Smoked Tomahawk Steak Recipe for the BBQ Grills

This smoked Tomahawk Steak Recipe shows you the best way to cook and flavour a large and expensive cut of meat – smoking Tomahawk steak slow and low.

Tomahawk steak is also known as Bone-in Ribeye, or if you want to be particularly fancy; Cote Du Boeuf.

Smoked Tomahawk Steak Recipe
Smoked Tomahawk Recipe

What is a Tomahawk Steak?

A Tomahawk steak is essentially a large ribeye steak on the bone. The appearance of the steak with the bone in is similar to  a Native American Tomahawk axe, hence the name.

It comes from the ribcage of the cow and contains muscles that the cow doesn’t use much. As a result this cut of meat is wonderfully tender and packed with buttery flavour. 

Some say that it is the true flavour of beef because of this.

What Cut is a Tomahawk Steak?

The Tomahawk steak is cut from between the 6th and 12th rib of a cow, leaving around 13cm or 5 inches of the rib bone still  attached. 

The bone length can be anything up to 50cm or 20 inches but it is usually cut to less than 25cm or 10 inches.

Where Can I Buy a Tomahawk Steak?

The best place to buy a Tomahawk Steak is usually going to be your local butcher. You may need to order in advance.

Supermarkets don’t tend to sell steaks as large as a Tomahawk steak.

That being said, it is possible to order Tomahawk Steak online from some great organic online butchers such as Cooks Venture.

How Do I Go About Smoking Tomahawk Steak?

We thought you’d never ask. We’ll take you through the process step by step. We know it can intimidating smoking such a large piece of beef, especially with the bone in it.

Tomahawk Steak Being Prepped for the Smoker
Tomahawk Steak Ready for the BBQ Smoker

Ingredients for the Dry Rub

  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder (or more if you like it hot!)

Dust your Tomahawk steak all over with the dry rub. Make sure you liberally dust both sides and the top of your steak as well. This will make for a lovely crunchy bark on your steak. 

Now leave it for 30 minutes to infuse the flavours while you light your barbecue/smoker.

Smoked Tomahawk Steak Dry Rub Marinade

Get your smoker up to 135°C or 275°F. Add some Hickory wood to give you a more intense smoke flavour. 

Put your Tomahawk steak on the smoker for about 2 hours but more importantly until the internal temperature reaches 63°C or 145℉  for medium rare.

You’ll need to turn your Tomahawk steak halfway through the cooking also. 

Place your steak directly onto the grills and press down a little to get the perfect sear. 

We recommend you brush your steak with a garlic rosemary butter a few times during the cook to stop it drying out and keep it moist.

You can make the garlic butter easily in a pan or just set a baking tray or aluminium container in the smoker beside your meat. 

All you have to do is add fresh rosemary sprigs, half a pack of butter, as well as about 6-7 peeled garlic cloves. 

They will take on the fantastic smoky, hickory and beef flavours and begin to bubble. You can baste your Tomahawk steak with this smoky herby butter. 

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your Tomahawk steak. Don’t put it directly into the fat pocket in the centre of the steak or you will get a false reading. 

Put your meat thermometer into the top crust of your steak to get the most accurate reading. 

Once you have checked your meat and are happy with the internal temperature, you can take it off the grills.

Rest your steak on a wooden chopping board for around 20 minutes. 

The internal temperature of your steak will go up for a little while, and then return to around the temperature we need for medium rare.

How to Cut Tomahawk Steak

Now it’s time to slice your meat. Sharpen your knife and try to cut your meat into slices of the size that suits you.

Most people prefer to slice their Tomahawk steaks into thin slices but the best advice we can give you is to slice your steak into the sizes that fit you.

This will be influenced by your guests and their respective appetites, you’ll know what to do to make the best of your Tomahawk steak slices.

It’s a good amount of steak so it will feed quite a few people – 8-10 depending on the side dishes you put with it. 

When slicing any steak always cut against the grain. The grain is the direction the fat and muscle tissues travel in – so slice in the opposite direction from this.

Smoked Tomahawk Steak Recipe Sliced Against the Grain
Tomahawk Steak Recipe Sliced Against the Grain

It’s great to serve with Baked potatoes, fries, corn on the cob, Mashed potatoes, and maybe BBQ baked beans.

Why are Tomahawk Steaks so Popular?

Although Tomahawk steaks are expensive they are popular because of their arresting appearance. They really make quite the spectacle – it’s Steak Theatre if you will!

Can you Smoke Tomahawk Steaks?

You certainly can, and it’s a really great way to infuse even more flavour into this magnificent piece of meat.

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Tomahawk Steaks Ready for Smoking on the Pellet Grills

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Ronald Williams says:

    I got to try this

    1. It’s well worth it – a really buttery full flavoured cut of meat. Let us know how it goes!

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