Grilling is not barbecuing. Grilling is hot and fast on direct heat. BBQ is low and slow on indirect heat. Two completely different cooking methods that produce entirely different results. It’s not just semantics. (End rant.)

Picanha is famous cut of beef you may have had at a Brazilian steakhouse. As delicious and reasonably priced as it is, it’s not particularly well-known in North America. You aren’t likely to find it at a supermarket but many butchers now carry it. It’s definitely worth seeking out. It’s so tasty, in fact, that it’s best seasoned with nothing but salt and smoke, letting that beautiful, beefy flavour shine. Cook it on your smoker, or set your grill up for indirect heat and use a smoke box or tube. The prep time is less than ten minutes, so don’t let the total recipe time dissuade you.

Time: 3 hours (plus dry brining time)

Serves: 8


2kg picanha (sirloin cap) – fat cap trimmed to 5mm
20g kosher salt

Sprinkle the salt evenly on both sides of the picanha. Place on a rack in a pan and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat your grill or smoker to 120C.

Cook the picanha on indirect heat with the fat cap facing up for two to three hours, until the internal temperature reaches 55C for medium-rare.

Remove from heat and serve immediately by slicing across the grain.

Get the PDF and nutrition info

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