HomeBlogPicanha Steak Recipes : Techniques, Tips, and Tempting Recipes

Picanha Steak Recipes : Techniques, Tips, and Tempting Recipes

Picanha Steak, a beloved Brazilian beef cut distinguished by its delightful fat cap, is traditionally skewered and grilled with minimal seasoning, typically relying on the simplicity of sea salt.

In the United States, this cut is less familiar, often known by various names and occasionally divided into alternative cuts.

The term’s origin, “picanha,” is somewhat mysterious but may be connected to a herding tool in Portugal and Spain.

Gaúcho cowboys in Brazil adopted the term, associating it with the specific point where they pricked animals, aligning with the location of the prized picanha cut.

Perfecting the Picanha Steak: Cooking Techniques

Perfecting the Picanha Steak: Cooking Techniques ,

Cooking the ideal picanha steak is an art that thrives on simplicity and precision.

The traditional Brazilian method involves skewering the meat and grilling it over charcoal, allowing the rich flavours to develop naturally.

The key lies in minimal seasoning—typically just sea salt—to enhance the meat’s natural taste.

Grilling enthusiasts often recommend a medium-rare to medium doneness to preserve the tenderness and succulence of the picanha.

Importantly, the fat cap is retained during the cooking process, contributing to a juicy and flavourful outcome.

Is Picanha Steak a Good Cut of Steak?

Is Picanha Steak a Good Cut of Steak?

Without a doubt! Picanha, sourced from the final portion of the biceps femoris muscle, strikes a perfect balance between lean meat and a delectable fat cap.

Known for its tenderness, picanha is highly prized in Brazil and beyond for its succulent texture and robust taste.

When cooked with care, it delivers a dining experience that can rival some of the most renowned cuts of beef.

Why is Picanha Steak So Affordable?

Why is Picanha Steak So Affordable?

Despite its exceptional flavour and tenderness, picanha is often more budget-friendly than its counterparts.

The reason lies in the fact that picanha comes from a less mainstream part of the animal, making it more accessible and economical.

In its country of origin, Brazil, picanha is a staple, contributing to its affordability.

Savvy consumers can savour the best of both worlds—exceptional taste without breaking the bank.

Is Picanha Steak Tender or Tough?

Is Picanha Steak Tender or Tough?

Picanha stands out in the world of steaks due to its inherent tenderness.

The marbling within the muscle and the thin layer of fat on top contribute to its succulence.

When cooked with the right technique, picanha is exceptionally tender, providing a melt-in-your-mouth experience that rivals even the most expensive cuts.

The key is to avoid overcooking, as this can compromise the tenderness, turning a culinary delight into a tougher texture.

Related Post – How to Grill a Tomahawk Steak

Cooking Picanha: Here is Some Easy Recipes of Picanha Steak

1. Picanha Steak Recipe – Oven


  • 1 whole Picanha Steak
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Optional: Garlic powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Score the fat cap in a diamond pattern without cutting into the meat.
  3. Generously season with sea salt; add optional garlic powder for extra flavour.
  4. Place on a roasting pan with the fat cap facing up.
  5. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until desired doneness.
  6. For a crispier fat cap, broil for 3-5 minutes.
  7. Rest it for 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

2. Picanha Steak Recipe – Air Fryer


  • 1 Picanha Steak, sliced into 1-inch thick strips
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Black pepper


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Rub strips with olive oil, ensuring even coating.
  3. Season it with coarse sea salt and some black pepper.
  4. Air fry for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway.
  5. Rest for a few minutes before serving.

3. Picanha Steak Recipe – Grill (Traditional Brazilian Style)

Picanha Steak Recipe - Grill


  • 1 whole Picanha Steak
  • Coarse sea salt


Picanha Steak Recipe - Grill cooked
  1. Preheat the charcoal grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Score the fat cap in a diamond pattern without cutting into the meat.
  3. Season generously with coarse sea salt.
  4. Skewer onto rotisserie or large skewers.
  5. Grill over indirect heat for 30-40 minutes.
  6. Optionally, sear the fat cap directly over coals.
  7. Rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

4. Picanha Seasoning Recipe

4. Picanha Seasoning Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Mix all the seasoning ingredients in a bowl until well combined.
  2. Generously coat the picanha with the seasoning mixture, ensuring an even distribution.
  3. Allow the seasoned picanha to rest for at least 30 minutes before cooking to let the flavours meld.

5. Picanha Marinade

5. Picanha Marinade


  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Whisk together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Place the picanha in a resealable plastic bag or shallow dish and pour the marinade over it.
  3. Ensure the steak is evenly coated, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
  4. Before cooking, let the picanha come to room temperature, then grill or roast as desired.

6. Picanha Roast

6. Picanha Roast


  • 1 whole Picanha Steak
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Score the fat cap of the picanha and insert slices of garlic into the incisions.
  3. Rub the entire steak with olive oil, ensuring it’s well-coated.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, then place fresh rosemary sprigs on top.
  5. Roast in the preheated oven for about 40-50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches your preferred doneness.
  6. Allow the picanha to rest before slicing, infusing the roast with the aromatic flavours of garlic and rosemary.

7. Brazilian Steak Recipe

7. Brazilian Steak Recipe

Experience the essence of Brazilian cuisine:

  • 1 whole Picanha Steak
  • Chimichurri sauce (for serving)


  1. Follow the traditional Brazilian grilling method for picanha.
  2. Once cooked, let the steak rest before slicing it into thin strips.
  3. Serve the sliced picanha with a side of chimichurri sauce—a vibrant mixture of parsley, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil.
  4. Allow diners to drizzle the chimichurri over their portions for an authentic Brazilian steakhouse experience.

These recipes offer a delightful journey into the world of picanha, ensuring a flavourful and tender experience.

From oven roasting to air frying and traditional grilling, there’s a perfect method for every palate

Here are some tips to enhance the flavour of your Picanha steak recipes:

Picanha Steak : Techniques, Tips, and Tempting Recipes

Select High-Quality Picanha

Start with a top-quality picanha cut for the best flavour.

Look for well-marbled meat with a thick, even fat cap for optimal tenderness and taste.

Mindful Seasoning

When seasoning, keep it simple. Allow the natural flavours of the meat to shine by using sea salt sparingly.

Consider experimenting with different salt varieties for subtle variations.

Experiment with Marinades

Elevate your picanha experience by marinating the meat before cooking.

Try a red wine and garlic marinade or create your signature blend with herbs, spices, and a touch of acidity.

Wood for Added Flavour

If grilling, use aromatic wood chips such as mesquite or hickory to infuse a smoky flavour into the picanha.

Soak the chips before using them for a more controlled release of smoke.

Optimal Grilling Techniques

For grill enthusiasts, master the art of indirect grilling.

This method allows the picanha to cook evenly, ensuring a perfect balance between the seared exterior and succulent interior.

Resting Time Matters

After cooking, resist the urge to immediately slice the picanha.

Let it rest for about 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute, enhancing the overall tenderness and flavour.

Enhance with Aromatics

Infuse additional flavours by incorporating aromatic elements.

For oven or air fryer recipes, consider adding garlic, rosemary, or other herbs to complement the meat’s richness.

Customize Your Seasoning Blend

Experiment with a personalized seasoning blend for a unique touch.

Combine ingredients like black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, onion powder, and dried herbs for a custom flavour profile.

Try Different Cooking Methods

Don’t limit yourself to one cooking method.

Experiment with oven roasting, air frying, and traditional grilling to discover which technique brings out the best flavour in your picanha.

Temperature Precision

Invest in a meat thermometer to ensure precise cooking temperatures.

This helps avoid overcooking, preserving the natural tenderness and juiciness of the picanha.

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