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picanha steak cuts on skewers

Grilled Picanha Steak Recipe

Brazilian picanha steak is one of the most flavorful cuts of beef you will find. You won't believe the incredible taste of this picanha recipe!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Brazilian
Keyword grilled sirloin steak, picanha recipe, picanha steak
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 392kcal
Author Jennifer Shreckengost


  • Metal skewers


  • 1 3-4 pound Picanha cut sirloin cap
  • 1 Tbsp. Santa Maria seasoning rub


  • Preheat grill to high (around 400 degrees F).
    While the grill is heating, prepare the Picanha. Using a knife, score the fat cap of the Picanha in a crosshatched pattern making sure to not cut too deep past the fat into the meat.
    a woman scoring the fat cap of a Picanha
  • Next, season the fat cap with the Santa Maria seasoning rub, reserving about 1 tsp.
    a woman adding santa maria rub to the fat cap of a Picanha
  • Cut the Picanha into 1-inch strips. Then, fold each strip into the shape of the letter "C" and slide onto metal skewers.
    1" strips of Picanha steak folded into C shape on metal skewers before grilling.
  • You'll want to grill the sirloin steaks over indirect heat so if needed, turn one side of the burners off on your grill, or rearrange the hot coals to one side so you can grill over indirect heat.
    Place the skewers onto the grill and grill for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, until the steaks reach the desired level of doneness.
    Picanha steak skewers cooking on the grill
  • Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve, and enjoy!
    Four Picanha Steaks on skewers on a cutting board


  • If you do not have Santa Maria seasoning readily available, you can use a rub of 1 Tbsp. of coarse salt and 1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper. 
  • If you ask your butcher for the sirloin cap with the fat cap, they will be able to prepare it for you.
  • You can also cook this steak on the stove top. To do that, follow these instructions: How to cook picanha on the stove:
    If you don’t have access to a grill or would prefer to cook on your stovetop, you can also prepare this beef cut in a pan. We recommend using cast iron for best results. Follow the above steps for preparing the beef cut, using wooden skewers instead of metal skewers—that way, you can trim the skewers if needed to fit the pan—then continue with these instructions to pan sear steak:
    1. Melt butter in a pan heated to high heat until it begins smoking.
    2. Add the Picanha steak. We recommend cooking one at a time or so, so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
    3. Cook for about 3 minutes on one side, then 2 on the other; this gives the steak a nice crust on the outside and keeps it from overcooking.
    4. Check the internal temperature to see if it matches your desired doneness and, if not, continue cooking as needed. For medium rare, your goal is 135°F (see the above instructions for a great guide on meat temperature).


Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 68g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 178mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 1096mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 6mg