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Picanha steak cooked medium on a serving platter with parsley
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5 from 1 vote

Brazilian Picanha Steak

Pincanha is one of Brazil's prized cuts of beef and you'll find picanha steak at any Brazilian churrasco or barbecue. Sometimes called culotte steak, it's a tender cut featuring rich beefy flavors and a fat cap to keep it moist.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Resting time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Brazilian
Keyword: culotte steak, picanha, picanha steak
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 462kcal
Author: TipBuzz


  • 2-3 pounds picanha including fat cap (see note)
  • 3 large garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil see note
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Optional for Serving

  • black pepper freshly ground
  • fresh parsley minced


  • Remove the meat from the refrigerator one hour ahead of time. This optional step will take the chill off for more even cooking and juicier meat.
  • Preheat your grill or oven to 400°F. When hot, oil the grill grates.
  • In a blender or food processor, add the olive oil, onion, garlic and salt. Process for 5-10 seconds or until you get a coarse, paste-like consistency. Set aside.
  • Place the picanha on a work surface. Score the fat side about a half-inch deep using a butcher's knife. Then cut vertically from the fat down into strips about 1 1/2 inches wide.
  • Rub the pieces of meat generously on all sides with the garlic mixture.
  • Fold one piece into a horseshoe and skewer it to hold the shape. Add second and third pieces onto the same skewer. Repeat for additional skewers as needed to use up the beef. Let it sit for up to 15 minutes to marinate.
  • Using kitchen tongs, place the picanha steaks on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 4-6 minutes per side or until they reach your desired doneness: 120°F for rare, 130°F for medium rare or 140°F for medium. Always check doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part.
  • Remove the picanha to a serving plater and tent with foil to keep warm. Let it rest for 5 minutes undisturbed so the juices can redistribute through the meat.
  • Slice against the grain and garnish with optional black pepper and minced parsley to serve.


  • Picanha: This cut is also known as rump cap, sirloin cap and culotte steak. It has a triangular shape and usually weighs 2-3 pounds.
  • Olive oil: Use refined olive oil instead of extra virgin to minimize smoking; otherwise use another high-temperature oil such as canola or sunflower.


Serving: 6oz | Calories: 462kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 1292mg | Potassium: 859mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 4mg