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    Tomahawk Steak Recipe

    Published May 9, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This gigantic Tomahawk Steak Recipe is reverse-seared and grilled to perfection for a juicy, flavorful, tender cut of beef. This is the steak for you to impress family and friends.

    I don’t eat meat too often, but if I do, I want to make sure it’s loaded with flavor and easy to prepare. If you’re similar to me, you must try my Steak Fajitas or Sous Vide Steak.

    tomahawk steaks


     

    Tomahawk Steak

    Tomahawk steak is a large cut of beef of a bone-in rib steak. The cut comes from the rib steak’s central part between the cow’s 6th and 12th rib. It’s usually about a 2-inch-thick cut steak with a bone ranging from 8 to 20 inches long. This can also come in different grades, from choice to prime to an A5 Wagyu, determining the marbling or intramuscular fat. In the end, this is simply a bone-in ribeye, which can be costly due to the weight of the bone. However, since the steak is a large cut, it can easily feed two people.

    This trendy cut has become a trend among grillers and frequent steakhouse restaurant guests since 2008. The cut got its name because it resembles the shape of the Native-American axe weapon, the tomahawk. Thanks to the large bone and good amount of intra- and intermuscular fat, you can almost always find this popular cut at your favorite local butcher shop, which is what I did.

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    tomahawk steak ingredients
    • Steak – You will need a Tomahawk rib steak. These usually weigh between 1 ½ to 2 ½ pounds with the bone in. In addition, the bone will be anywhere between 8 and 20 inches long.
    • Seasonings – I only used coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper in this recipe. However, use any spice rub or seasonings you’d like.
    • Butter – I highly recommend finishing this steak with some sort of butter. It can be plain unsalted butter, cowboy butter, or a roasted garlic butter.

    How to Cook a Tomahawk Steak

    Place the steak on a rack over a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, and generously season all sides with salt. You will most likely use 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon.

    seasoning a tomahawk steak

    Put it uncovered in the refrigerator for 4 to 48 hours.

    resting a steak in the fridge

    When you’re ready to cook it, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off.

    bringing a steak too temperature

    Preheat the smoker or oven to 225°.

    preheating a smoker

    Season the steak on both sides with pepper.

    adding pepper to a steak

    Place the steak directly on the grill if reverse sear smoking, or keep it on the rack over the sheet tray with parchment paper and place it in the oven. You must also have a thermometer pierced and placed in the center of the steak. Cook until it reaches 100° Fahrenheit, about 60 to 75 minutes.

    steak on the grill with a thermometer

    Remove the steak and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

    resting a steak

    In the meantime, preheat your grill to high heat (550°+).

    heating up a grill

    Add the steak to the hot grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until charred grill marks are formed and the desired internal temperature is achieved. The 2 to 3 minutes per side will roughly bring the steak to 125°, which is medium-rare and what I prefer.

    grilling a steak

    Remove the steak, add your compound butter, and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes.

    adding butter onto cooked steaks

    Slice and serve the steak with additional butter and an optional garnish of sliced chives.

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten as soon as it is done cooking and resting.

    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.  This recipe will not freeze well.

    How to Reheat: This does not reheat well, but if you need to reheat it, re-sear it in a hot pan with lightly smoked oil until warm or on a hot grill.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    Chef Notes + Tips

    • If your only option is to freeze the steak, I recommend reheating it for several hours until it easily shreds apart.
    • When the steaks are smaller in weight, you may need to adjust cooking times by 1 minute per side.
    • Feel free to use your favorite steak seasoning.
    • Maillard reaction, also known as the browning reaction, is an interaction between sugar and amino acids in the steak when heated to 285°and 350° over high heat, browning the meat to enhance the flavor and add more crispness. This is not the same as caramelizing.
    • Since I prefer my steak medium rare, I prefer to remove it from the oven at 100° internally so that I have more wiggle room when pan searing to ensure it is not overcooked.

    More Steak Recipes

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    Tomahawk Steak Recipe

    5 from 2 votes
    This gigantic Tomahawk Steak Recipe is reverse seared and grilled to a medium-rare internal temperature for perfect procedures for a juicy, flavorful, tender cut of beef.
    Servings: 2
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 2 to 2 ½ pound tomahawk rib-steak
    • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    • cowboy butter for garnish, optional
    • optional sliced chives

    Instructions

    • Place the steak on a rack over a sheet tray lined with parchment paper, and generously season all sides with salt. You will most likely use 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon.
    • Put it uncovered in the refrigerator for 4 to 48 hours.
    • When you’re ready to cook it, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to take the chill off.
    • Preheat the smoker or oven to 225°.
    • Season the steak on both sides with pepper.
    • Place the steak directly on the grill if reverse sear smoking, or keep it on the rack over the sheet tray with parchment paper and place it in the oven. It is also crucial that you have a thermometer pierced and placed in the center of the steak. Cook until it reaches 100° Fahrenheit, which takes about 60 to 75 minutes.
    • Remove the steak and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
    • In the meantime, preheat your grill to high heat (550°+).
    • Add the steak to the hot grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until charred grill marks are formed and the desired internal temperature is achieved. The 2 to 3 minutes per side will roughly bring the steak to 125°, which is medium-rare and what I prefer.
    • Remove the steak, add your compound butter, and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes.
    • Slice and serve the steak with additional butter and an optional garnish of sliced chives.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: This is meant to be eaten as soon as it is done cooking and resting.
    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.  This recipe will not freeze well.
    How to Reheat: This does not reheat well, but if you need to reheat it, re-sear it in a hot pan with lightly smoked oil until warm or on a hot grill.
    If your only option is to freeze the steak, I recommend reheating it for several hours until it easily shreds apart.
    When the steaks are smaller in weight, you may need to adjust cooking times by 1 minute per side.
    Feel free to use your favorite steak seasoning.
    Maillard reaction, also known as the browning reaction, is an interaction between sugar and amino acids in the steak when heated to 285°and 350° over high heat, browning the meat to enhance the flavor and add more crispness. This is not the same as caramelizing.
    Since I prefer my steak medium rare, I prefer to remove it from the oven at 100° internally so that I have more wiggle room when pan searing to ensure it is not overcooked.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 1179kcalProtein: 114gFat: 80gSaturated Fat: 36gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 38gCholesterol: 346mgSodium: 295mgPotassium: 1520mgVitamin A: 85IUCalcium: 40mgIron: 10mg
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American