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How Long to Cook a T-Bone Steak on the Grill

T-Bone steaks are a classic cut and perfect for those of us who want a little variety in their meat experience. The T-Bone steak is a best of both worlds steak, containing a piece of the tender Filet and meaty flavorful New York Strip all in one. 

While giving diners an amazing variety of flavors and textures, the T-Bone is also the most notorious steak to cook due to the smaller size and varying degrees of fat, muscle, and bone. Cook the Filet just right and risk undercooking the Strip. Cook the Strip perfectly and now your filet is leather. 

We’ll be going over how long to cook a T-Bone steak on the grill and how you can ensure steak bliss on your next cookout. 

How Long to Cook a T-Bone Steak on the Grill

The perfect amount of time to cook a T-Bone steak to medium-rare on the grill is for 15 minutes for a 1 inch steak and 20 minutes for a 1.5 inch steak. Weight does not matter; thickness does. The cook time must be broken down into a 5 min sear step on high heat and a 10-15 min finish step on indirect medium heat.

Grilling T-bone steaks

Finally, it is critical to rest the steak for at least 5 minutes covered and raised before cutting and serving.

Cooking Times on a Natural Gas or Propane Gas Grill

A gas grill can get to about 500°F in 10-15 minutes. Use the following times and process to cook your T-bone steak on a gas or propane grill:

  1. 1 minute sear on the bone side down 
  2. 1 minute on the outside of the New York Strip (the skinny side opposite the T bone) 
  3. 2 min sear on each face
  4. Finish it over indirect medium heat
    1. For a 1 inch steak 10-12 minutes
    2. For a 1.5 inch steak 13-15 minutes 
  5. Let rest for a minimum of 5 minutes, ideally 10 minutes covered so it doesn’t get cold and raised so it doesn’t sit in juice before eating.

Cooking Times on a Charcoal Grill

The cooking temperature of a charcoal grill is a pretty loaded subject matter. In general, you are looking at about 600°F, but this greatly varies by the type of fuel being burned, the amount used, and how close or concentrated the air flow is. 

One of my favorite episodes of Good Eats is the one where Alton Brown makes a crazy hot charcoal searing grill for steak by controlling these 3 factors. 

T-bone steaks being cooked on the grill

All that said, since you are most likely not going to create a Jet Engine with forced air injection, you will want to do the following:

  1. 1 minute sear on the bone side down 
  2. 30 seconds – 1 minute on the outside of the New York Strip (the skinny side opposite the T bone) 
  3. 1.5 minute sear on each face
  4. Finish it over indirect medium heat
    1. For a 1 inch steak 10-12 minutes
    2. For a 1.5 inch steak 13-15 minutes 
  5. Let rest for a minimum of 5 minutes, ideally 10 minutes covered so it doesn’t get cold and raised so it doesn’t sit in juice before eating.

How to Measure Doneness of the T-Bone Steak

You can estimate doneness by touch and by time. But, not every cut of steak has the same fat, bones, size, thickness. Additionally, every grill is a little different in where heat is applied and how hot air circulates through it. 

The only true way to measure the doneness of any steak is with a thermometer. If you like steak and you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars learning to feel doneness, go buy an instant-read thermometer. 

The [amazon link=”B000XS7WTG” title=”ones with infrared scanners” /] are perfect for checking grill temperature. When measuring the temperature of a T-Bone, you want to measure as close to the bone without touching it as possible, as this is the part of the steak that takes longest. 

Steak on a wooden platter

Related Questions

What Temperature Do You Cook Steak on a Gas Grill?

Sear on the highest temperature you have as quickly as possible on a preheated grill. Do not put steaks on a cold grill unless you are using a reverse sear method. Reverse sear is a great option for T-Bone steaks but can only be done with a thermometer, not by time. 

Do You Close the Grill When Cooking T-Bone Steaks?

In general, you want the lid closed at all times when you are not tending to the meat. This is because wind and airflow drastically can affect the temperature of grills. Keeping the grill closed ensures that whatever temperature your grill gets to it stays there. 

Conclusion

To cook a T-Bone steak perfectly, you need to know what a T-Bone steak is: Filet on one side, NY Strip on the other, segregated by a T shaped bone. Filet is a leaner smaller cut and will cook and dry out quickly. New York Strip has more meaty flavor from the muscle and fat and is bigger and cooks slower.

Finally that bone – it is just a literal cold sink. 

Make sure you allow the steak to come up closer to room temp to minimize the bone problem. Start cooking on the New York Strip side, finish slowly, and rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting. 

Nathaniel Lee is an avid cook, drawing on his decades of home cooking and fine dining experience. With inspirations like Alton Brown and Gordon Ramsey, Nathaniel focuses on simple processes to make amazing food.