How to Grill a Porterhouse Steak on a Charcoal Grill

Porterhouse steak grilled over charcoal

A Porterhouse is an amazing steak that can be tricky to grill due to the size and that it is composed of two very different muscles.  Here is my technique for grilling the perfect Porterhouse on a charcoal grill. 

I hope you find this technique helpful!

Porterhouse Steak Cooked on a Charcoal Grill

Why Grilling a Porterhouse Steak is Tricky

A Porterhouse steak is actually two steaks in one.

There is a bone in the middle of a Porterhouse and on one side is a strip loin steak and on the other is a filet mignon.  The loin and filet are very different in terms of tenderness and cook at different rates.  This is very different than a steak like a ribeye which is more uniform in composition. (See Ribeye vs Porterhouse for more information)

The fact that there is a great big bone in the middle does not help matters.  

Porterhouse seasoned with Salt and Peper

My approach to use an indirect fire and move each side of the steak (loin/filet) closer or farther away from the heat as needed.

Let me walk you through this in more detail.

Get the Steak Ready for the Grill

Season both sides of the steak liberally with salt and pepper (about 1 tablespoon of each) and then let it rest, covered, outside of the refrigerator for one hour.  If you want to pack on even more flavor then check out this recipe for a simple but amazing steak seasoning!

The one hour allows the steak to get a little closer to room temperature which means it will need less time on the grill.  The shorter cooking time is going to help tender up the tougher loin section.

The one hour will also give the salt enough time to work its way into the meat which is also going to help tenderize the loin.

While you are waiting for the steak to warm you can use the time to make a great sauce.

Make the Sauce

When it comes to steak sauce there isn’t anything better than chimichurri.  Some people don’t want to try this because they are put off by the green color.

Fools.

Chimichurri Sauce

 

Chimichuri Recipe:

Combine ingredients and pulse with a hand blender until smooth

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Prepare the Grill for the Steak

Fill a chimney with a half load of charcoal, about 30 briquettes or enough to fill one charcoal basket and get the puppy lit.

It should take 15-20 minutes for the charcoal to ash over.

It is important to do this AFTER you make the steak sauce since it will force you to let the steak continue warming and will give the flavors of the sauce time to blend.

Once the charcoal is lit add it to one side of the grill either by using a charcoal basket or simply banking the coals.  You want one side of the charcoal grill to be hot and the other side to be cool.

Grill With Care

We are going to sear the steak for six minutes and then let it finish cooking with indirect heat.

Place the steak directly over the charcoal and start a timer.  Since the filet side cooks faster than the loin side I put the loin side over the hotter section of the charcoal.  

Porterhouse On The Grill

Flip the steak every minute to get an even crust on both sides.  You can move the filet side directly over the hot part of the coals if desired for color but keep it to a minimum.

Steak over hot charcoal

After 6 minutes move the steak to the cool side of the grill.  I like to keep the loin section closer to the fire and the filet side further away.

Close the lid and let the steak cook with indirect heat for about 10 more minutes.

The steak is done when both sides of the steak reach an internal temperature of 135F.  If one side is done before the other then move the section of the steak that needs more time to directly over the coals for 1-2 minutes.

 Move the steak to indirect heat

Rest, Slice and Sauce!

I can’t promise you that resting a steak actually makes a difference. The majority of the world says that resting at least 10 minutes is essential.  Meathead says you don’t need to bother.

Do whatever makes you happy.  I was hungry so to heck with waiting.

Take some of that glorious chimichurri and pour it on that Porterhouse!

Grilled Porterhouse Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

The combination of a beefy steak, the smokiness of a charcoal fire and the brightness of the chimichurri is a magical combination!

Porterhouse steak grilled over charcoal

Charcoal Grilled Porterhouse Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

A beautiful Porterhouse steak is grilled over charcoal to medium rare and served with a bright chimichurri sauce.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 433 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes.
  • 1 Porterhouse steak

Instructions
 

  • Season the Porterhouse with salt and pepper on both sides. use about a tablespoon of each.
  • Let the steak rest, covered, outside of the refrigerator for one hour.
  • Combine chimichurri ingredients (oil, vinegar, parsley, oregano, garlic, salt, red pepper) and pulse with a hand blender until smooth.
  • Set up your charcoal grill with a small fire on one side of the grill.
  • Sear the steak over the coals for 6 minutes making sure you flip the steak every minute.
  • Move the steak to indirect heat and cook until an internal temperature of 135F is reached.
Keyword Grilled Porterhouse Steak