Smoking Tomahawk Steak: A Guide to a Savory Delight

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Video smoking tomahawk steak

Are you a steak enthusiast looking to elevate your grilling game? If so, then venturing into the realm of a mouth-watering tomahawk ribeye steak is an excellent choice! Whether you’ve acquired a tomahawk from a local butcher or an online retailer like the renowned wagyu tomahawk from Snake River Farms, this article will serve as your comprehensive guide to ensure a successful cook.

The Reverse Sear Technique: A Culinary Masterstroke

When it comes to smoking a tomahawk steak, one technique reigns supreme: the reverse sear. This method involves a two-step process that guarantees a perfectly cooked steak with an exceptional flavor profile. First, the steak is slowly smoked using indirect heat, ensuring even cooking throughout. Then, the steak is finished off with a beautiful sear over direct heat, creating a mouthwatering crust. To delve deeper into the reverse sear technique, check out our detailed guide here.

Unleashing the Full Potential of a Smoked Tomahawk Steak

A well-executed smoked tomahawk steak is not only incredibly delicious but also visually stunning. It has the power to captivate both the taste buds and the eyes. Now, let’s dive into the essential details that will make your tomahawk steak a culinary masterpiece.

Essential Equipment

To embark on this flavor-infused journey, gather the following “school” supplies:

  • Small Baking Sheet
  • Cooling Rack
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Heatproof Gloves / Oven Mitts
  • Cast Iron Skillet (optional)
  • Aluminum Foil
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Understand the Basics: “Class” Notes

Welcome to our virtual classroom, where we’ll provide answers to common questions you may have. This information aims to equip you with the knowledge and understanding necessary for a successful cook. If you’re ready to get cooking, simply jump to the recipe below and begin your tantalizing tomahawk steak journey.

Tomahawk vs. Cowboy: What’s the Difference?

Though both tomahawk and cowboy steaks fall under the ribeye category, they differ in bone presentation. A tomahawk steak is cut between the 5th-12th rib bone, leaving a bone attached to the steak that measures several inches—a true showstopper. On the other hand, a cowboy steak is also a ribeye steak, but with the bone typically frenched, leaving only a few inches attached. Regardless of the distinction, both steaks require the reverse sear approach to achieve optimal flavor and tenderness.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before diving into the cooking process, gather the following ingredients:

  • Three-pound Tomahawk Steak
  • Kosher Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Optional – Steak Rubs (if preferred)
  • Melted Butter or Beef Tallow

Preparing the Steak: Dry Brine Magic

Preparing the tomahawk steak is a crucial step that significantly impacts the final outcome. Dry brining enhances flavor and allows the meat to shine. Begin this process at least a day ahead of time to maximize the steak’s taste.

Dry brining involves adding kosher sea salt to the steak’s surface, allowing it to draw out moisture, dissolve the salt, and eventually reabsorb it. This method seasons the steak from the inside out, resulting in deep, rich flavors. To dry brine your steak, place it on a cooling rack over a baking sheet and refrigerate it uncovered. For larger cuts of beef, like smoked beef tenderloin or reverse-seared picanha, dry brining is an excellent technique.

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The Smoker Setup: Unleashing the Flavor

A tomahawk steak can be smoked on a pellet smoker or any other traditional-style smoker. Whether you opt for a Big Green Egg ceramic charcoal smoker or a Yoder 640s pellet smoker, both can accommodate the reverse searing process. If you’re utilizing a traditional charcoal grill, light the charcoal fully and add wood chunks for smoky goodness. Set the smoker to indirect heat and dial in a temperature between 225°F-250°F.

Smoking the Tomahawk Steak: Achieving Perfection

Now it’s time to embark on the smoking journey itself. Follow these steps for a mouthwatering result:

  1. Place the tomahawk steak on the smoker grate and insert a thermometer into the center for precise temperature monitoring.
  2. Smoke the steak until the internal temperature reaches 110°F-115°F.
  3. Remove the steak from the smoker, place it on a baking sheet, and tent it with foil.
  4. Increase the smoker to high heat or preheat a propane grill for searing.
  5. Place the tomahawk steak on the grill grates, being cautious of flare-ups due to the fat cap.
  6. Flip the steak to achieve beautiful sear marks, ensuring to sear the sides to render off excess fat.
  7. Remove the steak when the internal temperature reaches your desired level of doneness. Keep in mind that the steak will experience carry-over cooking of about 5 degrees, so adjust your timing accordingly.
  8. Allow the steak to rest for 10 minutes, covering it with foil and adding a pad of butter for extra flavor.

Time and Temperature: The Perfect Duo

When smoking at around 225°F, approximately 25 minutes per pound is a reliable guideline to reach an internal temperature of 110°F-115°F. However, various factors impact cooking time, such as the initial temperature of the steak, its thickness, and the presence of hot spots within the smoker. Therefore, use time as a rough estimate and rely on the steak’s internal temperature as the ultimate indicator of doneness.

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Slicing and Serving: A Feast for the Senses

To bring out the best in your tomahawk steak when serving, follow these steps:

  1. Use a sharp carving knife to slice the meat away from the bone.
  2. For tender slices, remember to cut against the grain.
  3. To present the steak, place the sliced pieces on a platter, with the bone serving as an impressive accompaniment.
  4. Enhance the flavor by adding some additional butter or experimenting with our red wine compound butter recipe.
  5. For an extra touch of indulgence, sprinkle a little salt or dry rub over the meat.
  6. For more serving ideas and ways to amplify the steak’s taste, explore our article on 7 easy ways to add additional flavor to your steak.
  7. Complement this remarkable steak with kitchen aid mashed potatoes, grilled Brussels sprouts, or a delectable smoked mac and cheese recipe.
  8. Marvel at the merging of smoky flavors and a tantalizing grilled crust—a true symphony of taste!

Expanding Your Smoked Beef Repertoire

If you’re hungry for more mouthwatering smoked beef recipes, consider exploring our recipes for smoked beef shank or smoked chuck roast. These delightful dishes will further enhance your culinary repertoire and leave your taste buds yearning for more.

Embark on your tomahawk steak adventure today and savor a truly unforgettable dinner. So, fire up that smoker and get ready to experience flavor like never before!

To learn more about the art of grilling and smoking, check out Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ at Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ. Happy grilling!