Cowboy Steak

published Jun 9, 2022
Cowboy Steak Recipe

This impressive, Flintstones-style cut of beef is sure to wow your dinner table.

Serves4 to 6

Prep5 minutes

Cook18 minutes to 24 minutes

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A whole, grilled, cowboy steak (a thick bone-in ribeye cut between the ribs)
Credit: Kristina Vanni

Salt, pepper, meat, and heat. That’s all you need for one of the most impressive meals of the grilling season. If you want to feel like a cowboy, this recipe is certain to get you one step closer. It all starts with sourcing the best cut of meat you can find. This will usually happen at a specialty butcher shop rather than the meat case at your local grocery store.

When you talk to your butcher about a cowboy steak, what you are really asking for is a bone-in ribeye or prime rib with a bone that has been frenched. You can remove the fat, meat, and cartilage from the bone end of the steak yourself, or ask your butcher to do it for you.

What Is a Cowboy Steak?

A cowboy steak is a bone-in beef ribeye steak that has had the fat, meat, and cartilage from the bone end of the steak cut away or “frenched” for visual appeal. It is an extremely flavorful and impressive cut of meat that is more likely found at specialty butchers rather than the meat case at the grocery store.  

Credit: Kristina Vanni

Is Cowboy Steak the Same as Tomahawk?

Both a cowboy steak and a tomahawk steak are types of bone-in ribeyes. The tomahawk steak is cut with at least 5 inches of rib bone left intact that has been frenched, while a cowboy steak only leaves an inch or two of bone to be frenched. They are the same cuts of beef, just with different visual aesthetics.

Cowboy Steak Versus Ribeye

A cowboy steak is the same as a ribeye, but with the bone left in.

Is Cowboy Steak Tender?

Cowboy steaks are very tender because they tend to be streaked with gorgeous marbling that translates into an incredibly juicy steak when it comes off the grill. This cut of beef is impressive and mouth-watering when it hits the dinner plate.

Cowboy Steak Recipe

This impressive, Flintstones-style cut of beef is sure to wow your dinner table.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 18 minutes to 24 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    (about 2 1/2-inch thick) cowboy cut bone-in ribeye steaks (about 2 1/2 pounds each)

  • 2 tablespoons

    kosher salt

  • 2 teaspoons

    freshly ground black pepper


  1. Remove 2 cowboy steaks from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour before you plan to grill.

  2. Prepare an outdoor grill for two-zone, medium-high heat.

  3. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Season all over with 2 tablespoons kosher salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Press to adhere. Roll the steaks in any salt and pepper that has fallen off so that they adhere.

  4. Place the steaks over direct heat. Cover and grill for 5 minutes. Flip, cover, and grill for 5 minutes.

  5. Move the steaks over indirect heat. Cover and continue grilling, flipping halfway through, until desired doneness, 8 to 14 minutes total. The center of a medium-rare steak will register 125 to 130°F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a clean cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.