Cooking the Perfect Tomahawk Steak at Home

If you are craving a thick, juicy steak that is sure to impress your guests, look no further than the Tomahawk steak. This impressively large cut of meat is a ribeye steak with the bone left intact, giving it a distinct and eye-catching appearance. While it may seem daunting to prepare such a dramatic cut of meat at home, with the right technique and a few pro tips, you can cook the perfect Tomahawk steak every time. Read on for our step-by-step guide to creating a show-stopping meal that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Cooking the Perfect Tomahawk Steak at Home | Eat Urban Garden
Cooking the Perfect Tomahawk Steak at Home

The History of Tomahawk Steak

If you are a steak lover, you might have heard about the infamous tomahawk steak. This cut of meat has become increasingly popular over the years, with more and more people wanting to try it. But have you ever wondered where it got its name from? In this section, we will delve into the history behind the tomahawk steak and how it came to be.

The Origins of the Tomahawk Steak

The story of the tomahawk steak goes back to the early 19th century when cowboys roamed the Wild West. Back then, it was a common practice to share a communal steak cooked on an over open flame. The problem with this practice is that the person who got the end of the steak, where the bone was, got the best part of the meat. This led to cooks leaving a longer piece of bone so that everyone got a fair share of the meat.

Over time, this practice developed into the modern tomahawk steak, which is essentially a ribeye steak that is still attached to the bone. However, the long bone that is a defining characteristic of the tomahawk steak serves more of an aesthetic purpose than a practical one. It is a visual representation of the history and origins of this cut of meat.

Why is it Called a Tomahawk Steak?

The name “tomahawk steak” is derived from the obvious resemblance of the steak to a tomahawk axe. The long bone that runs down the side of the steak is reminiscent of the wooden handle of a tomahawk, while the meat is similar to the blade. The name has since stuck and has become the standard way to refer to this cut of meat.

The Perfect Cut: Choosing and Preparing Your Tomahawk Steak

Tomahawk steak is a special and amazing cut of meat, which requires careful preparation to bring out its best flavors. So, buying the perfect cut and preparing it correctly can make all the difference in the taste of your steak.

Choosing Your Tomahawk Steak

The first step in cooking the perfect tomahawk steak is to choose the right cut. Look for a steak with good marbling and a thickness of at least two inches. This thickness will help ensure that your steak stays juicy and flavorful. If you’re buying your steak at a butcher or meat market, ask the butcher for a steak that has been dry-aged for a minimum of 21 days. This aging process helps tenderize the meat, enhance the flavor and improve its texture. Appearance-wise, you want to see a deep, cherry red color, and uniform fat distribution throughout the steak.

  • Choose a cut with good marbling
  • Look for a thickness of at least two inches
  • Ask for a steak that has been dry-aged for at least 21 days
  • Inspect for uniform fat distribution

Preparing Your Tomahawk Steak

After bringing your tomahawk steak home, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before cooking to avoid the steak being cooked unevenly. Pat the steak dry with paper towels and season it with kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Avoid using too much salt as the tomahawk steak already has a good amount of marbling. You can also add a few herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, to enhance the flavors. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan over high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add some vegetable oil and sear the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side, until it gets a nice crust. Finish it in the oven, placing it directly on the rack. Cook to your preferred doneness using a meat thermometer. If possible, let it rest for 10-15 minutes, allowing the juices to settle, and then slice and enjoy.

  1. Let the steak reach room temperature before cooking
  2. Pat the steak dry and season it with salt and pepper
  3. Add herbs to enhance flavor
  4. Use a cast-iron skillet or grill pan to sear the steak
  5. Finish cooking the steak in the oven
  6. Let it rest after cooking

By choosing and preparing your tomahawk steak using these tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the perfect steak at home.

Seasoning Your Tomahawk Steak

Seasoning brings out the best flavor in your tomahawk steak. Here are some tips and ideas for enhancing and highlighting the natural flavors of your steak:

1. Salt Rub

A classic salt rub is an effective way to season your tomahawk steak. Take 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and sprinkle it liberally over your steak, rubbing it in with your fingers. Let the steak sit for at least an hour or up to overnight, allowing the salt to soak in and tenderize the meat.

2. Dry Rubs

Dry rubs are a great way to add more flavor to your tomahawk steak. Mix up a blend of herbs and spices in a small bowl, then rub it all over your steak. Some popular dry rub combinations include garlic and rosemary, cumin and chili powder, or smoked paprika and brown sugar.

3. Marinades

If you’re looking for even more flavor, try marinating your steak. A simple marinade can be made by combining 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Let your steak sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. The acid in the vinegar will help break down the meat fibers and make your steak even more tender.

Don’t forget to let your steak come to room temperature before cooking. This will ensure even cooking and a perfectly juicy result.

Grilling vs. Broiling: Which Method is Best?

When it comes to cooking a tomahawk steak, there are two popular methods: grilling and broiling. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the differences between the two before deciding which method to use for cooking your steak.


Grilling involves cooking the steak over an open flame on a grill or barbecue. This method allows for a more smoky, charred flavor as the steak is exposed to the flame and smoke of the grill. It also allows for more even cooking as the steak is not in direct contact with the heat source.

  • To grill your tomahawk steak, start by preheating your grill to high heat.
  • Season your steak generously with salt and pepper and brush it with a bit of oil to prevent sticking.
  • Place the steak on the grill and cook for about 5-6 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness.
  • Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.


Broiling, on the other hand, involves cooking the steak under a high-heat broiler in your oven. This method allows for a quick cooking time and a crispy exterior.

  • To broil your tomahawk steak, start by preheating your broiler on high.
  • Season your steak generously with salt and pepper and brush it with a bit of oil to prevent sticking.
  • Place the steak on a broiler pan and place it in the oven on the top rack.
  • Cook for about 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness.
  • Remove the steak from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Whichever method you choose, make sure to let your steak rest for a few minutes before slicing to allow the juices to redistribute and ensure a juicy, flavorful steak.

Creating the Perfect Sear

If you’re looking to take your home-cooking game to the next level, learning how to cook a tomahawk steak to absolute perfection is a must. While cooking up a tomahawk may seem intimidating, it’s actually quite simple once you master the technique of achieving the perfect sear. Here, we’ll guide you through the process of creating the perfect sear for your tomahawk steak, resulting in a dish that is as beautiful as it is delicious.

Choosing Your Cooking Method

The first step in creating the perfect sear is choosing your cooking method. For most home cooks, the best option is typically a cast-iron skillet, as it can withstand high heat and allows you to control the temperature with ease.

  • Preheat your skillet over medium-high heat for at least 10 minutes.

Preparing Your Steak

While your skillet is preheating, prepare your steak by seasoning it generously with salt and pepper.

  • Let your steak come to room temperature by taking it out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Pat the steak dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.

Creating the Perfect Sear

Now that your skillet is heated and your steak is prepared, it’s time to achieve the perfect sear.

  1. Add a tablespoon of high smoke-point oil, such as canola or avocado oil, to the skillet and swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, carefully place your seasoned steak in the skillet using tongs. You should hear a sizzle as the steak hits the pan.
  3. Allow the steak to sear for 3-4 minutes without moving it. This will give your steak a beautiful crust without overcooking the interior.
  4. Flip your steak using tongs and sear for an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side.
  5. If your steak is particularly thick, you may also want to sear the sides for 1-2 minutes each.

Pro Tip: For added flavor, add a few cloves of crushed garlic and a sprig of thyme or rosemary to the skillet during the last minute of searing.

Resting and Serving Your Tomahawk Steak

Tomahawk steak is a delicious treat that requires the right cooking and proper resting to bring out the best in its flavor and texture. Once your steak is cooked to perfection, the following subsections will guide you on how to rest and serve it to achieve optimal enjoyment.

The Importance of Resting Your Steak

After a few minutes of sizzling in high heat, your tomahawk steak must undergo the crucial resting process to reabsorb the juices and ensure an even distribution of the flavors. The resting time should take place immediately after the cooking process and before cutting the meat.

  • For a rare steak, let it rest for at least five to seven minutes.
  • For a medium-rare steak, let it sit for seven to ten minutes.
  • For a medium steak, wait for at least ten to fifteen minutes before slicing.
  • For a well-done steak, let it rest for at least fifteen to twenty minutes.

The Ideal Serving Method

Serving the perfect tomahawk steak is as important as cooking it. It not only adds to the dining experience but also ensures the meat retains its temperature while reheating the plates. Here are some tips on how to serve your tomahawk steak:

  1. Use a large cutting board or platter to hold the steak in place.
  2. With a sharp knife, slice the meat against the grain thinly.
  3. Garnish it with your preferred herbs and spices or with a pat of butter.
  4. Serve it with your favorite side dish and a glass of red wine.

By following these simple tips, you can relish in the taste of a perfectly cooked tomahawk steak, served to perfection.

Enjoy Your Perfect Tomahawk Steak

Now that you know how to prepare the ideal Tomahawk steak, there’s no need to wait for your next steakhouse visit! With these simple and straightforward techniques, you can make a restaurant-quality steak at home any time you desire. Remember to let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing it, as this will help keep the juices in, resulting in a more tender and flavorful steak. Thank you for reading, and happy cooking! Come back later for more delicious recipes and cooking tips.

Cooking the Perfect Tomahawk Steak at Home

Learn how to cook the perfect Tomahawk steak at home with these simple tips and techniques. Impress your friends and family with your steak-cooking skills!

  • 1 Tomahawk steak
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  1. Preheat your grill to high heat.
  2. Season the Tomahawk steak with minced garlic, fresh thyme leaves, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  3. Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes per side, or until you achieve a beautiful sear.
  4. Add butter to the skillet and baste the steak with it while it cooks.
  5. Check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. For medium-rare, it should be 130-135°F.
  6. Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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Tomahawk steak, cooking, recipe, grill, steakhouse

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