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The Best Way To Grill Tomahawk Steaks

With grilling season in full force, and Father’s Day just around the corner, you may be searching for the best way to grill a Tomahawk steak. This cut of steak has become very popular over the last couple of years and one that is often served for special occasions.

However, for those that are unfamiliar to the butcher term, let me explain. Essentially, this type of steak is a ribeye steak.

The ribeye is carved from the primal section of the cow, called the beef rib, and spans from ribs six through twelve. This section of the animal naturally collects more intramuscular fat which creates the fantastic marbling unique to the ribeye.

grilled tomahawk steak
If you want to impress your family and friends this year, grill them a tomahawk steak using this fool-proof method!

This marbling will melt as the steak cooks, creating the most tender and juicy steak that you have ever had. In fact this is the why the bone in ribeye is the favorite among steak lovers.

However, a tomahawk steak takes a standard ribeye steak to a new level, in both size and flavor. Each steak spans the width of a rib bone, which results in a cut of meat that is about 2 inches in thickness.

Although the size of the steak itself is impressive, what makes this steak really stand out is that each one is attached to a long, exposed bone.

However, one look at these massive steaks and you may be more than intimidated to try to cook them at home. But have no fear. With this tried and true method, you will have the perfectly grilled steak that will impressive your friends and family.

The Best Way To Grill A Tomahawk Steak

*Complete recipe instructions including specific measurements, cook temperatures and times are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to keep reading for helpful tips and tricks when making this recipe.

INGREDIENTS

*Depending on where you purchase the steaks, their name may vary. I have seen them labeled as Tomahawk, Full Cut Ribeye, or Cowboy Steaks.

Regardless of what the label says, be sure that you are purchasing a bone in ribeye that has the long rib bone exposed. Luckily, they are easily identifiable by their appearance.

seasoned ribeye steak
Although some people like to use various seasonings on their ribeye steaks, all you really need is Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Although there are some big grocery stores and warehouse clubs that stock these steaks, you may have to order them from your butcher a few days before you plan to grill the Tomahawk steaks.

And as for the seasoning, I promise you, there is nothing else you need to make these steaks delicious besides salt & pepper. Of course you can purchase several varieties of steak seasonings, but these steaks have so much flavor that nothing else is needed.

GRILLING INSTRUCTIONS

Remove each steak from the packaging and cover both sides with a 50/50 mix of Kosher salt and fresh ground, coarse black pepper. The amount that you use is up to you, however, you do want the steak at least 75% covered with salt & pepper on both the top and bottom surface.

Then let the steak come to room temperature while you prepare the grill. Light a charcoal grill and set the vents so that it maintains 350°F.

Although you could use a gas grill, you will get the best Tomahawk steaks when using a charcoal grill.

If you are using a Big Green Egg (BGE) or Kamado grill place the heat deflector over the coals. For a standard charcoal grill, rake the hot coals to one side of the grill. This will allow you to cook the steaks over indirect heat.

For an extra hint of smoky flavor, add a few Hickory or Mesquite wood chips to the edge of the charcoal mound.

slow cooked steak
Once the internal temperature of the steak has come to the desired temperature, remove it from the grill and let it rest.

Once the grill is holding temperature, put the steaks on the indirect side of the grates. For the BGE, place the steaks over the heat deflector.

Close the lid and let it cook until the internal temperature measures 125°F (51°C) for medium doneness.

When cooking on a BGE, it will take about an hour to achieve this internal temperature of the steaks. However, because all grills are different, check the internal temperature after 30 minutes of cooking. Then flip the steaks and continue to cook until the desired internal temperature is reached.

Doneness Guideline:

Remove the steaks from the grill at:

  • Medium-rare – 120°F
  • Medium – 125°F
  • Medium Well – 130°F
  • Well Done – Not Recommended

*Remember, the steaks will continue to cook when they are taken off the grill. Therefore, it is important to remove them early so that the desired doneness can be obtained.

Remove the Tomahawk Ribeye steaks from the grill. Then let them rest for 10-15 minutes while you set up the grill for searing.

Increase the temperature of the grill by adding more charcoal and increasing the air flow until the grill reaches close to 600°F (315°C). As the grill heats up, wrap the bone in aluminum foil. This will help prevent the bone from charring.

Place the rested steaks on the grill, over direct heat. Sear for 2-3 minutes on one side.

Then flip and sear the other side for an additional 2-3 minutes. You want the outside surface to develop a nice char for additional flavor.

Remove the steaks from the grill and serve immediately. There is no need to rest the steaks at this point, as they have already had their resting period.

searing a tomahawk steak on a grill
The reverse sear method of grilling a mostly cooked steak on a grill is the absolute best way to get a mouth-watering, tender steak that is cooked to perfection.

Helpful Tips

  1. Be sure that the steaks are at room temperature before placing them on the grill.
  2. Get the grill to maintain a consistent temperature of 350°F before cooking the steaks.
  3. Do not open the lid to keep checking on the steaks.
  4. Use a Probe Food Thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the steaks.
  5. In order to get the best Tomahawk steaks, allow them to rest for 10-15 minutes after being removed from the grill and before reverse searing.
  6. Wrap the bone in foil before searing to prevent it from charring.
  7. When you first slice into the steak, it may look overdone. Don’t panic. The middle of the steak will return to the light pink center that you want as you continue to slice it.
  8. Store leftovers in an air-tight container. Slice it thinly and reheat on a griddle for 1-2 minutes for best results.
  9. Serve with a baked potato or a Grilled Potato Pack, Grilled Vegetables or a side salad.

Enjoy!

Mary and Jim

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The Best Grilled Tomahawk Steak Recipe

grill tomahawk steak

Ingredients

  • 2 Tomahawk Steaks, each about 2 inches thick
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove the steak from the packaging and cover both sides with a 50/50 mix of Kosher Salt and Fresh ground, coarse black pepper. Let the steak come to room temp while you start the grill.
  2. Light a charcoal grill and set the temp to maintain 350°F. If you are using a Big Green Egg or Kamado grill place the heat deflector over the coals. For a charcoal grill, rake the coals to one side of the grill which will allow you to grill the steaks on the indirect heat side. Optional: Add a few Hickory or Mesquite wood chip for a sight hint of flavor to your steaks.  
  3. Once the grill is holding temperature, put the Tomahawk Ribeye steaks on the indirect side of the grates. For the BGE, place the steaks over the heat deflector. Close the lid and let it cook until the internal temperature measures 125°F (51°C) for medium doneness.
  4. When cooking on a BGE, it will take about an hour to achieve this temperature. However, because all grills are different, check the steaks internal temperature after 30 minutes of cooking. Then flip the steaks and continue to cook until the desired internal temperature is reached.
  5. Doneness Guideline: For medium-rare - remove the steaks at 120°F. Medium - 125°F. Medium Well - 130°F. *Remember, the steaks will continue to cook when they are taken off the grill. Therefore, it is important to remove them early so that the desired doneness can be obtained.
  6. Remove the Tomahawk Ribeye steaks from the grill and let them rest for 10-15 minutes while you set up the grill for searing. Increase the temperature of the grill by adding more charcoal and increasing the air flow until the grill reaches close to 600°F (315°C). Place the rested steaks on the grill, 2-3 minutes per side until a nice char develops on the outer surface.
  7. Remove the steaks from the grill and serve immediately. There is no need to rest the steaks at this point, as they have already had their resting period.

Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1/2 steak

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 29g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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