T-bone Steak is one of the best steak cuts and includes a T-shaped bone with meat on each side. Searing in the pan at high temperature and finishing in the oven produces a caramelized crust with juicy meat in the middle. T-bone is a quick and flavorful steak dinner with no marinating required!
When I’m looking for a special entrée, T-bone is one of my top choices. Made with simple ingredients like garlic, butter, and fresh rosemary, this T-bone steak is a meat lover’s dream come true. So skip the steakhouse and make this delicious meal yourself. This quick and easy family favorite is ready in less than 15 minutes!
After lots of experimentation, I’ve concluded that pan searing with an oven finish yields the best results. Here are my top tips to guarantee restaurant quality and make a perfect t-bone steak every time!
What is T-bone steak?
The T-bone steak is a crosscut from the front of the short loin and contains a strip of top loin (New York strip) and a smaller chunk of tenderloin (filet mignon).
Considered one of the highest quality steaks, the T-bone commands a premium price. It has moderate marbling with the fat keeping the meat moist and tender during cooking, while the bone imparts additional flavor to the meat. According to the USDA it has 420 calories per 6 oz, which is higher than most types of steak.
Porterhouse vs. Tbone
People often use the terms interchangeably, since T-bones and porterhouse steaks both come from the short loin and include a T-shaped bone with a striploin on one side and tenderloin on the other.
As you can see in the photos above, the T-bone’s tenderloin on the left side of the bone is much smaller than the porterhouse’s tenderloin. That’s because the T-bone is cut closer to the front of the short loin, while the porterhouse comes from the larger rear of the short loin. For this reason, the porterhouse is a slightly larger steak, although they can be cooked the same way in recipes.
What does T-bone steak taste like?
The T-bone is a mouthwatering steak that’s both tender and flavorful. It has tenderloin on one side of the bone and a New York strip on the other side, allowing you to enjoy two top cuts of beef in one steak.
T-bone selection and prep (How to select T-bone steak)
Here’s how to select the perfect T-bone:
- Thickness: Thicker is better for T-bones, as they retain moisture better to come out juicier. Target 1 ½ to 2 inches when possible.
- Fat Marbling: Look for meat with lots of creamy fat marbled throughout for the best flavor.
- Feed: You may wish to seek out grass-fed beef, which has some health benefits compared to grain fed beef.
- Grade: USDA grading provides an indication on quality with Prime being the highest level followed by Choice. Avoid the lowest grade Select.
- Aging: Steak aficionados will seek out a T-bone with a full 21 days of aging for the most complex flavors compared to what you get with regular aging of 14 days.
If you love T-bones, I recommend building a relationship with a butcher who can reliably produce flavorful steaks for you.
Once you have the steak, take it out of the fridge an hour before cooking to take the chill off so for more even cooking. Pat it dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture and rub with a high smoke-point oil like canola, sunflower or avocado oil. Right before cooking, rub with coarse salt and other seasonings like black pepper. It’s now ready to cook!
How to cook T-bone steak
- Let steak sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before cooking.
- Pat dry the steaks with paper towels.
- Rub the steak with oil, and then season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat.
- Add oil to the hot skillet and add steak when it begins to smoke.
- Sear the steak for 2 minutes for the first side. Flip and sear 2 minutes.
- Add minced garlic, butter and fresh rosemary.
- Transfer the steak to a preheated oven at 425°F (218°C).
- Cook until it reaches the desired doneness.
- Transfer steak to a plate or cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Cut steak from the bone to serve.
Do you need to marinate a T-bone?
Normally marinating is used to tenderize tougher cuts such as flank steak or sirloin tip. As T-bone is already a tender cut, I use simple seasonings instead of a marinade.
Just pat dry with paper towel, rub with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. This simple seasoning won’t overpower the steak’s natural flavors!
Searing T-bone steak in a frying pan
A cast-iron skillet is my favorite tool for cooking steak, as it retains heat well for a deep-brown sear and is ovenproof. It takes about 2 minutes PER SIDE to sear a T-bone on the stovetop.
It’s important to first pat dry the steak so that the moisture won’t interfere with the searing. The key to a beautifully caramelized crust is searing in a very hot skillet, and it takes 5-10 minutes to heat up a cast-iron pan on high heat. The steak should sizzle as soon as you place it into the pan!
Finish in the oven
After searing, toss in the minced garlic, butter, and herbs. Then transfer the steak to a preheated oven at 425°F (218°C) until it reaches the desired doneness. This step cooks the steak using indirect heat from the oven to avoid burning and drying out the exterior before the center gets properly cooked.
The result? Tender and juicy steak that’s full of flavor.
How long do you cook T-bone steak?
Cook time depends on the thickness and your desired doneness. In addition to the 4-minute searing in a skillet (2 minutes per side), you’ll need to bake in the oven at 425°F (218°C) using the following guidelines for a 1-inch thick steak:
You will need to add 2-3 more minutes for each additional 1/2 inch thickness.
Note: As kitchen equipment may vary in the amount of heat produced, it’s best to verify doneness using a thermometer instead of relying on time alone.
How do you know when your T-bone is done?
Because steak gets firmer as it’s cooked, experienced chefs can test meat by touch. However, as doneness corresponds directly to the internal temperature of the meat, using an instant-read thermometer is the most reliable way to know if it’s done:
Note: the temperature rises an additional 5°F while resting due to carryover cooking.
Where to measure? The larger striploin side of the T-bone cooks more slowly, so measure in the strip about an inch from the bone. A wireless probe thermometer will allow you to conveniently check temperatures without opening the oven (or grill)!
How to serve T-bone steak
You can serve T-bone by cutting the strip and filet away from the bone and slicing into pieces. Don’t hesitate to pick up the bone, as the leftover bits of meat are very tasty!
Classic T-bone pairings are potatoes, mushrooms and vegetables such as steamed broccoli and boiled corn. Also consider making homemade steak sauce for dipping.
How to store T-bone steak
Raw t-bone steaks will last up to 2 days in the fridge wrapped in butcher paper. They can also be placed in freezer proof bags – squeeze out excess air and seal before placing in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Leftover cooked t-bone steak will last up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. While it can also be frozen for up to 3 months, I don’t recommend it as the lovely flavor and texture will deteriorate.
Is T-bone steak a good cut of steak?
T-bone is one of the best steak cuts and features two prized parts of the cow: the tenderloin and the short loin. For this reason, a T-bone steak is one of the most expensive cuts available.
Where to buy T-bone steak
T-bone steaks are widely available at supermarkets and meat counters. If you don’t see any, you can always ask your butcher to cut one for you as well.
What is the best way to cook a T-bone?
There is no one best way to cook a T-bone steak. You can successfully grill, bake, broil or pan-sear this versatile and delicious cut of beef. Sous vide and smoking are additional options.
Is T-bone a cheap steak?
No, a T-bone is definitely not a cheap steak cut. While it’s usually priced slightly below a filet mignon (tenderloin), pound-for-pound it’s still one of the top-5 most expensive steaks.
More steak recipes:
- Rib Eye Steak
- Filet Mignon
- Cowboy Steak
- Sirloin Steak
View more Types of Steak