How to Cook a Tomahawk Steak?

Are you ready to elevate your steak game and impress your dinner guests with a mouth-watering Tomahawk Steak?

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about preparing, cooking, and serving this show-stopping cut of meat.

From thawing and seasoning the steak to achieving the perfect doneness and pairing it with delicious side dishes, we’ve got you covered.

Join me, Chris Poormet, as we dive into the world of Tomahawk Steaks and learn how to cook them like a pro.

Key Takeaways:

  • 1. A tomahawk steak is a thick, juicy cut of beef that can be cooked in various methods such as grilling, pan-searing, or in the oven.
  • 2. To achieve the perfect doneness, it is important to use a meat thermometer or the finger test.
  • 3. Tomahawk steak pairs well with grilled vegetables, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and garlic bread as delicious side dishes.
  • About Chris Poormet and

    Chris Poormet, the renowned owner of, has been honored as the prestigious Culinary Blogger of the Year for sharing his exceptional recipes and culinary tips.

    Having started his career as a skilled chef in various renowned restaurants, Chris Poormet’s journey into the world of culinary blogging was a natural progression. With his experience handling a variety of cuisines, he found a passion for not only creating delectable dishes but also capturing them through his remarkable food photography skills. This unique blend of culinary expertise and visual artistry quickly caught the eye of food enthusiasts worldwide, leading to a dedicated following on his website and social media platforms.

    What is a Tomahawk Steak?

    A Tomahawk Steak, also known as a Cowboy Steak, is a thick-cut Ribeye steak with a long bone resembling a Native American tomahawk or axe, offering signature flavor and a unique appearance.

    What sets the Tomahawk Steak apart is its impressive size and presentation, making it a show-stopping centerpiece for any gathering or celebration. The long bone, often 5 to 6 inches in length, adds visual drama to the plate and helps in retaining moisture and enhancing the overall flavor of the meat. This cut of meat is revered for its tenderness, owing to the well-marbled Ribeye that delivers a juicy and succulent bite with every mouthful.

    Where to Buy Tomahawk Steak?

    Tomahawk Steaks can be purchased from various sources including butcher shops, select grocery stores, through special orders, and online retailers for a convenient and premium meat selection.

    Butcher shops, being experts in meat cuts, often carry Tomahawk Steaks due to their popularity among discerning customers seeking top-quality beef. Select grocery stores that focus on providing gourmet products may also have these impressive steaks available.

    For those looking for specific cuts or larger quantities, placing a special order with a butcher or a high-end grocery store can ensure the desired Tomahawk Steaks are secured. The convenience of online shopping makes it easy for customers to browse through various options, compare prices, and have the steak delivered right to their doorstep, perfect for those seeking a hassle-free shopping experience with premium results.

    How to Prepare a Tomahawk Steak?

    Preparing a Tomahawk Steak involves the essential steps of thawing the steak, generously seasoning it with flavors like garlic and thyme, and allowing it to come to room temperature for optimal cooking.

    Thawing the steak is crucial as it ensures even cooking throughout. Once thawed, the next step is to create a flavorful seasoning mix using minced garlic, fresh thyme, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Rub this mixture generously onto the steak, making sure to coat all sides for a harmonious blend of flavors.

    Thawing the Steak

    Thawing the Tomahawk Steak involves placing it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before the grilling process to ensure even cooking and optimal flavor retention.

    Refrigerating the steak before cooking serves as a crucial step to maintain the integrity of the meat. The gradual thawing in the refrigerator helps preserve the natural juices within the steak, preventing the loss of moisture during the grilling process. This gradual thawing process also ensures that the steak thaws evenly, reducing the risk of uneven cooking and tough spots. By allowing the steak to thaw in the refrigerator, you are setting the foundation for a tender and juicy steak that will truly delight your taste buds.

    Seasoning the Steak

    Seasoning the Tomahawk Steak with a blend of garlic, thyme, and other aromatic spices enhances its flavor profile, creating a mouth-watering culinary experience.

    Garlic and thyme, when combined, infuse the steak with a rich, earthy aroma that tantalizes the taste buds. The process of seasoning allows these flavors to penetrate deep into the meat, ensuring every bite is packed with intense savory notes. The contrast of the garlic’s pungency and the herbaceous freshness of thyme creates a well-balanced taste that complements the natural richness of the steak. Such careful seasoning not only adds complexity to the dish but also elevates its overall appeal, making it a standout centerpiece for any dining occasion.

    Bringing the Steak to Room Temperature

    Allowing the Tomahawk Steak to reach room temperature before cooking helps to enhance its flavor and ensures more even cooking throughout the meat.

    When the steak is brought to room temperature, it allows the fat within the meat to soften and spread out more evenly, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful end product. This is especially crucial for the Tomahawk Steak, known for its marbling and rich taste. A room temperature steak cooks more evenly because the heat can penetrate the meat uniformly, eliminating the risk of overcooking the outer layers while the center remains raw. This simple step can truly elevate your culinary experience, transforming a good steak into a spectacular one.

    How to Cook a Tomahawk Steak?

    Cooking a Tomahawk Steak can be done using various methods such as grilling, pan-searing, or oven cooking, each offering a unique approach to achieving the perfect level of doneness and flavor.

    Grilling is a popular method for cooking a Tomahawk Steak, as it imparts a delicious smoky flavor and beautiful grill marks on the meat. It involves cooking the steak over direct heat, either on a charcoal or gas grill. The high heat quickly sears the outside while leaving the inside juicy and tender.

    Pan-searing, on the other hand, is a great option for those without access to a grill. It involves heating a heavy-bottomed pan until it’s very hot, then searing the steak on each side to develop a flavorful crust. This method is excellent for achieving a mouthwatering sear while keeping the inside juicy.

    Oven cooking, also known as reverse searing, is a method that involves slow-cooking the steak in the oven first, then finishing it off with a quick sear in a hot pan. This technique ensures even cooking throughout the steak, resulting in a perfectly cooked piece of meat with a beautiful crust.

    Grilling Method

    The Grilling Method for cooking a Tomahawk Steak involves searing the meat over direct high heat, creating a perfectly charred exterior while retaining a tender and juicy interior.

    To achieve the ideal caramelization and flavor, preheat the grill to a high temperature, ensuring it’s thoroughly clean and oiled to prevent sticking.

    Season the Tomahawk Steak generously with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, allowing it to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes to ensure even cooking.

    Place the steak on the grill and sear each side for a few minutes to develop those prized grill marks before adjusting the heat for more gentle cooking to reach the desired doneness, using a meat thermometer to monitor progress.

    Pan-searing Method

    Pan-searing the Tomahawk Steak in a cast-iron pan with butter and aromatic herbs like garlic and thyme creates a flavorful crust and seals in the natural juices for a succulent dining experience.

    To start the cooking process, heat the cast-iron pan over high heat until it’s smoking hot. This step is crucial as it ensures a beautiful sear on the steak.

    1. Lay the seasoned Tomahawk Steak gently into the pan, and let it cook without moving it for a few minutes to develop a nice crust.
    2. Next, flip the steak and add a knob of butter along with minced garlic and fresh thyme to the pan.
    3. Use a spoon to baste the sizzling steak with this aromatic butter mixture to infuse rich flavors into the meat.

    This basting process not only enhances the taste but also helps keep the steak moist.

    Oven Method

    The Oven Method for preparing a Tomahawk Steak involves reverse searing a thick-cut piece of meat in the oven, ensuring a nice brown crust while achieving the desired level of doneness throughout.

    Reverse searing is a technique where you slow-cook the steak in a low-temperature oven before finishing it with a quick sear on a hot skillet or grill. This method allows for even cooking from edge to edge, resulting in a juicy and tender steak. By starting with a thick-cut piece of meat, you have more control over the cooking process, reducing the risk of overcooking. The slow and steady approach of the oven method helps the steak retain its natural juices, making it incredibly flavorful.

    How to Achieve the Perfect Doneness?

    How to Achieve the Perfect Doneness? - How to Cook a Tomahawk Steak?

    Credits: Poormet.Com – Daniel Moore

    Achieving the perfect doneness for a Tomahawk Steak involves using a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature or employing the finger test method to gauge the level of cooking.

    When using a meat thermometer, insert it into the thickest part of the steak without touching the bone for an accurate reading. The USDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F for steaks. For the finger test, compare the level of doneness to the feel of your palm when different fingers touch it. Rare is akin to the softness of the base of the thumb, while well-done resembles the firmness of a fully clenched fist.

    Using a Meat Thermometer

    Utilizing a meat thermometer is a reliable way to ensure the Tomahawk Steak reaches the desired internal temperature, whether aiming for medium-rare, medium, or well-done levels of doneness.

    For a perfect medium-rare Tomahawk Steak, the ideal internal temperature should read around 130-135°F (54-57°C). If you prefer a medium-cooked steak, target an internal temperature of 140-145°F (60-63°C). For those who enjoy their steak well-done, aim for a temperature of 160°F (71°C) or slightly above. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, away from any bones, for the most accurate reading.

    Understanding the Finger Test

    Mastering the finger test allows one to assess the Tomahawk Steak’s doneness by comparing the meat’s firmness to different parts of the hand, with a medium-rare steak feeling similar to the base of the thumb.

    To utilize this method effectively, start by comparing the steak’s firmness to the touch of your thumb to understand the desired level of doneness. A rare steak will feel softer, similar to the fleshy part of your palm below the thumb. Moving towards medium requires a bit more firmness, akin to the base of the thumb when it’s lightly clenched. For medium-well, aim for the firmness of the thumb with a tighter grip, just before reaching the pinky finger. Practicing this technique guarantees consistent results and ensures a perfectly cooked Tomahawk Steak every time.

    How to Rest and Serve the Tomahawk Steak?

    How to Rest and Serve the Tomahawk Steak? - How to Cook a Tomahawk Steak?

    Credits: Poormet.Com – Jason Adams

    Resting the Tomahawk Steak after cooking allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, ensuring a moist and flavorful dining experience, followed by a precise slicing and elegant serving presentation.

    When the steak is taken off the heat, it’s crucial not to rush into slicing it. Letting it rest for about 10-15 minutes allows the muscle fibers to relax, preventing the precious juices from flowing out immediately upon cutting. This process enables the meat to reabsorb the flavorful juices distributed during cooking, resulting in a more succulent bite with each slice.

    Now, when it comes to actually slicing the steak, it’s recommended to carve against the grain. This technique helps maintain tenderness and prevents the meat from feeling chewy. Cut thick, even slices to showcase the marbling and texture of the Tomahawk cut.

    For serving, consider arranging the sliced steak elegantly on a large platter or wooden board. Pair it with fresh herbs, roasted vegetables, or decadent sauces to complement the rich flavors of the meat. This presentation not only enhances the visual appeal but also elevates the overall dining experience for you and your guests.

    Resting the Steak

    Resting the Tomahawk Steak post-cooking allows the residual heat to evenly distribute within the meat, ensuring a tender and succulent texture while maintaining the desired surface temperature.

    During this resting period, the meat continues to cook internally, known as carryover cooking, which contributes to its overall doneness without overcooking the exterior. This process also allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring each bite is packed with flavor and moisture. As the steak rests, the surface temperature stabilizes, making it easier to sear to perfection just before serving. The result is a masterpiece of a dish – a Tomahawk Steak that is not only visually appealing but also irresistibly delicious.

    Slicing and Serving the Steak

    Precisely slicing and elegantly serving the Tomahawk Steak enhances the overall dining experience, allowing the flavorful juices to be retained within the meat and presenting a visually appealing dish.

    To achieve this, start by allowing the steak to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes before slicing. This helps ensure even cooking and juiciness throughout the meat. When ready to slice, position the Tomahawk Steak on a stable cutting board and equip yourself with a sharp knife. For optimal results, slice against the grain in smooth, deliberate motions, creating thick, succulent cuts that showcase the marbling and tenderness of the meat.

    What are Some Delicious Side Dishes to Pair with Tomahawk Steak?

    What are Some Delicious Side Dishes to Pair with Tomahawk Steak? - How to Cook a Tomahawk Steak?

    Credits: Poormet.Com – Dylan Thompson

    Pairing your Tomahawk Steak with delicious side dishes like grilled vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, rich creamed spinach, and flavorful garlic bread complements the main dish and enhances the overall dining experience.

    Grilled vegetables add a smoky char and vibrant colors to your plate, providing a fresh contrast to the robust flavors of the steak.

    Creamy mashed potatoes offer a comforting and velvety texture that balances the meatiness of the Tomahawk Steak.

    Rich creamed spinach brings a luxurious, silky element with a hint of nutmeg, perfectly blending with the savory notes of the steak.

    And lastly, aromatic garlic bread showcases a crispy crust and a buttery, garlicky interior, enhancing every bite of your steak dinner.

    Grilled Vegetables

    Grilled vegetables make for a vibrant and nutritious side dish to complement the rich flavors of a Tomahawk Steak, offering freshness and a delightful contrast in textures.

    When paired with the indulgent juiciness of the steak, the grilled vegetables act as a refreshing palate cleanser, brightening each bite with a burst of color and flavor. The charred edges of the veggies add a smoky depth that plays harmoniously against the umami notes of the perfectly cooked meat, creating a symphony of taste sensations.

    Mashed Potatoes

    Creamy and buttery mashed potatoes serve as a classic and comforting side dish for a Tomahawk Steak, offering a rich and indulgent accompaniment to the savory main course.

    The soft, smooth consistency of the mashed potatoes contrasts beautifully with the charred exterior and juicy interior of the steak. This traditional combination of the hearty mashed potatoes and the succulent steak creates a symphony of flavors on your palate. The creamy texture of the potatoes, mixed with butter and seasoning, adds a luxurious touch to the meal, enhancing the overall dining experience. The warmth and familiarity of mashed potatoes provide a sense of home-cooked comfort that pairs perfectly with the robust flavors of the Tomahawk Steak.

    Creamed Spinach

    Velvety and rich creamed spinach is a luxurious side dish that pairs beautifully with a Tomahawk Steak, offering a harmonious blend of flavors and textures to elevate the dining experience.

    Creamed spinach, with its velvety texture and a luscious combination of cream, butter, and spinach, adds a touch of elegance to any meal. The silky smoothness of the creamed spinach plays off the charred crust and juicy interior of the Tomahawk Steak in a delightful dance of flavors.

    The earthy notes of the spinach, combined with the richness of the creamy sauce, create a decadent experience that enhances the umami flavor of the steak, making each bite a culinary indulgence.

    Garlic Bread

    Aromatic and crispy garlic bread is a flavorful side dish that enhances the dining experience with a burst of garlic-infused goodness, complementing the savory notes of a Tomahawk Steak.

    Its irresistible aroma fills the air, enticing taste buds even before the first bite. The perfect balance of crunchy crust and soft inner layers creates a delightful textural contrast that elevates each mouthful.

    The rich garlic essence seeps into every nook and cranny, infusing the bread with a robust flavor that perfectly balances the richness of the steak.

    With each bite, the combination of the juicy steak and the garlicky bread creates a symphony of flavors that dance on the palate, offering a sensory experience that elevates the overall enjoyment of the meal.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What is a Tomahawk Steak and how is it different from other cuts?

    A Tomahawk Steak is a long-bone ribeye steak, cut from the rib section of the cow. It is known for its large size and distinctive appearance, with a long bone resembling a tomahawk. This cut is different from other steaks due to its unique shape and high-quality marbling, making it a popular choice among steak lovers.

    2. How do I choose the perfect Tomahawk Steak?

    When selecting a Tomahawk Steak, look for a piece that is at least 2 inches thick and has a well-marbled, bright red color. Make sure the bone is intact and not cracked, and ask your butcher for a prime or choice grade cut for the best flavor and tenderness.

    3. What is the best way to season a Tomahawk Steak?

    A simple seasoning of salt and pepper is all you need to enhance the natural flavors of a Tomahawk Steak. Make sure to season generously on both sides, and let the steak sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking.

    4. Can I cook a Tomahawk Steak in the oven?

    While a grill is the traditional method for cooking a Tomahawk Steak, you can also achieve a delicious result by cooking it in the oven. Preheat your oven to 375°F, sear the steak in a cast-iron skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side, and then transfer it to the oven for 10-15 minutes until it reaches your desired level of doneness.

    5. How do I determine the doneness of a Tomahawk Steak?

    The best way to check the doneness of a Tomahawk Steak is by using a meat thermometer. For a medium-rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F, and for medium, aim for 140-145°F. Make sure to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, away from the bone.

    6. How do I let a Tomahawk Steak rest and how long should I let it rest for?

    Allowing a Tomahawk Steak to rest after cooking is crucial for keeping the juices inside and ensuring a tender and juicy result. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes, loosely tented with foil, before slicing and serving. This will also prevent the steak from being too hot and allow the flavors to fully develop.

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