Unleashing Flavor: A Guide on How to Grill a Tomahawk Steak

Written by: Samir P.



Time to read 5 min


Grilling a Tomahawk steak is a culinary adventure that elevates your cooking skills and leaves a lasting impression on your guests. With its long, frenched bone, this massive, bone-in ribeye resembles a tomahawk axe, making it a show-stopping centerpiece for any barbecue or special occasion. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through how to grill a tomahawk steak that's seared to perfection, juicy on the inside, and bursting with flavor.

Selecting the Perfect Tomahawk Steak

  • Embarking on a journey to grill the perfect Tomahawk steak begins with a discerning eye at the butcher's counter. Opting for a high-quality cut is paramount, and visiting a reputable butcher or specialty meat market is the first step. Look for a well-marbled ribeye with a thickness of at least 2 inches, ensuring a juicy and flavorful result.
  • Marbling, the intramuscular fat, is a key factor in the steak's tenderness and taste. The fine threads of fat interspersed throughout the meat create a luxurious texture and contribute to the steak's overall succulence. As you examine potential steaks, seek out those with a generous distribution of marbling, as it promises a melt-in-your-mouth experience when cooked to perfection.
  • The Tomahawk steak's defining feature is its long, frenched bone, resembling an axe handle. This bone adds to the steak's visual appeal and imparts additional flavor during the cooking process. Ensuring the bone is intact and cleanly frenched indicates a well-prepared cut.
  • When selecting your Tomahawk steak, pay attention to the color of the meat. A vibrant red hue indicates freshness, while any brownish discoloration may suggest aging or exposure to air. The fat surrounding the meat should be creamy white, and the overall appearance should be inviting and well-presented.
  • In summary, choose a Tomahawk steak with exceptional marbling, a thickness of at least 2 inches, and a clean, frenched bone. Prioritize freshness, vibrant color, and an overall well-prepared appearance. Considering these considerations, you're poised to embark on a grilling adventure resulting in a show-stopping, mouthwatering Tomahawk steak.
Selecting the Perfect Tomahawk

How to Grill a Tomahawk Steak

Preparing the Tomahawk steak properly before grilling is essential. Remove the steak from the refrigerator at least 30-60 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. This ensures even cooking throughout the meat. Pat the steak dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture, promoting better searing and caramelization.


Seasoning is a crucial step in enhancing the natural flavors of the Tomahawk steak. Keep it simple with a generous coating of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let the steak sit for 15-30 minutes before grilling to allow the seasonings to absorb. For an extra kick, you can add a dry rub or marinade of your choice. Just be sure to maintain the natural taste of the beef.

Preheating the Grill:

Achieving the perfect Tomahawk steak requires a well-preheated grill. Whether using a charcoal or gas grill, preheat it to a high temperature, aiming for around 450-500°F (232-260°C). This high heat is essential for creating a beautiful sear on the outside while maintaining a juicy interior.

Setting up Two-Zone Grilling:

To control the cooking process effectively, set up a two-zone grilling area. One side should be a high-heat zone for searing, while the other remains cooler for indirect cooking. This allows you to sear the steak to perfection before moving it to the indirect heat zone for gentle cooking until the desired doneness is reached.

Searing the Tomahawk Steak:

Place the seasoned Tomahawk steak directly over the high-heat zone, using tongs to ensure an even sear on all sides, including the fatty edge. Sear each side for 2-3 minutes until a beautiful crust forms. The Maillard reaction, responsible for the steak's flavorful crust, occurs when amino acids and reducing sugars react at high temperatures.

Indirect Cooking:

After achieving a satisfying sear, move the Tomahawk steak to the cooler, indirect heat zone. Close the grill lid to maintain a consistent temperature, allowing the steak to cook evenly. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature, aiming for the following approximate ranges:

  • Rare: 120-125°F (49-52°C)
  • Medium Rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C)
  • Medium: 140-145°F (60-63°C)
  • Medium Well: 150-155°F (66-68°C)
  • Well Done: 160°F (71°C) and above

Remember that the steak's temperature will rise a few degrees during resting.

Checking Doneness:

For accurate doneness, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak, avoiding contact with the bone. Remember that the Tomahawk steak's thickness may result in varying temperatures from the bone to the outer edge. Aim for the desired doneness, but be attentive to the steak's temperature.

Resting the Steak:

Resist the temptation to cut into the Tomahawk steak immediately after grilling. Allow it to rest on a cutting board for 10-15 minutes. Resting helps redistribute the juices throughout the meat, ensuring a juicy and flavorful bite. Cover the steak loosely with aluminum foil to retain heat during the resting period.

Grilling Tomahawk Steak

Serving and Presentation

The grand finale of your Tomahawk steak grilling experience is the presentation – a moment where the visual appeal meets the anticipation of indulging in a culinary masterpiece. Follow these steps to ensure your Tomahawk steak tastes sublime and is a feast for the eyes.

Carving with Precision:

Before presenting your Tomahawk steak, master the art of carving. A sharp, high-quality knife is your ally here. Begin by slicing against the bone to create thick, succulent portions. With its impressive length, the bone itself adds drama to the presentation. Aim for slices that showcase the perfect medium-rare to medium doneness, highlighting the steak's optimal flavor and juiciness.

Plating Elegance:

Choose a large, well-designed platter that complements the richness of the Tomahawk steak. Arrange the slices thoughtfully, ensuring an enticing display. Consider the bone's orientation for added flair – letting it extend beyond the platter's edge can evoke a rustic, primal aesthetic. Leave some space between the slices for garnishes and sides, allowing each element to shine independently.

Garnishes and Accoutrements:

Elevate the visual appeal by strategically adding fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, around the steak. These enhance the presentation and infuse subtle aromas that complement the beef. A drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil can add a glistening touch, creating a sense of indulgence. For an extra pop of color, consider sprinkling finely chopped parsley or microgreens over the top.

Complementary Sides:

The Tomahawk steak deserves a supporting cast of delectable sides. Whether it's a vibrant medley of grilled vegetables, a crisp garden salad, or creamy mashed potatoes, choose sides that provide balance and contrast to the robust flavors of the steak. Arrange these on the platter or serve them separately, enhancing the dining experience.

Ambiance and Lighting:

Consider the setting in which you'll present the Tomahawk steak. Whether it's an intimate dinner or a festive barbecue, lighting plays a crucial role. Opt for soft, warm lighting highlighting the steak's textures and colors. Candles or fairy lights can add a touch of elegance, creating a captivating atmosphere for your culinary masterpiece.

In conclusion, the art of serving and presenting a Tomahawk steak celebrates flavors and aesthetics. With precision in carving, thoughtful plating, complementary garnishes, and a curated beverage selection, you'll transform a meal into a memorable experience that delights the senses. So, gather your guests, set the stage, and let the Tomahawk steak take center spotlight on your culinary canvas.

Presentation of Tomahawk Steak

About One Stop Halal

Welcome to your favorite Butcher Shop. We carry various butcher meat cuts that are hard to find elsewhere. We deliver to your doorstep anywhere in the United States within 1-2 business days.


Grilling a Tomahawk steak is an art that combines technique, precision, and a love for quality ingredients. From selecting the perfect cut to achieving the ideal sear and doneness, each step plays a crucial role in delivering a memorable dining experience. So, fire up your grill, embrace the sizzle, and treat yourself and your loved ones to the unparalleled joy of indulging in how to cook tomahawk steak on the grill. Your culinary journey awaits!

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