There are few things better than the flavor of perfectly marbled, juicy, beefy steaks cooked over an open fire. This grilled Tomahawk Steak Recipe gets a kiss of smoke from the flame that puts it over the top! Easier to make than you might think, so light that campfire and make this thick-cut steak today!

Medium rare grilled tomahawk steak sliced from the bone and served on a platter with garnish and arugula for serving.

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Ah, the mighty tomahawk steak – the ultimate steak lover’s delight. This massive hunk of meat is not for the faint of heart (or stomach), but if you’re ready to take on the challenge, buckle up and get ready for a feast. The beauty of this recipe is that if you have a fire, you can make it. 

This is the perfect camping recipe, but it’s also great for backyard cookouts! 

With its impressive size and mouth-watering marbling, this massive tomahawk steak is a showstopper that will have your dinner guests drooling with anticipation. So grab your apron and sharpen your knives because it’s time to show everyone who’s the grill master in town!

Looking for more mouth-watering beef recipes? Click the link to discover more delicious ways to satisfy your carnivorous cravings and take your steak game to the next level.

What Is A Tomahawk Steak?

Tomahawk steaks are huge steaks! They’re colossal ribeye steaks with a giant rib bone on them. Looking like a giant meat tomahawk, this is a specialty cut you’ll probably have to get from your butcher. The extra-long bone – at least 5 inches, is trimmed – or frenched – so the bone is clean. When it’s cut shorter, this steak is known as a cowboy steak.

This is an impressive cut of meat that’s extra delicious because of the bone. Also called a tomahawk ribeye, most grocery stores don’t carry these steaks, so you’ll probably need to order this from your local butcher shops or order them online. Give them a few days notice. And given these are just a bone-in ribeye steak with an little extra, they are only for special occasions.

raw tomahawk steak, a big ribeye steak with the untrimmed rib bone on a metal sheet.

Grilled Tomahawk Steak Ingredients

  • Tomahawk steak – Place your order with your local butcher a few days in advance. Or check out our reviews of the best places to order meat online.
  • Girl Carnivore Ooomami Seasoning – Or your favorite steak seasoning.
  • Salt – We love kosher salt.
  • Butter – use unsalted butter or level things up and use a compound butter recipe (like our steakhouse herb butter) for even more robust flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese – Freshly shaved to garnish (optional but recommended.)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How to Grill a Tomahawk Steak

Forget your patio gas or charcoal grill; for the perfect steak, you need fire. Real fire. Learn how to grill a steak like a pro. And check out the notes below for how to grill a tomahawk steak on a gas, charcoal or pellet grill.

Tip, start your fire early enough to give the flames time to subside and form coals. Too much smoke from the initial fire smoke will overpower the amazing beefy flavor of the steak.

  1. Build a campfire for 2-zone heat with a hot side with stacked coals and a cooler side. Put the cooking grate over the fire to preheat.
  2. Pat the steak dry and liberally season with salt. Let the steak sit out for about 20 minutes to warm up.
  3. Season both sides of the steak with GirlCarnivore Ooomami, then place the steak on the cooler side of the grill grates.
  4. Cook the thick steaks over indirect heat for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the steak reaches 120 degrees F, or about 10 degrees below your personal desired doneness.
  5. Transfer the steak to direct heat and sear it, flipping as needed to avoid flare-ups, until a nice crust forms on the outside of the steak and the temperature of the meat reaches 130 degrees F for medium-rare. If you have a large cast-iron griddle, this is a great way to lock in and edge to edge crust on your perfect steak. Alternatively, you can flip a heavy cast iron pan over and use the flat bottom to sear the steak – as the bone on the tomahawk doesn’t allow for the steak to rest evenly in standard skillet.
  6. Top with butter and let steak rest, tented with aluminum foil, for about 5-10 minutes.
  7. Slice the entire steak from the bone, then cut it into strips against the grain. You’ll need a cutting board for this.
  8. Serve topped with shaved Parmesan, freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of coarse salt.
  9. Dig into your perfectly grilled tomahawk ribeye steaks!


  • Getting the right kind of fire for grilling a tomahawk is essential, so don’t rush it! You need hot coals, not a raging inferno. Resist the temptation to load on more wood while cooking it, or the new smoke will overwhelm the meat’s flavor.
  • Add flavor to your steak by basting it with an herb brush loaded with fresh rosemary and thyme as it smokes.
  • Letting the steak sit out until it reaches room temperature will help it cook more evenly.
  • Do you know why steakhouse steaks are so damn good? Butter. Yup, every steak is topped with compound butter before serving. The butter adds a rich flavor, fresh herbs and garlic, and pools at the bottom to create an amazing sauce.
  • For best results, use a good instant-read meat thermometer to make sure you don’t overcook your steak.
  • Let the steaks rest! Resting time is important so the juices don’t come out of your perfect tomahawk steak!
Huge tomahawk steaks, rubbed with girl carnivore ooomami rub and on a grill grate over a campfire.

What to Serve With Grilled Tomahawk Steak

Who says you need anything with it? I love going GirlCarnivore on this cut of beef and filling up on rich, fatty, and oh-so-good steak. If you must have something else with it, try a pan of smoked Brussels sprouts, smoked mac and cheese, or smoked potato salad. We also love it with smoked cabbage, keto creamed spinach, or topped with smoked crab imperial.

Or go full surf and turf with a Maryland crab cake on the side or a grilled lobster!

Leftovers & Reheating

Do you mean you’ve got leftover grilled ribeye steak? With the size of this steak, we get it. Leftovers happen.

To store leftovers, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or place them in an airtight container and pop it in the fridge for 2-3 days, and they’ll be fine.

Serve the leftovers cold or warm them up gently in an oven preheated to 325 degrees or a skillet over medium-low heat so you don’t overcook them. They make great shaved steak sandwiches, chopped up into stir-fries or diced and mixed into scrambled eggs or breakfast burritos.

Campfire grilled tomahawk steak sliced and plated with shaved parmesan cheese and garnish on a rustic table


Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of this epic tomahawk steak recipe! If you followed along, you’re now the proud owner of some seriously next level steak-making skills. Whether for special occasions or just a fancy dinner at home, this juicy steak will surely impress. So fire up that grill and prepare to take your taste buds on a flavor adventure!

Have you tried this recipe? Do us a favor and rate the recipe card with the  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ and drop a comment to help out the next reader.

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​Tomahawk Steak Recipe

5 from 38 votes
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Master the art of cooking a show-stopping tomahawk steak over a crackling campfire, bringing out its primal flavors and creating an unforgettable outdoor dining experience. This guide not only walks you through the campfire method but also provides expert tips for preparing this impressive cut on charcoal, gas, and pellet grills, ensuring you can recreate this steakhouse favorite in any setting.


For the Tomahawk steaks


  • Fresh shaved parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper


Build the fire:

  • Build a campfire for 2-zone heat, with a hot side where the coals are stacked and a cooler side.
  • Place cooking grate over the fire to preheat.

Prep the steaks:

  • Pat the meat and bone dry and season liberally with salt.
  • Allow the steak to warm up for 20 minutes before grilling while the coals get ready for grilling.
  • When ready to cook, season the tomahawk steak on both sides with a liberal coating of GirlCarnivore Ooomami.

Smoke the steak:

  • Place the steak on the cooler side of the grill grate.
  • Smoke the steaks over indirect heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the steak is 120 degrees F, rotating and flipping the steaks as needed to not overcook.

Sear the steak:

  • Adjust your grill grate as needed to cook over the direct heat side of the grill.
  • Allow the grate to heat up about 5 minutes.
  • Sear over direct heat on both sides flipping as needed to avoid flare-ups, forming a crust until the beef reaches 130F.
  • Remove the tomahawk steaks from the campfire.


  • On a platter, divide the butter over the steaks to melt and tent with foil and rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Slice the steak from the bone and then into thin strips against the grain to serve.


  • Garnish with shaved parmesan, freshly grated black pepper, and a pinch of salt.


Campfire tips:
For cooking build your campfire with enough time for the flames to subside from the wood and coals to form. Cooking in the initial smoke will overpower the food and create an acidic burnt flavor. You want a bed of glowing embers, which will only produce a clear blue smoke, not dark grey smoke. 
For a Gas Grill: 
  • Prep the steak as directed above.
  • When ready to grill, preheat your gas grill with all burners lit. Clean and oil the grill grates. 
  • Create a two-zone fire by turning off 2 of the 4 of 2 of the 3 burners and adjusting the heat for around 250 to 275 degrees F. 
  • Place the steak on the cool side of the grill and cook as directed above. 
  • Sear the steak to finish by transferring it to the hot side of the grill to lock in a good crust. 
For a Charcoal Grill:
  • Prep the steak as directed. 
  • Pour lit charcoal on one side of the grill to create a two-zone fire. Nestle the grill grate back in place and clean and oil it.
  • Adjust the air vents and cover the grill with the lid to preheat the grill to around 250 to 275 degrees F. 
  • When the grill is preheated, place the tomahawk steak on the cooler side of the grill and cover it with the lid. Smoke the steak as directed. 
  • When ready to sear the steak, remove the lid and adjust the bottom vent for maximum airflow. Allow the coals to get ripping hot. 
  • Place the steak back on the grill and sear it, flipping as needed to avoid flare-ups and get and even sear on all sides of the steak. 
For a Pellet Grill: 
  • Prep the steak as directed. 
  • Preheat your pellet smoker to 250-275 degrees F. 
  • When the grill is preheated, smoke the steak as directed. 
  • When ready to sear, remove the steak from the pellet smoker and increase the heat to sear, over 450 degrees F. 
  • When the pellet grill is preheated, return the steak to the grill grates to sear it on all sides. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 1248mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, barbeque
Author: Kita Roberts

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Recipe FAQs


One tomahawk steak can feed 2, maybe 3 people.


Yes, you can cook a tomahawk steak on a charcoal grill, pellet grill or gas grill. Set up your grill for 2-zone heat, a hot and cool side, so you can reverse sear this steak by cooking it low and slow and finishing over the high heat for a good sear.

How do I choose the best tomahawk steak for grilling?

When selecting a tomahawk steak for grilling, consider the following factors like you would any steak:
Quality: Look for steaks with good marbling. Look for USDA Prime or Choice grades of beef.
Thickness: A thick-cut tomahawk steak should be 2 to 2 1/2 inches. Making it ideal for grilling, as it ensures even cooking without drying out the meat.
Freshness: The steak should have a vibrant red color, without any off-odors.

What is the best temperature for grilling a tomahawk steak?

To grill a tomahawk steak perfectly, you’ll want to use a two-zone cooking method, a hot side and a cooler side. Use the reverse sear method by grilling the steak on the cooler side of the grill (300°F to 325°F) and then searing it on the hotter side at the end. Cook the steak: Start by searing the steak over direct high heat (around 450°F to 500°F) for a few minutes on each side to develop a crust.

How long should I grill a tomahawk steak for the perfect doneness?

The grilling time for a tomahawk steak will vary depending on its thickness, the heat of the fire/grill, the weather, and your desired steak temp. Here are some approximate times for grilling a 2-inch thick tomahawk steak:
Rare 120°F to 125°F: 20-25 minutes total.
Medium-rare 130°F to 135°F: 25-30 minutes total.
Medium 140°F to 145°F: 30-35 minutes total.
Use a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temperature by inserting the probe in the thickest part of the steak, away from the bone, for the most accurate results to get your desired level of doneness.

Where do you temp a tomahawk steak?

Be sure to insert the probe of your meat thermotmer into the side of the ribeye steak opposite of the bone. Insert it about two inches, until its in the center of the steak for the most accurate reading. Avoiding touching the tip of the probe to the bone, as it will give an inaccurate temp.
And remember, careover cooking. The steak will continue to rise in heat, about 5 to 7 degrees as it rests.

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.


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5 from 38 votes (38 ratings without comment)

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