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How to Grill a Tomahawk Steak

The massive and impressive 2.5-lb tomahawk steak can seem daunting to the average griller. It’s simple to grill a tomahawk ribeye using indirect grilling on your gas or charcoal grill for the perfect juicy and tender ultimate steak.

What is a tomahawk ribeye steak?

The tomahawk steak is a 36-ounce ribeye with a long 7-inch bone resembling an axe handle. This huge steak is well-marbled with a rich, buttery taste and tender texture. The marbling (those white specks of fat in the steak) will melt into the steak as it cooks, resulting in a juicy, tender steak with incredible beef flavor. Learn more about this impressive cut in our Tomahawk Butcher’s Guide.

How to Grill a Tomahawk Steak

How to grill a tomahawk with indirect grilling

Indirect grilling is a simple cooking technique for larger, thicker foods that might burn if grilled directly. You want your steak to cook evenly throughout for the perfect doneness with a juicy center and a great crust. The indirect grilling method involves places food next to, instead of directly, over the flames.

Indirect grilling with gas grills

For indirect grilling with gas grills, you will only light one burner. For grills with three or more burners, light only one of the side burners, never the middle burner. The steak will cook in the zone furthest away from the lit burner.

Indirect grilling with charcoal grills

It’s a more manual process to set up a charcoal grill for indirect grilling, but just as easy. Once your traditional or hardwood charcoal is lit using a chimney starter, set up a three-zone fire. Place the lit charcoal in the lower area of grill. Using a long, heat-proof tool push the charcoal to one side, putting most of the coals on 1/3 of the grill. The middle and opposite 1/3 of your grill should not have any coals in it. This is your indirect heat zone where you will grill your steak. The 1/3 of the charcoal grill with coals will be where you finish your steak with a quick sear for a great crust.

How to Grill a Tomahawk Steak

How to grill a tomahawk

1. Prep the tomahawk ribeye.

Thaw steak completely for 48-72 hours using the refrigerator method of thawing. Remove from packaging and pat the steak dry. Generously season both sides of the steak with coarse salt and pepper or Omaha Steaks seasoning. Don’t forget to season the sides of this thick steak too. Allow the steak to sit at room temperature for 1 hour after seasoning. Before grilling, wrap the entire exposed bone in foil to prevent it from burning.

2. Pre-heat the grill.

Using the indirect grilling technique, pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill until grill temperature reaches 225 degrees.

3. Grill the tomahawk.

Once the internal grill temperature reaches 225 degrees, place your steak as far from the direct heat as possible and close the lid. Grill in indirect heat for approximately 45 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes until internal temperature reaches 130 degrees for medium-rare doneness.

4. Sear for a great crust.

When the tomahawk steak has reached your desired internal doneness using our steak doneness guide and measured with a meat thermometer, it’s time to sear for a great crust. Turn your burners on high heat and use direct heat for the sear by placing the steak directly over the hot burners or hot charcoal. Flip every 30 seconds for 3-5 minutes or until desired level of browned crust develops.

5. Rest the steak.

It’s important to let your steak rest 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. This ensures every bite of your steak is juicy and tender. Enjoy caveman style and eat right off the bone or slice to share with family and friends.

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How to Grill a Tomahawk Steak

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