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+ servings
two cooked picanha steaks on a carving board ready to be served

Exceptional Picanha Steaks

Course: Main
Cuisine: South American
Keyword: 5 Ingredients or Less, Comfort Food, Steak
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 269kcal
Author: Marilyn
The Brazilian steak sensation known as Picanha or Sirloin Cap is seriously the best steak you will ever eat. Tender, juicy and full of steak flavor are the hallmarks of this cut. If you love steak, this is the cream of the crop.
Print Recipe


  • 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.


*  Picanha is also called Rump Cap, Sirloin Cap, Top Sirloin Cap or Coulotte
  • 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.
Grill Marks: If you are a fan of the crisscross grill marks you get when cooking steaks on the grill, use a cast iron grill pan instead of a flat-bottom skillet. Do a quick sear and then rotate the steaks 90 degrees and sear again.
Brazilian-Style: For the steakhouse experience, fold the steaks into a moon shape with the fat cap on the outside. Slide the folded steaks onto a large BBQ skewer. In steps 4 and 5, using a cast iron grill pan, sear the bottom and top of the folded steaks just until each side is lightly browned and shows grill marks. To serve, slice the steaks right off the skewers and onto plates.
Quick Dry Brining: Season fresh Picanha with the 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.
Seasoning Options
Ready-to-Use Seasoning: Omit the Herb Seasoning in the recipe card. Press ¼ cup McCormick Grill Mates Brazilian Steakhouse Seasoning all over the roast.
Chili-Lime Rub: Omit the Herb Seasoning in the 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 roast.
Effortless Seasoning: Omit the Herb Seasoning. Generously season the roast with kosher salt. Season lightly with freshly ground black pepper. 


Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 2435mg | Potassium: 789mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 39IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 6mg