If you're looking for a fabulous steak recipe, you've come to the right place. You are going to love incredibly juicy and flavorful Picanha Steaks. Picanha, also known as the Sirloin Cap and Coulotte steak, is a high-quality cut of beef from the tender rump of a cow.
Picanha is popular in Brazilian cuisine and has recently become quite the sensation in the U.S. - and one bite of perfectly seared picanha steaks will have you raving as well! They are easily prepared on the stovetop and finished in the oven for a fantastic dinner that's ready in under an hour.
Why You'll Love Picanha
Exceptional texture and flavor. Picanha steaks have the perfect amount of fat to make each cut wonderfully tender and juicy. The fat is on the cap instead of marbled throughout the beef cut making for great flavor but with fat, you can easily carve off. When prepared medium rare these steaks are melt-in-your-mouth amazing.
Easy to cook. Because these are high-quality cuts of beef, you want to let the picanha shine. We therefore recommend quickly searing on the stovetop before finishing in the oven. Then the steaks rest to reach just the right temperature, so there's little hands-on work needed to make this recipe.
Wonderful to customize seasonings. Below you'll find the complete recipe for making picanha Steaks with a fresh and savory Herb Salt crust. However, you can choose to use our easy picanha preparation method with nearly any seasonings you like. Continue reading for some great suggestions.
Fantastic leftovers. Juicy and tender picanha steak is delicious to enjoy for dinner. While you probably won't have any leftovers, the leftovers are great to use in salads, sliders, and sandwiches. Or, simply enjoy reheating again with your favorite sides.
Steps To Perfect Steaks
- Ingredients: Because of its extreme popularity picanha has become more readily available in most major grocery stores and online. Picanha is also commonly called the Rump Cap, Sirloin Cap, Top Sirloin Cap, or Coul0tte steak, so see if your local butcher has cut by any of these names. I first discovered picanha at my local farmers market, which is also a great place to try! You'll also need pure olive oil for searing, plus a handful of seasonings and dried herbs.
- Cookware: We recommend that you use a cast iron skillet to achieve the best sear on the sirloin cap steaks. You can use another type of skillet, but be sure that it can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven. If you want your steak with the classic crisscross grill marks, use a cast iron grill pan instead of a flat-bottomed skillet.
- Thermometer: Instant read thermometers are handy and accurate for ensuring beef is cooked to the proper temperature. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145 degrees F for medium-rare steaks, 160 degrees for medium, and 165 degrees for medium-well.
- Prep the Picanha: Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel, and score the fat caps with a sharp knife. Do not trim the fat off, however, as the seared fat is what will help make the steaks juicy.
- Season and Slice the Steaks: Mix the spices in a small bowl and coat the picanha steaks generously. Then cut the picanha with the grain so that they are in 3 large slices (each about 2-3 inches wide).
- Cook the Top Sirloin Cap Steaks: Sear the seasoned pieces of picanha in hot oil, fat side down, for approximately 7 minutes or until the fat is rendered. Flip the steaks over, and transfer them to a 375 degree preheated oven. Roast for 30 minutes for medium-rare. See notes above and details in the recipe card for more.
- Rest: Loosely cover the Coulotte steaks with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. You must let them properly rest before carving. This essential step is what allows the juices to absorb back into the meat, making the meat bite tender and flavorful.
- Slice and Serve: Use a sharp knife to carve the steaks into thin strips, slicing against the grain. Serve warm with your preferred sides.
Coulotte Steak Recipe Variations
Brazilian-Style: To get the authentic Brazilian steakhouse experience, fold the picanha steaks into a moon shape with the fat cap on the outside. Slide the folded pieces of meat onto a large BBQ skewer. Follow steps 4 and 5 to sear the outer parts of the folded meat in the grill pan. Serve the beef by slicing it directly off of the skewers.
Quick Dry Brining: Season fresh picanha with kosher salt. Place steaks on a rack set on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for one hour. Remove the steaks and rinse off the salt, scraping as much off as possible. Pat steaks very dry with a paper towel. Do not add any more salt to your seasonings or rubs.
Ready-to-Use Seasoning: Instead of the herb seasoning blend in the recipe card, rub ¼ cup of McCormick Grill Mates Brazilian Steakhouse Seasoning all over the picanha.
Chili-Lime Rub: Omit the Herb Seasoning in the picanha steak recipe card. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon coriander, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Rub the mixture all over the picanha meat.
Effortless Seasoning: Omit the herb crust seasoning and instead season the picanha with only generous amounts of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Leftovers and Storage Tips
- Allow leftover Coulotte steak to cool completely before transferring to an airtight sealed container. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Cooked Picanha Steaks can be sealed in an airtight container and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost leftovers in the refrigerator overnight.
- Enjoy leftover Coulotte steak cold or reheated briefly in the microwave or on the stovetop. Be careful to heat until just warm so that you do not overcook the tender and juicy steaks.
- Use cold leftovers to make a hearty steak salad or cold cut-style sandwiches.
- Warmed leftover Sirloin Cap steaks are great to enjoy again with your favorite sides for lunch or dinner. Or use slices to make a hot beef sandwich or mini sliders.
- Air Fryer Asparagus - Crispy and Tender
- Perfectly Crispy and Tender Roasted Baby Potatoes
- Air Fryer Baked Potatoes
- Instant Pot Broccoli
More Beef Recipes to Try
- Irresistible Sirloin Tip Roast
- Spectacular Eye of Round Roast
- Birria Tacos with Amazing Adobo
- Deliciously Lean and Tender Rump Roast
Exceptional Picanha Steaks
- 2-½ pounds Picanha*
Herb Salt Crust
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons mushroom powder
- 1 tablespoon pure olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Using paper towels, pat the Picanha dry. Using a sharp knife, score the fat cap about half-way into the fat. Slice the lines, about 1 inch apart, diagonally across and then again diagonally in the other direction to make a cross-hatch pattern.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine salt, garlic, thyme, rosemary, pepper and mushroom powder. Season the Picanha all over with the seasoning mix. Cut the Picanha with the grain into 3 strips (about 2 to 3 inches wide).
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, about 5 minutes or until hot. Add the oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the Picanha, fat side down. Sear the Picanha, about 7 minutes or until the fat renders almost to the bottom of the score lines and the surface is browned and crispy.
- Flip the Picanha over and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes or and instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the thickest part of the meat registers 130°F for medium-rare, 140°F for medium, and 145°F for medium-well. (See Notes)
- Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let stand 10 minutes.
- Carve the Picanha against the grain into thin slices. Serve.
- Buy Picanha with the fat cap in place and do not trim. The fat cap will help keep the steak moist and tender
- As the fat is rendering, you can very carefully spoon some of the fat out into a heat-proof bowl and set aside. This step will help reduce splattering. Before turning the Picanha over, spoon some of the fat back over the meat.
- The meat will continue to rise in temperature 5 to 10 degrees while it is resting. For this reason, I recommend taking your roast out of the oven before it reaches the ideal temperature. The USDA recommended temperatures for beef are 135°F for medium-rare, 145°F for medium, and 150°F for medium-well.
- Resting the Picanha after cooking is extremely important. During the rest, the juices that were pulled toward the surface during cooking are able to absorb back into the meat. This step makes your steak moist and flavorful.