How to BBQ Like a Brazilian 

 How to BBQ Like a Brazilian 

It all starts with the Picanha.

Picanha, a delicious cut of meat, the rump is the top sirloin. It is very tender and juicy. Picanha is the portuguese word for the rump-sirloin area. Churrasco means barbeque or grill. Picanha is a popular cut of meat used in Brazilian barbecues.

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Butcher Shop

Picanha is a cut of beef that comes from the bottom half of the cow. It includes the loin, tenderloin, and sirloin. It should come from the primal cuts. Ask your butcher about these cuts. Top sirloin cap. Rump cover. Rump cap. Keep that beautiful fat cap on.


You can cook this steak by placing it directly on the grill or you can use a pan to sear it first. Then put it on the grill for about 15-20 minuets. Make sure you flip it over halfway through.

I do recommend grilling on an outdoor charcoal or hard wood lump charcoil grill. Gas grills may work, but they won't give you the same great taste.


Picanha Steak

Picanhas are typically sold as a single steak. You should be careful to cut the steaks properly so they won't tear apart. Make sure to start cutting the steaks on the fat cap side, and make cuts across the grain.

This input is very confusing because it doesn't tell you what to do with the meat. You need to be more specific about how to prepare the meat.


Meat thermometer

A steak cooked to medium-rare is perfect. You must use an internal temperature thermometer to check the doneness of your meat. Cooking time depends on how thick your steak is.

A meat thermometer should be used when cooking meats. To find your desired degree of doness, use a meat thermometor and follow this guide:

Rare: 125°F.

Medium-rare: 135ºF.

Medium: 145°F.

Medium well: 150ºF.

Well-done: 160ºF.

Seasoning Matters

This is my favorite seasoning to use for picanha. My friend who is from Brazil used this and it's delicious. You can find it in a couple of different flavors like spicy or garlic. It's by far my favorite. I put a link below.

If you can't find this seasoning you can also use a coarse Brazilian sea salt. Don't be shy with the seasoning!

Meat prep for picanha and similar cuts of meat

For grilled picanha, we are going to keep the fat cap on. The 30 minutes it'll spend on the stove will be enough to allow it to render without it turning rubby. It will then provide the natural flavor that we need in the meat.

Only use salt and pepper to season the beef, not other spices. The meat is so flavorful that anything more will overwhelm the flavor. Don't marinate, don't rub. Just salt and black pepper.

Try scoring the fat a little. This will provide a channel for fatty liquid to run as it cooks, helping the meat to flavor better.

A whole picanha will require 3-4 minutes on the fat side down.

After this, you cut it into thin strips and cook it on the grill like you'd cook a regular steak. You should do this while the fat is still on the meat.

Don't try to smoke a picanha in your oven. The fat cap doesn't render in the same way as brisket does. It will turn into a rubber-like consistency, which will tighten the more you expose it to high temperatures in the oven. Instead, be sure that you save it for on the barbecue over the coals. If you decide to use it, remove the fat from the top of the weed.

Don't use any fire starters or artificial briquettes in your grill. Use lump charcoal only, and avoid briquettes

Briquettes will ruin the flavors and aromas of the meat.

An important step is scoring the layer of fat on the top of the picanhas. What this does is prevent the meat from de­forming when the fat shrank. It also allows the fat and liquid to dissipated through the meat as it's cooked.

One of the best parts of picanha and Brazilian barbecued meat is that it's all based on the meat's flavors. This means that there is no need to marinate or use any seasoning beyond just salt or pepper. Just like with Texas barbecue, all we want are the natural flavors and juices from the meat.

Apply a little bit to it before grilling and that's it. This will help you lock in the juice and no more.



Picanha is beef cut from the bottom sirloin. This steak is usually served medium rare. It's cooked over direct heat and then finished off under the broiler.