What Is A Tomahawk Steak? And How To Make It Perfect At Home

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What is a Tomahawk steak? Juicy, flavorful, and visually stunning, these bone-in ribeye cuts are the epitome of carnivorous delight. Discover the secrets behind this magnificent steak, from its distinctive appearance resembling a tomahawk axe to the mouthwatering flavors it delivers.

What Is A Tomahawk Steak? 

A Tomahawk steak is a large, bone-in ribeye steak with intact entire rib bone. The bone is usually trimmed clean of meat, leaving a long ‘handle’ that resembles a single-handed axe, hence the name “Tomahawk.”

Usually, you can see Tomahawk steak cut at 2 inches thick and between 30-55 ounces. This long-bone ribeye steak is also called the “caveman” steak precisely because its appearance harkens back to primitive cooking methods.


What is a tomahawk steak cut?

To truly comprehend a tomahawk steak, you must understand how it’s cut.

Picture a ribeye steak with the bone still attached – that’s the basic idea. But here’s the twist: the bone isn’t just left as is; it’s stretched out, kept whole, and meticulously cleaned of unwanted bits.

This is what sets it apart from an ordinary bone-in ribeye. The result is a visually striking steak, with the clean bone extending out, catching your eye and making it a showstopper at any dinner.

What part of the cow is a tomahawk steak?

The Tomahawk Steak comes from the rib section of the steer.

This is the same part of the animal where we get prime rib, rib roasts, and bone-in and boneless ribeye steaks. The main difference here is that a significant length of the rib bone is left attached to the Tomahawk Steak, which makes for a mighty presentation and contributes to the cooked steak’s flavor.

What is a tomahawk steak without the bone?

Without the bone, a tomahawk steak is essentially a ribeye steak. The bone is a big part of what gives the Tomahawk Steak its distinct look and name, but the meat is the same cut as a ribeye.


The bone-in aspect of the Tomahawk Steak is largely for presentation and subtle flavor differences, as the bone can add a bit of richness to the meat during the cooking process.

What is the size and weight of a standard tomahawk steak?

So what is a Tomahawk steak in terms of size and weight? A standard Tomahawk Steak is quite large, typically weighing between 2 and 3 pounds, with the bone contributing a significant amount of that weight. The length of the bone can vary but is commonly around 6-8 inches long, giving the steak its signature axe-like appearance.

Lastly, the thickness of the steak portion is usually about 2 inches.

Other names for tomahawk steak

In addition to “Tomahawk Steak,” you might hear this steak being referred to as a “bone-in ribeye,” a “cowboy steak,” or a “Frenched bone-in ribeye.”

Why Are Tomahawk Steaks So Expensive?

The perfect Tomahawk Steak can command a higher price tag due to a few factors. 

First, the sheer size and weight of the steak contribute to its cost.

Secondly, the extra labor in trimming the bone clean can increase the price.

Finally, the visual appeal and the “wow” factor of the Tomahawk Steak often allow butchers and restaurants to charge a premium.

Is tomahawk steak is just glorified bone-in ribeye?

In a sense, a Tomahawk Steak is indeed a glorified bone-in ribeye. The meat is the same, and the long bone does add some flavor, but the primary difference is the extended bone left intact for presentation.

This dramatic visual often makes the Tomahawk Steak a centerpiece at special occasions and gourmet dinner parties.

Is tomahawk steak actually worth the hype?

It’s really all about what brings you joy!

Are you a ribeye enthusiast who loves the spectacle of grilling a massive, bone-in slab of beef? If so, then the Tomahawk Steak is going to tickle your fancy!


The bone doesn’t just add to the steak’s majestic appearance, it also infuses a hint of flavor and succulence into the marble meat. So, if you’re up for a delightful culinary adventure, the Tomahawk Steak might make your taste buds excited!

What Is A Tomahawk Steak vs. Ribeye?

The primary difference between a Tomahawk Steak and a Ribeye is the bone.

A Tomahawk Steak is a bone-in Ribeye with an extended bone handle, while a standard Ribeye may come either boneless or with a much shorter bone. The meat is the same, so the flavor and texture you love in a Ribeye will be very much present in a Tomahawk Steak.

How To Cook A Tomahawk Steak – Easy & No Need To Sear

Here is an easy-to-follow method that lets you enjoy a perfectly cooked Tomahawk steak without the need for searing! 

  1. Preheat Your Oven: Set your oven to 375°F (190°C) and let it warm up.
  2. Prepare Your Steak: While your oven is heating, take your best steak and season it generously with salt and pepper. Make sure to cover all sides of the steak.
  3. Bake the Steak: Place the steak on a baking tray with a rack to allow even heat distribution. Pop the tray into your preheated oven.
  4. Cook to Perfection: The cooking time will depend on the steak’s size and your preferred doneness. For a medium-rare 2-pound Tomahawk Steak, cook for about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Check the Temperature: Use a meat thermometer to check the steak’s internal temperature. Aim for 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare.
  6. Rest and Serve: Once cooked to your liking, remove the steak from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. Slice and serve your show-stopping Tomahawk Steak.

How Long To Cook Tomahawk Steak In Oven

The cooking time for a Tomahawk Steak will depend on its size and your desired level of doneness.


As a general rule, a 2-pound Tomahawk Steak cooked in a 375°F (190°C) oven will need about 20-25 minutes for medium-rare doneness after it has been seared on the stovetop. Always use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare.

How To Grill A Tomahawk – Steak Cooking Essentials

Enjoy your perfect grilled Tomahawk steak with our step-by-step guide:

  1. Prep Your Grill: Set up your grill for two-zone cooking. One side should be hot for searing, and the other side cooler for indirect cooking.
  2. Season Your Steak: While the grill is heating, season your Tomahawk Steak generously with salt and pepper, ensuring to cover all sides.
  3. Sear the Steak: Place the steak on the hot side of the grill. Sear each side for about 3-4 minutes to develop a beautiful crust.
  4. Slow Cook: After searing, move the steak to the cooler side of the grill. Cover the grill and let the steak cook slowly.
  5. Check Doneness: Cook until the steak reaches your desired level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer for accuracy; for a medium-rare steak aim for an internal temperature of 135°F (57°C).
  6. Rest and Enjoy: Once cooked, remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Then, slice and serve your perfectly grilled Tomahawk Steak.


Why is it called a tomahawk steak?

The Tomahawk Steak gets its name from its distinct shape. The long, Frenched bone handle and the large, round steak at one end resemble a tomahawk axe, thus leading to its unique name.

What is a tomahawk steak without the bone?

Without the bone, a Tomahawk Steak is essentially a ribeye steak. The meat is the same cut as a ribeye; the bone is mostly there for presentation and can impart a bit of extra flavor during cooking.

What cut of meat is a tomahawk steak? 

A Tomahawk Steak is a cut of beef from the rib section of the steer. It’s essentially a bone-in ribeye steak with the bone left long for presentation purposes.


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