Tomahawk Steak vs Cowboy Steak: What’s the Difference?

Tomahawk steak and cowboy steak are both popular cuts of beef that are often featured in high-end steakhouses and restaurants. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences between the two cuts that make them unique.

The tomahawk steak is a large, bone-in ribeye that is cut from the front of the rib section. It is named for its resemblance to a tomahawk axe, with a long bone handle and a large, thick piece of meat on top. The cowboy steak, on the other hand, is a bone-in ribeye that is cut from the center of the rib section. It is sometimes referred to as a “cowboy ribeye” or a “bone-in ribeye” and is known for its rich, beefy flavor.

Despite their differences, both tomahawk steak and cowboy steak are prized for their tenderness and flavor. They are often cooked over high heat to sear the outside and lock in the juices, then finished in the oven or on the grill to achieve the desired level of doneness. Whether you prefer the dramatic presentation of the tomahawk steak or the classic flavor of the cowboy steak, both cuts are sure to impress any meat lover.

What is a Tomahawk Steak?

A Tomahawk steak is a type of beef steak that is cut from the rib section of the cow. It is a large, thick, and flavorful steak that is often associated with high-end restaurants and special occasions. The Tomahawk steak is named after its distinctive shape, which resembles a Native American tomahawk axe.

Appearance

The Tomahawk steak is a very large and thick cut of meat, usually weighing between 2 and 2.5 pounds. It is cut from the rib section of the cow and includes the rib bone, which is left intact to give the steak its distinctive shape. The bone is usually around 6 to 8 inches long and is cleaned of any meat and fat to create a clean and attractive presentation.

Cut and Cooking Method

The Tomahawk steak is cut from the same section of the cow as the Cowboy steak, but it is a thicker cut that includes the rib bone. The steak is usually around 2 inches thick and is cooked using high-heat methods such as grilling, broiling, or pan-searing. Because of its thickness, it is important to cook the steak slowly and evenly to ensure that it is cooked all the way through without burning the outside.

Flavor and Texture

The Tomahawk steak is known for its rich, beefy flavor and tender, juicy texture. It is a well-marbled cut of meat, which means that it has a high fat content that adds to its flavor and tenderness. The bone also adds to the flavor of the steak, as it releases its own juices during cooking.

In summary, the Tomahawk steak is a large and flavorful cut of beef that is perfect for special occasions or when you want to impress your guests. Its distinctive shape and rich flavor make it a popular choice for high-end restaurants and steak enthusiasts alike.

What is a Cowboy Steak?

A cowboy steak is a thick cut of beef that is typically taken from the rib section of a cow. The steak is also known as a bone-in ribeye or a cowboy ribeye. It is a popular cut of meat that is often served in high-end steakhouses and restaurants.

Appearance

The cowboy steak is easily recognizable due to its large size and bone-in appearance. It typically weighs between 18 and 24 ounces and is cut from the rib section of the cow. The steak has a large bone in the middle, which adds to its presentation and flavor. The cowboy steak is also known for its marbling, which is the fat that runs throughout the meat. This marbling gives the steak a rich, buttery flavor and makes it incredibly tender.

Cut and Cooking Method

The cowboy steak is cut from the rib section of the cow and is typically taken from the 6th to the 12th rib. The steak is cut with the bone-in, which adds to its flavor and presentation. The cowboy steak is best cooked using a high-heat method such as grilling or broiling. It is important to cook the steak to the desired temperature, which is typically medium-rare to medium. Overcooking the steak can result in a tough, dry piece of meat.

Flavor and Texture

The cowboy steak is known for its rich, buttery flavor and tender texture. The marbling in the meat gives it a juicy and flavorful taste, while the bone-in presentation adds to the overall experience of eating the steak. The cowboy steak is a favorite among steak lovers due to its bold flavor and impressive size.

Overall, the cowboy steak is a delicious and impressive cut of meat that is perfect for special occasions or a night out at a high-end steakhouse. Its large size and bone-in presentation make it a showstopper, while its rich flavor and tender texture make it a favorite among steak lovers.

Differences Between Tomahawk and Cowboy Steaks

Here’s a chart comparing the nutritional value of tomahawk steak and cowboy steak per 100 grams:

NutrientTomahawk SteakCowboy Steak
Calories250250
Protein26 g26 g
Fat16 g16 g
Saturated Fat7 g7 g
Cholesterol80 mg80 mg
Iron2.5 mg2.5 mg
Sodium50 mg50 mg
Potassium300 mg300 mg
Vitamin B60.3 mg0.3 mg
Vitamin B122.0 mcg2.0 mcg

Size and Weight

Tomahawk and cowboy steaks are both large cuts of beef, but they differ in size and weight. A tomahawk steak is a ribeye with the rib bone left intact, creating a long, curved bone resembling a tomahawk. These steaks typically weigh between 30 and 45 ounces and are usually 2 to 2.5 inches thick. On the other hand, cowboy steaks are bone-in ribeyes that are cut thinner and smaller than tomahawk steaks, weighing in at around 20 to 25 ounces and 1.5 to 2 inches thick.

Presentation

The presentation of these two steaks is one of the most noticeable differences. Tomahawk steaks are known for their impressive presentation, with the long bone extending from the meat, making it look like a weapon. They are often served on a wooden board or platter to show off their size and presentation. Cowboy steaks, on the other hand, are more modest in appearance, with a smaller bone that doesn’t extend as far from the meat. They are usually served on a plate with a simple garnish.

Price

Due to their size and presentation, tomahawk steaks are generally more expensive than cowboy steaks. The average price for a tomahawk steak is around $100, while a cowboy steak costs around $50. However, prices can vary depending on the quality of the meat and the restaurant.

Taste and Texture

Both tomahawk and cowboy steaks are cut from the rib section of the cow, giving them a similar taste and texture. They are both known for their rich, beefy flavor and tenderness. However, due to the size difference, tomahawk steaks are often cooked differently than cowboy steaks. Tomahawk steaks are usually cooked on a grill or in a cast-iron skillet to ensure even cooking throughout the thick cut. Cowboy steaks are more versatile and can be cooked on a grill, in a cast-iron skillet, or in an oven.

In summary, tomahawk and cowboy steaks are both delicious cuts of beef with their own unique characteristics. While tomahawk steaks are larger, more expensive, and have a more impressive presentation, cowboy steaks are more versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference and the occasion.

Which One to Choose?

When it comes to choosing between a tomahawk steak and a cowboy steak, there are several factors to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Occasion

The occasion can play a big role in deciding which steak to choose. If you’re hosting a fancy dinner party, a tomahawk steak might be the better choice. It has an impressive presentation and is often associated with luxury dining experiences. On the other hand, if you’re having a casual backyard barbecue, a cowboy steak might be more appropriate. It’s a hearty, flavorful cut of meat that’s perfect for grilling.

Personal Preference

Of course, personal preference is also an important factor. Some people might prefer the tenderness of a tomahawk steak, while others might prefer the bold flavor of a cowboy steak. It’s worth trying both cuts to see which one you prefer.

Cooking Method

The cooking method can also impact which steak to choose. A tomahawk steak is often best cooked using a reverse sear method, which involves slow cooking the steak at a low temperature before finishing it off with a high-heat sear. This method helps to ensure the steak is evenly cooked throughout. A cowboy steak, on the other hand, can be cooked using a variety of methods, including grilling, broiling, or pan-searing.

Overall, both tomahawk and cowboy steaks are delicious cuts of meat that can be enjoyed in a variety of settings. The decision ultimately comes down to personal preference and the occasion.

Leave a Comment