If you are like me, you probably follow several pages on Facebook (hopefully you have “Liked” mine on Facebook – over 7,000 others have!) and have seen Cowboy Steaks being featured. The huge cuts of beef are nothing less than awesome to look at. Unless you’re a vegetarian who wouldn’t love cowboy steaks?
Cowboy Steaks – The Cut
What are cowboy steaks? Simply put, they are thick cut bone-in ribeye steaks with an extended and trimmed bone. Cut from the beef loin, you could call a porterhouse or T-Bone (first several cuts just before the ribeye cut) all cowboy steaks, however, the ribeye is by far the most popular cut of steak used for the cowboy.
Cowboy Steaks vs. Tomahawk
Besides the cowboy steak being trendy lately, it’s trendy for the average backyard griller like you and me. Go to one of those fancy steakhouse restaurants you will see yet another term for basically the same cut of beef – the Tomahawk cut. The tomahawk cut it nothing more than a cowboy with a slightly longer, frenched bone. The extra length of the bone does only one thing, make the same cut of beef look a little different. The long bone of the tomahawk will not do anything for the taste of the meat. The cowboy bone does nothing toward the taste of the meat either though. Your steakhouse chef may disagree, but in my honest opinion, there is no difference in taste between the bone in ribeye, the cowboy or the Tomahawk cuts.
The bottom line on Cowboy Steaks
I have had the boneless ribeye, bone-in ribeye, cowboy ribeye (Never had and never will have a Tomahawk – too fancy and expensive for my taste and job – there is little difference in taste. My opinion, go for either the boneless or bone-in ribeye. The cowboy cut does nothing for the flavor of an already awesome cut of beef! Why pay extra for a little bit larger thickness of meat, or a bone length that does nothing to the flavor? I grilled some cowboy steaks Friday night just for the sake of trying them. I honestly thought they may be one of the better steaks I ever grilled, they were not, however. One of my favorite steaks and one of the most requested steaks that my friends and family love me to prepare for them is the old stand-by boneless ribeye. Furthermore, while I love (and support as much as I can afford) my local butcher shop, the ones you can get at Sam’s or Costco do just fine!
Let’s grill us some Cowboys!
Everyone must get some cowboys on the grill at least once, if anything, just to say you have done them, or more likely, to text them to your friends and family to brag about how well you are eating and they have to settle for dry chicken! (Not that I grill dry chicken anymore).
I purchase my cowboys from Sam’s Club, not terribly pricey, but then again they were not on sale like they put boneless ribeyes on sale from time to time. I bought two well knowing that two of them, at about 2.5 pounds each, was way too much for just the wife and I. But I knew that we love leftovers from the grill or the smoker over the next few days. Steak tacos, steak nachos, steak and eggs – you get the picture.
Crank up the grill as hot as you can. I went to 500° on my Competition Yoder 640 (sorry, you can grill these on any grill, I just want the Yoder guys to read this and send me one of those cool T-Shirts, size 3XL, please). I also love grilling steaks on my GrillGrates for those authentic steakhouse style grill marks. While they don’t do anything for the actual taste of the meat, as we all have been told when we watch Chopped on TV – we eat with our eyes first!
This particular night I seasoned them well with Weber brand Chicago Steak seasoning. I over-seasoned them purposely since I knew these bad boys would be on the grill a little longer and wanted a bit more char on the outside.
I began with four minutes a side, then turned them 90° on the same side. I then flipped them over and did the same – turning after 4 minutes 90°. Next time, if I ever do them again, or a steak that is over 3″ thick, I will pull them at 140° and not 135° like I do regular ribeyes.
At the point where they were on a total of 16 minutes, the internal temperature was only 92° – far from my target temperature of 145° – so I flipped them again and continued to do so every 4 minutes. Then ended up about 24 minutes in total before the internal temperature at the thickest point which in my case was about 3 1/4″ thick hit 145°.
I was nervous that they were on way too long but I have 100% trust in my Thermoworks Thermapen. They were perfectly done! I did allow them to rest for five minutes after removing them from the grill. Another common mistake that I make all the time – I’m always too eager to dig in! Taking a ton of pictures for this blog post, however, helped me in the wait. The edges of the steaks had a great char to them and there was still plenty of juice left. Internal was a bright pink.
One tiny problem we had. You put this cowboy steak on your plate, you don’t have much room for anything else! That is a full-size loaded baked potato. Good thing I don’t like veggies since I didn’t have any room for them anyway! Unless you call my “Almost famous Mac N Cheese” as a veggie!
Even the old man Cooper, my smoking and grilling buddy who has not been feeling too well lately was doing his usual begging and hoping that his daddy would drop something. Too bad for him I have good hands.
I can’t recommend enough getting yourself a good thermometer. I fell in love with the products from Thermoworks years ago. Any grilling or BBQ tool that makes me look like a grill master I will gladly pay a few extra bucks for! Any questions on their products, just let me know.