What Steak Cut Is Picanha? [EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW]

The Picanha is a Brazilian favorite cut that is pretty flavorful yet affordable. In the United States, the steak is commonly referred to as Brazilian steakhouse, and its ease of preparation and unique flavor makes BBQ enthusiasts want to learn more about the cut.

The Picanha steak is obtained from the rump of a cow on the top side. You can also look at it as the cover of the rump, sirloin cap, rump cap, or culotte steak. In most cases, the cut is triangular and surrounded by a thick layer of the fat cap. Since it is never overused, it is tender, juicy, and has a fantastic flavor when cooked well.

Although the Picanha steak is pretty flavorful and amazingly tender, if you do not buy good quality, the chances are that you will not benefit a lot from it. When purchasing the steak, there are three crucial things to consider; the size, excess liquid, and fat content. Read on for more details about the steak.

big steak cut

What Is Picanha

The term Picanha is a Portuguese word for rump steak. More specifically, the Picanha steak is obtained from the top of the rump of a cow. Many English speakers categorize the cut as the culotte, Top Sirloin Cap, Rump Cap, Sirloin Cap, and Rump Cap Steak. If you see a beef cut with any of those name tags in the US, they refer to the Picanha steak.

What Cut Of Meat Is Picanha?

The Picanha, also known as the rump cover, culotte steak, and Top Sirloin cap in the US, is a lean cut with a reasonably thick layer of fat. Since the steak is cut from the top of the rump of a cow, it is not overworked, which means that it is tender and delicious when prepared correctly.

The thick layer of fat on the top of the cut gives it a beefy and delicious flavor. Moreover, the fat cap plays a significant role in protecting the meat from overcooking.

Nutritional Benefits Of The Picanha Steak

The Picanha steak is a rich source of minerals, essential vitamins, and iron. Further, one hundred grams of steak has 27 grams of protein, 213 calories, and 11 grams of fat. The abundance of protein in the cut assists in muscle growth and development. Also, the amino acids help in the overall development of the meat.

How To Cook Picanha

The secret to cooking delicious meat is understanding how to cook it well. While you may have the impression that beef is cooked similarly, it is essential to acknowledge that various cuts require different cooking styles for the best results.

There are three proven ways that you can embrace if you want to cook a delicious Picanha steak. Any of the following three methods can be your best, depending on your taste and preference.

1. Picanha Oven Recipe

Cooking the Picanha steak in the oven is a straightforward process that should not take much of your time. However, you must thaw the steak in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours before cooking. When you are ready to cook, get the steak out of the fridge and let it rest for one hour to bring it to room temperature.

Season the Picanha steak with your favorite seasoning and follow these steps for the best results;

  • Do not trim the fat cap, as the fat will help cook the meat and keep it moist and tender.
  • Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat for five minutes.
  • Add olive oil to the skillet before adding the steak upside down. The fat in the steak will start rendering, making the surface crispy.
  • Move the skillet to the preheated oven and let the roast cook in the oven until it attains the desired level of doneness.
  • Rest your Picanha steak covered with foil for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

2. Picanha Grill Recipe

Another popular way of cooking a delicious Picanha is grilling. To grill the Picanha steak, you will need the steak itself and your favorite seasoning.

Here are the directions that you would need to follow to complete the grilling process successfully;

  • Preheat your grill to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Score the fat cap of the steak in a crosshatch pattern while ensuring that you stay within the fat cap.
  • Season the fat cap using your favorite seasoning and reserve some seasoning.
  • Cut the Picanha steak into small strips and fold them into the C shape before sliding the pieces into skewers. Season with the reserved seasoning on the beef.
  • Grill the pieces over direct heat for 15-20 minutes and flip them every five minutes to ensure they do not burn until they attain the desired level of doneness.
  • Let the meat rest to allow for the redistribution of juices and carryover cooking.

3. Pan-Searing The Picanha Steak

To prepare a pan-seared Picanha steak, follow these instructions;

  • Slice the Picanha into small steaks
  • Season generously using your favorite seasoning and with salt. Then allow the steak to rest at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the skillet over a medium source of heat with olive oil
  • Place the steak in the skillet and a tablespoon of butter. Let the steak sear for 4 minutes before flipping it to the other side. For safety, use a pair of tongs to flip the hot steaks.
  • After flipping the steak, add a spoonful of butter over the top of the steak and sear it for 4 minutes.
  • Remove the steaks from the heat source and rest them for about 10 minutes before serving.

Tips For Cooking The Best Picanha Steak

Although there are several ways that you can embrace when it comes to cooking a delicious Picanha steak, there are simple secrets that you should always keep in mind for the best results. They include:


Seasoning is a critical step for imparting the necessary extra flavor to the steak. You can be creative and deploy a perfect blend of spices and herbs to ensure you get the best results. For instance, using salt, olive oil, pepper, rosemary, thyme, garlic, or any fresh herb of your liking will get the job done. However, you should proceed with moderation because too much seasoning may spoil the flavor.


The cooking process should ensure that you get the searing and the rendering of the fat right. It would help to handle the steak with a pair of tongs to avoid piercing it. Further, when placing the steak in the heat source, start by putting the fat down. Allow it to render completely before flipping it over. Do not flip the steak too much, as this can easily dry it.

It would help to have a meat thermometer to aid you in closely monitoring the internal temperature of the meat. Cooking the steak to your desired level of doneness will be a great feast for your taste buds.

steak medium well


While resting the steak might seem like a small step, it can make a difference. However hungry you might be, it is an excellent idea to let the steak rest for about 15 minutes before serving. Resting is necessary as it allows the steak to reabsorb the juices and complete the cooking process. Also, failing to let your meat rest can make it chewy and dry.


The Picanha is a delicious cut from the top area of the hump of a cow. It is a versatile, tender, and delectable steak cut. If you cannot find it in your local grocery store, you can try looking for it by its alternative names; culotte, Top Sirloin Cap, Rump Cap, Sirloin Cap, and Rump Cap Steak.

After purchasing a quality Picanha steak, you can use different methods to convert the steak into a delicious meal. Such methods include cooking it in the oven, grilling, and searing. Always remember to season the steak well for the best results.