What is Tomahawk Steak? | Bring Home The Bacon

What is Tomahawk Steak?

You have probably heard of Tomahawk steak, but have you actually tasted it? I heard about the great Tomahawk many years before I tried this wonderful cut of beef. The first time I tasted a Tomahawk steak in a steakhouse on my birthday a few years ago. When this beautiful piece of meat was delivered to my table I was in awe of its size but more importantly, I was astonished by the beautiful bone extending from the meat. I sliced into the steak and was pleasantly surprised at how juicy, buttery, and unbelievably tender the Tomahawk steak was. It is definitely a taste I will never forget.

In fact, I pick up a Tomahawk every time there's a special occasion, date night, or if a few friends are stopping by. I love cooking Tomahawk steaks and the gorgeous frenched bone always seems to spark conversation regarding what a Tomahawk steak is.

What is Tomahawk Steak? | Bring Home The Bacon

What is a Tomahawk Steak?

The Tomahawk steak is basically a bone-in ribeye steak. The steak is sliced between the 6th and 12th rows of ribs. This large cut of beef usually weighs 30-45 ounces. The bones are frenched by scraping the meat away from the bone and leaving a clean stalk that mirrors a Native American Tomahawk ax. Similar to other steaks, the Tomahawk has an excellent amount of marbling that makes it tender and juicy. Now that you understand what a Tomahawk steak let's move onto its origin.

Where did Tomahawk Steak come from?

Tomahawk steak or Cowboy steak can be traced back to the days when cowboys roamed the Rio Grande transporting their cattle from one location to another. Cooks on the cattle drives seasoned the steak laden with fat using Mexican spices. As you can imagine the steak would be bursting with flavour yet tender and juicy. Given its massive size, one may assume there are no benefits of Tomahawk steak. However, there are several health benefits of Tomahawk steaks.

Health Benefits of Tomahawk Steak

Tomahawk steak is filled with proteins that are essential to your body. Tomahawk is a complete protein meaning it contains all 9 amino acids. Amino acids are crucial to your body because they produce, service, and maintain cells, and play a crucial role in the growth and development of fetuses as well as children.

Fat makes up the other portion of the steak, in fact, forty percent of the fat found in Tomahawk is saturated fat. Saturated fat is associated with heart disease as it elevates the levels of cholesterol and triglyceride in your body, increasing your chances of developing heart disease. The other types of fat found in the steak are heart-healthy fats known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats decrease the levels of cholesterol in your body, in addition to lowering your chance of developing heart disease. The body uses heart-healthy fats as a source of energy and essential fatty acids. The body is unable to produce fatty acids which are responsible for reducing inflammation, managing blood clotting, supporting brain functioning, and helping the body to break down vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Tomahawk steak is rich in vitamins B 12 and niacin. Vitamin B 12 supports the formation of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, and neurological functioning. Furthermore, it is suspected to reduce the likelihood of contracting dementia and cognitive deterioration that occurs as we make the transition from middle adulthood to late adulthood. Tomahawk steak also contains niacin which supports the formation of red blood cells, neurological functioning, and maintaining a healthy digestive tract, as well as healthy skin and nerves.

Tomahawk steak is also an excellent source of zinc and selenium. Zinc is necessary for the body to generate energy, protein, and nucleic acid synthesis, and supports immune functioning and cell division. Tomahawk also contains selenium which has antioxidant properties that protect your cells from being damaged by free radicals. Moreover, selenium reduces pain caused by arthritis and decreases the risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

What is Tomahawk Steak? | Bring Home The Bacon

How is Tomahawk Different From Ribeye Steak?

The tomahawk and ribeye are basically the same steaks. The key differences between the two steaks are the beautiful bone extending from the Tomahawk steak and the size of the steaks. Tomahawk steak is significantly larger than ribeye steak. Tomahawk is 2 inches in thickness and weighs approximately 30-40 ounces while the average ribeye steak is 1-2 inches in thickness and weighs 16-20 ounces roughly.

How to Store a Tomahawk Steak

Storing raw meat is extremely important as it can give you food poisoning or contaminate other foods in your fridge if it is not stored properly. Tomahawk steak should be stored in its original packaging in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. If you wish to freeze your steaks wrap each steak tightly with plastic wrap or place the steak in a vacuum-sealed package. Frozen steaks last about 3 months in the freezer, stored any longer the quality of the steak will start to diminish. When thawing the steaks place them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days until they are no longer frozen and cook using your preferred method of choice.

How to Cook a Tomahawk Steak

Tomahawk steaks require little to no seasoning. A light sprinkle of salt and pepper will do, or you can draw inspiration from its history and use a Mexican spice dry rub. Tomahawk steak is cooked best by grilling or searing in a cast-iron skillet and completing the cooking process in the oven. You can even use a reverse searing technique nice to create a juicy tender steak with a golden crust fit for a king.

Reverse searing is a technique that cooks the steak in the opposite direction. The steak is slowly cooked in the oven using indirect heat before searing the outside of your steak using direct heat. This technique allows the Tomahawk to evenly cook by gradually bringing the temperature of the steak to medium-rare. The steak is then seared to allow the proteins and sugars on the outside of the steak to be transformed into the perfect crust. Follow these steps to cook the perfect reverse seared Tomahawk steak.

Step 1

Remove your steak from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. This will ensure that your steak cooks evenly.

Step 2

Preheat your oven to 275 F. Season your meat with salt and pepper or a steak rub. You can also give your steak a Mexican twist by using a dry rub consisting of spices like salt, Chile, and cumin.

Step 3

Cook the steak until it reaches an internal temperature of 125 F(medium rare) or according to your desired doneness remove the steak just before it reaches that temperature. Do not cook the steak for an extended amount of time, the steak will continue to cook during the searing process.

Step 4

Remove the steak from the oven and preheat your cast-iron skillet. A scorching hot pan is key to creating the perfect crust. Place your skillet over a medium-high flame and in 4 minutes your pan will be ready to cook your steak.

Step 5

Place your steaks in the scorching hot pan. Sear the meat on both sides until it reaches your desired level of crust forms. The meat will continue to cook to an internal temperature of 130 F which is medium-rare. Do not cook your steak above medium as it will result in a tough and dry steak. Remove your steak from the pan and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before you slice it. Serve and enjoy!

What is Tomahawk Steak? | Bring Home The Bacon

Take Away

The great Tomahawk is a juicy delicious steak best shared among friends and family. Tomahawk steak is the perfect conversation starter but more importantly, it is a taste that can never be forgotten. Once you’ve had your first bite of a hearty Tomahawk you won't be able to put your fork down.