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a large rib steak on the bone with garnishes around it

Smoky Hickory Tomahawk Steak | Pellet Smoker

Table of Contents

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 2-4


  • 1 tomahawk steak, 2-3 inches thick (about 2-3 lbs or 1-1.5 kg)
  • 3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Hickory wood chips
  • Olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish (optional)
Tomahawk steak raw ready to put on smoker grill and start cooking


  1. Prepare the steak: Remove the tomahawk steak from the refrigerator at least one hour before cooking, This will allow it to come to room temperature and  will ensure even cooking.
  2. Make the rub: In a small bowl, combine the coarse sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, brown sugar, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and cayenne pepper (if using). Mix well.
  3. Season the steak: Pat the tomahawk steak dry with paper towels. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil or vegetable oil on both sides of the steak and spread evenly. Sprinkle the rub generously on both sides of the steak, pressing the seasoning into the meat with your fingers.
  4. Preheat your pellet smoker: Preheat your smoker to 225°F (107°C)
  5. Smoke the steak: Place the seasoned tomahawk steak on the pellet smoker, bone side down. Close the lid and smoke the steak for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 125°F (51°C) for a (perfect) medium-rare done steak. Use a meat thermometer to ensure accurate temperature readings.
  6. Sear the steak: About 10 minutes before the steak is done smoking, preheat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over high heat. Carefully transfer the steak from the pellet smoker to the hot skillet and sear each side for about 1-2 minutes, or until a deep, crusty brown colour forms. Use tongs to sear the edges as well. Alternatively if using a pellet smoker crank it right up to max, about 400°F (204°C) and sear the tomahawk steak on the smoker.
  7.  Rest the steak: Transfer the seared tomahawk steak to a cutting board and brush both sides with melted butter. Tent the steak loosely with aluminium foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a tender and juicy result.
  8. Carve and serve: After the steak has rested, slice the meat against the grain into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Arrange the slices on a serving platter, drizzle with any remaining butter, and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs (if using). Serve immediately and enjoy your mouth-watering, smoky hickory tomahawk steak cooked on a pellet smoker or offset smoker grill.

For everything you need to know about pellet smokers check out our Ultimate Guide

Tomahawk steak cooked to perfection (medium rare) and sliced ready to eat

Author Bio Image

Allan Cooper

Allan Cooper, a licenced electrician is an avid foodie, with experience in spit roasting, smoking meats, and kegerators. He loves the outdoor living lifestyle and shares it with his young family.

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