Spicy Tomahawk Steak Rub

Tomahawk Steak Rub
Sabrina S. Baksh/Regarding BBQ, Inc.
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
89 Calories
2g Fat
19g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 89
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7086mg 308%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 3g
Calcium 84mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you've ever seen a Native American tomahawk then you'll understand how this succulent cut of beef got its name. Shaped like a hatchet, this big, thick, delicious bone-in steak makes an impressive and filling dinner. A bone-in rib-eye steak, one tomahawk steak runs from 35 to 60 ounces, which makes it a generous plate for two, three, or more depending on how many side dishes you're serving and if the steak is the main dish or one of many proteins. Served attached to a grand Frenched bone, the steak surely makes a statement. If you want to throw an exciting dinner party and are adventurous enough to cook one of these cuts, we have the perfect rub to help develop a tasty outer crust and complement the beefiness of it without overpowering its natural flavors. Made in just 5 minutes, this mixture makes enough for 2 large tomahawk steaks. If you want to double or triple the recipe to have it at hand to season other cuts of beef, it can be kept in the pantry for up to 6 months. The chili powder is adjustable to your palate, so more or less of it won't change the quality of the rub.

Highly marbled and tender in texture, the tomahawk comes from the loin of the steer, a muscle that is less utilized than others, thus making it very soft and juicy. Its high amount of fat makes it very flavorful once cooked, with a buttery and mildly sweet finish that's only enhanced by the flavors of the bone it's attached to. Rib-eye and tomahawk come from the same cut, but the latter is cooked and served with the bone, plus it's usually thicker.

Although many agree that pan searing the steak and then finishing it in the oven is the best at-home method, others go for just grilling the cut, while yet another group of knowledgeable cooks strongly suggests the reverse sear method. Here you aim to evenly cook the inside first and then sear the outside last. No matter your preferred technique, tomahawks welcome generous seasoning, which you'll be adding with our rub. Use ample amounts of rub on the steak and allow 20 minutes to overnight in the fridge for the flavors to meld. Before cooking, allow your steak to come to room temperature. If you bought frozen steaks, place them in the fridge to thaw 2 to 3 days prior to when you're actually cooking them, then use the rub and place them on the counter to come down to room temperature.


  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) paprika
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) chili powder
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (10 to 15 mL) of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) sea salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

  2. The mixture will stay fresh for up to 6 months if housed properly.

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