Picanha Steak Workshop with Brad Prose from Chiles and Smoke

Picanha Steak Workshop with Brad Prose from Chiles and Smoke

Picanha Workshop 

Made popular in Brazil, picanha is typically grilled over open fire and served with a variety of side dishes and sauces. It can be cooked whole, sliced into steaks, or even skewered and sliced. 

What is Picanha? 

This tender cut of beef is from the rump of the cow. The meat itself is well-marbled, encased with a thick cap of fat. You may see this referred to as a Sirloin Cap or Rump Cap in the US, but most butcher shops will know what Picanha is. Make sure the fat cap has not been removed if ordering from the butcher. 

Grain Structure


How to Reverse-Sear Picanha 

Step 1. Score the fat cap and season the steak. 

Using a sharp knife, score a crosshatch into the fat cap, deep enough 

without cutting into the meat. 

Season the picanha generously with your choice of seasoning, rubbing 

it into the fat cap. 

Allow the picanha to rest with the seasoning for a few hours, up to 

overnight in the fridge if possible. 

Step 2. Preheat a grill/smoker for indirect cooking at 250°F 

Place your picanha fat side up on the cool side of the grill (if using charcoal) or in the smoker. Cook it according to the temperature guide below, which should take an estimated 60-90 minutes. 

Step 3. Sear the picanha and rest. 

Remove the steak from the smoker when it reaches the Target Temp, and prepare to sear. Grill the steak until it reaches your desired final temperature and rest it for at least 15 minutes. 

Reverse-Searing Temperature Guide 


Target Temp in the Smoker 

Final Temp during sear










Med-Well 135°F 145-150°F

How to Grill Picanha Steaks 

Step 1. Slice the picanha ALONG the grain into steaks. 

Use the cut guide above, slicing with the grain. The steaks will be 

different lengths. 

Season the steaks with your choice of seasoning on all sides. You 

may dry-brine the steaks for a few hours. 

Step 2. Preheat the grill for direct searing, about 450°F. 

Using a gas grill or charcoal grill, preheat the grill and clean the 


If you have room for a cool zone in the grill, have that available. 

Sear the steaks directly over the coals for 1 minute and flip. Continue to do so, developing the crust and managing flareups. 

Flipping frequently controls the momentum of the temperature, ensuring one side isn’t dramatically overcooked and grey. 

TIP: Make sure to sear off the fat cap towards the end, ensuring that you don’t have a long, chewy piece on the outside. Watch out for flare-ups.

Step 3: Rest smaller steaks on the cool zone while finishing larger cuts. 

Different size steaks will cook at different times. Pay attention to the temperature and don’t walk off with your beer. 

Move the steaks that are cooking faster to the cool zone, or a nearby sheet pan to rest as needed. 

Remove the steaks about 8-10°F before your target temperature and rest for about 15 minutes before serving. 

Step 4: Rest and slice AGAINST the grain. 

Refer to the photo in the first section, and slice against the grain to serve.

More about Chef Brad Prose 

Creator of Chiles and Smoke, Brad’s food focuses on bold, 

global flavors for grilling and barbecue. 

He’s a professional grill chef, experienced with all types of 

smokers, grills, and live-fire cooking methods. 

Chiles and Smoke has an active online community, 

boasting over 100,000 visitors every month, seeking new 

and exciting recipes. Brad captures the flavorful creations 

himself, as a professional food photographer and 


Visit the website at www.chileandsmoke.com 

Brad's passion for the perfect blend of heat and flavors is 

featured in his acclaimed cookbook, "Chiles and Smoke," a 

culinary journey that invites you to explore the thrilling world of global spice infusion in BBQ. Recently, he has unleashed two bold BBQ seasonings that redefine the grilling game. 

Try the Seasonings! 

Canyon Crust Beef Seasoning 

This premium blend of coarse salt, cracked black pepper 

and garlic is like no other beef rub. The combination of 

ancho chiles and Korean chiles creates a smoky foundation, 

balanced with the tang of celery seeds. You will love it on 

steaks, brisket, ribs, burgers, and much more (even pork and 

seafood). Spice level is mild. 

Sedona Sand All-Purpose Rub 

One taste of this versatile rub and you’ll be salivating at the 

layers of heat, herbs, and spices. Sedona Sand 

tastes great with chicken on the grill, smoking pork ribs, or 

even roasting potatoes in the oven. This all-purpose rub can 

even be used as a simple seasoning for scrambled eggs or 

potato salad. Spice level is medium. 

Back to blog