Picanha is a great cut of meat, very common in South America. It has an excellent flavor and it doesn’t need much tinkering with, you more or less cook it as it is. Serve the meat with a chimichurri and a bottle of red wine.

Servings 4
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Start the grill 30 minutes


  • 3 lbs picanha
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Rinse the steak with cold water, and pat it dry with a paper towel. Apply the salt on the meat side and let it rest for at least two hours, preferably overnight, in the fridge.
    Raw picanha with fat cap up
  • Raw picanha upside down
  • Fire up your grill, prepare it for indirect grilling. Have it running at 225° – 250° F.
    Starting a fire with the Looftlighter
  • Fully ashed over briquettes
  • Place the meat on the indirect side and close the lid.
    Picanha on the grate
  • When the inner temperature reaches 54° C / 130° F it is time to take it off the grill. Remove the lid and open all vents to stoke the fire, we want it to get real hot.
  • You now have a choice: sear the picanha as is, or slice into thick steaks and sear them individually. I prefer to sear the whole picanha in one go, it's easier to avoid overshooting temps.
  • Place the steak(s) on the grate when the fire is burning hot. Give them a good sear for a minute or so until they’re nicely charred. You want the inner temperature to reach 58-60° C / 138-140° F. Let them rest for a few minutes, then they’re ready to serve. If you seared the whole picanha, leave it to rest for 10 minutes at least before slicing.

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