Tomahawk Steak with Brazilian Steakhouse Blend

Tomahawk Steak with Brazilian Steakhouse Blend
Tomahawk Steak with Brazilian Steakhouse Blend

Go big or go home, so the saying goes. We were trying to decide what to make with earthy, pungent Brazilian Steakhouse Seasoning. Steak was, of course, the easy decision, since it doesn’t make sense to develop a steakhouse seasoning and not feature it with steak. But there are plenty of delicious cuts of steak, and even more ways to cook them. Now what?

We went big.

The Tomahawk steak is a ribeye that’s cut to showcase the long, flashy short rib bone. The ribeye is part of the rib primal, the supportive muscles that run under the short ribs toward the front shoulders of a cow. Tomahawks create a dramatic appearance; the steak itself is unapologetically thick, cut that way to retain the wide rib bone. The bone is frenched, a fancy term that means all the meat is stripped away and the clean, smooth bone is exposed, meant to mimic the handle of a tomahawk. It’s high-end eating with a caveman aesthetic.

Even though this steak looks intimidating, cooking it in the smoker is pretty straightforward—smoke it, let it rest, and then finish it on a high-temperature grill. We often hear of the finishing, browning, step described as “letting the surface sugars caramelize”, but that’s not entirely correct. What you’re trying to do is initiate the Maillard reaction. This is a complex series of chemical reactions that usually trigger in the presence of high heat. Proteins, sugars, and water in the steak attract one another, combine, and reconfigure to create a succulent array of rich, umami flavors and help produce a beautiful brown crust.

We recommend a few things for this steak. First, give it ample time to come up to room temperature. A Tomahawk is so thick it can easily stay cool in the middle, which could interfere with cooking times. Second, make friends with your kitchen thermometers and don’t be afraid to use them. Get your smoker to the right temperature either by using its attached thermometer or by using a surface gun, and get an easy-read probe thermometer so you can read the temperature at the middle of the steak. Third, we strongly recommend using a smoker. This recipe was written for it. And yes, this is a steak so it can be smoked and finished on a grill, but it’s a different process and the results we got with the dedicated smoker were outstanding. Fourth, give this steak the time it needs! This is perfection clad is a thick cut of meat; trying to rush it through to completion will most likely result in a product that is less than ideal, and this is too gorgeous a cut of steak to ruin. And finally, we do not recommend that you cook this steak above medium doneness. This is such a beautiful cut of meat that it should be presented in the best way possible; prolonged cooking times can really start to dry out the edges and create less desirable textures.

Serve this with some Smoked Pepper Compound Butter melting across the top of the steak, adding to the overall juicy savor. Don’t forget your favorite sides! This is an unforgettable steak when it’s cooked to perfection; it lends impressive flair to special meals, like birthdays or anniversaries, and looks great on a holiday table. Brazilian steakhouses celebrate the ways that well-prepared meat can display an enormous array of flavors and can evoke the ideals of a gaucho way of life, where the wide open plains beckon and there’s fresh meat on a fire. These steaks, deeply seasoned and flavored with wood smoke, with their enormous bone to catch the eye, speak to the visceral part of our hunter-gatherer nature. Only, they do it with elegant appeal.

 Print Recipe

Prep Time: 30 min.
Cooking Time: 150 min.
Cuisine: South American
  • 2 Tomahawk ribeye steaks, each approximately 2 1/2 inches thick
  • 4 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Brazilian Steakhouse Seasoning, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

1. Season Tomahawk ribeye steaks with 4 Tablespoons of Brazilian Steakhouse Seasoning; let it rest, uncovered, in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

2. Remove from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, at least 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the smoker to 225°F.

4. Smoke Tomahawk ribeye for an hour to an hour and a half. The internal temperature should reach 105-110°F for a medium-rare cooking temperature, or 115-120°F for medium. Don’t worry if these temperatures seem low; you will finish cooking them on the grill top to the appropriate doneness.

5. As the steak smokes, prepare a very hot charcoal fire.

6. Remove Tomahawk ribeyes from the smoker and allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes.

7. After resting, brush both sides of the steaks with olive oil and re-season steaks with remaining Brazilian Steakhouse Seasoning.

8. Sear steaks over very hot charcoal; cook for one minute, flip, and cook the other side for another minute. Then repeat for one more minute per side—a total of 2 minutes of searing on each side.

9 Take steak off the grill when the temperature reads between 125-130°F for medium rare. Let it rest again for a few minutes before slicing.