What Steak Cut Is Picanha?      

What Steak Cut Is Picanha? [EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW]         

Picanha is among the most tasteful beef cuts you will ever eat. One great advantage of this beef cut is that it is large, cheap, and thus can feed many people. So, what steak cut is picanha?

Picanha is cut from the cow’s top rump. It has a triangular shape and is also covered with a thick layer of fat. The area where it is cut from is not over-exercised by the cow and thus makes it tender, and the fatty tissue covering the cut makes it tender. Picanha has several names, such as culotte steak or sirloin cap.

Keep reading this article to understand most things about Picanha clearly. Here you will learn every little thing you need to make this steak and answer most of your questions.                                                         

What is picanha?

Picanha is a very flavorful beef cut that comes from the top area of a cow’s rump. You can easily identify picanha because it is unique and has a triangular shape, red muscles, and a fat cap. It is rare to find this cut in grocery stores, but you can always find it in any butchery near you.

When looking for the best picanha to buy, there are various things that you should consider to end up with the best cut. Consider the liquid content, fat, and size. However, here is a trick if you want to end up with the best cut, then opt for smaller cuts of about 1 to 1.5kgs. Anything bigger than 1.5kg can come with other cuts, such as the tough piece of the outer thigh. Therefore, you know that the best picanha should be a manageable size. Also, you only need a little liquid when buying this, and the ideal fat cover you need should be 1.5cm thick. These are enough to keep your meat tender, juicy, and flavorful.                                                                             

What cut of meat is picanha       

As mentioned earlier, picanha is a meat cut from the cow’s top rump. It is triangular and has a thick layer of fat covering it all over. Further, it is juicy, tender, and flavorful, unlike all the other beef cuts. It is only available at butcheries but not grocery stores. Picanha is available in two ways, the first one as picanha roasts and the other one as picanha steaks. The latter are individual steaks well sliced and taste great when grilled or cooked using your favorite recipe, while picanha roast is a large piece of cut that can be either grilled or roasted in an oven. 

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How to Cook Picanha

There are various ways of cooking picanha. However, it doesn’t matter the method you choose to cook your picanha. You must keep the meat at room temperature and use a paper towel to pat it dry. 

Like any typical steak, remove the visible membrane from every side of the cut. You do not need to stress a lot about seasoning because this cut has all the flavors it needs, so you do not need a lot of spices and herbs to season it. Just use salt and pepper.

Cooking picanha individual steaks

Season your steaks, put them in a heavy pan, and place them on high heat. Next, render the first side down and then sear both sides. Let the steaks cook until each side forms a golden brown hard crust. Lower the heat to medium and let each side cook for about four minutes to attain medium-rare doneness.

However, some people would prefer cooking on an outside grill. If this is the case, clean the grill first and preheat it. Ensure your steaks do not stick on the grill. You prevent this from happening by rubbing some fat on the grill. Then place your steaks in a circle around the grill edges a reasonable distance that keeps the meat away from the direct grill flames. This ensures that the meat inside does not undercook and makes them cook equally inside and outside. Close the grill’s lid, let the steaks cook at a temperature of 248 degrees F for about six minutes, and turn for the other sides to cook. After cooking each side for six minutes, you can move the steaks to the middle of the grill and let each side sear. 

Measure the internal temperature of the steaks based on the doneness you want to achieve. For instance, medium rare should be 130 degrees F.

Cooking picanha roast

This cooking method is about cooking the whole meat cut and then later slicing it when serving. People who love rare steaks should cook picanha as an entire roast cut. Preheat your oven to 355 degrees F, then put your skillet on high heat. Slightly score the fat cover and rub coarse salt through the surface. Start by searing the fat side first, do not add any extra fats. While the meat is cooking, its fats melt into the pan. Drain out the fat and keep it aside. Render the fats until the outside of the meat gets crisp. Turn the roast and baste it using the fats you put aside. Take your meat to the oven and leave it to cook until it attains an internal temperature of 122 degrees F. Remove from the oven, leave it to rest for about 15 minutes, and then cut the steak into slices against the grain.

Picanha grill recipe          

Grilling is among the best ways to cook your picanha beef cut. It is normally among the simplest beef cuts to grill because you do not need to go through a lot looking for spices and herbs for seasoning. This recipe will give you a tender, juicy, and flavorful picanha.

Here is the recipe;


  • 1 pound picanha roast
  • Coarse salt

Preparation time

  • 5 minutes

Cooking time

  • 40 minutes

Total time

  • 45 minutes


  1. Preheat your grill
  2. Season using coarse salt
  3. Place your seasoned picanha on the grill with the fat side first and let it sear for three minutes.
  4. Turn the roast to let the fatty meat get grill marks. This should be for four minutes.
  5. Reduce the temperature of your grill and close its lid. Let the meat cook in indirect heat for 40 minutes.
  6. Use a meat thermometer to measure the meat’s internal temperature. Determine the temperature based on the level of doneness you want. For instance, a medium should be 135 degrees F.
  7. Remove your picanha from the grill and let it rest for 25 minutes.
  8. Slice it against the grain and serve

Picanha recipe oven      

Cooking picanha in an oven is also simple. Here is what you need and the instructions to follow.


  • Two lbs. Picanha roast
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Preparation time

  • 45 minutes

Cook time

  • 2 hours


  1. Use crosshatch marks to score the roast’s fat. Salt all the sides of the meat with a generous amount of salt. Use your fingers to rub the salt and ensure it gets to every meat part. Let the seasoned meat rest for at least 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven until it reaches 375 degrees. Generously spread black pepper on the meat roast. Put the steak on a hot roasting pan with at least a half inch of water at the bottom, then move it to the oven’s rack. Leave it to cook for about one hour and a half, based on the level of doneness you want to achieve
  3. Measure the internal temperature and remove it when it is done to your desired level.
  4. Remove it from the oven. Leave it to rest for about ten minutes before slicing.

Final thoughts

Picanha is simple to cook. It is delicious, tender, and juicy, making it a favorite for many people. It comes from the less strained part of the cow, making it ideal for preparing whenever you have guests over, as it guarantees you less than two hours of cooking

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