“Tomahawk chops” is the name given to bone-in rib-eye steaks. It’s so-called because once a beefy rib chop has been frenched—cleaned of excess tissue to uncover the bones—it resembles an American Indian tomahawk. This isn’t a common fixture on menus these days, although the mammoth, almost Flintstonian chops make occasional appearances at steakhouses and are priced at a premium.–Spike Mendelsohn

LC Wishbone Note

We know that traditionally the wishbone is found on poultry, although we can’t help but think that the bone from a hefty rib-eye of mammoth proportions is sort of a wishbone as well–though in this case, it seems our wish has already come true.

A tomahawk steak sliced on a cutting board.

Tomahawk Chops with Sweet Potato Purée

5 from 1 vote
Tomahawk chops with sweet potato purée will make you feel like a true rockstar. Those big old bone-in, rib-eyes are packed with flavor and look amazing.
David Leite
Servings6 to 8 servings
Calories678 kcal
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes


For the sweet potato puree

  • 8 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tomahawk chops

  • 3 about 2 lbs each tomahawk chops, (that is to say, humongous bone-in rib eye steaks that have been frenched)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Make the sweet potato purée

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
  • Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork in several places and roast until tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Slice open the potatoes, scoop out the cooked flesh, and place in a bowl. Add the butter, honey, and brown sugar and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Prepare the tomahawk chops

  • Preheat grill to high for indirect-heat grilling or place a heavy grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat and preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
  • Just before cooking, brush both sides of the tomahawk chops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

    If grilling: Arrange the steaks directly over the heat and grill for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the steaks to the indirect heat side of the grill. Cover the grill and finish cooking the steaks until a meat thermometer registers the desired doneness, 120°F (49°C) for rare or 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to a platter and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

    If cooking on the stove top: Sear the steaks for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to the oven and cook to the desired doneness. Transfer the steaks to a platter and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • To serve, slice the tomahawk chops, keeping the meat from each steak separate. Sort of recreate the steak by stacking the slices back against the bone. Pass the sweet potato purée separately.
How to Cook Like a Top Chef

Adapted From

How to Cook Like a Top Chef

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 678 kcalCarbohydrates: 64 gProtein: 5 gFat: 46 gSaturated Fat: 29 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 12 gTrans Fat: 2 gCholesterol: 122 mgSodium: 185 mgPotassium: 1034 mgFiber: 9 gSugar: 16 gVitamin A: 44162 IUVitamin C: 7 mgCalcium: 105 mgIron: 2 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Spike Mendelsohn. Photo © 2010 Edalin. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This recipe is fairly simple; almost foolproof, and the tomahawk chop itself makes for a very impressive display at the dinner table. To get the perfect steak, start here and then follow with the “Steak Grilling 101” video by David Leite and Jamie Purviance. I really like the sweet potato puree because it doesn’t have a lot of spices commonly added to preparations similar to this. Its rich smoothness is a great match to this and other grilled meats. The puree was a bit soft, so if you’re concerned about that, and the fat content, you could probably get away with one less stick of butter and improve the consistency at the same time.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I am putting my shoes on now for my insomniac’s trip to 24 hr King Sooper grocery store. I have got to have this tomahawk for my 4am breakfast, might add some blue cheese to the sweet potatoes and drop a couple of soft poached eggs on top?! This looks out of sight!