When you want a dish that will wow everyone, make this smoked tomahawk steak! The long rib bone gives this cut its name as well as creating a stunning presentation. Thick ribeye steak is slow-smoked for maximum flavor, then seared to create beautiful grill marks and a juicy crisp crust.
What is a Tomahawk Steak?
A ribeye steak comes from the rib section of the animal. A tomahawk steak is cut into 2-3” thick pieces of ribeye steak as well as the rib cap from between the 6th and 12th ribs (the front section of the backbone on the cow). Since the rib bone is left at least 6” to 18”, it forms a handle. While you pay ribeye prices for the bone, the presentation is what makes this steak. Weighing in between 2-3 pounds, the steak will generously feed 2-3 people.
If you haven’t enjoyed the flavor of rib cap meat, you are in for a treat. This cut is the top piece of meat that surrounds the top of the ribeye. Surrounded by a thin layer of fat and is naturally infused with marbling. The long rib bone has been scraped clean. (this technique is known as “frenching”) also, protect the ribeye meat during the cooking process.
Reverse Sear the Smoked Tomahawk Steaks
Use a two stage cooking process to cook tomahawk steaks. The first step is to smoke the seasoned steak for 45-60 minutes at 225° F (until the internal temperature reaches 115° F). This gently cooks the meat and renders the fat throughout the steak. Then the tomahawk steak is seared on each side for 2-3 minute in a blazing hot cast iron grill pan to char grill marks and until the internal temperature of the steak reaches your preferred doneness. Since most of the cooking process is done during the smoking stage, the meat is gently cooked all the way through. Then the short burst of high heat creates a wonderful crust to the exterior of the meat.
Tips for the Perfect Smoked Tomahawk Steak
- Choose a steak with good marbling, since this cut receives extra love from the butcher, the meat is top grade and lovely. Just choose the piece that is firm and has the bone handle that speaks to you.
- If the steak comes in a cyrovac bag, remove the meat from the bag and pat dry with a wad of paper towel to remove any liquid.
- Since this is a thick chunk of meat, it is important to remove the chill from the meat before putting it on the grill. Plan on at least 30-40 minutes.
- Season the ribeye meat liberally on all sides. You can use just salt and pepper, or use your favorite beef rub. What is important is to press the seasoning into all the sides of the meat.
- For a beautiful bone, wrapped the exposed rib bone in foil to keep it bright in color and prevent any scorch marks.
- Since this is an expensive cut of meat, medium rare creates the best flavor and tenderness. If you prefer a greater degree of doneness, sear the meat a little longer.
- Preheat the cast iron grill over high heat for several minutes, until the surface is piping hot.
- Place the tomahawk steak on the grill and leave it be for 2 minutes. (The bone handle will stick out over the pan) Rotate meat 90 degrees and continue to sear to create the grill marks.
- Flip the steak over and sear the opposite side.
- Let the steak rest for at least 15-20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute into the meat. Then slice the meat away from the bone and arrange everything on a platter. Serve immediately and accept the compliments for a fabulous meal.
I love to serve steak with this herb butter on the smoked tomahawk steak.Print
This show-stopping smoked tomahawk steak is the perfect cut to impress everyone. Thick, tender and full of beefy flavor, it will be a favorite.
- 2–1/2-3 pounds Tomahawk steak
- Generous 1–2 tablespoons of seasoning, with salt and pepper or beef seasoning.
- Remove the steak from the refrigerator approximately 1 hour before cooking to allow it come to room temperature.
- Liberally season the steak on sides with salt and pepper or your favorite beef seasoning. Press the seasonings into the meat.
- Wrap the rib bone with foil to prevent any scorching and keep it bright in color.
- Heat your smoker to 225°F.
- Arrange the steak on the smoker and close the lid. Cook the steak at 225°F for 45-60 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 115°F. Use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- Remove the steak from the smoker to a large platter.
- Preheat a cast iron grill pan over high heat.
- Arrange the tomahawk steak on the grill pan so the meat sizzles for about 2 minutes. Let the bone stick out aver the edge since it won’t be on contact with the grill.
- After 2 minutes, rotate the steak 90° to create the sear hatch pattern.
- Flip the steak over and sear the second side.
- Remove the tomahawk steak from the grill and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil from the rib bone.
- Once the meat has rested, slice ¼ inch thick pieces.
- Arrange the beef rib on a platter and fan out the slices around the bone for the wow factor.
When you purchase a 2-3 pound tomahawk steak, remember that weight includes the long bone, this size steak translates into about 24-30 ounces of cooked rib steak.
A piece of meat this large will have at least 10° of carryover cooking, plus the second stage of searing will continue to cook the meat. 115° internal temperature is the perfect temperature to smoke a tomahawk steak.
The rib bone can be used to fortify a beef broth or soup. Wrap it in foil, label, and freeze it until you are making soup. The gelatin in the marrow will add to soup even if there is little to no meat on the bone.