A tomahawk steak is what dreams are made of.

For a special occasion, it’s a great choice: cheaper than a prime rib, more impressive than a roast. And the best part, you can make a perfect tomahawk at home better than most restaurants you’re likely to find it at only half the cost. Home-cooked steaks are always the best steaks. Here is everything you need to know to buy, cook, or serve a perfect tomahawk steak.

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What is a tomahawk steak?

Tomahawk steaks are bone-in ribeyes, cut from ribs 6-12, with a huge length of bone left intact and the meat frenched up to get everything clean looking. Is it the same as a regular bone-in ribeye? Yes, but you eat with your eyes, and what can beat the sight of a 24″ centerpiece steak?

Where do you buy a tomahawk steak?

Costco is often your best bet to get a tomahawk if you want one right away. Our local Albertsons even has them.

The best place to buy any meat is your local butcher. All of the best steaks I’ve ever had came from local shops no matter where in the world I was. They may need a few days to get it ready or order it in, but it’s the best option. You can also try one of the many premium online butcher shops they have days days, we’ve tried a bunch and they’re always pretty good, you can even get wagyu steaks this way.

snake river farms tomahawk steak | www.iamafoodblog.com

Best sauces for steak

Some people believe in nothing but good ol’ salt and pepper. I prefer to change the taste of the meal as it goes on, so I start with a pure bite of salt and pepper, then move onto a nice steak sauce or other preparation. When we had our expensive steak dinner in Kobe, they served it 16 different ways. You can just make your steak with salt and pepper and serve it alongside a nice selection of steak sauces. Check here for our guide to all the best steak sauces.

How to cook tomahawk steak

You cook a tomahawk steak just like a normal one, the most important factor is to make sure it’s well tempered (rested to room temperature) so you’re getting the inside up to temp fast enough before the outside burns. It’s much better to get the inside right up to medium rare so you can sear without worrying. There are a bunch of ways of doing that, here are my favorites.

how to cook tomahawk steak | www.iamafoodblog.com

In the oven

Set your oven as low as it can go, about 250ºF for most people, and leave your steak in there for about 40 mins to an hour. If you have a meat thermometer or oven probe (more on that below) leave it in until it is 10 degrees lower than your desired final temperature. A chart is below as well for easy reference.

Sous vide

This one is easy: add your steak and any rubs, marinades you would like to a water bath and set it for 10 degrees lower than you want to end up at (see the doneness table below).The steak can stay in the bath for up to 8 hours, although 1-2 is usually more than enough, depending on how cold your steak was when it entered the bath.

On the grill

This one definitely needs a meat thermometer but also produces the best flavor in my opinion, espcially if doing charcoal. Move your coals to one side, or if using gas, only light up one side of the grill. Leave your steak as far away as possible from the coals or the burner on the other side of the grill and close it. Flip once in awhile to make sure you’re getting even heat.

Searing your tomahawk steak

Once you have your internal temperature up to where you want it, you’ll need to sear it. I like to always rest a steak before searing (more on that later). When searing, use as high of a heat as you can produce.

If you’re already grilling it, all you need to do is warm up the grill to max while you’re resting it, then move it over to the direct heat zone and grill it to the right color (for me, that’s 30 seconds on a side). If your steak was done sous vide or in oven, you’ll need to sear it on a stove (more on that below) or some other way – I use our 800 degree pizza oven.

searing tomahawk steak | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to sear a tomahawk steak on a stove

Cooking a tomahawk on the stove is difficult because of the bone. Even if your cast iron pan is huge, aka 14”+ wide, you’ll probably find it hard to contact the entire steak to the pan. You can buy a low side pan such as a plancha or this cast iron crepe pan. You can also try to squeeze it down as best you can, then baste whatever can’t touch with some butter.

The importance of a meat thermometer

When cooking steak, especially one that costs north of $100, a meat thermometer is essential. I recommend an oven probe that beeps when the target temp is hit. They can be really cheap, wireless app driven, or something in between. Personally I always go with the cheap option. If all you have is an instant read, be sure to check often to make sure the steak doesn’t get overcooked.

Steak cooking temps

For a quick and easy reference, when we have dinner parties in our house, our steaks are roughly done at:

  • Rare: 125ºF
  • Medium-rare: 135ºF
  • Medium: 145ºF
  • Medium-well: 155ºF
  • Well done: Don’t do this

How long to let steak rest for

When you apply heat to muscle fibers they contract and squeeze out moisture. Resting time allows the fibers to relax again, reabsorb some of the moisture, and generally produces a more tender and much juicier steak. You don’t necessarily need to wrap the steak in foil but allowing it to rest for 5-15 minutes after the main cooking process is absolutely vital. Longer is better. I prefer to rest my steak, then sear so it’s as hot as possible when serving.

how to cook tomahawk steak | www.iamafoodblog.com

Are thick-cut bone-in steaks better?

Without a doubt, thick bone in steaks are better. Often the meatiest, beefiest, most flavorful parts of the meat are right next to the bone. The thickness of the steak allows you to get a good medium rare/whatever finish you want on the inside while still getting the deeply browned thick crust of your dreams on the outside. The thickness of the steak makes it more forgiving: it’s basically impossible to overcook a 2″ steak without great effort and forgetfulness.

How big are tomahawk steaks?

Depending on which bone you get, tomahawks can range in size between 30 oz to 60 oz. In my experience, every tomahawk I’ve ever bought has been between 48 oz and 60 oz.

What is American Wagyu?

American wagyu are Japanese cows, hopefully Japanese black cows (called Kuroge Wagyu in Japan) that are raised and pastured in America. They can be full-blooded or cross bred with other breeds. It can range in quality from ordinary to amazing.

USDA Prime and Certified Angus are both easily as good, if not better, so there’s no need to hunt any specific cow down. With any steak, even and consistent (and copious) marbling is often a great sign of how good that steak will be. Grass fed is better than Grain or Corn fed/finished, as well, in my opinion. It makes for a more complex, satisfying taste.

tomahawk steak | www.iamafoodblog.com

Are they a scam?

Someday, someone will inevitably tell you that tomahawk steaks are a scam, overpriced, and that you’re just paying for a bone. And, they wouldn’t be totally wrong: a tomahawk steak absolutely goes for a premium over a regular bone-in ribeye steak at a restaurant. And, yes, it does taste more or less the same as a bone in ribeye.

But any large cut of steak also goes for a premium over a smaller steak of the exact same kind. Fewer people buy them, and that raises the price. I love tomahawk steaks because their popularity means they’re so much easier to come by than a good 2.5” thick cut bone-in ribeye.

If you’re making them at home, the price premium is much smaller and makes sense for a special home celebration or weekend meal. The moment you pull out out that giant tomahawk steak for the grill, everyone instantly smiles.

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How to reheat steak

To reheat a steak, just let it come to room temp on the countertop for about an hour, then sear and serve.

Side dishes

Is it even steak without sides??

We’ve also done ours with fish sauce and lettuce wraps.

Vietnamese tomahawk steak wraps | www.iamafoodblog.com

Steak long and prosper

How to cook a tomahawk steak | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to cook Tomahawk Steak

How to cook tomahawk steak perfectly every time
Serves 8
4.50 from 12 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 1 tomahawk steak 48-60oz
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter if desired


  • Let your steak come to room temp on the countertop. Preheat your oven to 250ºF or one side of your gas/charcoal grill on low. Season your steak with salt and pepper.
    tomahawk steak tempering | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Put the temperature probe into the thickest part of the steak (see notes if you don’t have a probe-type thermometer) then put the steak in the center of the oven or farthest away from the heat on the grill until it hits 10ºF below your desired temperature, flipping every 5 minutes or so. See notes for steak cooking temps.
    reverse seared tomahawk steak | www.iamafoodblog.com
  • Rest your steak for 5-15 minutes (longer is better) while you heat up your grill, pizza oven, blow torch, or cast iron pan.
  • Sear your steak until your desired color is achieved (about 30 seconds per side for me). Serve immediately with fixins and sauces, if desired.
    how to cook tomahawk steak | www.iamafoodblog.com


If you don't have a probe type thermometer, check with an instant read as you flip every 5 minutes.
Steak cooking temp
Rare: 125ºF | Medium rare: 135ºF | Medium: 145ºF | Medium well: 155ºF | Well done: ?‍♂️

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to cook Tomahawk Steak
Amount Per Serving (100 g)
Calories 291 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Cholesterol 80mg27%
Sodium 54mg2%
Potassium 260mg7%
Carbohydrates 0.01g0%
Fiber 0.01g0%
Sugar 0.01g0%
Protein 24g48%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. Sabrina says:

    whoa, I have to make this, I regularly make ribeyes, but have never ventured into Flintstone sized steaks, if only because it looks so fun! thank you!

  2. Tequila P. says:

    5 stars
    thank you for all the important info ..just recently purchase 3 an they are HUGE …fingers crossed?? hopefully next week when I make them they turn out Beautiful ❣️

  3. monte says:

    5 stars
    I’ve done Tomahawks only via “Eisenhower” style cook — directly on red hot coals. Get the fire HOT, season the steak (as desired), blow any ash off the coals on throw the steaks right on the coals. No flare-ups, nice external char, medium rare inside. I’ve done them in the backyard twice and on a car camp fire ring another time. Guests freak out a bit seeing them go right on the fire, but they also freak out when they start eating.
    Each time, perfect!

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