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How To Cook A Tomahawk Ribeye Steak

Meatsshirley byrdComment
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It baffles me that people pour steak sauce on their steak.  An excellent, even good steak well seasoned with salt and pepper and then cooked right is the best way to enjoy a steak.  Grill it, sautee it and finish in the oven.  So easy to make for such a delicious reward to enjoy.

Stove Top/Oven Method:  I used a cast iron grill skillet and finished this 2-1/2" thick steak in the oven.  

Charcoal or Gas Grill Method:  I have a second tomahawk steak that I will cook using a gas grill.  Stay tuned to find out which method offers better flavor.

About Tomahawk Ribeye Steak

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It's also known by other names:  cowboy steak, bone-in ribeye, and rib steak bone-in.  You should find it has lots of marbling, fatty deposits in the meat that render great flavors when cooked.  However, a "cowboy steak has a short frenched bone; the tomahawk, a long frenched bone." (from Certified Angus Beef cuts)

Cooking methods include grilling and sauteeing the meat.  A thick piece, such as the 2-1/4" piece I show here, should be finished in the oven after searing on a grill or sauteeing in a pan.  If left to cook on a grill, the outside can become well over cooked or even burned before reaching the desired doneness.

It's not an inexpensive cut but it does feed 4-6+ people based on the thinness of the slices.

About Searing Steak (or any meat)

There is an old myth that searing meat seals in the juices.  Current prevailing thoughts (after lots of testing) rebuffs this thought.  

What actually happens when you sear meat
When meat is seared, which means cooked at a high temperature over dry heat, it undergoes something called the Maillard reaction, which is a browning reaction. As the meat hits the hot pan, moisture on the surface of the meat evaporates and the meat undergoes a chemical change that results in a roasted or meaty aroma and flavor. Think of it as caramelizing the meat much in the same way that onions or sugars caramelize and change in flavor
— The

In Does Searing Meat Really Seal In The Juices? on the Kitchn, the article goes on to explain that juicy meat comes from fat content in the meat, cooking the meat to the right internal temperature and allowing the meat to rest.

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Do you really need to sear the steak?   

You don't have to.  However, here are three good reasons to do so:  1.  The visual appeal of browned meat.  2. The intense flavor of the browned crust.  3.  And the "tasty caramelized brown bits" left behind which can be used to make a pan sauce with an "incredible depth of flavor."  Just to be sure, if you don't have a grill, you can just sear the steak in a large skillet.

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The Recipe
Serves 4-6+ (depends on thickness of the slices)

Prep time:  5 minutes, Cook time:  15 minutes*
Tools recommended:  Indoor or outdoor grill, meat thermometer


  • 3-pound Tomahawk ribeye steak (This includes weight of the bone.)

  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat stove-top grill to very hot

  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

  3. Wash, damp dry and season steak VERY well with salt and pepper

  4. Allow steak to come to room temperature

  5. Sear steak on the grill on one side for 2 minutes or until a good crust forms

  6. Turnover steak and sear for 2 minutes

  7. Remove steak to a sheet pan and place on middle rack of oven

  8. Using a meat thermometer, cook to desired doneness. This will depend on the thickness of your steak.

  9. Helpful guide to internal temperature for cooking steaks from What's Cooking America:

    -Extra-rare or Blue (bleu)80 to 100 degrees F, 26 to 38 degrees C, deep red color and barely feels warm soft and squishy

    -Rare120 to 125 degrees F, 49 to 51 degrees C and center is bright red, pinkish toward the exterior portion, and warm throughout soft to touch

    -Medium Rare130 to 135 degrees F, 55 to 57 degrees C and center is very pink, slightly brown toward the exterior portion, and slightly hot yields only slightly to the touch, beginning to firm up

    -Medium140 to 145 degrees F, 60 to 63 degrees C and center is light pink, outer portion is brown, and hot throughout yields only slightly to the touch, beginning to firm up

    -Medium Well150 to 155 degrees F, 65 to 69 degrees C and is mostly gray-brown throughout with a hint of pink in the center is firm to touch

    -Well Done160 degrees F and above, 71 degrees C"

*Cooking Notes: 

Salt really brings out the flavor in a steak.  So salt liberally.  Remember, once steak (or any meat) is removed from the heat, it does continue to cook.  To retain juices in the meat, it's very important to let the meat rest.

Nutritional value:

"An 8 oz. (85 g) portion of cooked Rib-Eye Steak should have about 260 calories, with .75 ounces (21 grams) of protein and .67 ounces (19 grams) of fat"  From on Rib Eye Steak.


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