Tomahawk Rib-Eye Steak

Tomahawk rib eye steak recipe

The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Rest: 10 mins
  • Serving: 1 to 2 servings
  • Yield: 1 tomahawk steak
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
461 Calories
39g Fat
24g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 to 2
Amount per serving
Calories 461
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 49%
Saturated Fat 17g 84%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 174mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 9g
Calcium 174mg 13%
*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 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." It's a classic steakhouse splurge, but can easily be prepared at home for much cheaper.

While a tomahawk steak is one of the more expensive pieces of meat available, it's worth the price. The rib-eye includes some of the most flavorful and tender beef, and the cut is sure to make a big impression. 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, flavorful, and tender piece of meat.

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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 butter (1/2 stick, unsalted)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (large sprigs)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for tomahawk rib eye
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  3. Pat the tomahawk steak dry with paper towels.

    Pat tomahawk down
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  4. Season very liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Let the steak come to room temperature.

    Season very liberally
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  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.

    Prepare the garlic
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  6. Optional: moisten a paper towel and wrap it around the steak's rib bone, then wrap aluminum foil around the moistened paper towel.

    Moisten a paper towel
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  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. 

    Rib eye
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  8. Using tongs and the bone as a handle, turn the steak over and cook another 3 minutes.

    Tomahawk ribeye
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  9. Transfer the steak to a baking sheet and place in the oven, roasting 10 minutes, or until the desired doneness is reached.

    Transfer to baking sheet
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  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.

    Ribeye
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  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.

    Add butter
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  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.

    Put sauce on
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  13. If you've wrapped the bone in the optional paper towel and foil, remove it now. 

    Ribeye
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  14. Carve the steak against the grain 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.

    Carve the steak
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  15. Enjoy!

Tip

  • Wrapping the bone in aluminum foil is an optional step that steakhouses do to give the bone a nice appearance if the entire steak is served to one diner. You don't have to do this, but it will make for a better presentation.
  • You may need to order a tomahawk steak from your local butcher or supermarket. While most meat departments carry rib-eye steaks, they may need to French the bone for you for a tomahawk.