Smoked Tomahawk Ribeye

  • By: Jack Mancuso

Smoked Tomahawk Ribeye

hen you want to receive a stunning “WOW” from your guests, a Tomahawk steak is the cut for you. It is simply huge. The perfect tomahawk steak isn’t difficult to achieve. Just give it a little love with barbecue rub, and it’s good to go.

What is Tomahawk Steak?

A Tomahawk Steak, sometimes called a cowboy steak, is unique because the ribeye steak remains on a long rib bone. It really does look a bit like a tomahawk axe. When your mind is on a dramatic presentation, the tomahawk is an ideal centerpiece. 

Getting to Know Your Steak

The Tomahawk isn’t all “looks.” The bone insulates the meat during cooking, resulting in a very juicy and flavorful steak. If you’re thinking about treating yourself, this steak is indulgent. It’s usually 2” think with great marbling. 

Grilling and smoking tomahawk ribeye is the way to go. It gives you the opportunity to obtain that coveted crust, rich with the barbecue rub(s) you put on it. My favorite all-natural blend is  Cuso’s Dirt® Seasoning, which I frequently use for this and other steak cuts.

Smoking Chips or Pellets

This steak holds up to the bold flavors of hickory. Oak is a little milder. Mesquite is earthy. Fruit woods like apple and cherry are mild and slightly sweet. Nut woods like pecan are, well, nutty! Pick whichever one you like. 


  • 1 tomahawk ribeye steak
  • Seasoning including salt and pepper
  • Olive oil


  1. Preheat the smoker to 225F.
  2. Let the tomahawk come up to room temperature while the smoker heats up.
  3. Apply olive oil all over the steak
  4. Season the steak**
  5. Place it in the smoker where there’s indirect heat
  6. Smoke for 2 hours or until it reaches your preferred level of doneness. 135F is medium rare.
  7. Rest the meat for 15 minutes
  8. Slice the meat against the grain for serving

** Other CusoCuts blends suitable for smoked tomahawk ribeye include:

PitMaster’s Memo: Why Buy Tomahawk Steak

Tomahawk steaks are a little pricy, but they are worth it. You don’t have to always get tomahawk steaks for special occasions. But when you do, making something like a double tomahawk steak is nothing short of impressive. You are creating a memory!

A properly prepared tomahawk steak is rich, tender, and juicy. Their size makes them sharable. Consider using them for a communal dining experience. 

For the passionate griller, a tomahawk steak is fun. You can experiment with time, temperature, char level, and rubs to discover your perfect recipe.

Side Dishes:

Beer-battered onion rings

Creamed spinach

Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

Mexican street corn

Roasted root vegetable medley


Berries (with whipped cream or ice cream)

Caramel apple walnut pie

Chocolate lava cake

Creme brulee

New York Cheesecake


Bourbon on the rocks


Hoppy IPA



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