Know The Difference Between A T-Bone And A Porterhouse Steak

Know The Difference Between A T-Bone And A Porterhouse Steak

If you’ve always thought that a T-Bone steak and a Porterhouse steak were the same thing, you would be mistaken. They’re both from the same cut, and they both have the characteristic T-shaped bone in the centre, but this video from the folks at America’s Test Kitchen explains why one costs so much more than the other.

Essentially, the real differentiator between the two is the size of the fillet — or the smaller piece of meat on the short side of the bone. Because a T-Bone is allowed to have a smaller tenderloin section than a Porterhouse, that would mean that all Porterhouse steaks are T-Bones, but not all T-Bones are porterhouses. Either way, if you’re ever at the butcher and see that the Porterhouse is much more pricey than the T-Bone, now you’ll know why, and you can opt to splurge or save accordingly.

What’s the Difference Between a Porterhouse and a T-Bone Steak? [America’s Test Kitchen]


  • Except that here in Australia – we call the stip section (only that part, no bone or tenderloin) the porterhouse. WIth the T-Bone being the full cut.

    • thanks, i was thinking, “well duh the porterhouse doesn’t have a big honking T shaped bone in it for starters” and was shocked when it claimed both apparently had a T bone it (trust the americans to differ the 2 based on a larger loin size).

  • I think here in Oz we refer to the smaller side as scotch or rib fillet, and the larger side as porterhouse.

    • That was my understanding as well. Porterhouse on one side, scotch fillet on the other.

      • And when the scotch is big they cut it off and sell it individually. When it’s small they leave it on the bone and sell as T-bone… is that right?

        • Probably right, but I think the prevalence of Scotch / Porterhouse consumption in Australia is higher than it is in the USA where T-Bone is king.

          Also I’m led to believe that Australian cattle mature / develop / process differently to American cattle, such that our slaughter process means that a tri-tip (an end cut from the bottom sirloin, cut 2131 AUS) isn’t really viable for Australian cattle, but is normal for American cattle.

          I don’t really know the technical details, I just know it’s difficult to buy tri-tip in Australia. Those differences in cattle / cut availability may explain why scotch fillet isn’t really a ‘thing’ in the USA and why T-Bone is bigger.

          • The scotch fillet is actually a little different, coming from ribs 6-12. Not associated with the T-bone. It is also known as a “rib eye” in the States. In Australia, a “rib eye” often refers to a scotch fillet on the bone. Ribs 6-12 are often called “prime ribs”, and are what is used to make a standing rib roast.
            The T-bone consists of what we often call a sirloin, “strip”, or “porterhouse” on one side, and the tenderloin on the other. The tenderloin is also known as the eye fillet, and is very lean and, well, tender. It is not the same as a scotch fillet, which is a very fatty cut of meat.
            In the States, the “porterhouse” is as described above – the King of T-bones, with a substantial tenderloin portion, unlike most of the “t-bones” you see in Woolies or Coles.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!