How to Cook a Perfect Tomahawk Steak: A Step-by-Step Guide

Tomahawk steak is a cut of beef that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It’s a ribeye steak with the bone still attached, resembling a tomahawk axe. It’s a tasty and impressive piece of meat that requires careful preparation and cooking to unleash its full potential. While it might seem daunting at first, cooking a tomahawk steak is a rewarding experience that will elevate your grilling game. In this post, we’ll guide you through all the steps you need to follow to cook a perfect tomahawk steak, from choosing the right cut to serving it in style. So, let’s get started!

What Is a Tomahawk Steak?

A Tomahawk steak is a type of beef cut that has recently gained popularity among meat lovers and grill masters alike. It is essentially a ribeye steak with an extra-long bone, resembling a tomahawk axe. This unique cut is sourced from the same area as a traditional ribeye, which is the longissimus dorsi muscle located along the steer’s backbone.

Tomahawk steaks are known for their impressive size, thickness, and flavor. They typically range from 2-3 pounds, making them ideal for sharing or serving at a special occasion. The bone provides an added layer of flavor and moisture to the meat during cooking, resulting in a juicy and tender steak.

One of the key distinguishing features of a Tomahawk steak is the amount of marbling present in the meat. Marbling refers to the white streaks of fat that run throughout the muscle fibers. The more marbling a steak has, the more flavorful it will be. Tomahawk steaks are often chosen for their high degree of marbling, which gives them their signature rich and buttery taste.

Overall, a Tomahawk steak is a premium cut of beef that is perfect for those who enjoy a hearty and indulgent meal. It is a show-stopping centerpiece that is sure to impress guests and elevate any dining experience. Whether you choose to grill, pan-sear or oven-roast your Tomahawk steak, rest assured that it will be one of the most delicious and memorable meals you’ve ever had.

Choosing the Right Tomahawk Steak

When it comes to cooking a perfect Tomahawk steak, selecting the right cut of meat is crucial. Choosing the best Tomahawk steak can be overwhelming, considering the variety of options available in the market. Here are some tips for picking the perfect Tomahawk steak.


Marbling refers to the fine veins of fat that run through the muscle fibers and contribute to the flavor and tenderness of the meat. Look for a steak with abundant marbling throughout the meat as it indicates a high-quality cut. The more marbled the meat, the richer and more flavorful the taste.

Thickness and Weight

Tomahawk steaks are typically larger than regular steaks, weighing between 30 and 45 ounces. Choose a thickness of at least two inches to ensure the steak retains its juiciness and flavor during cooking. The thicker the steak, the easier it is to achieve the perfect balance between seared crust and juicy interior without overcooking. If you’re new to cooking Tomahawk steaks, opt for a smaller weight, which will make the cooking process easier.


The quality of the beef has a significant impact on the final outcome of your Tomahawk steak. Look for USDA Prime or Choice-grade beef, which guarantees excellent marbling and tenderness. Prime grade beef is the highest quality grade that you can find, but if it’s not available, don’t worry, choice-grade beef is also an excellent option.

In conclusion, selecting the right Tomahawk steak is essential to achieving the desired flavor, tenderness, and overall dining experience. Pay attention to the marbling, thickness, weight, and quality of the beef when making your selection. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating a delicious Tomahawk steak that will impress your guests.

Preparing Your Tomahawk Steak

Preparing Your Tomahawk Steak

When it comes to preparing a tomahawk steak, the seasoning, room temperature, trimming, and resting are crucial steps that can make or break your dish. Here’s what you need to know to get it right.

Before cooking your tomahawk steak, be sure to season it generously with salt and pepper. You can also add other spices or herbs to your liking, but keep in mind that the natural flavor of the beef is what you want to highlight. Apply the seasoning evenly on both sides and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Room Temperature
To ensure even cooking, it’s important to let your tomahawk steak come to room temperature before cooking it. This means taking it out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking, depending on its thickness. By doing so, you avoid the risk of burning the surface while leaving the center raw and cold.

Trimming your tomahawk steak is another important step that can affect how it cooks and looks. You can trim excess fat around the edges to prevent flare-ups, but don’t remove too much, or you’ll lose the flavor and juiciness. Also, consider tying the bone with twine to keep it from flopping over and ensure more even cooking.

Finally, resting your tomahawk steak after cooking is key to retaining its juices and tenderness. Let it rest for at least 5-10 minutes, tented with foil to keep it warm, before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more succulent and flavorful steak.

By paying attention to these four crucial steps in preparing your tomahawk steak, you’ll be well on your way to creating a mouth-watering and memorable dish.

Cooking Your Tomahawk Steak

Cooking Your Tomahawk Steak

Once your tomahawk steak is prepared, it’s time to cook it to perfection. There are three popular ways to cook a tomahawk steak: grilling, pan-searing, and oven-roasting.


Grilling is the most popular method of cooking a tomahawk steak. The high heat of the grill sears the meat on the outside, creating a crispy exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender. Here’s how to grill your tomahawk steak:

  1. Preheat your grill to high heat.
  2. Season your steak generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the steak on the hottest part of the grill and sear for 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Move the steak to a cooler part of the grill and continue cooking until it reaches your desired internal temperature (125°F for medium-rare).
  5. Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.


If you don’t have access to a grill, pan-searing is a great alternative. You’ll still get a crispy crust on the outside and a tender inside. Follow these steps to pan-sear your tomahawk steak:

  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat.
  2. Season your steak generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Add a little oil to the pan and wait until it’s hot.
  4. Place the steak in the pan and sear for 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until it reaches your desired internal temperature (125°F for medium-rare).
  6. Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.


Oven-roasting is a great option if you want to cook your steak more slowly and evenly. You won’t get the same crispy crust as grilling or pan-searing, but the meat will be just as tender. Here’s how to oven-roast your tomahawk steak:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Season your steak generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the steak on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until it reaches your desired internal temperature (125°F for medium-rare).
  4. Remove the steak from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.


No matter which cooking method you choose, it’s important to use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your tomahawk steak. The USDA recommends cooking beef to an internal temperature of at least 145°F, but for a tomahawk steak, we recommend aiming for a slightly lower internal temperature of 125°F for a perfect medium-rare.

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to cook a delicious tomahawk steak no matter what method you choose.

Serving and Enjoying Your Tomahawk Steak

Serving and Enjoying Your Tomahawk Steak

A perfectly cooked tomahawk steak is a thing of beauty, but how you serve and enjoy it can make all the difference. Here are some tips on making the most of your steak:


When it comes to sides, simplicity is often the best approach. The rich flavor and texture of a tomahawk steak speak for themselves, so you don’t want to overpower them with too many competing flavors. Some classic accompaniments include roasted potatoes, grilled asparagus, or a simple green salad. These sides will add some freshness and crunch to your meal without taking away from the star of the show.

Wine Pairing

Choosing the right wine to pair with your tomahawk steak can be a bit tricky, but there are some tried-and-true options that never fail. A full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec pairs beautifully with the bold flavors of the steak. If you prefer something a bit lighter, a Pinot Noir or Merlot can also work well. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try a sparkling red wine like Lambrusco for a fun twist!


Cutting a tomahawk steak is an art form in itself. You want to slice against the grain to ensure that the meat is tender and easy to chew. Start by cutting off the bone and then slicing the meat into thin strips. Be sure to use a sharp knife and let the meat rest for a few minutes before cutting to allow the juices to settle.


Finally, presentation is key when it comes to serving a tomahawk steak. You want to showcase the meat and all its juicy goodness in the best possible light. Consider using a wooden cutting board or a slate platter to serve the steak, and garnish with some fresh herbs or a sprinkle of salt flakes. You can also elevate the presentation by using a steak knife and fork set or serving the sides in individual ramekins.

By following these tips for serving and enjoying your tomahawk steak, you’ll be sure to impress your guests and make the most of this delicious cut of beef.
Cooking a tomahawk steak may seem like an intimidating task, but with the right techniques and tips, anyone can master it. By choosing the right steak, preparing it properly, and cooking it to perfection, you can create a mouth-watering and unforgettable meal that will impress your guests. Remember to let your steak rest before serving, and don’t forget to pair it with some delicious sides and a good bottle of wine. Whether you’re grilling, pan-searing, or oven-roasting your steak, always aim for the perfect medium-rare internal temperature to ensure maximum tenderness and flavor. With our step-by-step guide, you can confidently cook a perfect tomahawk steak every time. So what are you waiting for? Fire up that grill and get ready to experience one of the most delicious cuts of beef out there!

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