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Tomahawk & Rib Steaks

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What is a tomahawk? It is a ribeye beef steak that has retained at least five inches of the rib bone. The extra-long bone creates drama and excitement, much like a rack of lamb. This is achieved by trimming the bone of meat and fat so it looks like a handle.

Beef: Filet MignonRib Eye SteakPorterhouse & T-Bone SteakTomahawk & Rib Steaks

The distinct look and flavor of a tomahawk

The unique look does not overshadow the cut's signature flavor, derived from the intense marbling. Other names for the tomahawk are “tomahawk chop,” “bone-in ribeye,” and “côte de boeuf.”.

Tomahawks are taken from the loin of a steer where two muscles outside of the rib cage run down both sides of the spinal cord. This non-weight-bearing muscle is also where porterhouses and T-bones are harvested.

Intramuscular fat and the large bone provide sweet, rich flavor and buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

What is a ribeye steak?

Rich flavor and tenderness are what define the ribeye cut. When compared to T-bone and strip steak, ribeye is almost always the fan favorite. The cut comes from between the loin and shoulder - ribs six through 12. Steak lovers delight in out-of-this-world fat marbling, packing incredibly rich flavor and exquisite texture.

Difference between a tomahawk and a ribeye

Besides the extended bone, the main difference between a tomahawk and a ribeye is the size. A tomahawk cut depends on the thickness of the rib bone, usually around two inches, and weighing in at around 35 ounces.

Rich flavor and tenderness define the ribeye cut. Delight in out-of-this-world fat marbling, packing incredibly rich flavor and exquisite texture. Ribeye is best cooked rare or medium rare.

Explore tomahawk wine pairings

Wines that go well with a highly marbled tomahawk steak include a young cabernet sauvignon. Another option is a pinot noir. Try a zinfandel or malbec for a more unexpected pairing.

How to cook a tomahawk

Many home chefs use the reverse sear method for tomahawks. Grab your salt and a meat thermometer for a five-star meal. Sprinkle with salt and cook on a grill. Remove from direct heat after searing to allow the meat to finish cooking. A cast iron skillet can also work when used on high heat for the sear and moved to an oven to finish cooking your tomahawk.

Summary of tomahawks:

  • Cut from the sixth to twelfth ribs
  • Average thickness is about two and a half inches
  • Up to eight inches of bone is left after trimming
  • Typical weight of a tomahawk ribeye is around forty ounces with the bone included
  • Well-marbled, tender and buttery flavor
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