How Many Tomahawk Steaks In A Cow

How Many Tomahawk Steaks In A Cow: Answered

Last Updated on July 17, 2024 by Shari Mason

The distinct tomahawk steak, with its unique bone handle, always stands out and commands attention on any dinner table.

I once had the chance to see a whole cow being butchered, and it was fascinating to learn where our favorite cuts come from.

From my observation and chats with the butcher, I’ll tell you how many tomahawk steaks are there in a cow. Read on.

How Many Tomahawk Steaks Are There In A Cow?

Tomahawk steaks are sourced from the cow’s rib area. Typically, this section comprises about 7 to 8 ribs, which means a cow can produce approximately 12 to 16 Tomahawk steaks.

“You can be addicted to meat, as far as I’m concerned. Why else would I eat six cheeseburgers a day?”

– John Daly, American Professional Golfer

The dimensions and heft of each steak can differ based on how thick it’s sliced.

For the best results and minimal wastage, it’s wise to consult with a butcher to get the desired size and cut.

What Makes A Tomahawk Steak?

Person Holding Tomahawk Steak

A tomahawk steak [1] isn’t just an ordinary ribeye; it’s a captivating culinary creation that marries impressive presentation with mouthwatering flavor. 

What sets a tomahawk steak apart is its bone-in nature – a rib eye with the bone left long, resembling the handle of a tomahawk axe. 

This bone adds visual appeal while contributing to the steak’s juiciness, as the meat surrounding it boasts rich marbling and tenderness. 

The tomahawk steak’s allure lies in its bold flavor, elegant appearance, and the primal satisfaction of holding onto that extended bone, making it a true centerpiece for any meat lover’s delight.

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How Does Butchery Play A Role?

Butchery is pivotal in the tomahawk steak’s creation, intricately shaping its distinct appearance and maximizing its yield.

Skilled butchers deftly carve bone-in ribeye cuts, showcasing their mastery of precision and technique. 

They preserve the elongated bone that characterizes the tomahawk steak through precise cuts and meticulous removal of excess fat and connective tissue. 

This artful process ensures that each tomahawk cut retains its impressive visual appeal and offers a perfect balance of tender meat and marbling, showcasing the expertise and craftsmanship of the butcher’s trade.

How Many Ribs Are There?

Within the anatomy of a cow, approximately 13 pairs of ribs exist. This rib structure forms the foundation for various cuts of meat, including the renowned tomahawk steak. 

As each tomahawk steak originates from a single rib, the number of ribs directly influences the potential quantity of these flavorful bone-in ribeye cuts that can be sourced from a single cow.

The Influence Of Cow Size: Does It Matter?

Cow Farm

Indeed, the cow’s size significantly influences the yield and size of tomahawk steaks.

More giant cows [2] generally possess larger ribeye sections, directly impacting the potential size and number of tomahawk cuts that can be obtained. 

“In the tapestry of beef, the question of tomahawk steaks unveils a flavorful secret: each cow carries the potential for a limited symphony of succulence.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

While butchery remains crucial, a larger ribeye provides more room for the distinctive long bone and the succulent meat surrounding it.

Consequently, cow size plays a pivotal role in determining each tomahawk steak’s visual grandeur and meatiness.


u003cstrongu003eWhat part of a cow is a tomahawk steak?u003c/strongu003e

A tomahawk steak is derived from the rib primal section of a cow. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eSpecifically, it’s a bone-in ribeye cut where the rib bone is left long, resembling the handle of a tomahawk axe. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThis positioning within the rib primal section contributes to the steak’s exceptional marbling, tenderness, and bold flavor profile, making it a sought-after delicacy among meat lovers.

u003cstrongu003eHow many steak cuts are in one cow?u003c/strongu003e

The number of steak cuts that can be obtained from one cow varies based on the cut size, butchery techniques, and culinary preferences. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eA cow can average yield around 400 to 500 pounds of usable meat, translating to approximately 60 to 80 individual steak cuts. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThese cuts encompass a range of popular options, from ribeye and sirloin to T-bone and filet mignon, showcasing the versatility and abundance that a well-utilized cow can provide for a culinary delight.

Key Takeaways

How many tomahawk steaks you can extract from a cow hinges on several aspects, like the cow’s size and the amount of meat taken from the rib section.

On average, a cow can yield about 12 to 16 tomahawk steaks, contingent on the butcher’s cutting method.

It’s important to highlight that tomahawk steaks are often considered a premium cut. As a result, they might not be readily available at all butcher shops or supermarkets.

Some upscale restaurants and gourmet food stores might even source their tomahawk steaks internationally to guarantee top-notch quality and uniformity.


Shari Mason

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