Tomahawk Steak Rub

Tomahawk steak rub recipe

The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh

Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 4 mins
Total: 16 mins
Serving: 1 to 4 servings
Yield: 3/4 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
65 Calories
3g Fat
11g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 65
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3188mg 139%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 3mg 14%
Calcium 117mg 9%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 283mg 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.)

A tomahawk steak, or cowboy steak, is a huge (30- to 45-ounce) bone-in rib eye. It's a cut for the serious steak lover, and this rub recipe will make the experience even better. With a hint of earthy Indian spices, this well-rounded rub will provide a nice crust, while bringing out the meat's natural flavors.

Although it's quick and easy to make, the rub recipe requires a bit more than simply mixing a bunch of dried spices in a bowl. First, you'll want to toast and grind the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds with cardamom pods. Those spices are then combined with a few staples from your spice cupboard. While garlic, onion, and mustard powders, paprika, parsley, sea salt, and black pepper are common in spice rubs, ground coffee is a surprising ingredient. It works rather well and perfectly marries the more common spices with the freshly toasted and ground ones.

You'll have enough rub for two large tomahawk steaks, and it keeps for up to six months when stored in an airtight container. When you're ready for that tomahawk feast, use the rub instead of other spices in a standard tomahawk steak recipe. Be generous with the seasoning and really rub it into the meat after patting it dry. Tomahawks are often best when pan-seared and then finished in the oven. Add a steak topper for a truly memorable experience. Since it is such a large steak, keep the side dishes simple and light; a salad or homemade fries should do just fine.


Spices to Toast:

  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds

  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds

  • 1 tablespoon cardamon pods

Additional Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons ground coffee, or espresso

  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for tomahawk sauce
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh
  2. Place the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and cardamom pods in a pan over medium heat. Toast until the seeds start to brown slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes.

    Place seeds in bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh
  3. Remove the spices from the heat and place them into a spice grinder (or coffee grinder). Pulverize into a powder.

    Remove spices from heat
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh
  4. Place the ground spices into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix together and use.

    Place contents into a bowl
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh
  5. Store rub in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to six months after the initial preparation.

    Store rub in an airtight container
    The Spruce Eats / Anfisa Strizh