This grilled picanha steak should be on your radar! This is the home cook version of that classic Brazilian steakhouse dish.
If you're looking for a truly delicious steak, this picanha recipe is the way to go. This Brazilian specialty is made from the top sirloin cap, and it's known for its intense flavor and succulent texture. When grilled, picanha steak develops a crisp exterior while remaining juicy on the inside.
It's the perfect dish for any steak lover. Plus, it's easy to prepare - simply season picanha with salt, pepper, and garlic, then grill to perfection. Serve with a side of rice and beans, and you've got a meal that everyone will love. So next time you're in the mood for steak, be sure to try picanha - you won't be disappointed!
The best steaks are simply dressed and prepared. The formula should be salt, pepper, steak, and fire. No need for extra. Picanha steak is naturally flavorful.
Mood Music (beats to pair with picanha steak)
I'm usually in reflection mode when I have steak. The process is therapeutic and anytime you're dealing with fire you need to be in the right frame of mind. It's not life and death like it is for soldiers, but it can be. Badu's "Soldier" is a great fit, because it's stripped down over a dope percussion centric beat with her unique vocals. Picanha is not your everyday cut and requires no fluff, just salt, pepper, and heat.
What is The Picanha Cut?
It’s a popular Brazilian beef cut that’s located near the rump and includes the fat cap. Of course, the fat cap is a big reason for its popularity. There is so much flavor compared to a quality sirloin steak.
The picanha steak is a Brazilian specialty that is slowly gaining popularity in the United States. Also known as the rump cap, this cut of meat is well-known for its flavor and tenderness. The picanha steak is typically grilled, and it can be served with a variety of sides.
One traditional side dish is vinaigrette salad, which is made with tomatoes, onions, and green peppers. The picanha steak can also be served with rice, beans, and roasted vegetables.
Ingredients Needed For Grilling Picanha Steak
- Picanha - cut into thick slices
- Kosher Salt - you can also use sea salt instead. Coarse salt is the way to go.
- Black Pepper
How To Cook Picanha Steak
Traditional Brazilian preferred way of cooking is to skewer the whole picanha roast and grill over charcoal. Though it’s simple, execution matters. Rotisseries are great for cooking these, but if you’re like me you probably don’t have one attached to your grill. To replicate you’ll just need to flip a few times.
This is a high heat cooking approach. Open the vents up on your charcoal grill and get your temps to at least 500 degrees F. If you have the flexibility create a hot side and semi-hot as you’ll want the ability to move the skewers back and forth between the two.
I prefer to use double skewers for easy flipping. Depending on the size of your steaks curve them in C shapes onto the metal skewers. Season the picanha meat simply with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasoning in pretty well.
Place steaks on the grill and cook them starting on the hot side of the grill over the open flame. Depending on how hot you get your grill you’ll want to flip every 2 minutes or so. If things get too hot use the cooler side. My steak was done in about 10 minutes, but cook time will depend on the thickness of your cut and temperatures reached with your grill. 20 minutes would be the long end of cooking times.
Use a meat thermometer if you need to dial up your preferred temps. I’m a medium-rare guy so cook until internal temperature reaches 130-135 degrees. I’m a knucklehead and just use the finger poke method to test for doneness which is basically testing the steak for softness. Allow the steaks to rest 5 minutes. Slice
Grilling Tips and Considerations
Make sure your cut has the fat cap attached
I like to take my steak off the grill a minute or 2 before it's at my desired temperature. Steaks will continue to cook some when removed from heat, so I use that time to allow it to reach the final temps.
Most grocery stores don’t carry this cut. You’ll likely have to seek out a butcher and ask for a sirloin cap steak if he/she isn’t familiar with piranha by name. These steaks are worth the effort to find.
To cook on the stovetop, you’ll need wooden skewers instead since their shorter and thus likely to fit inside your skillet. Still go with the double skewers for easy flipping.
Use coarse type salts only. Definitely avoid typical table salt.
Serve with braised cabbage as a side with a cup of moqueca (fish stew) and perhaps Brazilian style chicken wings as a starter.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Grilling Picanha Brazilian Style
Can You Make This Picanha Steak Recipe On A Gas Grill?
If I had a traditional barbecue rotisserie on hand I'd use it. But in absence of this great tool, I prefer to cook these tender cuts of beef over an open flame using lump charcoal. The beauty of a picanha cut is that thick layer of fat adds so much flavor while protecting it against the direct heat.
What Is The Best Way To Cut Picanha?
If you're working with an entire roast cut it into thick pieces and then use a long metal skewer to shape each steak into a crescent shape.
Where Can You Buy Picanha?
Go to your local butcher as you're not likely to find this in a traditional grocery store. Any knowledgeable butcher will be able to serve you with a nice cut. Though they are slightly different in the U.S. you may hear or see it as a coulotte steak. Culotte doesn't have the same thick fat layer.
More Steak Recipes
Grilled Denver Cut Steak and Tomatoes
make this recipe
Whether you’re looking for a show-stopping main course for your next dinner party or simply want to treat yourself to a steak with incredible flavor, this Brazilian picanha steak recipe is sure to please. So fire up the grill, invite some friends over, and enjoy an amazing meal that’s perfect for any occasion!
If you make this grilled picanha steak or any other recipe please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.
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- 2 lbs Picanha Steak
- 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 1 tablespoon Black Pepper
- This is a high heat cooking approach. Open the vents up and get your temps to at least 500 degrees F. If you have the flexibility create a hot side and semi hot as you’ll want the ability to move the skewers back and forth between the two.
- I prefer to use double skewers for easy flipping. Depending on the size of your steaks curve them in C shapes onto the skewers. Season the steak simply with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasoning in pretty well.
- Grill the steaks starting on the hot side. Depending on how hot you get your grill you’ll want to flip every 2 minutes or so. If things get too hot use the cooler side. My steak was done in about 10 minutes, but cook time will depend on thickness of your cut and temperatures reached with your grill. 20 minutes would be the long end of cooking times.
- Use a meat thermometer if you need to dial up your preferred temps. I’m a medium-rare guy so targeted about 130-135 degrees. I’m a knucklehead and just use the finger poke method to test for doneness which is basically testing the steak for softness.
- Allow the steaks to rest 5 minutes. Slice