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If you want to know how long to grill a t-bone steak, this is the right article for you. Cooking times depend on how hot your coals or gas grill are and how thick your t-bone steak is. An average 1” to 1.5” steak takes four to five minutes on each side for medium-rare, six to seven minutes for medium and eight to nine minutes for well-done meat.
Grilling a steak appears simple, but the temperature is critical to cook steaks to the perfect degree of doneness. All suggested times are just approximations. That’s why using an instant-read meat thermometer is so important. Overcooking or undercooking the meat is an easy mistake to make, but either can ruin dinner.
What Are the Best Types of Steak for Grilling?
Almost any steak works fine on the grill if you use the right grilling techniques and a thermometer. Really thick cuts can be problematic because the crust will burn if you want the steak cooked to medium or well done. Of course, some people like heavily charcoaled crusts on their steaks. You can also coat your steak with a layer of salt to prevent burning the crust of thick steak cuts.
The most common steaks for grilling include:
T-bones are the flagship steak for many people because of their unique shape and simple bone structure. They are cut from the loin with a large section of sirloin and a smaller section of tenderloin.
New York Strip
New York strips are also cut from the short loin, but they are usually boneless and cut entirely from the sirloin.
Ribeye steaks come from the rib section of the cow. The section includes ribs six through 12.
Porterhouse steaks are cut from the short loin, but they are located at the back of the loin, which gives a higher percentage of tenderloin and a lower percentage of sirloin than t-bones.
Filet mignon comes entirely from the tenderloin section of the short loin. It is generally the most prized cut of steak, but using a thermometer is essential to know whether the filet mignon is doneness and prevent overcooking because the meat doesn’t have a lot of marbling.
The flat iron steak comes from the shoulder with the grain. The steak has great flavor, but it can be tough and stringy because it’s cut with the grain instead of against it.
Skirt steak comes from one of the two muscles in the chest and abdominal cavity below the ribs.
London broil is actually a method of cooking that can be applied to any steak. The name has evolved to mean flank steak for most people, but you can cook any large cut of meat on the grill or under the broiler as London broil.
I can’t help but share an anecdote about my early cooking history. Several friends and I were performing at an outdoor drama in the summer after our senior year in high school. We got some fine t-bone steaks, and I decided to pan-fry mine and bake it.
This is a classic cooking technique and delivers great results – good caramelization and precise control. One of my friends screamed, “Don’t you dare fry my steak!” My steak was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy. His steak was a mess. I’ve since learned not to fight the appeal of the outdoor grill, but you can produce steaks just as delicious by pan-frying and baking the meat to the proper temperature.
What Is a T-Bone?
The t-bone steak is a cut of beef that comes from the short loin. A t-shaped bone has meat on both sides, one side having more meat than the other. T-bones are cut closer to the front of the loin. The meat is flavorful and juicy when properly grilled, and t-bones are especially suitable for grilling. One side of the “t” comes from the sirloin, and the other side comes from the tenderloin. The loin side is tender, but the sirloin side is well-marbled.
T-bones are well-marbled with fat, so it’s not really necessary to add oil to the grill. The marbling will produce good caramelization without sticking too much. The steak will sear better without added oil, and there will be fewer drippings that might cause grill flare-ups.
How to Grill a T-bone Steak Medium Rare?
It’s important to learn an approximate t-bone steak grill time for medium-rare. That’s because medium rare enthusiasts are often the most demanding of steak lovers. That’s not a scientific fact, but I’ve found it to be true by trial-and-error. Medium rare steak lovers consider grilling a medium-rare steak properly as proof of grilling and culinary skills.
The steak should be removed from the refrigerator a half-hour before grilling. The steak should be wiped dry and seasoned to taste. For medium-rare, try grilling a t-bone steak on a gas grill at a temperature of medium-high. I prefer about 10 minutes of total cooking time, but I cook the meat on the first side for six to seven minutes, repositioning the steak to get a good grill mark pattern.
On the backside, I grill the steak for three to four minutes and check the temperature with a ThermoPro Meat Thermometer by sticking it into the thickest part of the meat. The medium-rare temperature is 135 degrees to 140 degrees.
The unique t-bone cut should be taken into account when grilling your steak. That means keeping the sirloin side on the hottest part of the grill and the loin side over a cooler area.
You can use your choice of simple seasonings or special blends on the outside of the meat before grilling. You should always let the meat rest for five minutes before you cut or serve it to give the juices enough time to redistribute throughout the meat.
How to Grill a T-bone Steak Well-Done
T-bone steak grill time for well-done steaks is critical because there is a fine line between a dry, overcooked steak and a tasty well-done steak. That’s when an instant-read meat thermometer comes in real handy. Sure, some people – for whatever reason – have a phobia about making sure there’s no pink at all in their steaks. However, most people appreciate a well-done t-bone that’s still moist and juicy.
If you’re using a charcoal grill, you should heat the charcoal to medium-hot. That’s when the charcoal turns grayish-white, about 15 minutes. If you can hold your hand over the charcoal for five to six seconds before pulling away, that’s low heat. If it takes three to four seconds before pulling back, that’s medium-hot. If you have to pull back after one to two seconds, that’s hot.
You should cook your steak 16 to 18 minutes total time for medium-well to well-done. You can cook the steak a little longer on the first side if you want to reposition the steak to produce grill marks. An internal temperature of 155 degrees is about right for medium-well. Well-done steaks have a temperature of 165 degrees, but I recommend removing the steak at 160 degrees because the temperature will continue to rise for about five minutes.
Using a ThermoPro Meat Thermometer gives you an instant and accurate reading so that you can prepare steaks the way your friends like – such as medium-well, well-done but juicy or cremated.
T-bone Grilling Tips
There are many grilling tips and special recipes for grilling t-bone steaks, but the top tip is to use an instant-read or wireless thermometer to monitor the meat’s temperature. Some of the other useful tips include:
- Try marinating your steaks in a zip-lock bag using balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and your favorite seasonings.
- Be careful of the bones in t-bones – they can be sharp.
- Always pat steaks dry before grilling and add seasoning to both sides.
- Direct heat over a single layer of coals is best for thin steaks.
- Try barbecuing large cuts of meat – like London broil and brisket – in a smoker over low heat for a long cooking process.
Steak grilling is simple with the right tools, knowledge of your steak cut, proper seasoning and careful temperature monitoring to cook steaks to order. Armed with a great thermometer like the ThermoPro Meat Thermometer, you can produce great results every time and earn accolades from your friends and family members.