Memorial Day Cookin’

Porter House Steak

The Porter House 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 petit filet or small ribeye but if you’re serious about wanting a steak than you should go with a porter house.

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.

I like to use lump coals for my steaks because lump burns hot and it’s the perfect fuel for searing meat. I found a new, heavy-duty charcoal chimney – it’s a beefed up model compared to the ones you pick-up at lowe’s or home depot. It’s a lot bigger and made entirely of steel with an expanded metal grate welded in the bottom. It only cost $10 more that the regular ones and these things will take some abuse.

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.

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.

The grill I used was a standard 22.5 inch weber kettle, in my opinion it’s one of the best standard grills out there – nothing fancy but it gets the job done. I do use a set of cast-iron cooking grates because not only does it help the meat cook evenly, but it gives your steaks that restaurant look with the sear marks.

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.

Now you’ve come to the best part… indulge.

There is nothing wrong with any other cut of beef, but the porterhouse is king when you’re talking steaks.

About Malcolm (the Author)

For over a decade now Malcom Reed has been competing in barbecue competitions... and it didn't take long for this hobby to develop into a full-blown addiction. After being inspired by the comradery and brotherhood of the sport, Malcom developed, a website devoted to sharing BBQ techniques and promoting the Competition BBQ Lifestyle. Through his cooking team, The Killer Hogs, and his barbecue business, Malcom is a constant student of 'Que... and his goal is to and his goal is to share his knowledge and passion with everyone.