Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Reverse-seared Tomahawk Steak

Lockdown Recipe of the Day: Reverse-seared Tomahawk Steak

If you feel the need to deal with your inner carnivore, what could be more satisfying on a grill than a massive, bone-in Tomahawk steak?

The tomahawk steak is a 5–8 cm thick cut of beef rib-eye that has 15 cm or more of extra rib bone attached and is French trimmed. It’s called a ‘Tomahawk’ cut because it resembles a single-handed axe or tomahawk and varies in size from about 700 g to 2.5 kg. Now that is man-sized and it looks very manly on the braai grid. It is also the perfect-sized beast to reverse sear for the best results.

It is great to share with a few mates or, if you are hungry enough, to try to eat on your own.


1 kg Tomahawk steak (or bigger, if you are Carnivorous enough)
50 ml olive oil
30 g fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 bitterly cold beers
A few rosemary sprigs tied together as a basting brush
50 ml melted butter


Take the steak out of the fridge and allow to come up to room temperature. Generously season the steak with the olive oil, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Place on a cool grill, off any direct heat and with the hood on, until the meat reaches about 10°C less than the desired final target temperature (see chart below), turning on all sides every 10-15 minutes or so.

While you wait, have a few of those beers with your mates.

When the steak is at the first target temperature, remove it from the grid and set aside to rest for a minimum of 10 minutes, uncovered. Don’t go mess up all your hard work now by doing something stupid like putting a lid on the resting dish or covering it in foil!

In the meantime, make a nice new bed of coals and ensure they are super hot.

After resting the steak, use the rosemary sprigs to baste the steak generously with the butter and then slap it onto the super-hot grill. Sear for about 4 minutes each side until the steak is crispy and brown on the outside. Once done (check internal temperature for final target temperature), take it off the grid, cut* along the bone to separate the meat, and then slice.

Serve with a couple more beers or a full-bodied red wine, some buttery baby potatoes and a decent coleslaw.

* There is no need to rest it again as you already did that after the slow cook.


Reverse-seared steak temperature and timing for 5cm-8cm steaks in a 120 °C kettle braai

Doneness In kettle Final temperature Oven time

Rare 40 °C 49 °C 40–45 minutes
Medium-rare 46 °C 54 °C 50–55 minutes
Medium 52 °C 60 °C 55–60 minutes
Medium-well 57 °C 66 °C 65–70 minutes

NB: All time ranges are approximate so use a meat thermometer. DM

Gordon Wright is a chef and author of two best-selling cookbooks, Veld to Fork and Karoo Food (Penguin).

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