Go BIG with a Grilled Tomahawk Steak
There’s no better way to test both the power – and finesse – of our brand new Coyote Grill than by cooking a big fat Tomahawk Steak. A Tomahawk is a thick bone-in Ribeye Steak and as its name implies, it’s a huge hunk of meat that resembles a tomahawk axe. The long rib bone is french-trimmed, and when cooked properly, it’s tender, juicy and perfect for sharing. The Flintstone-sized streak also provides plenty of “wow factor” when presented, so if you’ve never had one, head to your local butcher soon and treat yourself.
Here’s how to cook the perfect Tomahawk steak every time:
Because Tomahawks are super-thick ( (2.5″-3″), they need to be grilled differently than most other steaks to prevent the edges to be over-charred and the center from being raw. Instead of searing on high heat first like most steaks, we prefer a two-zone cooking method starting with indirect heat. The steak will first cook on the cool side of the grill until almost medium rare to the touch (watch video for tips on checking doneness), then rest for a few minutes, then sear on the hot side of the grill for a minute or two to give it a final crispy char. Rub steak generously before cooking with some of our Ultimate Dry Rub to form a perfectly salty and spicy outer crust and top with a dollop of delicious herbed Compound Butter and you’re in for the ultimate steak experience. Here’s our simple recipe and how-to guide to make the perfect Tomahawk steak paired with grilled vegetables and crusty bread to sop up the steak juice.
- 1 large Tomahawk Steak (about 3-4 lbs. including rib bone) to feed 2-3
- Ultimate Dry Rub for steak and grilled vegetables (see below for recipe)
- Compound Herb Butter for steak and grilled bread (see below for recipe)
- Eggplant, Peppers, or other fresh vegetables for grilling with steak
- 1/2 loaf of good French or Italian bread for grilling
- 1 lemon – for zesting and juicing
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Remove steak from refrigerator about 30 minutes to an hour before grilling and apply Ultimate Dry Rub….an ice-cold steak won’t grill evenly
- Coat all sides of the steak generously with dry rub and let work into the meat at room temp for 15-30 minutes as you prep grill.
- Preheat grill to high on one side and low on the other…..the middle burner should be on medium low if there is one….the cooler side of the grill will be used to start the Tomahawk steak to prevent burning and flare up and to make sure the center of the thick steak cooks evenly. Give the grill 10-15 minutes to get to the right temperature on both sides. The hot side, which will be used both as an indirect heat source, and to finish the steak, should be scorching-hot to the touch when you put your hand on top of it; the cool side, which will be used to start the cooking should be hot, but not unbearable. (*see below for TIP on using a smoker box and hickory chips for added flavor).
- Wrap the long rib bone of the Tomahawk Steak with heavy duty aluminum foil to prevent burning and to make handling easier. Place steak on cool side of the grill and close lid with bone sticking out. Don’t open or move steaks for at 5-6 minutes (resist the urge to peak).
- With steak on the cools side of the grill , cut, oil and grill the eggplant and peppers and make the Compound Butter (see recipe below). Season vegetables with Dry Rub before grilling and place on the center rack to grill.
- After 5-6 minutes, flip steaks in same direction on grates and cook other side for 5 minutes with lid closed and bone sticking out. Flip vegetables as needed….you want a nice char on the eggplant and peppers.
- Use the “finger test” in the center of the steak to check for doneness…A rare steak is soft with no bounce back, medium bounces back a bit and well done is firm to the touch. We prefer medium-rare, and 12-15 minutes on the cool side of the grill is perfect.
- Be sure to hold steak up on the fat-cap side to render and char. Holding the bone while you do this will prevent flare ups as the fat renders.
- Once rare/medium to rare to touch, turn off the cool side of the grill and let steak rest for 2 minutes as the hot portion comes to temperature with the lid closed.
- Remove grilled vegetables and grill bread on the top level until crispy.
- Char steak for 2-3 minutes on the hot side of the grill until crispy on all sides. Move to foil-wrapped baking sheet, top with dollops of Compound Butter and rest under lightly tented foil for at least 5 minutes to allow juices to settle in before slicing or serving. Now is the time to clean your grill grates of any leftovers.
- To slice, use a sharp carving knife and cut across and get as close to the bone as possible. Serve the bone too for anyone who likes the tasty morsels and sprinkle sliced steak with a little extra Dry Rub.
* TIP: If using a smoker box like we did, pre-soak a handful of hickory chips in water and place the smoker under the grates on the cool side of the grill before ignition. Hickory provides a nice hint of smoke that enhances the flavor of the steak. You’ll know it’s time to grill when the soaked hickory chips ignite and start to throw off smoke (about 10 minutes)
Ultimate Dry Rub
Make this spice rub in bulk and use it on just about everything. It’s the perfect dry rub for steak, chicken, ribs, shoulder for pulled pork, burgers, shrimp, and grilled or roasted vegetables. It caramelizes and leaves a delicious crust on anything it touches. The rub is sweet, spicy, smoky and salty all at once. Season liberally and let the dry rub do its work for a few minutes…or overnight….before cooking If you don’t have all the spices listed, eliminate or substitute. Mix together the following to make about 3 cups total:
- 1 cup Kosher Salt
- 1/4 cup each Smoked Spanish Paprika & Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 tablespoons each – garlic powder, dry mustard powder, chipotle powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon each –cayenne pepper, ground fennel and coriander sees, ground clove, cinnamon
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in an airtight container or buzz the whole batch in a spice or coffee grinder if you have one. Store in cool place for up to 3 months and sprinkle before cooking.
It sounds fancy but compound butter is just softened butter mixed with other savory..or sweet ingredients and it’s the perfect topper for the Tomahawk steak, vegetables, grilled bread…or whatever you cooking. Chop a mixture of garden fresh herbs, garlic, a little lime zest, and salt and pepper. Place in cling wrap and twist and twirl into a tight package and refrigerate to harden. Slice and place over grilled steak for added flavor
- 1 stick room temperature butter
- 1 clove finely minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest (use a microplane if you have one)
- Freshly chopped herbs – we used chives, parsley, basil, thyme and rosemary
- Salt and and pinch of Dry Rub