Porterhouse Vs Tomahawk – Key Difference And Similarities

The porterhouse steak is a flavorful cut of meat gotten from the rare or the short loin of a cow, where the tenderloin is thickest. It actually contains two different cuts of beef, a tenderloin and a strip loin.

The tomahawk steak on the other hand is cut from the rib section just like the ribeye. But what denotes this particular cut of steak is a 3 inches long rib bone attached to it.

Both the porterhouse and tomahawk are exceptionally flavourful and tender cuts of steak. However, there are key differences between these two cuts.

In this article, I will discuss porterhouse steak vs tomahawk steak, how they differ, their similarities, and which of them is better.

What is porterhouse steak?

porterhouse steak - cheffist

The porterhouse steak is a 1.25 inches thick steak with one half containing New York strip steak and the other tenderloin. These two cuts are separated by a t-shaped bone, but the bone can also be trimmed or cut out.

It has a deep red color and a large presence of marbling fat that forms a ribbon around its circumference. The porterhouse can be served whole, with bone, boneless, or also sliced into smaller portions.

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Where does its name “porterhouse steak” originate from?

The name “porterhouse steak” originated from Manhattan’s Pearl Street in the early 1800s. Where a popular steak house owned by Martin Morrison started serving a t-bone shaped steak.

Oxford English Dictionary claims that the name “porterhouse steak” was coined by the proprietor Martin Morrison. Although, there were others who claim to have named this unique steak, however they are not yet proven.

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What is tomahawk steak?

Tomahawk steak is ribeye steak that is cut with the rib bone still intact. The bone is usually French-trimmed to the extent where it looks like a handle, and the entire steak takes the shape of a tomahawk ax, giving it its name.

A tomahawk steak weighs between 30 – 45 pounds with large amount of visible fat on it. This unique cut of steak is so flavorful that it requires very low amount of spices to be cooked.

SEE: Tomahawk Steak Part Of Cow

Where does the name “tomahawk steak” originate from?

The name tomahawk dates back to the days of the Rio Grande cattle drive. A Texas cowboy was known specifically for using Mexican spices to season a beautiful cut of steak.

This cut of steak was shaped like a hatchet or a native American tomahawk ax. It was called various names, however, tomahawk steak stuck and it was known by that name since then.

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Porterhouse vs tomahawk steak – Similarities

1. Taste and texture

The first and obvious similarity between the porterhouse steak and the tomahawk steak is their taste and texture. These two steaks have rich marbling which gives them a rich, tangy taste that is often described as “melt in your mouth.”

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2. Both are cut from similar regions

While the tomahawk steak is gotten from the rib portion, the porterhouse is also cut from a similar region.

Just behind the rib section of a cow is the loin, a part of the loin called filet is one of the half of the porterhouse steak.

SEE: Where Does Filet Mignon Come From On A Cow?

3. Price

Both of these cut have similar price range according to the US Department of Agriculture. A USDA prime porterhouse steak cost $2 per ounce and tomahawk steak cost $1.9 per ounce.

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Porterhouse steak vs tomahawk steak – What is the difference?

These two cuts of steaks are known for the large presence of bone in them which adds to their taste. However there are many ways to differentiate one from the other.

The difference between porterhouse steak and tomahawk steak include;

1. Shape

The first and most obvious way to differentiate between these two cuts of steak is the shape. Porterhouse steak is between 1.5 – 3 inches wide with a t-shaped bone in the middle and weighs around 24 pounds.

While tomahawk steak is between 1 – 2 inch thick with a last 3 – 5 inches long bone hanging on to it. Depending on how the bone is trimmed, it can weigh anywhere between 30 – 45 pounds.

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2. Cooking time

In terms of cooking time, tomahawk steak cooks faster than porterhouse steak. A tomahawk steak takes anywhere around 40 – 50 minutes to cook, while a porterhouse steak takes between 60 – 75 minutes to cook properly.

SEE: What Does Steak Come From?

Porterhouse steak vs tomahawk steak – Which is better?

Now, when choosing the best out of these two, there are 3 aspects to consider.  They are;

1. Nutritional aspect

In terms of nutrition, the porterhouse steak gets the upper hand over the tomahawk steak. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 100 grams serving of these two steaks shows that porterhouse holds a lower amount of calories and fat.

2. Taste

In terms of taste, the tomahawk is considered as a better option to porterhouse steak. This is because the large bone attached to it has a major impact on the taste.

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3. Appearance

In terms of appearance, tomahawk steak is considered a better choice. If you are planning on wowing your guest, this beautiful cut of steak is the one for the job, because it is a very fine piece of steak to gaze upon.

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Porterhouse vs tomahawk steak – Cooking method

Since they both come from the same region of a cow, they are both cooked similarly. The best ways to enjoy both of them are; grilling, baking in the oven or also over a iron skillet or pan.

Although, the porterhouse steak cooks longer, both are best eaten at a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, it is uniformly brown and its marbling in it is already perfectly cooked and spread around the steak.

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What does porterhouse steak taste like?

Porterhouse steak has a rich, tender, and beefy flavor that is often described as “melt in your mouth.”

Porterhouse steak vs tomahawk steak – which is cheaper?

They are both prized similarly, although the tomahawk steak is prized slightly lower.

Porterhouse steak vs tomahawk steak – How long are they good for in the freezer?

They can both be kept in the freezer for as long as 2 – 4 months.

Is tomahawk steak the same as ribeye?

No, it is not. Although, tomahawk steak is cut from the rib as well, they are two entirely different cuts.

How many tomahawk per cow?

Depending on the size of the cow, there are usually between 8 – 12 tomahawks found in a cow.

Conclusion: Porterhouse steak vs tomahawk steak – which is better?

All qualities considered, they are both incredibly delicious and tender cuts of beef. While it is up to personal preference, the porterhouse steak is better as it is considered healthier.

However, tomahawk steak is also a healthy cut of steak with an appearance that is always guaranteed to wow your guest.

I hope you enjoyed this article, if you did, you should also see andouille sausage vs Kielbasa sausage.

Thank you for reading this article.