Tomahawk Steak: How to Grill The Perfect Recipe?

Meaty, insanely delicious, and large, tomahawk steak is a must-try for every beef enthusiast. 

It’s a type of steak that you and your whole family will enjoy when done right. Though on the pricey side, the tomahawk steak is worth all the effort and money for its deliciousness. 

Today, we go through a simple, tasty, and unforgettable way to grill sizzling hot and delicious tomahawk steak. But first things first, here are some details you need to keep in mind.

What exactly is a tomahawk steak?

It’s a type of steak cut between the 6th and 12th ribs of a cow. It has a 5-8 inch bone that is left intact on the steak when sold. This steak got its name from an ax, known as a tomahawk ax. Usually, it weighs 2-3 pounds and can feed a small family for dinner. 

The tomahawk bone that is sticking out is frenched, which means that the butchers remove the bone meat and fat. Frenching is more for an aesthetic appeal and presentation of the Tomahawk. What’s more impressive is the thickness of the steak. At a minimum, the steak is 2 inches thick.

What to consider when grilling the perfect tomahawk steak

To get a deliciously tasting tomahawk ribeye steak, you need to keep two essential details in mind.

Seasoning. Tomahawk steak gives you a lot of leeway on what to use as seasoning. You could go for classic black pepper and kosher salt or use bolder flavors like a sweet and sour glaze mix. It all depends on what flavors and tastes you are seeking.

When seasoning, ensure that you get all sides. This steak is meaty, and you need to be generous with your seasoning. Cover the top, the bottom, and the sides with generous amounts of black pepper, garlic powder, and kosher salt. We also recommend letting the steak sit for 30-45 minutes after you dust with seasonings.

Here are some seasonings you could include in your Tomahawk steak recipe

  • Thyme
  • Butter for glazing
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground mustard.

Temperature. As earlier stated, tomahawk steak is a thick cut of meat. To ensure that the inside cooks, you’ll need a non-traditional method of grilling the tomahawk steak. The 2-zone grilling method will save you the embarrassment and frustration of an undercooked or overcooked steak. 

With the 2-zone grilling method, you set your grill, whether coal, gas or electrical, to have two sides. One side should be sizzling hot, while the other should have lower temperatures. The hot side has burning charcoal directly under while the cooler side has no charcoal under it. The hotter grill side should be 500-600 ℉, while the cooler side should be 200-250 ℉. So why is it crucial to set the grill this way? 

The 2-zone method gives you the chance to cook tomahawk steak, slow and low on heat. You don’t want the outside crusting before the steak cooks through the inside.

The Recipe: Grilled Tomahawk Ribeye Steak with Sweet and Sour glaze

While you can use an electric or gas grill for this recipe, we will use a charcoal grill for a smoky flavor. Either grill will work just fine.

Course: Main course

Cuisine: American

Prep time: 30 minutes

Rest time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Total time: 1hr 30 minutes

Serves: 3 people


  • Charcoal grill
  • Saucepan
  • Foil
  • Basting brush
  • A serving platter


  • 1 Tomahawk ribeye
  • 3 cups low sodium bone broth
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 stick room temperature butter


Step 1: Prepare your grill in a 2-zone grill method and wait to reach the desired temperature. The searing hot side should be 500- 550 ℉, while the cooler side should be 200- 250 ℉.

Step 2: In a saucepan, mix the honey, vinegar, and bone broth. Cook on medium heat for an hour until the consistency is thick like a glaze.

Step 3: Sprinkle the pepper and kosher salt to all sides of the tomahawk steak. Be generous with the seasonings. Additionally, you could add a different seasoning if you like. Then let the seasoned steak rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. This allows for the flavor to be absorbed, and it aids in giving the ribeye a crusty and crispy finish.

Step 4: Assuming that the grill is at the desired temperature, place the steak on the cooler side. Remember, to achieve a perfect medium-rare steak- we need to cook slow and at low heat. This is known as reverse searing. Turn every 10 minutes, while using a probe thermometer to check the steak temperature. For medium-rare, internal temperature should be 125℉, 

Step 5: Once it reaches your preferred level of doneness, transfer it to the sizzling hot side to sear. Press down to make grill marks on the tomahawk steak and turn every 2 minutes. Baste the sweet and sour glaze on both sides. The steak should sear for 5 minutes each on the top, bottom, and sides. 

Step 6: When you get the right level of color and crispiness, remove from the grill, and lay aside to rest for 10 minutes or until ready to serve. Serve while still warm.

How to present a grilled Tomahawk Steak Ribeye

Now that the grilling part is over, it’s time to make an impressive presentation. The extended bone is pleasing to the eyes and gives you a lot of leeway on presenting your tomahawk steak. 

Place your final, juicy, and crusty looking tomahawk steak on a large platter that accommodates the whole steak, including the bone. The steak looks great against the white of a palette. Garnish with parsley, coriander, or rosemary to further enhance the rich color of the steak. Finally, serve with a side dish of potato salad or roasted cauliflower rice.

Where to get the perfect Tomahawk steak for grilling

Your local grocery store will have a cut of Tomahawk steak, so definitely check there first. If they lack one, no need to worry. Just order online from Snake River Farm or an accredited producer on Amazon.

Tomahawk steak is one of those meals that you just have to try. Did you try out the recipe? Let us know how it turned out for you.