Grilled Picanha Recipe

It’s a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth bite of good meat cooked over charcoal with simple seasoning, and this Grilled Picanha Steak is a delicious, juicy grilled steak popular in Brazilian steakhouses.

In the US, this cut of meat is more frequently known as the rump cap, rump cover, or top sirloin cap. It is bursting with flavor similar to that of a sirloin and is juicy to boot. Picanha (AKA rump cap) is a cut of beef popular in Brazil. The meat is cut from the biceps femoris muscle (near the rump of the cow) and its fat cap.

It’s that delicious steak they bring to your table on skewers and slice freshly grilled right onto your plate. I don’t know about you, but I find it difficult to say no when this cut of beef is offered, no matter how full I am. If you’ve ever been to a Brazilian steakhouse, you’re familiar with picanha.

There are several ways to prepare the picanha cut of beef, but this recipe employs the well-liked method used in those steakhouses: the picanha is curved, skewered, and cooked over high heat charcoal for an authentic look and flavor.

Don’t just reach for any salt for this recipe; table salt is completely out. You want a nice, coarse, flaky salt for the best taste. I like to use flake salt so I can see exactly how much salt I’m using. This really helps to ensure you don’t under or oversalt your meat. This steak is so good, in fact, that we’re keeping the seasoning very, very pure. All you’ll need for this recipe is some good, kosher flake salt.

I cooked my picanha on my Weber Kettle Charcoal Grill for that good charcoal flavor while flipping frequently. The rotisserie style helps to baste the juices and give the meat a nice, even color throughout. I recommend lump charcoal for this recipe. Picanha is traditionally cooked on a flat skewer on a rotisserie over charcoal.

How to Grill Picanha
  1. Preheat grill to high (about 400°F). …
  2. Season the fat cap of the steak, reserving 1 tsp. …
  3. Cut your picanha steak into 1-inch strips. …
  4. Grill over indirect heat for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until the steak reaches your desired level of doneness.

Grilled Sirloin Picanha on the Weber

Grilled Picanha (Brazilian Steak) 🔗

This Grilled Picanha Steak is a delicious, juicy grilled steak popular in Brazilian steakhouses. It's a buttery, melt-in-your-mouth bite of good meat cooked over charcoal with simple seasoning.

Prep: 15min

Total: 45min

Serving Size: 1 serving

Nutrition Facts: calories 155 kcal, Protein 24 g, Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 68 mg, Sodium 60 mg, servingSize 1 serving


  • 3 picanha steaks (approximately 2 lbs total)
  • 2 Tablespoons coarse sea salt or coarse kosher salt


  1. Preheat your charcoal grill. You can also use a rotisserie, if you have access to one. Set your charcoal up in 2 zones and vents all the way open. You want the temp to be really hot, around 500+ degrees F.
  2. Prep the meat. Skewer the picanha with two metal skewers to secure each steak. Picanha has a fat cap on one side, so curve the steaks to make a C with the fat cap on the outside of the C. Season the steaks on all sides with the salt.
  3. Grill the steaks. Place the skewers directly on the charcoal grill right in the middle between the hot and cool zones. Stand by to flip every 2 minutes to recreate a rotisserie experience without actually having a rotisserie. Cook to your preferred doneness. I cooked my steaks for about 15-20 minutes to 130 degrees F medium rare.
  4. Rest, slice, and serve. Pull the picanha off the grill and let them rest. Use a heating pad to hold the skewers, then secure the skewer underneath and run knife on the outside of the steak to slice into thin slices.


How do I slow cook picanha on the grill?

The freshly cut slices of Picanha should be liberally sprinkled with the remaining salt and left exposed in the refrigerator for 24 hours (the dry brining will further tenderize the meat; the steaks will be a mahogany color at the end of the 24 hours).

What temperature do you grill picanha?

The picanha should be seared on both sides to achieve grill marks and color. Let the fish rest for 10 minutes, then slice it thinly across the grain and serve it warm.

How long does picanha BBQ take?

Move the rack to the top and shuffle the coals to one side. Sear for 5 minutes, then turn and sear all over until it’s beautifully brown. Cook the picanha on the cooler side for 15-20 minutes with the BBQ lid on until the internal temperature reaches 55C (medium-rare) on a meat thermometer.

Leave a Comment