How To Grill A Tomahawk Steak Easy And Delicious Way

Grilling a tomahawk steak is not complicated and with the right technique, will create a mouthwatering "steakhouse" experience in your own backyard.

The following guide provides instructions on how to grill a tomahawk steak and enjoy it all without wasting any of its savory flavor or moistness. Plus: learn how long to grill a tomahawk steak for and what temperature to set the grill at for best results!

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What is a tomahawk steak?

The tomahawk is the popular name for a rib steak. Rib steaks are cut from the rib section of the cow and are known for their tenderness and unique bone-in shape. A tomahawk steak is also known as a cowboy steak or bone-in ribeye.

Tomahawk steaks come from the area of the cow just in front of its shoulder blade, so it's no wonder why many call it a "cowboy" steak, as this is exactly what a cowboy would go after in order to provide meat for his cattle drive.

In fact, the tomahawk steak is also known as a "bone in ribeye", and both are nearly identical in flavor, texture and appearance. Some restaurants use the term "cowboy steak" to describe the bone-in ribeye.

How tomahawk steak differ from other steak cuts?

Bottom row: filet, skirt steak, porterhouse (at right). Top row: ribeye (at left), tomahawk steak. Tomahawk steaks are cut from the rib section of the cow, which is why they look similar to the filet mignon. That's why the tomahawk steak is known as a "cowboy" or "bone in ribeye". Unlike other steak cuts, which are usually marbled with fat, the tomahawk steak has few and very small strips of fat on its surface.

Two big differences between a tomahawk steak and another type of steak is that they only come in one size, which is much larger than most steak cuts; and they are bone-in.

The bone-in shape of the tomahawk makes it a great choice for the grill or for roasting, as the bone locks in its juices. Tomahawk steaks weigh about 2 pounds when you buy them, with each piece being about 8 to 12 ounces. If you would like to learn more about this cut of meat, read this guide on how to cook a ribeye steak .

What does a tomahawk steak taste like?

The tomahawk steak has deep beef flavor but with very little fat. Tomahawk steak is one of the leanest cuts of meat and contains less than 1% fat. In other words, very little fat and a lot of flavor.

Compared to other rib steaks, the tomahawk steak is a bit on the mild side. This is because it has been "aged" for around 45 days in the USDA aging center (also known as a butcher shop), which cooks down its fat levels into more concentrated flavor. Other rib steaks are not aged, so their flavor is more subtle.

The tomahawk steak has a rich, beefy flavor and is very juicy as well. The bone-in structure of the tomahawk steak also helps to keep it tender and juicy. It has a lean texture as well, meaning that it's dry when fully cooked but it turns into an extremely tender piece of meat while you're grilling or roasting it.

Why grill a tomahawk steak?

There are plenty of reasons why you would want to sink your teeth into one of these delicious steaks and none of them include being too full to move afterwards! 

The first reason is that they're HUGE! A tomahawk steak will usually net you a 1” thick, 36 oz. monster that is easily shared between two people. This makes them perfect for those dinner parties where you have friends over who have larger appetites than yourself.

The second reason is that they are so tender and flavorful, you may not even need to use a knife to cut it up. You'll find yourself pulling the tomahawk steak apart with your hands and eating the entire thing as one big bite.

The third reason is that they are so fatty, you'll be too full to take a nap for hours afterwards, and you'll have enough energy to go out for drinks with your friends.

The fourth reason is that if you serve them rare or medium-rare, they will probably melt in your mouth as soon as you take your first bite. Just be careful not to let them sit out too long!

How do I prepare a tomahawk steak?

First of all, they must be properly chilled before grilling. Tomahawk steaks are usually sold already thawed and need only be placed inside a cooler of ice water for about 1 hour before grilling. Just make sure they are room temperature before you put them on the grill.

Tomahawk steaks also need to be seasoned well before grilling them. It is recommended that you season your tomahawk steak with a light layer of kosher salt about an hour before grilling time. Also season it with cracked black pepper and garlic powder in order to enhance the flavor even more. Just remember not to rub too hard as you may pull off some of the fat located on the steak.

How to grill a tomahawk steak?

  • The most important thing that you need to remember when grilling a tomahawk steak is that it must be cooked to medium-rare. If the tomahawk steak is cooked too well, the fat will drip off and be lost forever, so make sure you don't overcook it!
  • When grilling a tomahawk steak, set your gas grill at about 450 degrees and preheat for about 20 minutes. While the grill is warming up, rub the tomahawk steak with a light layer of kosher salt and cracked black pepper on both sides. Let this sit for about 10 minutes, then flip over the piece of meat and re-apply more salt, pepper and garlic powder (if desired).
  • Allow the meat to rest while you preheat the grill even more. Set the temperature to 450 degrees and let it continue to warm up for an additional 10 minutes. Place your tomahawk steak directly over the proverbial flame, but be careful not to let it sit too close or it will burn!
  • Let it sit for about 4 minutes over the direct flame, then flip over the piece of meat and cook on the other side until medium rare is reached. Continue grilling until each side reaches a temperature of 130-140 degrees. When done, remove from heat and rest for about 5 minutes before serving.

Here are some tips and tricks that will guarantee you perfect results

  • If you’re using a charcoal grill, move the tomahawk steak back and forth to the hot side of the grill until it reaches medium-rare. Make sure you do not allow them to get too raw on one side.
  • If you’re using a gas grill, lower the temperature to about 350 degrees and let them stay there for about 5 minutes before flipping over for even cooking. This can be done until tender on each side.
  • Be careful not to let them sit out too long as this will result in overcooked meat. When it's done, take it off the grill and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  • Don’t cut the tomahawk steaks before serving as this will release all of the delicious juices onto your cutting board.

How to Grill a Tomahawk Steak: Recipes for inspiration

Now that you know just how easy it is to grill a tomahawk steak and can make one at home, what should you do with it? Here are a few delicious recipes that are sure to satisfy your hunger.

  • Tomahawk Steak with Peppered Crust and Demi-Glace Sauce

If you’re not sure how to cook a tomahawk steak, then this recipe will give you some excellent ideas. This particular recipe calls for the meat to be grilled over an open flame before being sliced thin and served with peppered crust and demi-glace sauce. You’ll need to marinate the steak overnight before grilling it, so be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

  • Tomahawk Steak with Gorgonzola Sauce

The tomahawk steak is a popular filet mignon alternative that can be cooked in a variety of ways, but one of the best is with Gorgonzola sauce. This recipe calls for this to be served over grilled fettuccine noodles and topped with tomatoes as well. Needless to say, this will definitely satisfy even the biggest grazer!

  • Grilled Tomahawk Steak with Tomato Coulis 

A cowlis sauce is a very popular sauce made from mushrooms and cream. This particular recipe takes it a step further by adding in sundried tomatoes and basil to the sauce. The end result is a rich and delicious sauce that pairs well with this lean cut of steak.

  • Tomahawk Steak with Balsamic Glaze

Some chefs feel that balsamic glazes are best used for chicken dishes, but this one will prove them wrong. This recipe calls for the tomahawk steak to be served over grilled radicchio and served beside a green salad with blue cheese dressing.

  • Tomahawk Steak with Balsamic Reduction

This recipe calls for the tomahawk steak to be served with a tarragon and balsamic reduction. It also calls for a side dish of asparagus and potatoes. The sauce pairs well with this lean cut of meat, and the whole meal comes together very well for an amazing presentation!


 

FAQs

How does Gordon Ramsay cook Tomahawk steak?

This Gordon Ramsay recipe is interesting because this cut of beef is best grilled on a medium-hot grill, and it needs to be cooked to medium rare. The goal here is to keep the Tomahawk steak moist and keep the fat from running out of the meat. The reason for this is the Tomahawk steak does not have as much marbling, or fat in it, as other cuts of beef do.

How do you cook a tomahawk steak on a Weber gas grill?

This Weber gas grill recipe is simple to follow and calls for a marinade to be made with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme. The Tomahawk steak is then marinated in the mixture for four hours before cooking it on a hot grill. While on the grill it is seasoned with cracked black pepper and kosher salt before being flipped over and cooked until it reaches a medium rare temperature of 135-145 degrees. The steak is then taken off the grill once done and let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

How long does it take to grill a tomahawk steak?

This Gordon Ramsay recipe calls for a marinated tomahawk steak to be grilled over an open flame for about 10 minutes on each side before being served. The time it takes to cook the steak depends on how you like it cooked and what kind of grill you're using.

How long do you grill a 2 inch Tomahawk steak?

This Gordon Ramsay recipe calls for the Tomahawk steak to be grilled on a hot grill until it reaches a medium rare temperature between 135-145 degrees. After it is done, the meat is taken off the heat and allowed to rest for about 10 minutes before being served.

Can you cook a tomahawk steak on a gas grill?

This Gordon Ramsey recipe calls for the tomahawk steak to be cooked directly over an open flame on a gas grill. The steak is also tenderized first by using a meat mallet before it is cooked.

Can you cook a tomahawk steak in an oven?

This recipe calls for the Tomahawk steak to have its exterior grilled with cracked black pepper and kosher salt before being placed in an oven at 325 degrees. The oven should be preheated, and the steaks should be seared with cracked black pepper, kosher salt butter and garlic powder before being put into the oven.

What temperature do you cook a tomahawk steak on a gas grill?

This Gordon Ramsey recipe calls for the Tomahawk steak to be grilled for about 10 minutes on each side over an open flame on a gas grill. The temperature of the grill should be set to medium-high, and the goal here is to cook it to medium rare.

Conclusion

In conclusion, grilling a tomahawk steak is an easy and delicious way to enjoy a healthy and succulent meal. Follow these tips to ensure a successful grilling experience: use a good quality grill, cook the steak to the desired doneness, avoid over-grilling, and enjoy!

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