What Is A Tomahawk Steak?

You may have seen Tomahawk steak at your local butcher’s or in the supermarket. It is an impressive-looking piece of meat but can be notoriously difficult to prepare.

What’s A Tomahawk Steak?

But what exactly is Tomahawk steak, and how do you cook it to perfection? 

If you are interested in the perfect Tomahawk steak, then read on.

What’s A Tomahawk Steak?

Tomahawk steak is the cut of a steer from two muscles just outside of the rib cage. As these muscles are not usually used very often by the animal, this meat is particularly soft and tender.

Tomahawk steak is usually very thick, and it has the meat always has the bone attached.

Thanks to its tenderness, this meat can be a real treat for everyone who loves meat almost melting in their mouths.

However, the tender meat is also sensitive which means you will need to be very careful when cooking tomahawk steak.

As these steaks come in large chunks, you will struggle to cook them in a skillet or roast them in the oven.

The best way to cook your tomahawk steak is by grilling it.

What Cut Of Meat Is The Tomahawk Steak?

A Tomahawk steak is usually a two inches thick cut between the sixth and twelfth rib of a cow.

As this is often a fatty part because it isn’t used by the animal, the butcher has to trim the fat.

This cut of meat is cut with the bone which does not only give it a unique appearance but it also makes it taste much juicier when cooked properly.

What’s The Difference Between Tomahawk Steak And Ribeye?

What’s The Difference Between Tomahawk Steak And Ribeye?

Tomahawk steak and ribeye are often used interchangeably. This is not surprising as they are taken both taken from the rib area of the cow’s body.


Tomahawk steaks are effectively bone-in ribeye steaks. In comparison, ribeye steaks do not contain a bone, and butchers usually label these cuts of meat boneless ribeye.

This means that the most obvious difference between ribeye steak and Tomahawk steak is the absence of a bone.

Cooking Process

In addition, there is also a difference in the way you cook these two pieces of meat. 

You can cook both of these meats on a grill, it is better for your standard ribeye steak to be cooked in the oven.

This will bring out the meat flavors more. In comparison, a Tomahawk steak is better cooked with reverse grill searing.

This allows the extremely tender meat to be cooked to perfection.

It’s important to say that the exact cooking process does depend on your personal preferences, how you like your meat, and also the grill and devices you have available.

Cooking Times

These two different cooking methods mean that the cooking time of these two meat cuts also vary.

As the bone in the Tomahawk steak acts as a kind of insulator to the meat, it takes much longer to cook this type of steak.


Due to the slow cooking time and gentle grilling, a Tomahawk steak is much juicier than a ribeye steak.

This may not be a favorite with everyone but if you enjoy your steak juicy, then a Tomahawk cut is a great choice.


As mentioned already, the Tomahawk steak contains a bone, making it look more interesting on the plate.

However, as the ribeye steak can look beautifully caramelized on both sides, it is likely to also please many meat lovers.

What Does A Tomahawk Steak Taste Like?

Thanks to its tenderness, the meat of a Tomahawk steak is very soft. It is often prepared with only a few ingredients because the flavor of the meat is almost buttery.

On the outside, the meat has a marbled appearance and the bone itself also adds additional succulent flavor during the cooking process.

This makes it an ideal choice for meat lovers who want their meat to melt in their mouths without adding too much additional seasoning.

It’s best to add only a little pepper and salt to Tomahawk steak.

Where To Buy Your Tomahawk Steak

You will find Tomahawk steak at your local supermarket or butcher. However, it is important to look out for a good quality piece of meat.

This is the reason why we would recommend going to your trusted local butcher. He will be able to offer the right size and the perfect quality.

What To Look Out For When Buying Tomahawk Steak

Once you found a trusted butcher, you need to make sure that you know what to look out for in a good Tomahawk steak.

Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when meat shopping.


Marbling is one of the important factors when buying a good quality steak. Marbling is the fat content in the meat. 

This is important because fat balances the flavor and the tenderness of the cut. That’s why, try to pick a steak that has a balanced, marbled center.


Color is another important factor when buying your Tomahawk steak. You need to make sure that you choose a cut that does not have brown spots.

Make sure that you can inspect the meat clearly. It can be difficult in some light conditions to see the correct color or marbling.

A good cut of meat should have a red to pinkish color.

Nutritional Value Of Tomahawk Steak

Typically, a four ounce Tomahawk steak can contain up to 2000 calories. This includes around 140g of protein and 150g of fat.

Saying this, the calorific value of your meat cut will vary depending on the cut size and the cooking method.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is So Special About Tomahawk Steak?

A Tomahawk steak is so special because it is one of the high-quality primal cuts. These are particularly tender.

As Tomahawk meat is cut from the ribs, it is particularly soft and juicy when cooked.

Why Is Tomahawk Steak Expensive?

The reason why Tomahawk steak is so expensive is because of its cut. Similar to rib-eye steak, Tomahawk is cut from the rib area which is hardly used by the cow.

This makes the meat especially rich in flavor, and very soft.


Tomahawk is not just a good-looking piece of meat but it is also very rich in flavor. With its unique cut from the ribs, it is especially juicy.

This means that you do not need to add a lot of additional seasoning to your Tomahawk steak. A pinch of salt and pepper are often enough to cook the perfect Tomahawk steak.

However, it is important that you do cook this meat very slowly, as overcooking could lead to the meat falling off the bone.


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