Butcher’s Guide: What is a Tomahawk Steak?

  • by Omaha Steaks
tomahawk ribeye steak on butcher paper
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It’s the steak you see when you close your eyes and dream. It’s the steak that Fred Flintstone ate. It’s over the top. Larger than life. The ultimate. Omaha Steaks huge 36-ounce tomahawk ribeye steak is perfect for sharing with friends – use the long bone handle to enjoy this luxury steak yourself… caveman style.

The tomahawk steak, also known as a bone-in ribeye or tomahawk chop, is a well marbled, rich and buttery big, thick ribeye with a long bone still attached. Here’s the butcher’s guide to this steak lover’s favorite cut.

Cutting a Tomahawk

The tomahawk is carved from the beef rib – the same primal section as any other ribeye. It’s a very thick (at least 2 inches) steak cut from ribs 6-12 on the rib primal. This cut will include the longissimus dorsi (eye of ribeye), spinalis (the ribeye cap), and the complexus. You can learn more about the sections of a ribeye in our butcher’s guide.

The signature, extra-long bone is left whole and attached – and trimmed for beauty in a way that’s called “Frenched.” This means the bone is expertly cleaned of meat and fat by our master butchers. This resulting masterpiece resembles a ‘handle’ and that resemblance is where its namesake originates – the tomahawk axe.

The Omaha Steaks Tomahawk steak bone measures seven inches in length and acts as a barrier to help keep the juices in the steak. Plus, it looks badass.

tomahawk ribeye primal cut image

Why Try a Tomahawk?

The tomahawk steak is an incredibly tender steak with buttery, rich flavor. This section of the animal naturally collects more intramuscular fat, creating the beautiful white lines of fat – the fantastic marbling unique to the rib primal. This beautiful marbling adds a rich ribeye flavor and delicate buttery taste to this cut of steak. All Omaha Steaks are aged for 21-28 days to naturally add even more tenderness.

A tomahawk steak is a true visual and taste experience – a full 3 pound impressive masterpiece. Whether you enjoy the steak right off the bone and devour it like an epic meat lollipop or cut it up and share – you will love it.

Cooking a Tomahawk

Cooking a tomahawk can seem daunting, but follow these chef-tested instructions to get an easy, perfectly cooked steak. Make sure to completely thaw a frozen tomahawk steak by thawing in the refrigerator for 48-72 hours. Add foil to the frenched trimmed bone to prevent the bone from charring. Follow our directions for sear and slow roast or indirect grilling – your choice.

 Oven – Sear and Slow Roast:

  1. Remove tomahawk steak from vacuum packaging. Pat dry and generously season both sides of steak. Allow steak to set at room temperature for 1 hour. Wrap entire exposed bone in foil. Pre-heat oven to 250°F.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. When oil is hot, add steak to the pan and sear on both sides until well browned or 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. Place the steak on an elevated rack in a roasting pan. Roast for approximately 45 minutes for rare, 45-50 minutes for medium rare and 50-55 minute for medium. Verify internal temp using a kitchen thermometer. Allow 10-15 minutes resting time before serving.

Indirect Grilling:

Indirect grilling is a technique for grilling larger, thicker foods that might burn if grilled directly. When using this technique, place food next to, instead of directly, over the fire.

  1. Remove tomahawk steak from vacuum packaging. Pat dry and generously season both sides of steak. Allow steak to set at room temperature for 1 hour. Wrap entire exposed bone in foil. Pre heat grill, but only light one burner. For grills with three or more burners, light a burner on the side of the grill, not in the middle.
  2. Allow the internal grill temperature to reach 225 degrees. Place your steak as far from the direct heat as possible and close the lid.
  3. Indirectly grill tomahawk steak for approximately 45 minutes, flipping every 10 minutes until internal temperature is 125 degrees.
  4. When tomahawk has reached desired internal temperature. Turn two burners on grill to high. Place steak directly over hot burner, using direct heat for the sear. Flip every 30 seconds for 3-5 minutes or until desired level of browned crust develops. Remove from heat and let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Chef Tip: Save the bone for use in soups, demi-glace or beef broth. Simply wrap the bone and freeze to use when ready.

Try the epic Tomahawk ribeye steak today! You can thank us later.

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