Tomahawk Steak Vs T-Bone: Exploring 6 Key Differences

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Tomahawk and T-bone steaks are two classic choices for steak enthusiasts. Both are known for their delicious flavors and satisfying meaty profiles, but there are several characteristics between Tomahawk Steak vs T Bone that set each one apart. In this article, let’s delve into these two delectable steaks’ differences in cut, texture, taste, and other features of Tomahawk steak vs T bone.

Tomahawk Steak Vs T Bone

Tomahawk Steak features a long bone handle, rich flavor, and exceptional tenderness. On the other hand, T-bone steak offers a combination of two cuts, the strip steak and the tenderloin, on a single bone.

Tomahawk Steak is celebrated for its impressive appearance, but it can be pricey and is often shared due to its substantial size. T Bone may not be as visually striking, but it is budget-friendly.

What is a Tomahawk steak?

what is a tomahawk steak
Tomahawk steak

A Tomahawk steak is a remarkable cut of beef recognized for its distinctive appearance, featuring an elongated rib bone resembling a Tomahawk axe’s handle. This steak is cut from the rib section, typically containing the eye of the ribeye, the ribeye cap, and the complexus.

A Tomahawk steak is often referred to as a Cowboy steak when it’s trimmed of its distinctive handlebones. These hefty steaks typically weigh around 1.5 pounds and boast a thickness of about 3 inches, although they can be even more substantial, reaching up to 2 pounds in weight.

What truly distinguishes the Tomahawk steak is its abundant marbling, contributing to its exceptional tenderness and flavor. 

Given their thickness and marbling, Tomahawk steaks are often associated with upscale steakhouses and special occasions. They are typically prepared using grilling or reverse-searing techniques to ensure the meat is perfectly cooked and the fat is rendered for maximum flavor.


  • Impressive appearance: The Tomahawk’s dramatic appearance with its long bone handle makes it a showstopper at special events or gatherings.
  • Rich flavor: Tomahawk steaks are known for their robust, beefy flavor and ample marbling, delivering a juicy and flavorful eating experience.
  • Tender: These steaks are exceptionally tender, making them a top choice for those who prioritize tenderness in their steak.


  • Pricey: Tomahawk steaks are more expensive due to their size and marbling.
  • Size: Their substantial size may be too much for an individual serving.

What is a T-bone steak?

what is a t bone steak
T-bone steak

A T-bone steak is a classic beef cut celebrated for its signature T-shaped bone, which divides the steak into two distinct sections. 

This steak is typically sourced from the short loin of the cow and features two primary components: the larger part is the strip steak, also known as the New York strip, which boasts remarkable tenderness and a robust beefy flavor. The tenderloin, or filet mignon, is on the other side of the bone and is renowned for its exceptional tenderness and delicate taste. 

This unique combination of two cuts on a single bone creates the T-bone steak, providing a delightful contrast in textures and flavors. Grilling is a popular preparation method for this steak, making it a favored choice among steak enthusiasts. In some regions, this steak is also called porterhouse.


  • Versatile: T-bone steaks are versatile and can be cooked using various methods, making them suitable for everyday meals.
  • Two cuts in one: With strip steak and tenderloin sections, you can enjoy two distinct textures and flavors in a single steak.
  • Budget-friendly: This cut of meat is often more affordable compared to Tomahawks.


  • Smaller size: T-bone steak comes in a smaller size and may not be as visually striking as Tomahawks.
  • Less marbling: While they have good marbling, it’s typically less than what you find in Tomahawk steaks.

The key differences between Tomahawk steak and T-bone

Tomahawk and T-bone steaks have unique characteristics and are favored by steak enthusiasts based on personal preferences and occasions. Here are the key differences between Tomahawk steak and T-bone:

CharacteristicsTomahawk steakT-bone steak
Cut and boneIt is cut from the beef rib primal and essentially consists of a ribeye with the bone left in. The defining feature is its long, exposed rib bone handle.T-bone steaks are typically served in individual portions.
Size and thicknessTypically, Tomahawk steaks are larger and heavier, weighing around 1.5 to 2 pounds, with a thickness of approximately 3 inches.T-bone steaks are generally smaller, with standard sizes weighing about 0.5 to 1 pound and a thickness around 1 to 1.5 inches.
Flavor and textureTomahawk steaks offer a rich, beefy flavor and are cherished for their tenderness. Abundant marbling contributes to their exceptional taste and juiciness.T-bone steaks present two distinct textures and flavors. The strip steak side is tender with a robust beefy taste, while the tenderloin side is exceptionally tender and milder in flavor.
Cooking methodDue to their size and thickness, Tomahawks are often grilled, enabling even cooking and the development of a flavorful crust.T-bone steaks are also suitable for grilling but can be prepared using various cooking methods, including pan-searing and broiling.
CostTomahawk steaks are usually more expensive per pound owing to their larger size and striking presentation.T-bone steaks are typically more budget-friendly in comparison to Tomahawks.
ServingDue to their substantial size, Tomahawk steaks are often shared and serve multiple individuals.T-bone steaks are typically served as individual portions.

Tomahawk Steak Vs T Bone – Which Is Better?

tomahawk steak vs t bone which is better
Tomahawk and T-bone steak

In summary, the Tomahawk is an excellent cut of steak if you’re looking to make a grand impression and savor a tender, marbled, and visually stunning steak for a special occasion. 

However, the T-bone steak is a versatile and budget-friendly option for everyday grilling and the opportunity to enjoy two distinct steak experiences in one. The decision ultimately hinges on your taste preferences and the context in which you plan to enjoy your steak.


Is a Tomahawk steak the best cut?

The best cut for you is the one that aligns with your taste preferences. However, the exceptional quality of a Tomahawk steak ensures a top-tier dining experience. Its premium cost is warranted due to the meat’s tenderness and the meticulous butchering of extracting it directly from the rib and delicately trimming the bone.

Why is a Tomahawk cut so expensive?

Tomahawk steaks tend to be pricier due to their exceptional tenderness, rich flavor, and impressive size. This is primarily attributed to their origin from the forequarter rib section of the bison, resulting in substantial cuts. Tomahawks are oversized bone-in ribeye steaks, distinguished by their extra-long bone.


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