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Cowboy Steak

A cowboy steak is a special way of cutting a ribeye. The meat is the same, but a length of rib bone is frenched (stripped of meat) and left attached to the steak for a dramatic presentation.

Other Common Names

  • Bone-in Ribeye
  • Rib Steak Bone-In
  • Tomahawk Steak

Primal Cut

  • Rib Primal

Cowboy Steak Cooking Methods and Tips

Typical Cooking Methods

  • Grilling

  • Smoking

  • Reverse-Sear

  • Broiling

General Cooking Recommendations

A cowboy steak is the same meat as a ribeye. However you like to cook your ribeye is how you should cook a cowboy steak. Because the steak is usually cut thick, reverse searing is a good option.

How to Cook Cowboy Steak on Your Traeger

We recommend a reverse-sear on your Traeger for a cowboy steak. This will add more smoke flavor to the steak, and allow you to avoid overcooking either the surface or the interior.

Set your Traeger to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and activate Super Smoke mode. Place the lightly seasoned cowboy steak on the grill and smoke for 30 to 45 minutes, until the internal temperature of the steak measures 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the steaks from the grill and turn the heat up to 500 degrees. Once the grill reaches 500 degrees, put the steaks back on the grill to sear for approximately three minutes per side, until the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees for medium-rare.

Cowboy Steak Internal Temperatures

  • For rare, aim for 120-130 °F internally.
  • For medium-rare, aim for 130-135 °F internally.
  • For medium, aim for 135-145 °F internally.
  • For medium-well, aim for 145-155 °F internally.
  • For well-done, aim for 155-165 °F internally.

Cowboy Steak FAQs

Is Cowboy Steak a Good Cut?

Yes, it's the same meat as a ribeye, which is one of the best cuts on the animal.

How Much Does Cowboy Steak Cost?

Expect to pay a premium for this specialty cut. Costs range between $30 per pound and up. Don't expect to find a cowboy steak in the meat case — you'll probably have to special order from your local butcher.

How Do You Know When Cowboy Steak Is Done?

Cowboy steak is done when the internal temperature of the meat reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Is a Cowboy Steak Best For?

This cut is best for grilling over high heat.

Is Cowboy Steak Better Than Ribeye?

Cowboy steak is a ribeye with the bone left on. You may prefer the presentation of a cowboy cut, but the meat is the same.

What Is the Difference Between a Tomahawk Steak and a Cowboy Steak?

The two names are often used interchangeably to refer to the same steak, but according to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, a tomahawk steak has a longer bone attached.

Can Cowboy Steak Be Cooked From Frozen?

We wouldn't cook this bone-in steak from frozen. The areas near the bone may take a long time to get up to temperature, causing the steak to cook unevenly.

Interesting Facts About Cowboy Steak

The attached bone of a cowboy steak is just for looks. It doesn't add anything to the flavor of the steak, but it does make it cooler to look at and photograph. You can also use the bone as a handle for eating, if you want to go full carnivore.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association identifies the cowboy steak with the North American Meat Processors Association code of 1103B. You may see this number on the beef package label at the supermarket.

Cowboy Steak Nutritional Facts

According to the USDA, a grilled ribeye steak (same meat as a cowboy steak) contains 866 calories, 102 grams of protein, and 50.7 grams of fat.

Cowboy Steak Recipes

Cowboy Steak Photos