It isn't just about looks, this Smoked Tomahawk Steak looks perfect, but it is also loaded with flavor. Whether it is an intimate romantic dinner or a celebration with the guys, reverse seared Tomahawk Steak delivers the perfect centerpiece to your meal.
If you're looking to elevate your grilling game, a smoked tomahawk steak is the perfect recipe to try. This impressive cut of meat, also known as a cowboy steak, is a thick ribeye with the bone still attached. It's named after its unique shape that resembles a tomahawk axe.
To take this mouthwatering steak to the next level, using a pellet smoker like a Traeger grill can add an extra layer of flavor and tenderness. The slow and low cooking method allows the flavors of the wood smoke to infuse into the meat while keeping it moist and juicy.
What is a Tomahawk Steak?
The tomahawk steak is a bone-in ribeye steak, that is cut to include a large piece of about 12 inches of rib bone. Sometimes they might be referred to as a Cowboy Steak or a Cowboy Ribeye. The large piece of meat, along with the drenched rib bone, make for a very impressive-looking steak. I love the ribeye steak. To me, it is the perfect steak. It is a tender steak with plenty of fat marbling that gives you great flavor.
What is reverse sear?
There are two elements to cooking, flavor, and texture. A reverse sear impacts both of those elements. The reverse sear method is when we cook a steak or other thick cut of meat, to a certain level of doneness. We could smoke, bake, sous vide. The cooking method doesn't matter so much as it is typically cooking at a lower temperature to start. Then we sear it over high heat to give it a perfect outer crust. The reverse sear will not only finish cooking the steak but also locks in flavor and juices. There are several different ways to reverse sear. The best way to reverse sear is with direct heat. Regularly I use a charcoal grill or a gas grill. Set it on high heat and let it preheat for 10 minutes. Then place the steak directly on the grill grates, watching the internal temperature of the steak with a meat thermometer to ensure that you don't overcook your steak. This is a great way to give you a nice crust and perfect flavor.
Alternate ways to reverse sear
You can reverse sear in your oven broiler. You can also reverse sear in a pellet grill, but that is usually going to be indirect heat. I will also use a cast iron skillet, but that typically won't fit the entire Tomahawk Steak. You can also use a flat-top grill, like a Blackstone. This is a great solution if you are doing several large steaks. Just place steaks on a preheated griddle top and flip to make sure you cook both sides of the tomahawk steaks.
Ingredients for Smoked Tomahawk Steak Recipe
Dry Rub - Salt, black pepper, smoked paprika. You can include garlic powder. Or use your favorite homemade steak seasoning. You don't need a lot of seasoning here. The flavor fo the beef and the flavor from the smoke are going to pack this one with a ton of deliciousness.
Tomahawk Ribeye Steak - These steaks are big thick steaks. You can usually find them from your local butcher anywhere from 1.5 - 3 lbs each. One steak will feed about two people. You want it to be at room temperature before beginning.
How to Smoke a Tomahawk Steak with reverse sear
Step One - First thing, Combine the dry seasoning in a small bowl and mix.
Then generously rub the dry seasoning all over the outside of the steak. Make sure that all sides of the steak are well seasoned.
Step Two - Place the seasoned tomahawk steak into your preheated smoker. Smoke the steak at 225 degrees F. Use an internal thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your steak.
Stick the temperature probe into the thickest part of the steak. We aren't smoking for a set period of time, we are smoking until we hit your internal temperature target. The times will always vary a bit because of the size of your steak.
How to determine your temperature target for the desired level of doneness?
Smoke the steak until you are 20 degrees from your final temp. I want to finish it at 135°F for perfectly medium rare. I will smoke the steak until the internal temperature reaches 115°F. Once your steak reaches your temperature target, remove the steak from the smoker and reverse sear.
Step Three - Reverse sear the steak. Place the steak on your preheated grill and sear on high. You will continue to monitor the internal temp as you sear it. I recommend starting out by searing no more than two minutes per side. If it needs to cook longer, you can flip the steak again and give it some nice crossing grill marks. Once the steak is five degrees away from your final temp, remove the steak from the grill and allow it to rest.
Step Four - Let the steak rest on a cutting board for five minutes. The internal temp will continue to rise to your final temp and this will allow the juices to remain in the meat. If you slice the steak too soon, all your juices will run out all over your cutting board, and your steak will lose its moistness. For the best steak you must let it rest.
Step Five - Slice and serve your steak. First, slice the ribeye steak off the bone of the tomahawk.
Then slice the ribeye against the grain. The last thing, for best results, sprinkle salt lightly on top of the steak slices for perfectly seasoned bites. Enjoy!
Spices - An easy way to vary this is to swap out the rub ingredients. Add onion powder. Add dried herbs like oregano or basil. You can try any steak rubs you enjoy on this.
Garlic - If you love garlic slice a couple of garlic cloves in half and rub the cut side all over the meat before adding the rub.
Are you a beef lover looking for another Smoked Beef Recipe?
- 1.5-2 lb tomahawk steak
- ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the smoker to 225.
- Rub the steak with the smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Smoke at 225℉ until the internal temperature of the steak reaches 115℉.
- Preheat the grill to high.
- Sear the tomahawk steak for 3-6 minutes on each side. We cooked until the center was 130℉ for medium-rare doneness.
- Let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.