Picanha Steak, also known as Sirloin Cap or Coulotte Steak, is an extremely tender cut of beef topped with an authentic chimichurri recipe.

While a specialty of Brazilian steakhouses, Picanha Recipes (pronounced pi-can-ya) have grown quickly in popularity over the past year, for good reason; it’s like a filet mignon steak, without the high price tag.

Cooked Picanha steak on a black platter.

Picanha Recipes

There are a few ways to cook up picanha, including smoking, cutting into steaks or grilling as a whole roast – here are a few other versions to check out:

Picanha Roast (Smoked Picanha – Pictured Below)
Coulotte Steak

Picanha roast on a silver baking sheet.

Picanha Cut Of Meat

Picanha is one of several names this cut of meat goes by. When shopping, look for any of the following:

  • Top sirloin cap
  • Top sirloin butt
  • Rump cap
  • Top butt cap
  • Picanha steak 

Picanha roast covered in plastic wrap.

Meat Skewers

Traditionally, when making Brazilian Churrasco (Brazilian BBQ), metal skewers are used to cook the meat. The individual Picanha steak is threaded onto the skewer. 

These are the Picanha skewers we picked up on Amazon for only $1 per each. It’s not necessary to use them however; just a fun authentic twist.

Slices of beef threaded on meat skewers.

Picanha Beef Cut

As with most beef cuts, sirloin cap roast is available at different quality levels:

Prime Picanha

This is where the sweet spot is. Having tried both prime-rated picanha and choice-rated picanha, prime rated roast is worth the extra few dollars per pound. 

Choice Picanha

A great choice if you’re limited on funds! It’s still extremely tender and juicy, so you’ll love the results.

Wagyu Picanha 

Wagyu picanha is overkill. There, we said it. Prime-rated picanha is a fraction of the cost and is incredible tender and full of flavor. Paying the Wagyu price tag isn’t worth it, in our humble opinion.

Sliced pieces of beef with chimichurri.

What Is Picanha Steak

Beef picanha is a boneless beef roast with a ton of marbling throughout. With a large fat cap, picanha steak is perfect for grilling or roasting, making it the go-to cut at Brazilian churrascaria (Brazilian Steakhouse).

Where To Buy

Costco started carrying this cut last year, so it’s a great store to check.

If your Costco doesn’t sell sirloin cap roast, here are a few online suppliers we purchase picanha roasts from: Wild Fork FoodsSnake River Farms and ButcherBox.

Beef roast with cups of spices on a black cutting board.

Ingredients

The ingredients list, to make picanha steaks, is short and sweet.

  • Picanha Steak – Top sirloin roast, garlic powder, kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Chimichurri – olive oil, parsley, red wine vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.

Chimichurri sauce in a clear mixing bowl with a whisk.

How To Cook

This Picanha recipe is extremely easy to prepare.

Fat Cap

Trim the fat cap to your preferred thickness (most popular is ¼”- ⅓”) and score with a sharp knife, making sure not to go too deep.

Cut the Steaks

Slice the roast into 1″ – 1.5″ thick steaks.

Thread the Meat

If using meat skewers, thread the sirloin steaks on them. To thread, squish the steaks into a “C” shaped and slide the skewer through the middle.

Steak being squished into a c shape to thread on a meat skewer.

Season the Roast

Drizzle the beef picanha with oil and coat with the dry rub mix. 

Grilling the Steaks

Use any grill to cook! Gas, charcoal and electric all work!

WATCH FOR FLARE UPS – as the fat cap tends to create them.

  • Gas Grill – Generously grease the grates and turn half the burners on medium-high heat (350 – 400° F), to maintain two grilling zones (direct and indirect). Cook according to the directions in the recipe card below.
  • Charcoal – Generously grease the grates and build a medium-high heat fire for indirect cooking. Aim to keep it between 350 – 400° F. Cook according to the directions in the recipe card below.
  • Electric Grill – Pre-heat to 400° F. Cook according to the directions in the recipe card below.

Rare beef on meat skewers on a grill.

Temperature

Cook Picanha by temperature vs. time. Below are the “final doneness temperatures”. Your “pull from the grill” temperature will be 3-5°F below the listed temperatures  as resting will increase the temp. 

  • Rare: 125°F – 130°F
  • Medium Rare: 130°F – 140°F
  • Medium: 140°F – 150°F
  • Medium Well: 150°F – 160°F
  • Well Done: 160°F+

* The USDA recommends cooking steaks and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145°F for safety.

three grilled steaks on a black cutting board.

Supplies

  • Energy Source – Charcoal, wood, propane, etc.
  • Thermometer – Always use a meat thermometer. Always. Our go-to digital thermometer is the Thermaworks Dot.

Chimichurri

We have two separate chimichurri recipes to choose from: mint chimichurri (directions in the Sous Vide Lamb Chops recipe post) and this authentic chimichurri sauce (see the recipe card below).

For a coarse chimichurri (as pictured) hand chop the ingredients. If you prefer a smoother chimichurri, bust out your food processor or blender.

Two white bowls filled with chimichurri.

Steak Rubs and Sauces

We have quite a few dry rub recipes and steak sauce options for beef recipes if you’re not in the mood for chimichurri. 

Tips

  • As picanha has a thick fat cap, watch for flare ups!
  • Cap the temperature at medium. Sirloin cap will toughen up after a certain temperature. It’s best to serve rare, medium rare or medium.
  • The smaller end pieces will cook faster, so keep an eye on them.
  • Always use a meat thermometer when making grilled meat. Our go-to digital thermometer is the Thermaworks Dot.
  • Slice thin and against the grain.

Sirloin Cap steaks coated in chimichurri sauce.

Sirloin Cap Recipes

This delicious roast beef can be utilized in a variety of different dishes. Here are a few awesome recipes it would work well in:

Prime Rib Sandwich
Tri Tip Sandwich
Stir Fry Recipes

Picanha steak on a black cutting board.

Picanha Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Picanha Steak, also known as Sirloin Cap or Coulotte Steak, is an extremely tender cut of beef cooked low and slow and topped with an authentic chimichurri sauce. Check out all our Picanha Recipes.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Resting: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Course: Dinner, Main Course

Cuisine: Brazilian

Keyword: Beef Recipes, Brazilian Recipe, Grilled Beef, Picanha Recipes, Smoker Recipes

Servings: 6 Steaks

Calories: 399kcal

Author: Darcey Olson

Cost: $30

Prep the Steaks:

  • Trim the fat cap to your preferred thickness (most popular is ¼”- ⅓”) and score with a sharp knife, making sure not to go too deep.

  • If using meat skewers, thread the sirloin steaks on them. To thread, squish the steaks into a “C” shaped and slide the skewer through the middle.

  • Drizzle the steaks with a thin layer of olive oil and coat evenly with the salt, garlic powder and black pepper.

Gas Grill:

  • Generously grease the grates and turn half the burners on medium heat (350 – 400°), to maintain two grilling zones (direct and indirect).

  • Transfer the steaks to the grill and cook over indirect heat for 15-18 minutes, turning every 5 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 3° LOWER than your desired final temperature. The smaller end pieces will cook faster, so keep an eye on those.

  • Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before topping with chimichurri and serving.

Charcoal Grill:

  • Generously grease the grates and build a medium heat fire (350 – 400°) setting up two grilling zones (direct and indirect).

  • Transfer the steaks to the grill and cook over indirect heat for 15-18 minutes, turning every 5 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 3° LOWER than your desired final temperature. The smaller end pieces will cook faster, so keep an eye on those.

  • Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before topping with chimichurri and serving.

Note 1 – The steaks can be cut up to 1.5″ thick, however the cooking time will need to be elongated to make up for the thicker slices of beef.
Note 2 – Temperature’s

  • Rare: 125°F – 130°F
  • Medium Rare: 130°F – 140°F
  • Medium: 140°F – 150°F
  • Medium Well: 150°F – 160°F
  • Well Done: 160°F+

Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 2418mg | Potassium: 647mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 862IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 4mg

Darcey Olson

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