How to Grill T-Bone Steak

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Photo by TheBusyBrain is marked with CC BY 2.0.

T-bone steak is a unique cut of beef with two steaks in one. On one side of the bone is a tender, mild-flavored piece of tenderloin; on the other side is a full-of-beef-flavor strip steak. As you might imagine, having two very different cuts of steak on one bone can make for an interesting grilling session, as each cut requires slightly different cooking techniques. 

Still, it’s achievable, and you can cook T-bone right on your grill at home. Keep reading to learn how to grill T-bone steak just like the chefs do at your favorite restaurants. 

Preparing The Grill

Take a few minutes before grilling T-bone steak to set up your grill for success. Whatever grill you have, make sure its grates are completely clean. If desired, brush a small amount of olive oil on them to prevent sticking before heating the grill.

Gas Grill

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If your gas grill has two heating zones, preheat one to 450-500 degrees and the other to 250-275. Keep the lid covered while preheating to heat it up faster. Give your grill about 15 minutes to fully preheat before grilling T-bone steak.

Charcoal Grill

Charcoal grills vary much more in their preheating process than gas grills, so be sure to set aside about 30 minutes before you plan to grill your T-bone steak to prep the grill. Use a chimney starter for an easy charcoal-lighting process, or add lighter fluid to the bricks to help them light. Once they turn white, you can move the bricks around to distribute them evenly on the bottom of the grill.

Cooking Time

Most T-bone steaks take about 15-20 minutes to cook on the grill to medium-rare and another 5-10 minutes for resting. If you like your steak cooked more, plan on adding another 2-5 minutes of cook time per doneness level (for instance, 20-25 minutes for medium). Thicker T-bone steaks can also take a bit more time than the standard 1 ½-inch cuts. 

Final Temperature

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Knowing what temperature your T-bone steak should reach before removing it from the grill is essential to get the right cook. We recommend grilling T-bone steak to medium-rare, but you can use the temperature chart below to find the temperature information you need for your ideal cook.

DonenessTemperature to Remove from HeatFinal Temperature
Medium-rare125-130℉130-135℉
Medium135-140℉140-145℉
Medium-well145-150℉150-155℉
Well-done155-160℉160-165℉

Medium Rare T-Bone Steak

A medium-rare cook is best for T-bone steak. To achieve this, keep one side of your grill on high heat and the other side on low. Sear for 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping only once. Then, move the steak to the low-heat side of the grill, covered, for another 5-10 minutes until a meat thermometer reads between 125-130℉. Transfer the steak to a clean plate tented with foil for 5-10 minutes to rest before enjoying.

T-Bone Steak Grilling Tips

Try out these extra T-bone grilling tips to get the perfect grilled T-bone on your dinner plate.

Add to Its Flavor 

Grilling T-bone steak adds some flavoring already, thanks to the natural flavors of the grill. Still, there’s nothing wrong with giving your steak a little more. In fact, we encourage it with T-bone simply because the tenderloin portion doesn’t have the same flavor impact that the strip steak portion does.

If you prefer extra flavor, sprinkle steak seasoning or your favorite herbs and spices, like thyme or garlic powder, on both sides of the steak before grilling. You can also whip up an herb butter sauce to drizzle over the steak after it rests. 

Use a Two-Zone Cooking Method

A two-zone grilling method keeps one side of the grill on high heat and the other on low. With T-bone steak, this method comes in handy for fully cooking the steak to your doneness preference, such as medium-rare or medium. After searing over high heat, move the steak to the low-heat side to continue cooking to your preferred doneness level.

Check the Temperature

With T-bone’s two included steak cuts, it’s important to check the temperature of the meat on both sides of the bone. The tenderloin portion tends to be a bit thicker, and it could need an extra minute or two to reach your ideal doneness. If so, keep the steak on the low-heat side of the grill until it reaches the right temperature with a meat thermometer. 

Choosing the Right Cut

Dry-aged, wet-aged, USDA Prime, Wagyu…have you noticed all the labels a T-bone steak can come with? Don’t feel overwhelmed. Any of these options indicates a high-quality steak that, when grilled correctly, should yield an excellent texture and taste. 

Dry-aged and wet-aged refer to the aging process that takes several weeks to enhance flavor and texture. Wet-aging is usually faster, but dry-aging has a bit more time to break down tough fibers to tenderize the steak. 

The USDA marks USDA Prime steaks as meeting marbling and color standards, denoting high-quality steaks. Wagyu is among the most prized for T-bone and other steaks, with a similar quality to traditional Japanese Kobe beef.

No matter what type of T-bone steak you choose, try to go with a cut that’s at least 1 ½ inches thick for grilling. Thinner cuts may be more challenging to prevent from overcooking on the grill. 

Grilling T-Bone Steak Instructions

Here’s how to grill T-bone steak at home, step by step:

Step 1: Prepare the Grill and Steaks

Put steaks on a plate at room temperature. Season generously with salt on both sides. Tent the plate with foil and keep steaks at room temperature for 45 minutes. This process lets the steak brine for a better sear on the grill.

About 15 minutes before you’re ready to cook, brush oil on the grill grates. Then, preheat the grill to high heat (450-500 degrees) and make another side of the grill low-heat (250-275 degrees), if possible.

When you’re ready to grill T-bone steaks, add the rest of your seasonings to both sides, such as ground black pepper and garlic powder. 

Step 2: Grill T-Bone Steaks Like a Pro

Transfer the steaks to the high-heat area of the grill. Cook until seared for 3-4 minutes on that side. Flip with a pair of tongs and sear for another 3-4 minutes on the other side. 

Step 3: Check the Temperature

Check the temperature of the meat on both sides of the bone with a digital thermometer. For medium-rare, the thermometer should read 125-130℉. If the thickest part hasn’t yet reached that range or the range for your ideal doneness level, move the T-bone steaks to the low-heat side of the grill and cover. Depending on how much more your steak needs to cook, this could take another 2-10 minutes. Recheck the temperature before pulling your steak from the grill.

Step 4: Give It a Few Minutes

Transfer your T-bone steaks to a clean plate tented with foil and let rest at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!

t-bone steak on the grill

Grilled T-Bone Steak

Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 t-bone steaks from Chicago Steak Company
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Salt T-bone steaks generously with salt on both sides and allow to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes before grilling. About 10-15 minutes before grilling, brush the grill grates with olive oil and preheat one area of the grill to high heat and the other to low heat
  • Season steak with a sprinkle of salt, if desired, and black pepper. Place steaks on the high-heat area of the grill for 3-4 minutes. Flip to the other side with tongs and sear for another 3-4 minutes
  • If more time is needed for the steak to reach your ideal doneness level, move them to the low-heat area of the grill and close the lid to cook for another 2-10 minutes. Use your meat thermometer to check the thickest part of the steak
  • Rest at room temperature on a foil-tented plate for 5-10 minutes before serving

Other Ways to Cook T-Bone Steak

The grill is one of our favorite tools for cooking T-bone steak, but you can also get your fill of this delicious cut of beef by using the following cooking methods:

  • Oven-baked T-bone steak
  • Reverse seared T-bone steak
  • Sous vide T-bone steak
  • Pan-seared T-bone steak
  • Slow-cooked T-bone steak

Shop our selection of premium aged T-bone steaks. Order online and get Premium Angus T-bone steaks shipped directly to your door.