Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Salt Crusted Tomahawk Steak

I am a caveman when it comes to steak - give me a Tomahawk anytime! I love the dramatic presentation of the Flintstone cut when it is served and the flavour of the steak is simply amazing. The double-cut bone-in ribeye has quite a large amount of inter-muscular fat. Both the huge bone and inter-muscular fat give the steak loads of flavour when cooked. 

So you can imagine my excitement when I came across a cooking technique that, I thought, could elevate the Tomahawk steak to another level. Last week I watched a video on a barbecue youtube channel featuring a salt-crusted Cote de Boeuf recipe. The idea was to encase and bake the steak in a thick layer of salt paste to seal in the flavour and keep the natural moisture of the steak inside, ensuring a juicy cut. The steak was then removed from the hardened salt crust and finished off quickly on the grill for the char and grill mark. I was totally captivated and knew instinctively this would be another recipe to be added to my “to-die-for” collection.

Immediately I started planning for my weekend project to try out this recipe using my favourite Tomahawk steak.

The finished product was moist, succulent and bursting with flavour. Yes, my instinct was right - the method works!! The heat and moisture, trapped under the salt crust, forced the seasoning from the bacon, herbs and garlic to permeate the steak rather than allowing them to escape. The use of a big cut steak like the mighty Tomahawk compounds the effect of locking all that moisture and flavour.

The salt-crust technique might seem laborious and wasteful but the sealed-in juices and heightened flavour definitely justify the extra time and effort. Besides enjoying the food, the presentation really wowed and we had so much fun cracking the crust.

I am a happy caveman.


1 Tomahawk Steak (2-3-inch thick, about 1.5kg)
2kg Salt
8 eggs (egg whites)
6-8 slices bacon
4 sprigs rosemary
6-8 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)


Preheat the barbecue for indirect cooking. (If you are using the oven, set temperature to 200C)

Mix salt and egg white well in a big bowl until you get a stiff, snow-like consistency, like wet sand on the beach.

On a pizza stone, pat enough salt mixture into the shape of the steak so you can lay it flat on the salt. Make the salt bed about 2 cm wider than the size of the steak. 

On the salt bed, spread out half of the bacon slices, rosemary and crushed garlic. 

Place Tomahawk steak at the centre of the salt bed, on top of the bacon, rosemary and garlic.

Spread out the remaining bacon, herb and crushed garlic on top of the steak. 

Pack remaining salt mixture onto sides and top of the steak to fully encase the whole steak in salt. 

Place the steak on the grill, close the lid and let it roast until the core reaches a temperature of 50C (55C if you want a less pink steak), about 40-50 minutes depending on the size of the steak. (* Note that this is not the final meat temperature and doneness. There is a final step to caramelise the steak that will cook the meat slightly more)

By now the salt crust should be brown and hard. With a mallet or knife, crack open and discard the salt crust. Remove the bacon, rosemary and garlic.

Grill the steak over direct high heat in the barbecue to caramelise the outside (Or sear in a heavy skillet over high heat).

Carve and serve.


  1. Now that's a beauty! Drool! Drool! I've had salt-baked chicken...and fish, never steak.

  2. Awesome blog !! I can't believe I only know abt this wonderful site. Don't mind me asking a stupid qn, how do we know if the meat's core temp has reached 50C if it's encrusted in salt ?

    1. Hi Ryan! Using a remote thermometer (wired or wireless) would be ideal. You can insert the probe into the meat before grilling, when the salt crust is still soft, and monitor the temperature remotely throughout the cooking process.

      If not, you can use a normal meat thermometer and slowly make a hole through the hardened crust into the meat to check the temperature when the time is about up.

      Happy experimenting! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...