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picanha brasileira recipe


This traditional Brazilian picanha recipe is sure to make your mouth water. Fire up the grill and get ready to cook some churrasco Brazilian style!
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Keyword: picanha, brazilian picanha, picanha recipe, brazilian churrasco, how to cook picanha
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 384kcal


  • grill
  • charcoal



  • First, start by cutting the picanha into 2 inch slices that resemble a horseshoe. Make sure to cut these initial pieces with the grain. The fat cap (gordura) should remain on top of each slice of meat.
  • Use some charcoal to fire up the grill and oil for greasing. Allow the fire to burn for at least 15 minutes before you start the cooking process.
  • Next, sprinkle coarse sea salt (Brazilian sal grosso) on one side of each slice.
  • Place each slice on top of the grill, salt side up. Alternatively you may insert a large, metal skewer (espeto) through each slice of meat, then place it on the grill. In Brazil, we grill the meat on the espeto.
  • Cook each slice of meat for 2 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 125 degrees F for medium rare. When you flip the pieces of meat over, sprinkle more salt on the other side. You may also cook longer until you reach your desired doneness. See notes below for a picanha temperature guide.
  • Transfer to a plate or cutting board and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting. Cut the picanha slices against the grain into smaller pieces and serve.



  • Remove the meat from the grill once the internal temperature has reached 125 degrees F for medium rare. Medium will be 130 degrees F and well done is 140 degrees F. I like removing the meat a little earlier as it will continue cooking once it has been removed from the grill.
  • Make sure you do not cut the fat cap off. The fat on top is what makes the meat so juicy.
  • Use a very sharp knife to easily cut through the picanha.


Calories: 384kcal | Protein: 67g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 178mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 1080mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 5mg