What Is Picanha Steak? The Most Beautiful Cut For BBQ!

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Picanha steak is hailed as a hidden gem in the world of steaks. It is also known for its rich flavor and tender texture, Picanha is the star of the show at many Brazilian barbecues. In this post, we dive into what makes this cut special, where to buy it, and how to cook it to perfection.

What Is Picanha Steak?

Picanha is a triangular cut of steak, procured from the top of the rump, just above the buttock.

It’s renowned for its generous fat cap, which, when cooked, melts into the meat, enhancing its flavor and tenderizing the fibers.


This results in a delectable steak that offers a unique combination of leanness, tenderness, and flavor.

What Is Picanha Steak In America?

In the American, Picanha is often referred to as the top sirloin cap or rump cap.

However, it’s worth noting that Picanha is not the same as the top sirloin, although they both come from the same general area of the cow.

Some North American butchers may divide the Picanha cut into other smaller cuts, such as loin or round steaks. Hence, this is not a common cut of beef that you could find in the local grocery stores.

What Kind Of Meat Is Picanha? 

Number 8 Is Where The Picanha Steak Located On The Cow

Picanha is a type of beef cut that comes from the biceps femoris muscle, which is located in the hindquarters of the cow (which also produce loin, round, and flank cut).  It is a tender and flavorful meat, similar to sirloin steaks, with a relatively low amount of intramuscular fat. 

Is Picanha The Same As Top Sirloin?

Yes, this Brazilian steakhouses staple is the same as the top sirloin cap in the United States. This prized cut of meat is gradually gaining traction in the BBQ community!

However, enthusiasts will separate these two. While Picanha and top sirloin both come from the same general area of the cow (the rear part), they are not the same cut. Picanha meat, is a specific cut that includes a thick cap of fat and is recognized for its distinctive flavor and tenderness. On the other hand, top sirloin is a larger, leaner cut that doesn’t usually include the fat cap and is less tender.

What Is Special About Brazilian Picanha Steak? What Does This Steak Cut Taste Like?

So, what makes this cut of steak special? Why is it stealing the limelight in the world of steaks?

The answer lies in its unique qualities. Picanha’s rich, beefy flavor, tender texture, and the soft, buttery fat layer on top of the meat set it apart from other cuts. It’s relatively affordable, making it an excellent choice for large gatherings.


When cooked to medium-rare or medium, the flavor of Picanha is at its prime. The large fat cap, when roasted, bastes the meat, creating a crispy, flavorful exterior and a juicy, tender interior. This transforms the Picanha into a melt-in-your-mouth delicacy that leaves you reaching for more.

Is Picanha Steak Cut A Good Steak?

Absolutely! Picanha steak is a culinary delight that’s often hailed as a hidden gem in the world of beef cuts. What sets it apart is its rich, beefy flavor that’s beautifully complemented by a cap of fat. Think of the fat cap as a built-in baster, infusing the steak with a mouth-watering juiciness as it melts during cooking.

Since this cut of steak contains high fat content and tenderness, Picanha is usually compared to a ribeye steak, which is one of the best steaks recognized worldwide.

The taste of Picanha is a harmonious blend of savoriness and a subtle sweetness, a combination that dances on the tongue and leaves you craving more. It’s incredibly tender, almost buttery, offering a melt-in-your-mouth experience that’s hard to rival.

Imagine searing this steak to create a crisp, flavorful crust, then cutting into it to reveal a juicy, perfectly cooked interior. With every bite, you’re treated to a burst of flavors that’s nothing short of a celebration.

Where Can I Buy Picanha Steak?

Purchasing a Picanha steak might require a little bit of searching as it’s not a commonly stocked cut in many regular grocery stores. Your best bet to find Picanha steak would be to visit a local specialty butcher shop. They often carry a wider range of beef cuts.

If that’s not an option, many online meat retailers cut the steak and will deliver it right to your door. Some well-known online sources include Snake River Farms, ButcherBox, and Crowd Cow. Always remember to choose a reputable retailer to ensure you’re getting a high-quality, fresh cut of meat.

How Do You Season This Cut Of Beef? Without Steak Seasoning

When it comes to seasoning Picanha, less is more. The flavorful cut of beef is unique – which means it shines best with simple seasonings.

Coarse salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil are all you need to enhance the natural flavors of the meat. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can experiment with your favorite steak seasoning or marinade. But remember, the star of the show is the Picanha itself, so let it take center stage.

How Do You Cook Picanha Steak?

To cook the steak to perfection, grill Picanha cut on high heat to create a delicious crust, then slow-cook it to your preferred doneness. Using a meat thermometer will ensure you achieve the perfect internal temperature for a tender and juicy steak.

Here a quick Picanha steak recipe for you!


The beauty of Picanha lies in its simplicity. The combination of salt, pepper, and the natural flavors of the meat create a delicious and satisfying meal.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 2
Calories 500 kcal


  • 1 Picanha steak roughly 1.5 lbs, with the fat cap
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil


  • Preheat your grill to high heat (around 450-500°F).
  • While the grill is heating, prepare the Picanha. Trim any excessive fat from the steak, leaving a layer about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Score the fat cap in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat.
  • Rub the steak all over with olive oil. Generously season both sides with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Place the Picanha on the grill, fat side down. Sear for about 5-7 minutes, or until it develops a nice, golden-brown crust.
  • Flip the steak and continue grilling for another 5-7 minutes for medium-rare, or until a meat thermometer reads 130-135°F when inserted into the thickest part of the steak.
  • Once cooked to your liking, remove the Picanha from the grill and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  • After resting in room temperature, slice the Picanha against the grain into thin slices. Serve immediately with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!


What Is Picanha Steak In English?

Picanha steak is a Spanish name. In English, is often referred to as the top sirloin cap, rump cover, or rump cap.

What Is Picanha Beef Joint?

A Picanha beef joint is a larger cut that includes the whole Picanha, often used for roasting or barbecuing in larger gatherings.

What Is Cab Picanha Steak?

CAB (Certified Angus Beef) Picanha steak is a Picanha cut from Angus cattle, recognized for its quality, flavor, and marbling.


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