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Sizzle Up Your Summer with Grilled Tomahawk Steak

Posted by Biz on May 1, 2024

Grilling season is here, and it’s my favorite time of the year! There's something magical about firing up the grill, gathering friends and family, and indulging in the smoky, charred goodness of outdoor cooking. And what better way to kick off this beloved season than by tackling the king of all steaks - the mighty Tomahawk.

Why Tomahawk Steak?

Picture this: a thick, juicy ribeye with the bone still attached, resembling a tomahawk axe (hence the name). It's a show-stopper, guaranteed to impress your guests and make your taste buds sing with joy. At first bite, you're greeted with a symphony of rich, beefy flavors that dance across your palate. The marbling melts effortlessly, infusing every mouthful with a luxurious buttery texture that's as indulgent as it is irresistible.

Sliced Tomahawk

When to Season Your Beef?

This is a big mistake a lot of people make when grilling. When to salt is critical. Salt is your best friend in grilling because it brings out amazing flavor. But, in order for the salt to work for you, you have to know when to season the meat.

A rule of thumb is this:

Salt and pepper your beef two minutes before it hits the grill.

Salt and pepper your beef 40 minutes before it hits the grill.

You may be thinking to yourself “why does that matter?” Well, the first two minutes the salt sits on top of the meat, then goes to the grill and sears to the beef. Nice. You’ll get an awesome salty flavor.

Starting at just three minutes in of salting the beef, the salt starts to pull out the moisture of the beef. If you cook your beef after three minutes or before 40 minutes, the pulled out moisture will either steam your beef in a cast iron skillet and you won’t get that gorgeous crust, or you’ll put it on the grill and all the juices run out on the coals and your beef won’t be as juicy. After 40 minutes, the juices will have had time to reabsorb into the meat and you are good to go.

Seasoned Tomahawk

Meat Thermometers

Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or you’re just learning how to grill, a meat thermometer is going to be your best friend. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I’ve both undercooked and overcooked meat when I didn’t have a meat thermometer handy. This is a grilling essential for me, and I highly recommend grabbing one if you don’t already have one. While there are fancy ones available, all you need is something simple like this one. I like my steak on the rare side, which is around 125F. But if you were to cook your beef to 125, by the time it rests, the residual heat will bring it up to 135 which is medium rare. Which is still perfect for beef in my opinion - however if you were to cook your beef to medium rare at 135, by the time it rested you would be at medium at 145. It’s important to keep the resting time in mind when reading temperatures, because it’s always going to cook a little more due to the residual heat.

Reverse Searing

I am a strong proponent of doing a reverse sear. This basically means that you cook the beef at a slower temperature for longer, and then finish it off under high heat to get a nice sear. This method has never failed me. Since this cut of meat has a bit of fat, I cooked it to medium rare. I pulled these steaks off my Pit Barrel Cooker at 115 degrees, then reverse seared them on my Weber grill so that the resting temperature was 125. Once cooled, they came in at 132 degrees.

Reverse Sear

How Long Should I Rest A Tomahawk?

For chops this size, I recommend resting the beef for 20 minutes before slicing. Whole roasts? I let rest for at least 45 minutes if not an hour. Filet mignon and New York strips? Only 5-10 minutes is needed. Letting meat rest after cooking is a crucial step in ensuring a delicious dining experience, and it all comes down to science and flavor.

When meat is cooked, the intense heat causes the muscle fibers to contract, squeezing out moisture. If you were to slice into a piece of meat immediately after cooking, those juices would spill out onto the cutting board, leaving your steak drier and less flavorful.

By allowing the meat to rest, you give those muscle fibers a chance to relax and reabsorb some of the juices that were expelled during cooking. This process, known as "carryover cooking," continues even after the meat has been removed from the heat source. As the internal temperature of the meat evens out, the juices redistribute themselves, resulting in a juicier, more tender final product. Resting also helps with texture and flavor retention – so please be patient and allow for the meat to rest before slicing and serving!

Cooked Tomahawk

Bring the Steakhouse to Your Home

The Chopping Block offers a variety of classes featuring steak every month, including Hands-On Steakhouse DIY on Friday, May 25 at 6pm, which would be the perfect class if you’re looking to impress or simply brush up your skills. And we have scheduled our most comprehensive grilling class dates for the summer, Grilling Boot Camp. Don't miss this day-long immersion into grilling with charcoal, gas and wood while learning tips and methods in brining, marinating, slow cooking, smoking, dry and wet rubs.

Get to Grilling!

And there you have it - the ultimate guide to conquering grilling season with a mouthwatering Tomahawk steak. Whether you're a seasoned grill master or a backyard BBQ novice, this impressive cut of meat is sure to elevate your summer gatherings to new heights. So fire up those grills, gather your loved ones, and get ready to savor every delicious bite. 

Learn more about Grilling Boot Camp

Topics: meat, Grilling, grind, beef, steak, grilling boot camp, meat cuts, tomahawk steak

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