How to Hack a Tomahawk Recipe
No smoker? No problem.
Its that time of year again when we move Big Betty for Spring and Summer vs Winter cooking, which means I find myself without a smoker for a few weeks. Of course that's exactly the moment I’d find an amazing deal on a top notch tomahawk, and you know I’m not freezing that. So here we go… how to smoke a damn near perfect tomahawk on a propane grill.
Step One: Is always going to be the tomahawk itself. Some will disagree with me here, but I like to compress the meat, so I’ve used regular cooking twine to pack it up tight. I find this does to some degree decrease tenderness, but heavily increases the juiciness of the steak. A fair trade off in my opinion, but to each their own.
The best oil in this case is an avocado oil. It has a subtle flavor, low smoking point, and will crisp up the exterior real nice. You don’t need a lot here, just a quick brush down on all sides and don’t forget the bone. A lot of flavor can come out of that bone into the smoke.
This is a pretty sizeable chunk of meat and it packs some real flavor so it can handle a little seasoning. In this case we’re using our Bulletproof rub to add some heat. The Bulletproof is added immediately after the oil side by side. In other words brush down one side, add your seasoning, let it sink in for a few moments then flip and do the next side.
While you let that all sink in you can go ahead and get started on the other preparations. You’ll need about 8 6-8in natural branches about a thumb in thickness. For this particular cook we used applewood branches, one of my personal favourites. I’ve mixed that with a hardwood mix of wood chips to get the smouldering going easier, but you could also use dry tree bark. All of that wrapped up in a couple packs of tinfoil.
Next you need to get that smokin! I’ve removed 1 of the two grates from my old propane Q that I really do truly hate. Gimme a good log fire or a brick smoker anyday. Anyhow, The 1 grate I’ve left in the middle in case I need to block the heat from the tomahawk, an emergency precaution so to speak. The real importance of this single grate however is your casserole dish of water. Without that you’ll end up with a damn dry steak.
The tinfoil packs I’ve placed directly on the flame guards with heat on high. It doesn’t take long to get these smoking and because you’re using actual sticks they’ll go for quite some time with low heat following.
Pop the top, turn the heat down, and when you’re confident you can put the tomahawk in at 200 degrees put it in there on the warmer rack. I let this tomahawk go in there on 200 for about an hour and a half flipping at 45 minutes with a spritz of water at the flip and just before the ending. Cutting into it later though I can say it definitely could’ve gone another 30. My wife and I are rare steak lovers, so this was perfect for us. Another 30 you’d get yourself a reasonable medium rare.
Now for the real fun. Take your tomahawk off, give it a quick wrap in tinfoil to retain temperature and let it sit at room temperature while you work.
Remove the tinfoil packs and the single grate from the BBQ and place a grill directly on the flame guards. My ideal is either cast iron or stoneware. You can simply lower the grate to flame guard but you’ll be missing out on a lot of crispy goodness.
Now crank the heat and close the top. My Q was reading 600 degrees, but that stoneware had to be at least 800 degrees in just 15 minutes. Give it a good drenching of canola grilling spray, toss your tomahawk on there (unwrapped) for no more than a minute or two per side. Sear each side 2 to 3 times to your liking. Let the tomahawk cool for just a few ,minutes off the grill and you’re good to go.