Tomahawk Steak Cut Guide: Is It The Best Cut For You?

Latest posts by Jodie Chiffey (see all)

Tomahawk steak is one of the most recognizable steaks. Today, we will take a look at what the tomahawk steak is, how it’s made, and if there are any good alternatives for you to try.

Ever been to a restaurant and wondered what that sizzling steak with a bone hanging from one side is? Well, most likely, it’s a tomahawk steak. While the bone is just for show, the steak is anything but. It’s a tasty cut of steak that has marbling, moisture, and a rich flavor profile. The best part? It’s quite easy to prepare!

Want to become an ace butcher and prepare cuts of meat on your own? Check out our list of the best butcher tools and meat processing equipment that can help you improve your craft!

Tomahawk Steak Cut – The Basics

Tomahawk Steak Cut

Tomahawk steak, also known as cowboy steak or manly steak, is cut from the rib of the cow, which is why it has similar characteristics to a ribeye steak. In fact, the only difference between the two cuts is the bone. The bone definitely adds an aesthetic element to the steak.

It’s called a tomahawk because the bone resembles the tomahawks that Indians wear. It is one of the most popular steaks out there. You might have come across (or may have done it yourself) people who pick the steak up from the bone and eat it.

A tomahawk steak is quite large, and you need to have a big appetite to eat it all by yourself. The best part about tomahawk steak is that it’s quite easy to prepare and doesn’t need a lot of seasoning to get a good flavor profile. You can cook it on a grill or sear it on a pan.

Need a good rub for your steaks? Check out our review of the Excalibur Prime Rib Rub that will add a whole new flavor profile to your favorite cuts of steak!

What does Tomahawk Steak Cut look like?

A Tomahawk steak is one of the most visually appealing steaks you can buy, thanks to its unique look compared to other types of steak cuts. It has a large yet clean bone attached to the meat that kind of resembles a handle.

The meat itself has streaks of marbling and red color, similar to a ribeye steak. However, when cooked properly, a tomahawk steak has dark brown sear and pinkish, juicy meat. Just as it looks appealing, the tomahawk steak tastes great as well!

Do you like marbling on your beef? If so, you would love Wagyu beef. Check out our guide on Wagyu filet mignon and find out everything you need to know about this wonderful meat!

What does Tomahawk Steak Cut taste like?

Tomahawk Steak

A tomahawk steak is a big piece of meat, so naturally, you need to have a big grill to prepare it. I used my Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill and Smoker as it’s one of the best combo grills on the market that you can buy. I also like to use the indirect cooking method, which allows me to cook the steak.

The best part about tomahawk steak is not the appearance but the taste. Just like the ribeye, tomahawk steak has an intense, meaty flavor. The charred crust combines well with the juicy meat. All you need is a good seasoning rub, and you’re good to go. While you can definitely experiment with the seasoning and spices, the beauty of the tomahawk steak is in its simplicity.

How much does a Tomahawk Steak Cut cost?

In two words, not cheap. When it comes to steaks, many people are on the fence when choosing between ribeye and tomahawk. Ribeye is significantly cheaper than tomahawk steak. However, there is more meat on a tomahawk steak than a ribeye.

Depending on your state and the grade of beef, a pound of tomahawk steak can cost anywhere between $30 and $80. I know, that’s really expensive! Keep in mind that the bone makes up for the majority of the cost. But does the bone really warrant such a steep price?

The answer is yes. The process of cleaning the bone completely, which is also known as frenching, is very intricate and time-consuming. So naturally, the butcher would want to be compensated for all the effort. Also, when the steak is cooked right in an oven or smoker, the bone marrow should add more flavor to the steak.

Looking for a place to buy ethically sourced beef? Check out our review of D’Artagnan and find out if it’s the right online meat delivery service for you.

How do you cook Tomahawk Steak Cut?


To prepare the tomahawk steak, you will need a good grill like the Royal Gourmet Charcoal Grill and Smoker. While the steak is easy to cook, you need to follow instructions to ensure that you don’t end up with a burnt or overcooked meal.

Here are the instructions to cook tomahawk steak:

  1. First, remove the steak from the refrigerator and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Season generously with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper on both sides.
  2. Add coal to one side of the grill and let it turn grey and ashy.
  3. Place the tomahawk steak on the other side of the grill where there is no coal.
  4. Flip the steak every 5 to 10 minutes to ensure that it cooks thoroughly on both sides.
  5. Remove the steak from the grill after 15 to 20 minutes or when the steak’s internal temperature reaches 100° F. Use a meat thermometer to check the steak temperature and make sure it’s penetrated all the way to the center.
  6. Wrap the steak in foil and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. This will help develop the flavor profile of the steak.
  7. Add fresh coal to the grill and spread them evenly. Let them settle for around 5 minutes.
  8. Place the steak on the grill and let it sear for 30 seconds. Then, flip the steak and let it sear again for 30 seconds until you get the desired char or when the internal temperature reaches 135° F.
  9. Remove the steak from the grill, let it rest again for 10 to 15 minutes, and serve.

A good grill can turn any meal into a restaurant-quality meal. Check out the best grills you can buy in 2022 that will help you make your favorite meats at home!

Tomahawk Steak Cut Alternatives

Rib Eye

For my money, tomahawk steak is one of the best steaks you can have. However, if the price is the issue or you want to try something different, these 3 alternatives are worth considering:

Rib Eye

These two will always be compared due to the similarities they have. A rib-eye is just as good as a tomahawk steak and a lot cheaper too. Bear in mind that rib-eye steaks are not as big in size as tomahawk steaks. However, if the price is an issue for you, then go for the ribeye to get the same flavor profile.


Though the tri-tip steak is not as popular as the tomahawk steak, it’s one of the preferred choices amongst steak lovers. The tri-tip steak has a distinct triangular appearance and little fat as it’s mostly lean beef. Tri-tip is not only easy to prepare but it can also be made in a short amount of time. See our Tri-Tip vs Brisket comparison.

Wagyu Beef

If you want to enjoy a fine dining experience with a steak that you will remember for a long time, then go for Wagyu beef. This Japanese beef is tender and has beautiful marbling. The taste is unmatched as the steak melts in your mouth and has a rich, buttery texture that you will appreciate.

Want naturally raised, grass-fed beef? Check out our review of Butcher Box, one of the fastest growing online meat delivery services in the country!

Tomahawk Steak Cut Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the answers to some common questions about tomahawk steak.

Question: Are Tomahawk Steak and Ribeye Steak the Same?

Answer: Technically yes, as both steaks are cut from the rib of the cow. However, the major difference between the two steaks is in appearance. Tomahawk steak is considerably large and has a large yet clean bone attached to it, whereas ribeye is simply a piece of meat.

The difference also comes when the steaks are slow-cooked. Slow-cooking the tomahawk steak will allow the bone marrow to infuse with the meat, improving the flavor profile considerably.

Question: Is Tomahawk Steak Healthy?

Answer: Yes! Tomahawk steak is a healthy option to have for lunch or dinner. However, bear in mind that the steak is quite large. While it’s difficult to finish a large steak on your own, if you are able to do that, you will be packing a lot of calories.

Question: Why Is Tomahawk Steak So Expensive?

Answer: As explained above, tomahawk steak is more about the experience. The process of frenching the bone is time-consuming, and a butcher should likewise be compensated for it. In addition, the tomahawk is more than just seak; it’s an experience. That’s why the steak is expensive and, in some places, twice the price of ribeye for the same weight.

Question: Can I Cook Tomahawk Steak In An Oven?

Answer: Yes. To cook tomahawk steak in an oven, you need to preheat it (the oven) at 400º F. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides and sear it on a pan using canola oil. Sear both sides on medium-high heat until the steak is brown.

Remove the steak from the pan and place it in the oven. Let it cook for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 135° F. Remove the steak from the oven, let it rest for 15 minutes, sprinkle some flaky salt over it and serve!

Question: Can I Use Garlic On Tomahawk Steak?

Answer: Yes! Garlic will certainly enhance the flavor profile of the tomahawk steak. If you are preparing the steak on a grill, then I suggest adding garlic powder. If you are going to make it in the oven, then you can add garlic granules and let the flavors combine for a delectable taste.

Question: Can I Baste Tomahawk Steak In Butter?

Answer: Yes! So ideally, you should baste the steak once it’s cooked all the way through on a grill. Instead of giving it a steak on the grill, put it in a frying pan, add some butter, and baste the steak in it. You can also add garlic and rosemary during this stage to enhance the flavors of the steak.

Question: Can I Smoke Tomahawk Steak?

Answer: Yes! I really enjoy smoking steaks, and tomahawk is one of my favorite cuts to smoke. Set the smoker to 200° F and season the steak with salt and pepper. Add some cherry wood pellets to the smoker, along with the steak and garlic granules. Let the steak smoke for around 2 to 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 100° F.

Once the steak is ready, fire up the grill and let the steak sear on each side until it reaches an internal temperature of 135° F. Let the steak rest for 10 to 15 minutes and serve!

Granulated garlic is a game-changer when it comes to steaks. Find out everything there is to know about it in our granulated garlic guide.

Conclusion – Should You Try Tomahawk Steak Cut?

A resounding yes! Tomahawk steak is all about the experience, and you’re missing out big time if you haven’t tried it yet. As far as cooking the tomahawk steak is concerned, it’s very easy to make, and you just need a grill big enough to accommodate this bad boy.

Keep in mind that tomahawk steak is not cheap. The bone adds to the cost of the steak, and if you want my advice, I suggest smoking the steak or cooking it in the oven. This will allow the bone marrow to enhance the already rich flavors of the steak.

Overall, the tomahawk steak is one of the best cuts of meat, and you should definitely give it a try. For more information on steaks and how to make them to perfection, check out the resources we have for you on Meat n Marrow!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top