Picanha Recipe Grill

Learn everything you need to know about one of South America’s best meats and get our recipe for the best grilling of picanha steak, the star of any Brazilian BBQ.

If you’ve never had churrasco (Brazilian barbecue), you need to find the closest Brazilian restaurant right away because the beef cut is the pièce de résistance.

Whatever name you choose, you’ll need it at your next BBQ cook-off. It’s known as picanha in Brazil and throughout much of Latin America, but you might know it as sirloin cap, rump cover, or rump cap.

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 Steak 🔗

A slice of traditional Brazilian BBQ. This picanha steak recipe will go down a treat at your next cook-off.

Prep: 15min

Total: 45min


  • 4 lbs beef top sirloin cap (defrosted)
  • kosher salt
  • crushed black pepper


  1. Preheat your grill to high. Prepare the steak by scoring the layer of fat on top. Do this in one-inch squares.
  2. Rub kosher or coarse salt into the beef's fat layer, ensuring you get it into the crevasses created by you scoring the fat. Season with freshly ground pepper.
  3. Sear the steak on the grill with its fat side down. Grill for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove the steak from the heat and place it back on a chopping board.
  5. Slice into medium-thick strips and apply a sprinkle of more salt on each strip.
  6. Put each steak strips back on the grill and cook for 20-25 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
  7. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature. When the internal temperature reaches 130°F, remove the steaks from the grill.
  8. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Serve up and enjoy.


What is the best way to cook a picanha?

Be ready for flare-ups as the fat softens and soaks into the meat and the grill; place the Picanha fat side down over the hottest part of the grill (about 250°F); sear for 5-7 minutes; turn; sear for an additional 3-4 minutes; remove the Picanha; and slice into 3 or 4 sections with a sharp knife.

Do you eat the fat cap on picanha?

Most Latin American nations leave the fat top sirloin cap on for flavor, so you can eat it. If you prefer not to eat the fat, feel free to cut it off and still enjoy the meat.

At what temp do I cook a picanha?

The picanha steak should be seasoned with black pepper, placed in a roasting pan with half an inch of water at the bottom, and cooked for 60 to 80 minutes while being monitored with a digital thermometer.

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