A Tomahawk Steak is not just any cut of meat; it's a culinary masterpiece that promises an unparalleled dining experience. At Cross Creek Ranch Premium Meats, we pride ourselves on producing the finest American Wagyu, ensuring that our Tomahawk Steaks are of the highest quality. In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you how to prepare and cook a Tomahawk Steak to perfection, complete with delicious side dishes and wine pairing recommendations. Get ready to impress your guests and savor the mouthwatering flavors of a perfectly cooked Tomahawk Steak.
What is a Tomahawk Steak?
This glorious cut of meat is actually a large ribeye steak that is specifically cut with about 8-12 inches of the rib bone left on it. The bone is "Frenched," a culinary term that means it is trimmed of fat and meat, making it resemble the handle of an ax. It's the same technique used on a rack of lamb. The bone not only gives the Tomahawk Steak its "wow" factor, but it also helps insulate the tender meat while it cooks, ensuring that every bite is as succulent as the last.
As a producer of premium American Wagyu at Cross Creek Ranch, we know that the key to a truly unforgettable Tomahawk Steak is the quality of the meat. Our steaks are renowned for their marbled, juicy, and flavorful texture, which makes them perfect for this recipe.
Preparing Ribeye Steaks for Reverse Sear
There are two crucial steps to preparing the steak, which need to be done ahead of time, so be sure to allow time for these important steps.
Step One – Salting and Dry Brining
- The first step to prepping this big steak is salting it liberally with kosher salt.
- Allow the salt to sit on the steak for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator uncovered. Place the steak on a rack on top of a baking sheet for best results.
At Cross Creek Ranch, we have found that salting (dry brining) improves the texture and flavor of nearly every type of red meat, not just steak. Why? It's science at work. When the salt is applied to the uncooked meat, the juices inside the meat are drawn to the surface. The salt then dissolves into that liquid, forming a kind of brine that is then slowly reabsorbed into the meat. The end result is an incredibly tender, moist, buttery steak loaded with flavor. This method works well on pork chops too.
Step Two – The Seasoning Rub
- Once the steak is done with the 12-24 hour salt brine, take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
- Prepare the rub mixture, which is a thick paste of olive oil, paprika, black pepper, and crushed garlic.
- Coat the entire steak and the bone area with the rub, return to the rack, and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200˚F.
How to Cook a Tomahawk Ribeye Steak:
Because of the size of this steak, the reverse sear method is the perfect way to cook it. Reverse searing involves slow roasting the meat in a low-temperature oven to bring it to the desired internal temperature and then finishing it with a quick sear on the grill to create a delicious crust and lock in the flavor.
Step-by-step for Reverse Searing Meat in the Oven:
- Place the spice-rubbed steak in a 200˚F oven, on a rack, over a baking sheet to catch any juices.
- Start preheating the grill to medium-high while the steak is in the oven.
- Check the steak after about 30 minutes, but it will likely take closer to 40 minutes to cook.
- We highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature.
- Cook until the internal temperature reaches your preferred doneness:
- Rare = 120˚F: a cool bright red center and pinkish toward the outside
- Medium Rare = 125˚F: a warm red center but still very pink and slightly brown toward the outside
- Medium = 130˚F: a warm light pink center with the outer portion brown
- Remove the steak from the oven and move it directly to the grill.
- Sear for 2-3 minutes on each side to lock in flavor and develop a crust.
- Let the steak rest for about 5 minutes uncovered before slicing. The temperature of the meat will continue to rise about 5°F during this time (also known as "carryover cooking").
How long should you let steak rest?
Resting the steak is an important step because the heat of cooking pulls the juices in the meat toward the surface. If you immediately slice into it after cooking, all of those flavorful, amazing juices will end up on the plate, not in your steak. Allowing your steak to rest will give the juices time to sink back in throughout the meat, keeping it moist and flavorful when serving.
How many servings are in a Tomahawk Steak?
The steak in our photos weighed in at ~3 pounds. This easily serves 3-4 people.
How to serve this steak:
Because the giant bone makes the Tomahawk larger than life, you should definitely include it in the presentation. It's the bow tie on the tuxedo.
- First, cut the steak away from the bone.
- Then, slice the meat against the grain into slices.
- Arrange the meat back around the bone so it appears to still be on the bone and serve on a large platter.
Follow our guide to create an unforgettable dining experience with the perfect Tomahawk Steak, made even more special with the finest American Wagyu from Cross Creek Ranch Premium Meats. Enjoy and bon appétit!