Skip to Content

Home » Main Dish » Sous Vide Tomahawk Steak

Sous Vide Tomahawk Steak

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

What if I told you the best steak I have ever had did not come off my grill or oven broiler. Instead it was from my sous vide cooker. This long-bone Tomahawk Steak is beyond amazing. Such a rich, juicy flavor and tender all the way through.

steak on cutting board with knife/fork

You can create an unforgettable dining experience that will rival any five-star steak house.  This long-bone tomahawk steak will blow the minds of your guests!  Cooked to medium-rare, it is tender, juicy and and has a rich, flavorful crust. 

What Cut of Meat is the Tomahawk Steak?

You are probably familiar with the famed prime rib roast.  Butchers cut the tomahawk steak from the same section of the beef as the prime rib.  The tomahawk steak is a specialty cut.  It is a very thick cut of at least 2-inches.  

Tommyhawk Steak on platter, garlic and herbs, salt and pepper
Big Beef Ribeye Tommyhawk Steak

The bone is intentionally left long at about 20 inches to resemble an axe.  The butcher trims the meat from the bone to give it a neat, smooth appearance.  It is that long bone that makes the tomahawk steak an impressive, show-stopper! 

The average 2-1/2 pound tomahawk steak is not a ‘one-person” steak but will serve at least four people.  Another name for this cut of beef is the “cowboy steak” or a “bone-in ribeye steak”.  

How do you Cook a Sous Vide Tomahawk Steak?

Steak is considered the gold standard of sous vide cooking. If you made our sous vide ribeye steak then you know this is the way to perfection. There is no guessing with this method and you will get reliable, perfect results every time! This sous vide tomahawk steak is awesome both in flavor and presentation.

Here is a quick look at this easy process, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for the recipe card that gives complete instructions.

Step 1: Set the temperature:

First, you need to fill a container with water. The container needs to be large enough to hold the steak. Set the temperature of the sous vide to the desired doneness.

Here is a chart to help you decide what temperature you should set the sous vide at :

Doneness levelTemperature
Rare122-126°F
Medium rare129-132°F
Medium133-138°F
Medium-well140-146°F
Well-done147-150°F
VERY well-done154-160°F

All you have to do is find the degree of doneness you prefer your steak, then program the sous vide for that temperature. So, for instance, if you like your steak cooked medium-rare then you will want to set the sous vide to a temperature between 129°F to 132°F.

This is why your steak will come out absolutely perfect every time. You will always have your steak cooked to the exact doneness you like.

Tomahawk steak on a plate with seasonings.

Step 2: Prepare the steak:

Prepare the steak by seasoning it with whatever herbs and spices you desire. We do not recommend using fresh garlic in the sous vide for food safety reasons (read more about that below).

We are letting the steak flavor shine with a simple seasoning of salt, pepper, and fresh herbs but feel free to add additional seasonings. Here are some ideas:

Tomahawk steak in a vacuum sealed bag.

Step 3: Bag it up!

  1. Place the Tomahawk steak into a plastic bag. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer then you can use a re-sealable bag as long as it is big enough to hold the entire steak.
  2. Pad the bone. That long bone is sharp at the end and will puncture the bag unless you pad it with a wad of paper towels before vacuuming the bag.
  3. Remove the air and seal the bag. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer then use a straw to suck out as much air as possible. Another option is the water displacement system where you place the steak in a closable plastic bag and put the unsealed bag into the water which pushes the air out. When the water is nearly to the top, gently slide the bag closed. Boom! No air….
  4. Place into the water bath and cook according to your desired doneness.  Measure the thickness of your steak then check the table below to see how long it needs to cook.
Thickness of steakTime to cook
1/2 inch30 minutes
3/4 inch45 minutes
1 inch1 hour
1-1/2 inch1-1/2 hours
2-inch2 hours

Tomahawk steak and Sansaire sous vide machine in a water bath.

Step 4: Sear the steak!

Once the steak has cooked it is ready to eat. No need to fuss with a resting time! However, a good searing will put a rich crust on the steak making it a thing of beauty!

You can use the grill or the stovetop for the final sear. You can even use a blow torch if you want to be fancy. The most important part is to make sure the heat is REALLY HOT! Remember, the steak is already cooked so all you need to do is get a quick golden crust on the steak.

Tomahawk steak on the grill
Sear over hot coals

Leave the steak in the water while preparing the grill. The great thing about sous vide cooking is that it will not cook beyond the set temperature while in the water.

When the grill is hot and ready, remove the bag from the water and take the steak out of the bag. Place the steak on a work surface and pat the moisture off. This is key to getting a good crust.

Cook the steak close to the hot coals for 1-1/2 minutes, total, flipping the steak every 15-30 seconds until a rich, deep crust has formed.  Transfer the steak to a cutting board, slice and serve immediately.

Seared steak
Dinner time!

Other Cooking Methods to Finish the Steak:

We prefer to use our charcoal grill with a really hot fire. The recipe card below gives options for finishing the steak on a gas grill or in a stove top griddle.

If you choose to finish the steak on the stovetop be sure to turn on the vent and open the doors. Otherwise the smoke will set off your smoke alarms. However you finish the steak, be prepared for a great, delicious steak! ❤️

Tips for success:

  • Do not use fresh garlic in the sous vide. Fresh garlic is susceptible to botulism in anaerobic environments. Since the sous vide creates an anaerobic environment, it is safer to use dried garlic. Save the fresh garlic for the last step when you sear your steak.
  • Use a food-grade plastic bag. Strong vacuum seal bags work really well and come in all sizes. You can also use these sous vide bags or even a Ziploc bag. Just make sure the bag is big enough for the entire steak and it doesn’t contain BPA. If you choose a resealable bag,  Ziploc brand bags are BPA and dioxin free.
  • Pat the steak dry before you sear it. When you take the steak out of the sous vide, it will be moist. Make sure you dry it really well. A wet steak will just steam instead of sear.

SOME OTHER RECIPES WE ARE SURE YOU WILL LOVE:

  • Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Garlic-Herb Compound Butter:  Juicy beef tenderloin steaks cooked to a medium-rare and served with garlic-herb compound butter. The compound butter enhances the flavors of this tender cut of beef.
  • Steak and Lobster:  Steak and Lobster dinner for two! Thick, tender Eye of the Ribeye Steak and sweet succulent baby lobster tails. Serve with garlic butter sauce, fresh horseradish aioli, lemon wedges and sides of choice.
  • Our Best Lamb Recipes: Welcome to our Best Lamb Recipes!   Scroll through this listing and choose a recipe for a special event or a casual lunch.  No matter what cut you select or how you prepare it, lamb is tender and succulent and the flavor is awesome!

CONNECT WITH SAVOR THE BEST!

Be sure to follow us on our social media accounts

Facebook * Instagram *  Pinterest * Twitter * Youtube

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Drop us a comment below.

steak on cutting board with knife/fork

Sous Vide Tomahawk Steak

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Impress your guests! Serve up a sous vide tomahawk steak that will rival any five-star restaurant! This tender, juicy sous vide tomahawk steak is perfectly cooked to medium-rare with a rich, flavorful crust. The long tomahawk bone makes a mind-blowing presentation!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tomahawk steak 2-1/2 pounds and 1-3/4 to 2 inches thick, bone-in of 6-8-inches long
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thyme and/or rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon oil, avocado, grapeseed or canola, (if pan-searing)

Instructions

Set Up the Sous Vide:

  1. Fill a large water-proof container with water, place the sous vide inside, and preheat it to the desired temperature.  Rare: 120°F/49°C, Medium Rare: 131°F (55°C), Medium135°F(57°C). Refer to the chart in the post for more temperature options.

Season the Tomahawk Steak:

  1. Season the steak with salt and pepper.  Wrap a folded pad of paper towel around the end-tip of the tomahawk bone, securing it in place with string.  This will cushion the sharp bone from piercing the vacuum bag. 
  2. Place the steak into the bag and add the fresh herbs.  Remove the air and seal the bag. Place it into the water bath and cook according to the desired doneness temperature (refer to the chart in the notes).

To sear-finish the Tomahawk steak on the charcoal grill:

  1. Fill and light a charcoal chimney with briquettes. When the top charcoals are white and ready, tip them into the grill basin and spread them evenly in one layer. Adjust the grate to about 4-inches above the briquettes.  Close the grill lid and heat the grill for 5 minutes.
  2. When most of the charcoal briquettes have turned white and they are no longer smoking, remove the vacuum bag from the sous vide cooker and transfer the steak to a platter.  Pat both sides of the steak with paper towels to remove the moisture. 
  3. Open the grill cover and place the steak on the grill.  Cook for 1-1/2 minutes, total, flipping the steak every 15-30 seconds until a rich, deep crust has formed. Use the long bone and/or tongs to turn the steak. Do not sear more than 1-1/2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the steak to a cutting board, slice into servings and serve immediately.  

To Finish-Sear the Tomahawk Steak on a Gas Grill:

  1. Set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.
  2. Pat both sides of the steak with paper towels to remove the moisture. 
  3. Open the grill cover and place the steak on the grill.  Cook for 1-1/2 minutes, total, flipping the steak every 15-30 seconds until a rich, deep crust has formed.  Do not sear longer than 1-1/2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board slice for serving. Serve immediately.

To Finish-Sear the Steak on the Stovetop:

  1. Open your doors and windows and turn on the stove vent. 
  2. Heat a cast-iron griddle pan (the flat one without sides) set over high heat for 5 minutes or until it is smoking hot.  Meanwhile, remove the vacuum bag from the sous vide cooker and transfer the steak to a platter. 
  3. Pat both sides of the steak with paper towels to remove the moisture.  Brush a high-smoke oil such as avocado, grapeseed or canola oil on both sides of the steak.  
  4. Place the steak directly on the griddle.  Sear the steak for 30 seconds then flip to the other side.  Repeat the sear-flipping every 30 seconds until the steak develops a deep brown sear.   Do not sear longer than 1-1/2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice into servings. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Wrap the end of the bone with a cushion of paper towel to prevent the sharp end from puncturing the vacuum bag.
  • When adding the steak to the vacuum bag, first fold the top of the bag over making a cuff of about 4-5 inches, add the steak, flip the top back up and seal. This will keep the bag clean and give a good seal.
  • To get a rich crisp crust quickly, blot the steak with paper towel to remove moisture before adding it to the grill or pan.
  • Adding a dollop of butter to the steak will add additional flavor and richness. This is optional.

Sous Vide Cooking Times:

  • 1-inch thick = 1 hour
  • 1-1/2 inch thick = 1-1/2 hours
  • 2 inches thick = 2 hours
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 15g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

Click here to follow us on Instagram!

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Overhead photo of a bowl of buttermilk ranch mashed potatoes.
Instant Pot Buttermilk Ranch Mashed Potatoes
← Read Last Post
Large pot of seafood in a spicy sauce
Spanish Romesco Seafood Stew
Read Next Post →

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

angiesrecipes

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

I too just had some tomahawk steak too! Yours looks so incredibly juicy and tender. Maybe I should consider to get myself a sous vide. I just really wonder how safe it is to cook food so long in a plastic.

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

Oh it's safe as long as you use food-grade bags Angie.

John / Kitchen Riffs

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

I don't have a sous vide machine, and keep thinking of getting one just so I can cook steak. Problem is, I cook steak only a (small) handful to times a year. But I know I can use it for other things! We'll see if I ever get one. :-) Any way, this is such a wonderful recipe -- the steak looks magnificent. Terrific post -- thanks.

Brett Taylor

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

The BEST thing I did when I got my sous vide (and something I tell everyone to do) is to google "50 things to cook in sous vide other than steak"

Doesn't matter what list you pick, but it will definitely get the creative and culinary juices flowing.

Our favourite is carrots with brown sugar, honey, butter, and parsley.

Pat Nyswonger

Wednesday 27th of May 2020

Thanks, John....I love my sous vide! Steaks at our house have never tasted so great!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.