What is a Tomahawk Steak: Guide to Tomahawk Steak

Steaks are becoming a mainstay of any discerning grill king’s menu, and with so many different ones on offer, it can get confusing.

While some people might pray at the altar of the ribeye or the sirloin, you might want to switch things up a bit – and you might want to try out a Tomahawk steak. With so many different cuts of steak out there nowadays, finding the best meat for grilling can be a real task in itself.

So just what is a Tomahawk steak? Well, you’re in the right place! Read on for our guide to Tomahawk steak.

Tomahawk Steak – An Introduction

Tomahawk Steak

The name Tomahawk steak certainly conjures the image of the pioneers, hacking out their lives in the wilderness – but luckily a Tomahawk steak is not quite as grim or as gritty as their lives might have been!

The Tomahawk steak is essentially a ribeye beefsteak with at least five inches of the rib bone left intact. This extra bit of bone adds the Tomahawk steak’s unique, signature flavor, as well as its iconic name – it ends up looking a bit like the Tomahawk ax used by those pioneers many years ago!

This also adds a real ‘wow’ factor to serving it up to your guests, as it really does look quite impressive – it’s certainly a steak to serve whole and carve at the table, as your guests won’t stop asking about it!

Tomahawk Steaks | Holy Grail Steak

Shop their incredible selection of Tomahawk steaks now featuring Holy Grail's Santa Carota Carrot-Finished Tomahawk. These steaks are full of flavor and will make a splash at your next grill session.

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What is it like?

As it is a bone-in rib steak, it has quite a lot of intermuscular fat present in it. This gives the Tomahawk steak so many delicious, buttery flavors when you tuck into it, with the flavors being released into the steak from the bone itself. It’s beautifully marbled and incredibly tender too.

A lot of the tenderness from a Tomahawk steak comes from the fact that it is from a lesser-used muscle area – and in fact, this same muscle is used for T-bone steaks and Porterhouse steaks.

As it isn’t a muscle that is used so much, the meat is beautifully tender, and having the bone gives it that gorgeous, almost melt-in-the-mouth texture that is just irresistible.

Sounds great! But just how big is a Tomahawk steak?

Tomahawk Steak size

A Tomahawk steak is usually cut depending on the thickness of the rib bone. This means that more often than not, you’re looking at a steak that weighs around 2.6lbs (42oz) and approximately 2-3 inches thick – not a bad size at all!

This makes the Tomahawk steak a perfect steak to share, as it can easily feed 2 people or sometimes more. Plus, it makes a fantastic table centerpiece, so if you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion with a couple of your nearest and dearest, or you’re planning a romantic evening, then a Tomahawk steak will make you the talk of the town!

The Tomahawk steak is undoubtedly a visual masterpiece, and on top of that, it’s delicious. You’d be hardpressed not to pick the whole thing up in your hands by the bone and devour it then and there!

How do I cook it?

A steak as mighty as the Tomahawk steak deserves respectful cooking, and there’s a couple of different ways that most people go about cooking their Tomahawk steak.

It’s also worth noting that you can keep hold of the bone to use in broths or soups, meaning that the Tomahawk steak can quite literally feed you twice.

Here are our top tips about cooking your Tomahawk steak:

Methods for Cooking

Oven roasting

Oven roasted

It can be a little tricky to fry in a standard pan at this size, so a lot of people choose to pop it in the oven and roast their Tomahawk steak instead. Now, some steak fans would balk at the thought of putting your prized succulent steak in the oven.

Unfortunately, with some bigger steaks, it can be necessary if you don’t have the right pan. Here’s our guide to Tomahawk steak for oven roasting:

  •  First and most importantly, you’ll want to get your Tomahawk steak out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. This should take you an hour or so. Preheat your oven to 250oF.
  •  Season it well with some salt and a bit of cracked black pepper, and then heat a pan with 1 tbsp of oil.
  •  Once the oil starts smoking a little, add the steak and sear it on each side, around 2-3 minutes per side.
  •  Take it out of the pan and pop the Tomahawk steak on an elevated rack in a roasting tin. If you want your Tomahawk steak to be rare, keep it in the oven for 45-50 minutes. For a medium steak, it’s 50-55 minutes.
  •  Once it’s done, make sure you check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. This should be a minimum temperature of 136oF. Then leave the steak for 10-15 minutes before wowing your expectant diners!

Grilling

Grilled Tomahawk Steak

Of course, there’s nothing quite like a steak fresh from the grill – and if you’re a purported grill king yourself, then you can brush up on the principles of grilling by reading our handy article.

Grilling your Tomahawk steak will make it come into its own – but as it’s a relatively hefty slab of meat, there are some things you should be careful about if you want to grill your Tomahawk steak. However, a grill king is nothing without his grill, so have a read on how to buy the best grill for everything you need to know about what grill you should go for. Read on for our guide to Tomahawk steak on the grill:

  •   Get your Tomahawk steak out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. This should take you about an hour or so. While this is happening, fire up your grill and get it ready for action! You’ll want to have your grill at around 225oF.
  •   Season it well with some salt and a bit of cracked black pepper, and carefully place your Tomahawk steak at the edge of the grill, as far away from any direct heat as you can get it.
  •   Close the lid of the grill and let your Tomahawk steak grill for around 45 minutes, making sure you flip it over every 10 minutes or so.
  •  Using a meat thermometer, take a temperature reading. If the internal temperature of your Tomahawk steak is around 125oF, that’s perfect. If it’s a bit under, leave it grilling for a little while longer.
  •  If your Tomahawk steak is at the perfect temperature, it’s time to turn up the grill heat. Get your grill as hot as it’ll go, and place the Tomahawk steak directly over the heat to sear it. Flip every 30 seconds or so for around 3-5 minutes to get a good level of brown crust going.
  •  Check the temperature again – you’ll want your Tomahawk steak to be at least 136oF. If it is, sit back and leave it to stand for 10-15 minutes (if you can!) before serving it up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s take a look at some of the more commonly asked questions about Tomahawk steak.

Question: Can I cook my Tomahawk steak on direct heat rather than to the edge of the grill?

Answer: This method isn’t advised, because the Tomahawk steak is quite thick (around 2-3 inches), so while you’ll get a good (almost excessive) char on each side of the Tomahawk steak, you’ll find that the middle of the steak will be basically raw.

Question: I have a large pan – can I use that to cook my Tomahawk steak?

Answer: If you have a large enough pan to fit the whole steak, you can absolutely use that. Make sure you have your meat thermometer to hand and keep tabs on the temperature, making sure to flip the steak regularly too.

Question: How much does a Tomahawk steak cost on average?

Answer: The prices for a Tomahawk steak can vary wildly, with prices sometimes reaching the hundreds. The price completely depends on the quality of the cut and the butcher you buy from.

Question: Where can I buy a Tomahawk steak?

Answer: As it is a relatively new addition to the steak world, it can be tricky to find a Tomahawk steak. Here’s a few different companies where you can buy Tomahawk steak.

Holy Grail Steak – an online meat delivery service that provides some of the finest meats in the world. They have several different Tomahawk steaks on offer, from a 32oz Upper Prime Black Angus for around $119 to their Dry-aged Double Tomahawk Gift Pack for $379. Check out our Holy Grail Steak review here.



Snake River Farms – a family-owned ranch that delivers meat all over the country, they have a couple of succulent-looking Tomahawk steaks in their store – an American Wagyu Black Grade Dry-Aged Tomahawk steak for around $155 (1.75lb) and a non-dry-aged version for around $135 (2.75lb). Take a look at our Snake River Farms review for more.


Porter Road – an online meat delivery service that specializes in pre-made boxes of all kinds of meaty treats, they offer up the cheapest Tomahawk steak of the lot – their Tomahawk ribeye is only around $75. We had a look at the pros and cons of Porter Road – read our Porter Road review here. If you like the sound of the meat subscriptions that some of these sites offer, then take a look at our rundown of the best meat subscriptions here.

Final Thoughts

Tomahawk Steaks | Holy Grail Steak

Shop their incredible selection of Tomahawk steaks now featuring Holy Grail's Santa Carota Carrot-Finished Tomahawk. These steaks are full of flavor and will make a splash at your next grill session.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, we all start to get a feeling. A feeling deep in our bones, a yearning even, a yearning for a bit of char, of woodsmoke, laughter, and cold drinks in the yard.

Yes, it just about feels like grilling season is on its way, and while you would be hard-pressed to refuse a juicy burger hot from the grill, or a sizzling sausage in a bun, there’s nothing quite like a juicy steak.

Maybe instead of turning to your classic ribeye, you can mix it up with something a bit different like a Tomahawk steak or with a Picanha (read our Picanha vs ribeye article).

Because of the price point, the Tomahawk steak is probably not for every weekend, but for those romantic evenings in, or even to just celebrate the summer with a few friends and family, it is not only delicious, it is sure to turn heads!

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