Cowboy Steak Is the Cut You Should Be Grilling This Summer (2024)

Treat someone special to a cowboy steak one summer’s evening! If this cut of beef sounds new and unfamiliar, it’s actually a type of steak that you’ve probably cooked before. A cowboy steak is an extra-thick-cut, bone-in ribeye steak with some of the bone left exposed. The bone is carefully cleaned, a technique called “frenching," for an impressive presentation. This special occasion dish is perfect for a Fourth of July menu, or an over-the-top Mother’s Day or Father’s Day dinner.

What is the best way to cook a cowboy steak?

A cowboy steak is one of the best steaks for grilling! Because this cut needs both a hot sear and some time to roast, it spends a good amount of time in the grill’s smoky haven to pick up lots of flavor. (A charcoal grill is ideal, but a gas grill works just as well).For cooking indoors, a cast-iron pan is best. A 12-inch cast-iron skillet, however, will fit just one of these steaks and you'll need tocarefully wipe the skillet out in between steaks. You could alsoheat two skillets side-by-side to cook both at the same time or simply cut the recipe in half. Because this steak is well-marbled, it will render a lot of fat and could create some smoke inside. Spoon excess fat out of the skillet and into a heatproof bowl if too much accumulates, and be sure to keep the hood vent over the stoveturned on!

What cut of meat is a cowboy steak?

A cowboy steak is an extra-thick, bone-in ribeye. The way it is butchered, with the bone exposed,gives the steak its signature name. The cut is well-marbled, making it meltingly tender when cooked.

Is cowboy steak the same as tomahawk?

Tomahawk steak, another version of a bone-in ribeye, also stuns in presentation with its even longer, frenched bone. A tomahawk steak typically has a bone about 5inches in length. If cooking on the grill, a tomahawk steak makes a great substitute for this recipe.

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4 - 6 serving(s)
Prep Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
50 mins


For the steak:

  • 2

    (2 lb.) Cowboy Steaks (each about 2-2 1/2 inches thick)

  • 2 tsp.

    kosher salt

  • 1 tsp.

    ground black pepper

  • 1 Tbsp.

    vegetable oil, optional

For the ranch butter:

  • 1/4 c.

    unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 tsp.

    ranch seasoning (such as Hidden Valley brand)

  • 1 1/2 tsp.

    chopped parsley


    1. Step1For the steaks: Remove the steaks from the refrigerator. Season all sides of each steak with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
    2. Step2For the ranch butter: In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, ranch seasoning, and parsley. Mash with a fork to combine and mix well. Transfer the butter to a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a little log. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
    3. Step3For the grill: Preheat a grill (charcoal or gas) to medium-high heat (400°F-450°F) with the coals or flames under only one half of the grill. Place the steak over direct heat (the side with the flame or coals). Cook for 3-5 minutes, until grill marks form. Flip, and continue to cook over direct heat for another 3-5 minutes. (Cover the grill if flare-ups occur.) Move the steaks to indirect heat (the side with no coals). Cover and cook for an additional 8-16 minutes, or until the internal temperature closest to the bonereaches 132°F(for medium rare). Remove the steak from the grill and transfer to a cutting board.
    4. Step4Alternatively, cook in a skillet: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat the skillet. Place one steak in the skillet and sear for about 5 minutes, until a golden crust forms. Flip and sear for another 3-5 minutes. Using a spoon, tilt the pan and remove some of the rendered fat; discard. Reduce the heat to medium.Turn the steak onto its fat cap (lean it against the side of the pan, if needed) and sear for 1 minute. Return the steak to its secondseared side and transfer the skillet to the oven for 8–16 minutes, or until the internal temperature closest to the bonereaches 132°F(for medium rare). Remove the steak from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Carefully wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining steak.
    5. Step5Top steakswith slices of ranch butter and let rest for 5 minutes. Carve the steak off the bone (but save that for eating!) and thinly slice against the grain. Serve immediately.

Tip:The ranch butter can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Cowboy Steak Is the Cut You Should Be Grilling This Summer (2024)


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