Why You Should Think Twice Before Ordering A Tomahawk Steak

With BBQ season becoming a nearly year-round affair, you might want to try a new cut of steak for the grill next time you fire things up. Taste of Home rounds up a variety of cuts — as well as how to pick 'em and cook 'em — including filet mignon, ribeye, strip steak, sirloin, a T-bone, and of course the hefty tomahawk. As Smoked BBQ Source points out, the tomahawk is basically a ribeye, but the rib bone is left intact "like a big meat lollipop," the likes of which even Fred Flintstone would appreciate. 

The result is a look that is fancier than your average steak and gives it an additional heft that, a first glance, seems impressive. Weight-wise, the bone-in cut can also elevate the pound count (enough to feed several people, says Taste Of Home) — and therefore the price, too. While fancy restaurants may use this opportunity to taut a tomahawk steak's importance and stature, you may want to rethink your order in favor of a less impressive-looking, yet tastier cut. 

Bigger but not necessarily better

As Foodbeast points out, these bigwigs in the steak world are actually big scams. Tomahawks are mostly bone and because of their higher weight (about 30-45 ounces, according to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse), it costs more than another steak cut — but with way less meat. That's basically paying for the look of it, which is maybe worth it if you're doing for it for Instagram, but eating it won't really sate you the way you are hoping. 

On Medium, the Grillaholics account also advised against buying a Tomahawk if you're looking for a steak that will fill you up. They note that with a simple ribeye, basically the same cut without the bone, you pay less than half of what you would for the Tomahawk and get way more bang for your buck. It's a difference of $100 vs. $45-60 when dining out, they note. And the bone isn't aiding in the steak's flavor either (the only thing tasty about a bone is the marrow inside). So really what it comes down to is whether you're buying it for the pageantry or how much it will fill you up. If you're looking for something meaty, stick with the ribeye. But if you want to wow your followers, go ahead and get the big T.