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Tomahawk Pork Chop Recipe [AMAZING]

platter with grilled tomahawk pork chops and chimichurri sauce

This tomahawk pork chop recipe is fun to cook, more importantly they make an awesome presentation for your guests. The impressive meat handle makes a grandiose statement that screams luxury. The best part — they can be had for less than luxury prices.

In this blog I’ll talk about the technique for cooking this stunning cut of meat, as well as some tips for seasoning and serving.

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What Is a Tomahawk Pork Chop?

A tomahawk pork chop, often referred to simply as a “tomahawk chop” is a large and visually impressive cut of pork. It resembles a tomahawk axe due to the long bone left attached to the meat.

This bone is typically frenched, meaning that it has been cleaned of meat and fat. This leaves an exposed bone that resembles the handle of a tomahawk. If you can find them with rib meat left on the bone, GET THOSE! That rib meat is excellent!

uncooked pork chops on a cutting board

The tomahawk pork chop is cut from the rib section of the hog and includes a long portion of the rib bone. While visually impressive, the tomahawk pork chop is no more marbled, tender, or flavorful than a typical bone in pork chop.

The amount of marbling and tenderness in any cut of pork will depend on the breed of the hog, not how the cut is produced by the butcher. Having said that, the bone adds to the presentation and the meat directly adjacent to the bone is some of the best you’ll have.

sliced pork chop with the bone in the background

Where To Buy Tomahawk Pork Chops

Local grocery stores will sometimes carry these show stoppers, but don’t plan on picking them up on a whim. They aren’t always available and the ones that are, are typically commodity pork and not very flavorful.

Commodity pork refers to regular pork chops that are produced on a large scale and sold in the mainstream market. It’s typically characterized by standardization, uniformity, and low cost.

This pork is derived from specific hog breeds that are selected for their ability to grow quickly and efficiently, not for their marbling or flavor. These breeds are chosen to maximize quantity, not quality.

So, I recommend sourcing them online from a reputable meat purveyor. Companies like Allen Brothers, and The Standard Meat Club offer the tomahawk pork chop harvested from heritage breed hogs, known for flavor and marbling.

grilled pork chops on a platter

How To Season The Pork

If you’re throwing down some commodity grade pork for this tomahawk pork chop recipe, I recommend doing a wet brine. Or, at the very least an extended dry brine.

For more information on wet brining pork, check out my recipe for apple brined pork shoulder. Commodity pork benefits from the added salt and moisture content that result from brining.

If you’re fortunate enough to be grilling some heritage breed pork, I can’t emphasis enough to keep it simple. The pork itself is SO flavorful, don’t mask that. A simple salt and pepper seasoning is all that’s needed.

I like to season them generously with kosher salt, a few hours before cooking them. This lets the salt dissolve and penetrate into the meat, enhancing the flavor of the pork, not overpowering it.

The same goes for the chimichurri or the pomegranate glaze I often like to serve with pork. Both compliment the flavor of the meat, neither mask or overpower it.

close up of bone-in pork chops on a cutting board with bright green sauce

Tips For Grilling Pork

  • Reverse Sear: These are thick cuts of meat, and benefit from gentle cooking to bring them up to temp slowly. Then, a hot and fast sear at the end.
  • Keep ’em Movin’: When you’re searing the pork, the idea is to introduce the meat to as high of a temperature as possible, for as little time as possible. This creates the char that’s all flavor. So, flip them often and reposition them on the grill to avoid hot spots.
  • Season Early: If time allows, season the pork a few hours before cooking it. This allows the salt to get into the meat.
  • Use A Thermometer: Take the guesswork out of this tomahawk pork chop recipe by using an instant read thermometer.
  • Take ’em Off Early: Remove the chops from the heat when they are 5°F lower than desired internal serving temperature. Carry-over cooking will finish them off as they rest.

How To Grill Tomahawk Pork Chops

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 30 mins

Ingredients
3-4 thick cut tomahawk pork chops
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup fresh chimichurri, optional OR
3/4 cup pomegranate glaze, optional

Step 1: Evenly coat the tomahawk pork chops with olive oil, and season all sides and edges of the chops with salt and pepper. Place them on a plate and store them in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours for maximum benefit. If time doesn’t allow, seasoning right before they go on the grill is fine.

Step 2: Light your grill and set it up for two-zone cooking, establishing the temperature at 250°F. While the grill is preheating, remove the chops from the refrigerator and allow them to temper on the counter at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Step 3: Place the pork chops on the grill over indirect heat, close the lid and allow the pork to cook until the internal temperature reaches 120°F as indicated by a reliable instant read thermometer. About 20 minutes.

Step 4: Remove the chops from the grill and increase the grill temperature to as hot as possible. Then, place the chops over direct heat. Flip and reposition the pork chops every 30-45 seconds for a total of five minutes, or until the desired internal temperature is reached.

tomahawk pork chops on a grill over hit coals

Step 5: Remove the chops from the grill, and place them on a cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and allow them to rest for five minutes before slicing and serving with optional sauces.

sliced pork chops on a cutting board
black slate cutting board with tomahawk pork chops and herbs

Tomahawk Pork Chop Recipe

5 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 3-4 thick cut tomahawk pork chops
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup chimichurri optional OR
  • ¾ cup pomegranate glaze optional

Instructions

  • Evenly coat the tomahawk pork chops with olive oil, and season all sides and edges of the chops with salt and pepper. Place them on a plate and store them in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours for maximum benefit. If time doesn't allow, seasoning right before they go on the grill is fine.
  • Light your grill and set it up for two-zone cooking, establishing the temperature at 250°F. While the grill is preheating, remove the chops from the refrigerator and allow them to temper on the counter at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.
  • Place the pork chops on the grill over indirect heat, close the lid and allow the pork to cook until the internal temperature reaches 120°F as indicated by a reliable instant read thermometer. About 20 minutes, give or take.
  • Remove the chops from the grill and increase the grill temperature to as hot as possible. Then, place the chops over direct heat. Flip and reposition the pork chops every 30-45 seconds for a total of five minutes, or until the desired internal temperature is reached.
  • Remove the chops from the grill, and place them on a cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and allow them to rest for five minutes before slicing and serving with optional sauces.

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1 thought on “Tomahawk Pork Chop Recipe [AMAZING]”

  1. For me pork seems difficult to cook but in this recipe there’s so many options and explanations. I’m already a fan of the chimichurri sauce and think this would pair so nicely!

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