The Tomahawk Steak has become my favorite thing to grill this summer. These steaks are everywhere. Both Costco and my local grocery store have them on display. It features my favorite cut of steak, the Bone-In Rib Eye. And it makes it all fancy by frenching the bone.
The meat typically runs about 3-inches thick...so you can't just cook them up like a regular steak. Meat this thick needs to be cooked low and slow, so that the entire steak is gently brought up to 125º at the same time. While you can certainly do that in an oven, using a pellet smoker to bring it up to temperature infuses the meat with incredible flavor, thanks to the smoke from oak and mesquite.
To ensure that the steak cooks evenly, I put it on the kitchen counter a good 5 hours before my cook. If you leave it in the fridge, the cold center is going to throw off all of your cooking. You want the entire steak at room temperature before you hit the smoker.
Salt it generously when you take it out. Hit both sides and the outer rim with the salt. Then season it again with salt and pepper right before it hits the smoker. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding the bone. This is a precision cook and you are going to pull the steak at precisely 125º.
Once you've hit that temp, you are going to sear the meat. Remove the steak and crank up your smoker to high, then sear 4 minutes per side over the fire box. If your smoker doesn't get over 500º, then use your grill or a cast iron pan on your stovetop to sear. Rest the steak 10 minutes, where it will gently raise the temp to a little under 135º, a perfect medium rare.... then start cutting off your little slices of heaven.
- Five hours prior to cooking, remove steak from refrigerator and place on a wire rack over a sheet pan or foil. Salt generously on all 3 sides. Let steak come to room temperature.
- Pre-heat your pellet smoker to 225º approximately 30 minutes before you cook. I use oak and mesquite pellets...you use whatever you choose.
- Right before you put the meat in the smoker, season it again with the salt and pepper. Insert meat thermometer in the steak and place in smoker.
- Depending on the size of your steak, it should take about 30 to 60 minutes to hit the 125º temperature goal. When it does, pull steak, tent with foil and let it rest while you crank up your smoker to high.
- When your smoker is at 500º +, place steak directly over fire box and sear 4 minutes per side.
- Pull steak and tent with foil. Let it rest 10 minutes, then slice and serve.