Is Picanha The Best Steak Cut?

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There are lots of absolutely fantastic steak cuts out there, and this article will introduce you to the cream of the crop! 

Picanha is a hugely popular steak cut in Brazil. It is one of the most flavorful cuts of beef there is.

Is Picanha The Best Steak Cut?

Picanha is a relatively cheap cut of meat, but it is very impressive, making it extremely popular. 

This steak cut is difficult to come by and you likely won’t find it in your local grocery store. Instead, you will find picanha at most butchers. 

This article will explore how best to cook picanha to make the most from it as possible.

What Is Picanha?

Picanha is a cut of beef. It is arguably the best cut that you can get! It is taken from the top of the rump and it is known as a sirloin cap, rump cap or rump cover. 

The picanha is a cut that is triangular in shape and it is surrounded by a very thick layer of fat. This layer of fat is known as a fat cap and it is very tender.

The reason it is so tender is that it is not an overused muscle, meaning that the cut is tender and juicy. 

When you are purchasing picanha, there are three things to look out for to make sure that it is as nice as it can be. You should look at fat content, size and excess liquid. 

The smaller cuts of meat are much better, being around 1kg to 1.5kg in size.

If you are buying anything larger than this then they are likely to contain other parts of the animal as well. 

If you do end up with a bigger size steak, you are likely to have parts of the outer-thigh region, too.

This runs below the rump and is nowhere near as nice as the Picanha cut. 

When you are purchasing a picanha cut, you also want to make sure that it has a 1.5cm fat cap, and not too much liquid within the packaging as this is a sign that the meat is not as good.

How To Cut Picanha Into Steaks?

It is a good idea to place the steaks fat side down. This makes it much easier to slice. You will need to make sure that you cut with the grain when it comes to picanha steaks.

Why Should You Cut The Grain With Picanha?

You should always cut the meat in the same direction as the fibers. This is very different from most other cuts of meat, which you would usually cut against the grain.

However, this is definitely the best way to cut this steak. Once it is cooked and rested, the final cut of the steak will then be cut against the grain.

This is done to make sure that the meat has the maximum amount of tenderness.

Best Way To Cook Picanha Steak

Whichever way you choose to cook this steak, it will be absolutely delicious. It is tender and perfect. 

You can cook it in lots of different ways, including: 

  • Grilled 
  • Roasted 
  • Barbecue rotisserie


There are a few steps to preparing and cooking a picanha. Follow these for the best results when it comes to preparing the steak for cooking:

  1. Bring the meat to room temperature
  2. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel to ensure that it is not wet
  3. Trim the visible membrane or skin from the steak cut


Seasoning is pretty straightforward when it comes to picanha.

As it is such a delicious cut of meat, that really doesn’t need much help when it comes to flavoring, you will be better off simply using some salt to season the meat. 

You will want to make sure that it is cooked to perfection, so it is a good idea to use a meat thermometer in order to get the cooking time perfect. 

Is Picanha The Best Steak Cut?

Cooking The Picanha Medium Rare

When it comes to cooking individual steaks, you will want to place the steaks in a frying pan.

They will need to be fried on a high heat with the fat side down. This is how they will be cooked, and then they should be seared on both sides following this. 

When the steak has formed a golden crust on both sides of the steak, you should then turn down the heat of the frying pan. 

After this has been turned down, cook the steak for around 3-4 minutes on each side. 

Cooking The Picanha On An Outdoor Grill

If you are cooking this meat on an outdoor grill, you will want to make sure that it has been properly preheated. 

In order to ensure that the steaks don’t stick to the grill, it is a good idea to rub some fat on the grill. You don’t want to get this delicious cut of steak and end up breaking it! 

Then, place the picanha steaks on the outer edges of the heat.

You don’t want to place them in the middle of the heat as this burns the outside of the steak too quickly. 

For best results, you should close the lid of the grill and cook the steaks for around 6 minutes at 120 degrees celsius, or 248 degrees fahrenheit.

Do the same on the other side. 

After you have done this, you should sear the steak on both sides at the hottest part of the grill.

You should make sure that you use a thermometer to test the temperature of the steak to check if it is cooked properly.

If you are aiming to cook your steak medium rare, then it should be around 54 degrees celsius in the middle.

Roasting The Picanha 

Roasting picanha is a great way to cook it. It is good for those who like their steak fairly rare.

First, you should preheat the oven to around 180 degrees celsius. You will want to sear the steak first before you cook it so that it is golden brown on each side.

Brazilian Picanha Steak 

In Brazil, Picanha steak is definitely seen as the best cut. It is often cooked over the barbecue in Brazil, which is known as churrasco. 

Often, the meat will be sliced and placed on skewers in order to be grilled over the barbecue.

The meat is usually cut into quite thick pieces and is folded over itself on the skewer.

The skewers are cooked over the grill for around 20 minutes in order for them to be cooked in this way. 

What Should I Pair Picanha Steak With?

If you have a good cut of steak, it will be delicious whichever way you cook it. It is a good idea to pair this steak with a glass of red wine, and a sauce of your liking.

Final Thoughts 

Picanha steak is a delicious cut which is fresh, juicy and tender. No matter how it is cooked, it will always be delicious and your guests will be very impressed!

It is definitely one of the best steak cuts out there, and is preferred by many different people.