Tomahawk Rib-Eye Steak

Tomahawk Rib-Eye Steak

The Spruce

Ratings (95)
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 1 to 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
461 Calories
39g Fat
24g Carbs
9g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If ever there was a steak that resembled cave-man food, it would be the tomahawk rib-eye. Also called a cowboy steak, the tomahawk is cut from between the 6th and 12th rib of the beef cow and weighs between 30 and 45 ounces. It's a bone-in rib-eye, and the bone is Frenched to give the steak its distinctive "handle." The tomahawk steak is best pan-seared and then finished in the oven. Just before the steak rests, it is basted with butter, roasted garlic and fresh thyme to result in a juicy and flavorful piece of meat.

Ingredients

  • 1 tomahawk rib-eye steak
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
  • 4 tablespoons/1/2 stick butter (unsalted)
  • 4 sprigs thyme (fresh, large sprigs)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  3. Pat the tomahawk steak dry with paper towels.

    Tomahawk steak.
     The Spruce
  4. Season very liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Let the steak come to room temperature.

    Seasoned tomahawk ribeye.
     The Spruce
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the garlic. Trim off the top 1/4-inch of the garlic head. Drizzle with olive oil, then wrap in a foil tent, and roast the garlic 30 minutes, until the cloves are soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

    Roasting garlic.
     The Spruce
  6. Moisten a paper towel and wrap it around the steak's rib bone, then wrap aluminum foil around the moistened paper towel. (This is an optional step that steakhouses do to give the bone a nice appearance if the entire steak is served to one diner.)

    Foil-wrapped tomahawk ribeye.
     The Spruce
  7. In a heavy skillet or oven-proof pan, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat until it's just starting to smoke. Lay the tomahawk steak into the skillet and sear 1 minute. (Step back a bit since it will smoke and spatter.) Lower the heat to medium-high and cook the steak 5 minutes, without touching it. 

    Searing tomahawk ribeye.
     The Spruce
  8. Using tongs and the bone as a handle, turn the steak over and cook another 3 minutes.

    Turned ribeye for searing.
     The Spruce
  9. Transfer the steak to a baking sheet and place in the oven, roasting 10 minutes.

    Tomahawk ribeye in the oven.
     The Spruce
  10. Use an instant-read thermometer to measure the steak's internal temperature--125 F for medium rare, 135 F for medium. The meat will continue to cook while it rests and increase by 5 to 10 degrees.

    Tomahawk ribeye temperature.
     The Spruce
  11. While the steak is cooking, add the butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the butter, stirring with a wooden spoon to distribute, then add the thyme sprigs.

    Roasted garlic and butter in hot pan.
     The Spruce
  12. When the steak is ready, take it out of the oven, and transfer it back into the skillet. Use a spoon to baste the butter and garlic over the steak. Turn the steak, and baste again. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, tent it with foil and let it rest 10 minutes.

    Finishing tomahawk steak in the pan.
     The Spruce
  13. If you've wrapped the bone in the optional paper towel and foil, remove it now. 

    Tomahawk Ribeye
     The Spruce
  14. Carve the steak, then drizzle with more of the butter and garlic. Or, if the steak is for one person, simply spoon the butter and garlic over the steak and serve.

    Sliced Tomahawk Ribeye
     The Spruce
  15. Enjoy!