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Grilled T-Bone Steak Recipe


Recipe and Excerpts Courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book from America’s Test Kitchen

Why This Recipe Works

T-bone steaks are really two steaks – a tender New York strip steak on one side of the bone and a buttery, quicker-cooking tenderloin on the other. We wanted both parts to cook evenly and sport a dark (but not blackened) crust, smoky aroma, and deep grilled flavor.

Time to Season

We like to salt the meat an hour before cooking. This enables the salt to penetrate the meat’s interior, boosting flavor from crust to bone. Be sure to remove any moisture on the surface of the steaks with paper towels before grilling, though. If left in place, this moisture can cause the steaks to steam rather than develop a crust.

Shield the Tenderloin

We’d found in prior testing that cooking steaks over two levels of heat delivered rosy meat and a flavorful crust, but we still encountered one problem with our tenderloin. Though tasters were impressed with the crust and the steaks’ grilled flavor, they found the coveted tenderloin section to be somewhat tough and dry. The solution: We positioned the meat so that the tenderloin faced the cooler side of the grill, with the bone between the tenderloin and the fire. This allowed the delicate tenderloin to cook at a slightly slower rate and stay tender and juicy.

USWM Shopping List: Grass-fed T-Bone Steak, Unsalted Butter


  • 2 – T-Bone Steaks
  • 2 – teaspoons salt
  • 2 – teaspoons pepper
  • 1 – recipe Chive Butter (recipe follows)
Chive Butter recipe:
  • 4 – Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 – Tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 – garlic clove, minced
  • 1 – Tbsp minced fresh chives
  • Salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions For Perfectly Grilled T-Bone Steak

  1. Season entire surface of each steak with 1 teaspoon salt and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Pat steaks dry with paper towels and season each with 1 teaspoon pepper.
  2. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter 3/4 filled with charcoal briquettes. When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover and open lid vent completely. Heat Grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
  3. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn other burner(s) to low.
  4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Place steaks on hotter side of grill with tenderloin sides (smaller side of T-bone) facing cooler side of grill. Cook (covered if using gas) until dark crust forms, 6 to 8 minutes (4-6 minutes grass-fed). (If steaks start to flame, move them to the cooler side of grill and/or extinguish flames with a squirt bottle.) Flip steaks and turn so that tenderloin sides are facing cooler side of grill. Continue to cook (covered if using gas) until dark brown crust forms on second side, 6 to 8 minutes longer (4-6 minutes grass-fed).
  5. Brush with chive butter, if using, and transfer steaks to cooler side of grill with bone side facing hotter side of grill. Cover grill and continue to cook until meat registers 115 to 120 deg (for rare) or 120 to 125 deg (for med-rare), 2-3 minutes longer flipping halfway through cooking.
  6. Transfer steaks to carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut strip and tenderloin pieces off bones, then slice each piece crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Serve!

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More About America’s Test Kitchen

America’s Test Kitchen is a 2,500 sq foot kitchen located just outside Boston. It is the home of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country magazines and is the workday destination for more than four dozen test cooks, editors, and cookware specialists. For thousands of recipes and updated equipment ratings and taste tests or to sign up for a free trial issue of Cook’s Illustrated or Cook’s Country magazine, visit: or