat delivery companies available. These platforms offer a wide range of options, making it possible to enjoy premium beef varieties like Japanese or American Wagyu from the comfort of your home. Here are a few highly recommended vendors to consider:

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

What Are the Best Methods for Cooking a T-Bone Steak?

Here are the four most popular methods:

  • Grilling: Grilling a steak on the grill remains one of the most popular methods, especially for larger cuts like a T-bone steak, because it imparts a smoky flavor and creates a crispy crust on the outside.
  • Pan Searing: Cooking on the stovetop provides a nice crust and requires only a quality skillet (preferably a cast iron skillet).
  • Sous-Vide: Sous-vide cooking steak offers advantages such as consistent cooking, convenience, and versatility, making it a popular choice for achieving perfectly cooked, tender, and juicy meat.
  • Oven Reverse Searing Cooking: You can use an oven and an iron skillet, or adapt the method for a grill, to slow-cook your steak using this technique.

Is T-bone Steak Good?

T-bone steak is a great option for those who appreciate flavorful and tender cuts, as it offers a combination of two great cuts – new york strip and filet mignon – with one dominating in terms of beefy flavor and the other in terms of tenderness. While the price can be a downside, it is still a great option for a special occasion or for sharing between two people.

What is The Width of The Tenderloin Portion in a T-Bone Steak?

According to the USDA, the tenderloin portion in a T-Bone Steak can measure up to 1.25 inches in width. If it exceeds this width, it’s classified as a porterhouse steak.

1.125-inch Wide Filet Portion in a T-Bone Steak
1.125-inch Wide Filet Portion in a T-Bone Steak

How Long and Heavy is an Average T-Bone Steak?

A typical T-bone steak measures around 7-8 inches in length. Its weight, which depends on its thickness, usually ranges from 1.5 to 2 lbs.

T-bone steak, 7.5-8 inches long.
T-bone steak, 7.5-8 inches long.

Is T-bone Steak Expensive?

T-bone steak is considered a premium cut, similar to ribeye or filet mignon. It is typically one of the most expensive beef cuts due to its size, weight, and popularity, as well as the tenderness and flavor of the meat.

What’s the Difference Between a T-bone and a Porterhouse steak?

Many people confuse the t-bone steak with the porterhouse, but their size is the main difference between the two cuts. The porterhouse steak has a larger tenderloin section compared to the t-bone steak. For more details, refer to my article on Porterhouse vs. T-Bone Steak.

Discover Other Steak Cuts

Take a look at other cuts of beef that are similar to t-bone steak, especially the first three on this list, which also come from the loin area:

Photo of author

Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow is a Polish entrepreneur and writer who founded Steak Revolution in 2020 because of his passion for steaks. Adam has been cooking steaks for over 5 years, so he understands well all aspects of steak, from the types of steaks and their cooking times to choosing the best cooking technique for any steak.