Prepare to fire up your taste buds with this tantalizing picanha steak recipe. You can easily whip it up on your grill, Blackstone griddle, or even with a Ninja Foodi Grill. The main attraction of this dish is undoubtedly the juicy, tender steak, but let's not forget about the zesty marinade that's going to pack each bite with flavor. I'm here to guide you through a few simple steps to help you craft a steak dinner that could rival any upscale restaurant right from the comfort of your home.
Today, we're diving into the delicious world of a Brazilian favorite, picanha steak.
Also known as the rump cap or sirloin cap, this cut is celebrated for its melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and juicy flavor.
(If you're in the mood for a roast, don't forget to check out my picanha roast recipe.)
This recipe for picanha steak is a breeze to whip up, whether you're a pro at the grill or just starting out in the kitchen.
One of the best things about this recipe is its adaptability. You can fire it up on an outdoor grill, get a fantastic sear using a Blackstone griddle, or take advantage of your Ninja Foodi Grill for a convenient indoor cooking session.
Regardless of your cooking method, you're guaranteed to end up with a standout main dish that'll be the star of your dining table. Serve it with creamed spinach and Crockpot cheesy potatoes, and be prepared for happy smiles at your dinner table.
Ingredients for Picanha Steak
- Avocado Oil: This oil is a great choice for our picanha marinade due to its high smoke point and subtle flavor. If you don't have avocado oil on hand, you can substitute it with another high smoke point oil like grapeseed or canola oil.
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a bright, tangy flavor to the marinade, helping to tenderize the steak.
- Minced Garlic: The aromatic garlic brings depth and savory notes to our marinade. If fresh garlic isn't available, you could use garlic powder or even jarred minced garlic in a pinch.
- Sea Salt: Sea salt is essential for enhancing the natural flavors of the steak. If you don't have sea salt, you can substitute it with kosher salt or table salt, but be mindful of the different grain sizes and adjust accordingly.
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper gives a spicy kick to the marinade. Pre-ground black pepper can be used if necessary, but freshly ground offers a more robust flavor.
- Picanha Cut Steaks: Pichana steaks are the whole roast cut into individual steaks. If picanha isn't available, you could try this recipe with other flavorful cuts like New York strip.
Step by Step
For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Tips and Tricks
- Respect the Fat Cap: One of the defining features of picanha is its thick fat cap. Don't trim this off, as it imparts a lot of flavor and keeps the meat juicy during cooking.
- Keep the Seasoning Simple: Brazilian picanha steak has a robust flavor that doesn't need much enhancement. Stick to simple seasonings like sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, or your favorite steak seasoning.
- Watch Your Cooking Temperature: Picanha is best cooked on medium heat. Too high, and the fat can cause flare-ups; too low, and you won't get a good sear. If you are cooking on a charcoal grill, you will want to use indirect heat to avoid flare-ups.
- Use a Meat Thermometer: To ensure your picanha is cooked to perfection, use a meat thermometer. Aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F for medium-rare.
- Rest Before Slicing: Let your cooked picanha rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to be redistributed throughout the steak.
- Slice Against the Grain: When ready to serve, use a sharp knife to slice the picanha against the grain. This will make each bite wonderfully tender.
- Embrace the Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat in a cast iron skillet or heavy-duty pan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until warm.
What is Picanha Steak?
Popular in Brazil and South America, Picanha steak, known as rump cap, rump cover, culotte steak, or sirloin cap, is prized for its flavorful fat cap and tender meat. This underappreciated cut can rival famous cuts like ribeye when cooked right. Perfect for barbecues, grilling, or Brazilian-style skewering, it's a treat for all meat enthusiasts.
Why do you cook picanha steak on skewers?
Skewering is a traditional Brazilian method for cooking picanha steak, often used in churrasco-style barbecues. It ensures even cooking, easy handling of multiple pieces on the grill, and offers an appealing presentation. By rotating the skewered steak, you get a perfectly seared exterior and a juicy interior, adding a touch of flair to your meal.
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- Grill, Blackstone Griddle, or Ninja Foodi Gril
- Shallow Dish for Marinating
- Instant Read Meat Thermometer
- Small Bowl
- Metal Skewers (optional)
More Steak Recipes to Try
- For those who enjoy outdoor cooking, my Blackstone Griddle Steak recipe offers a unique twist on the traditional grilled steak, showcasing the griddle's ability to create a wonderfully crispy sear.
- If you're after a lean yet flavorful cut of meat, try my Seared Flank Steak recipe. This quick-cooking method brings out the beefy goodness of the flank steak, making it a perfect weeknight dinner option.
- Fans of lesser-known cuts will appreciate the Hanger Steak recipe. Often overlooked, this cut is incredibly tender and packed with flavor, especially when cooked to medium-rare perfection.
- Lastly, for a hearty and satisfying dish that combines the best of both worlds, check out my Steak and Mushrooms recipe. The earthy mushrooms complement the rich steak beautifully, creating a comforting meal that's sure to impress.
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ¾ pounds picanha steaks
- Combine the avocado oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Place the steaks in a shallow dish and pour the oil and lemon juice mixture over them. Toss to coat.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Drain and discard the oil mixture.
- Thread the steaks on metal skewers to form a C.
- Preheat an outdoor grill, Ninja Foodi Grill, or Blackstone Griddle to medium heat. (About 350 ° F)
- Cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until an instant read thermometer registers 135° F.
- Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing against the grain.