What is tomahawk steak?

Tomahawk Steak Butchery

There are many different types of steak out there, which can make it difficult for those just starting to dip their toes in. Especially when some are called Picanha, filet mignon, and côte de boeuf. Without any knowledge of meat and butchery, how am I supposed to choose? And what on earth is a tomahawk steak?

Luckily, we’ve written this blog as a guide to one of the most highly regarded steaks out there – tomahawk steak. You’ll learn which part of the animal it comes from, why it’s so delicious, and how we recommend serving.

Tomahawk steak is a cut that comes from the same primal section as ribeye. The muscles surrounding the ribcage are some of the least used by the cow, making for incredibly tender meat. The main difference from ribeye is that this steak comes with the big rib bone attached. For tomahawk steaks, this often comes from between the cow’s sixth and twelfth ribs.

The steak itself is thick cut, usually around 2 inches, although this will vary depending on size. This is because the steak is cut to the thickness of the rib. Our tomahawk steaks are available in sizes between 1-1.5kg and aged for 2-4 weeks.

Most tomahawk steaks that you’ll find are French trimmed. This is the process that removes any traces of fat and meat from the bone, giving the steak a pristine look. When the steak is first carved, the bone can be as long as 20 inches. However, it’s usually cut down to be anywhere from 5 to 10 inches.

What Sets Tomahawk Steak Apart?

Tomahawk steak gets its name from hatchet-like appearance. A tomahawk is a Native American cutting tool that resembles a small axe. Having the bone attached separates this steak from many others, both in appearance and flavour. While the steak already has a deep and intense flavour due to its heavy fat marbling, the bone helps lock in these wonderful juices. The bone also adds its own depth of flavour to the meat as it’s aged and cooked.

You might be wondering, how is a tomahawk steak different to côte de boeuf? They’re both bone-in steaks that feature meat that’s very similar to ribeye. Where they differ is in size. Côte de boeuf typically tops out around 1kg and features a smaller protruding bone than tomahawk steaks. This makes is perfect for sharing on a fantastic date night. For 2 people we offer sizes ranging from 450g to 850g in 100g increments.

As a result, a tomahawk is better suited as a showstopper centrepiece for a BBQ event. Of course, with a longer handle you can also pick it up and eat it like a caveman if want.

How To Cook Tomahawk Steak

There are many ways to cook meat and it’s no different for tomahawk steak. Regardless of the cooking method, you should first ensure your meat is room temperature. If thawing from frozen, this could take 2-3 days. Then season liberally with salt and pepper and wrap the exposed bone in tin foil. This prevents burning and helps with the presentation of the steak.

BBQ Method

  • As we’re dealing with a large thick piece of meat, the cooking starts off with indirect heat.
  • Light the grill and let part of it come up to an internal temperature of 225 degrees with no flames. If it has burners just light one of them.
  • Place the steak on the grill and close the lid.
  • Cook for around 45 minutes, turning every 10 minutes to ensure even doneness.
  • Once the steak reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees, increase the grill temperature to high.
  • Sear on all sides for around a minute each, or until a brown crust forms.
  • Remove from the heat, cover and rest for 10-15 minutes.

Oven Roast

  • Heat a tablespoon on high heat oil in a large pan or skillet. At the same time, preheat the oven to 120°C.
  • Add the steak to the pan and sear heavily on both sides for 2/3 minutes each.
  • Place the steak on a roasting pan with an elevated rack. Roast in the oven for 45-55 minutes depending on if you’d like it rare, medium-rare, or medium.
  • Remove and rest for 10-15 minutes.


  • Preheat the smoker with your wood of choice.
  • Place steak in the centre of the smoker and cook for around an hour.
  • Check the internal temperature registers around 120°C.
  • Sear on either a hot grill or skillet to achieve a good crust.
  • Rest the steak for 10-15 minutes.

What To Serve With Tomahawk Steak

When serving tomahawk steak, it’s usually cut away from the bone first. The steak can then be cut into generous slices against the grain and divided up among your guests. If you’re cooking for one or two people, you can simply leave the steak intact or cut it into two separate steaks for serving.

However, you opt to prepare your steak, it’s sure to go down a storm. The next choice is what to serve alongside it. The options we’ve put together are:

  • Asparagus
  • Garlic butter mushrooms
  • Peppercorn sauce
  • Chips (fries for the Americans)
  • Creamed spinach
  • Mashed potato
  • Broccoli salad
  • Sautéed green beans

Buy Tomahawk Steak

You likely won’t find tomahawk steaks in a supermarket. Instead, you’re better off going to your local or online butchers. The Village Butchers offers the best of both worlds by working with the best local suppliers, whilst also delivering all over the country. Shop online today.

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