How To Cook a Tomahawk Steak

tomahawk steak

Tomahawk steak is a very thick steak – about 2 inches thick with a long bone. It’s a cut from a beef rib, the same primal section as any other rib-eye steak.

Tomahawk steak is tender and juicy because of the marbling. As a chef, I love fatty cuts of meat because it has more flavor than lean cuts of meat such as rump or fillet steaks. You can use many different cooking methods to cook tomahawk steak; however, grilling and pan-frying are the best ones.

This article will teach you how to cook tomahawk steak using four different methods. You’ll also learn how to know if a steak is cooked to your liking. It’s essential to understand how to buy and store tomahawk steak, which I’ll be covering later in this article. And last but not least I’ll show you how to serve tomahawk steak the way we do in restaurants.

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How To Cook a Tomahawk Steak

4 different methods on how to cook a tomahawk steak

Below you’ll find four different methods of cooking tomahawk steak. All methods require pretty much the same ingredients. The two most popular methods are grilling and pan-frying. Some will argue that the best method is grilling. I have to agree; however, everyone has their cooking preference.

Here’s the ingredient list you’re going to need:

  • Tomahawk steak (grass-fed is the best option if looking for the best taste);
  • Kosher salt;
  • Freshly ground pepper;
  • Fresh rosemary;
  • Fresh thyme;
  • Butter.

And here’s the equipment I’m using for different cooking methods:

How To Cook Tomahawk Steak On The Grill

  1. Take tomahawk steaks out of the fridge and season them with a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. I like to use fresh rosemary and thyme for seasoning as well. Leave it to rest at room temperature for about an hour before cooking;
  2. Set up your grill. Make sure to spread out charcoal leaving one side of the grill very hot while another side medium-hot;
  3. Place tomahawk steaks on the hottest part of the grill. Sear it on both sides for about two minutes (each side), then move them to medium and continue to grill;
  4. I’m cooking my steaks medium, so it’ll take about 23 minutes to do. Tomahawk steaks are about 2-inches thick with a long bone, so it takes longer to cook. Turn the steaks over every two minutes;
  5. Check the doneness. Stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak to get the exact temperature. Since I’m cooking it to medium, a thermometer should read 145°F. However, since the internal temperature of the steaks continues to rise for another 5°F after you take it off from the grill, you should take the steak out when the thermometer reads 140°F for medium doneness. You can use aluminum foil to cover the steaks while resting;
  6. Leave tomahawk steaks to rest for about 6-8 mins after cooking. Resting is very important since the steak remains juicy and flavorful. If you slice into the steak right after cooking it, all of the delicious juices will end up on your plate instead of inside the steak.

Note: If you’re using a gas grill, follow the exact instructions above. Turn the gas on high and sear the steaks on both sides for about a few minutes before turning the heat down to medium. The temperature charts and cooking times are at the end of the article.

How To Cook Tomahawk Steak On a Stove Top With Oven Finish

  1. Take the tomahawk steaks out of the fridge and season them with a generous amount of kosher salt and pepper. Leave steaks to rest at room temperature for an hour before cooking;
  2. Preheat the cast-iron skillet or any other heavy pan. When the skillet starts to smoke, add some olive oil. Lay the steak away from you and make sure not to overcrowd them; otherwise, they are not going to cook evenly;
  3. I’ll be cooking my tomahawk steaks medium. I’ll sear it one to one and a half minutes on each side before turning the heat down to medium;
  4. Add butter, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and garlic when cooking on medium. Baste it for another 2to 3 minutes;
  5. Remove the steaks from the skillet and place them on a wire rack on a baking sheet ;
  6. Place steak in a preheated oven to 450°F. Make sure to cover the steak with fresh herbs and garlic. Cook it for another 14-15 mins until medium. Use a meat thermometer for cooking to your desired temperature. Temperature charts are below in the article;
  7. Take the steaks out of the oven and leave them to rest. Make sure to take the steak out when they are 5°F below your desired doneness. The internal temperature will continue to rise for another 5°F after taking them out of the oven and covering them with aluminum foil;
  8. Resting is very important. It will allow for the tomahawk steak to remain juicy on the inside. Slicing right into it after it’s cooked will make all of those flavourful juices run out of the steak. It should stay inside rather than on your plate.

How To Reverse Sear Tomahawk Steak

  1. Take the tomahawk steak out of the fridge and season it with a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Make sure the seasoning sticks to the meat. Leave it to rest at room temperature for about an hour – steak should get to room temperature;
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit;
  3. Place the tomahawks steak on a wire rack on a baking sheet and put it into the oven;
  4. I’m cooking my steak to medium; therefore, it’ll stay in the oven for about 50 minutes before the internal steak temperature reaches 115°F. The cooking time may vary depending on the oven. Make sure to use a meat thermometer or a “finger test” method to measure steaks internal temperature;
  5. Preheat the heavy skillet until it starts to smoke lightly. Add some olive oil. Take the steak out of the oven and place it in a scorching hot skillet. Sear the steak for about a minute and a half until a golden-brown crust forms. Flip the steak and give it a good sear on another side;
  6. Turn the heat down to medium and add a knob of butter, thyme, rosemary, and garlic to the skillet. Baste tomahawk steak with a spoon;
  7. Check the doneness. If it is cooked to your liking, remove it from the skillet and let it rest for about 8 minutes. Resting is essential since it allows for the steak to remain juicy. Cover it with aluminum foil while resting.

How To Cook Tomahawk Steak Sous Vide

  1. Take the steak out of the fridge and season it with a generous amount of salt, freshly ground pepper, and fresh herbs. Leave the steak to rest at room temperature for an hour;
  2. Place the steak with herbs apart from garlic in a vacuum bag and seal it;
  3. Preheat the water bath to the desired temperature. Make sure it’s 10 degrees Fahrenheit, lower than you want your steak to end up at. I want my stake medium; therefore, I need my water bath to be 135°F. Once water is up to temperature, add the marinated steak to the water bath;
  4. Leave the steak in a bath anywhere from three to eight hours;
  5. Preheat the pan. Take the tomahawk steak out of the water bath, open the sealed bag, and place the steak in a scorching hot pan to give it a nice sear.
  6. Cook it for about a minute on one side until a golden-brown crust forms. Repeat the same sear on the other side;
  7. Leave the steak to rest. Resting the steak will help to retain the steak juicy.

How To Cook Tomahawk Steak In The Oven

  1. Take the tomahawk steak out of the fridge an hour before cooking. Season it with a generous amount of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Leave it to rest at room temperature before cooking it;
  2. Set oven for broil. Preheat it to 450°F ;
  3. Place the tomahawks steak on a wire rack on a baking sheet and put it into the oven about 5 inches away from the heat source above;
  4. Turn the steak over every three to four minutes. I’m cooking my steak medium, so it’ll cook for about 22 minutes;
  5. When the steak is cooked to your liking, take it out from the oven and leave it to rest. Resting steak is very important because the steak remains juicy. If you slice into it right after it’s cooked – it’ll release most of its flavorful juices onto the plate.

Steak Doneness Temperature Chart

tomahawk steak doneness chart
  • Rare steak: 125° F;
  • Medium rare steak: 135° F;
  • Medium steak: 145° F;
  • Medium-well steak: 150° F;
  • Well done, steak: 160° F

Here’s how long it will take to cook a 2 inches thick tomahawk steak on a grill:

  • Rare: 18-20 mins;
  • Medium-rare: 20-22 mins;
  • Medium: 22-24 mins;
  • Medium-well: 24-26 mins;
  • Well done: 26-28 mins.

Here’s how long to cook tomahawk steak in the oven:

  • Rare: 10-12 mins;
  • Medium-rare: 12-14 mins;
  • Medium: 14-16 mins;
  • Medium-well: 18-18 mins;
  • Well done: 18-20 mins.

Here’s how long to broil tomahawk steak in a 450°F preheated oven:

  • Rare: 17-19 mins;
  • Medium-rare: 19-21 mins;
  • Medium: 21-23 mins;
  • Medium-well: 23-25 mins;
  • Well done: 25-27 mins.

There’re two different ways to check steak doneness. One method requires a meat thermometer; another with a “finger test” method.

Using a meat thermometer is the easiest way to check a steak’s internal temperature. However, this method is not ideal because sticking a thermometer into the meat is not the best thing you can do. It can lose tasty juice, and you want it to stay inside the steak.

Professional chefs and advanced home cooks often use the “Finger test” method of checking steak doneness. Once you get a feel for it – it’s not difficult to know whether the steak is cooked to your liking or not.

Here’s a video explaining how to use the “finger test” method to check steaks doneness:

How To Buy And Store Leftover Tomahawk Steaks

To buy a good quality tomahawk steak, you’ll need to go to your local butcher shop or farmers market and try your luck to buy one. Often it’s hard to purchase tomahawk steak, so you’re going to need to look for it online and get one delivered. Even though it’s considered on the best steak cuts, which is essentially a rib-eye steak with a bone – it’s still hard to buy

When buying a steak, make sure to know whether it is grass-fed or grain-fed. Grass-fed beef has more flavor and is more nutritious than grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef is considered to be the highest quality meat; therefore, it costs more than a grain-fed one.

Grain-fed meat lacks flavor and texture. It has less marbling, and the color is slightly pinkish compared to a grass-fed bright red color.

how to buy and store leftover tomahawk steak

Here’s a quick guide on how to buy a good quality steak:

  1. Color is essential since it can tell a lot about the quality of the meat. Dark red is often a sign of good quality beef that was grass-fed and looked after. Pinkish or washed red is a sign of low-quality meat that usually tastes bland, has less flavor, and is cheaper than grass-fed beef.
  2. Marbling is essential for any good steak. Look for tiny flecks of marbling spread across the steak.
  3. The smell is essential. If you can smell sour or an ammonia odor, it’s better not to cook a steak like that.

You can store leftovers tomahawk steak for up to 3 to 4 days. Keep it in an airtight container. When you want to reheat leftover steak, you can do it in the oven. Preheat the oven to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the steak onto a wire rack onto a baking sheet and place it in the oven for up to twelve minutes.

How To Serve a Juicy Tomahawk Steak

how to serve a juicy tomahawk steak

Here are a few recipe ideas on how to serve the steak:

  1. Serve it with french fries and garlic butter;
  2. Serve it with a stir-fried vegetable and mash potatoes;
  3. Serve it with deep-fried onion rings;
  4. Serve it with rice.


How long to let the tomahawk steak rest

Let it rest for about eight minutes. However, if you’re short on time, give it at least five minutes to rest.

Can I put sauce on tomahawk steak?

Yes, you can put sauce on tomahawk steak. Since it’s a rib-eye steak cut with a big gone, I would go for creamy peppercorn sauce, chimichurri, béarnaise sauce, quick red wine sauce.

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