How to Cook the Perfect Tomahawk Steak

Who doesn't love a tomahawk steak cooked to perfection? Cooking this rather large piece of meat can be intimidating to many. In this article, you'll learn more about the tomahawk steak and how to cook it.

What is a Tomahawk Steak?

The tomahawk steak is a ribeye beef steak specifically cut with between 5 to 6 inches of rib bone left intact. The average tomahawk steak is 2 inches thick.

An entire tomahawk steak is suitable for those with a large appetite. Generally, they are served sliced on a wooden board and shared amongst a few people.

Since this cut of meat is quite expensive, you want to cook it well. Here are two recipes using two different cooking methods from pitmaster Malcolm Reed to help you cook your tomahawk steak successfully.

Tomahawk steak masterpiece on the grill with rosemary and butter. How to cook the perfect Tomahawk steak?

Cooking a Tomahawk Steak on the Barbecue

To perfect an authentic smoky flavour, cook your tomahawk steak on a charcoal grill. Using a gas barbecue can also yield good results.


  • 1  2.5 to 3 lbs. tomahawk steak
  • 2 tbsp or more of salt, pepper, garlic rub, or a seasoning of your choice
  • 1 tbsp steak spice, or a spice blend of your choice
  • 1 stick of butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled

Preparation & Cooking

Generously cover all sides of your tomahawk steak with salt, pepper, and garlic rub. This mixture creates the flavour base for the steak.

Let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat.

No matter what type of barbecue you use, create two cooking zones; direct heat to sear the steak and indirect heat to cook the steak thoroughly. Preheat the barbecue to 316°C (600°F) and oil the grill.

Before throwing the steak on the grill, coat it with a thin layer of steak spice.

For the following steps, be sure to wear heatproof gloves to handle the steak without burning yourself.

Place the steak on the grill on direct heat and press it down to make sure it is in contact with the grill. Close the lid. After 2 1/2 minutes, rotate the steak 90° to get a nice grid pattern on the grill. Press the steak down, close the lid and let it sear for another 2 1/2 minutes. Repeat with the other side of the tomahawk steak.

Remove the steak from the heat and place it on the cooler side on a raised grill.

Place a foil pan under the steak and add the butter, rosemary, thyme, garlic, and olive oil. Close the lid of the barbecue.

As soon as the butter is melted, baste the steak with the mixture and close the lid. Repeat every 10 minutes until the steak is cooked to its desired doneness

by using a meat thermometer. Ensure the steak reaches an internal temperature of at least 125°F (52°C) for medium doneness.

Remove the steak from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes on a wood cutting board before serving.

Perfectly cooked Tomahawk steak on the BBQ with vegetables and lobsters. How to cook the perfect Tomahawk steak?

How to Smoke a Tomahawk Steak

A tomahawk steak is just as delicious when cooked in a smoker as when grilled on the barbecue. This technique is different, and so are the results in terms of flavour.


  • 1   2 inch thick tomahawk steak
  • 2 tsp. beef broth concentrate
  • 1 tbsp. spicy BBQ rub
  • 1 tbsp of steak rub
  • 1 stick of butter

Preparation & Cooking

Preheat your smoker to 275°F (135°C). Use hickory wood to add flavour to the meat.

Rub beef broth concentrate onto tomahawk steak, then coat with a thin layer of spicy BBQ rub. Add a thin layer of steak spice on top. Let the steak sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Once your smoker reaches 275°F (135°C), place the steak on the grill with the probe in the center of the meat. Be careful not to stick it in a fat pocket.

Add a small foil pan with the sick of butter next to your steak. Season the butter with a bit of steak spice. Close the door or lid of the smoker.

Turn the meat over after 25 minutes to ensure even cooking.

When the internal temperature of the meat reaches 115°F (46°C), baste it with the butter mixture. Leave the door or lid of the smoker open to allow the flames to grow. When the internal temperature reaches 120°F (49°C), turn the steak over and baste the other side with the mixture.

Remove the steak from the smoker when its internal temperature reaches at least 52°C (125°F) for medium-rare. Let the meat rest for about 20 minutes before serving, giving a chance for the internal temperature to rise and the juices to be absorbed.

Delicious Tomahawk Steak sliced on a wood board and ready to eat. How to cook the perfect Tomahawk steak?

Discover Your Own Secret Recipe

The two recipes in this article will help you create a good foundation for cooking a tomahawk steak. Once you've tried them, don't be shy to experiment with different spices, seasonings, and varieties of wood chips.

Eventually, you'll master the art of cooking the tomahawk steak. By experimenting with different flavours, you will find the perfect cooking method and combination of seasoning to appeal to your taste buds, your own secret recipe.

For more barbecue recipes, visit the Top Chef Recipes page.

To find the perfect barbecue or smoker to cook your tomahawk steak, contact a We Love Fire retailer near you. They’ll be happy to advise you!

Below is a list of fireplace and grill stores that service Virginia (VA)

Manassas, VA

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109

Winston's Chimney Service LogoVisit Store Page

Mechanicsville, VA

Hearth & Home Shoppe
8151 Mechanicsville Tpk
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Hearth & Home Shoppe LogoVisit Store Page

Roanoke, VA

Dixie Building Products Inc.
3342 Melrose Ave NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

Warrenton, VA

Costello's Warrenton Fireplace & Hot Tub
251 West Lee Hwy
Warrenton, VA 20186

For more information, contact your local fireplace and grill store..

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