Picanha Steak Guide

Picanha steaks (pronounced ‘pee-kahn-ya’) are a lesser-known steak cut that is extremely popular in Latin America, particularly Brazil, where it is considered a prized cut, and Portugal. It is great value for money as one of the more economically friendly steak options, yet its amount of intramuscular fat means it is succulent and flavourful.

What is Picanha Steak?

Picanha is a truly overlooked steak alternative to popular cuts such as sirloin and rumps and is even thought of as a hybrid of the two. It is a relatively inexpensive cut, with a great flavour and delightful tenderness, all of which make it a truly impressive piece of meat. Its name is presumed to be derived from the word “picana”, which is the name given to the shaft used for herding cattle and the area the steak is cut from is where the farmers would poke the cattle to wrangle them.

Which Part of A Cow Is Picanha Steak From?

Picanha steaks are cut from the section of the carcass where the top sirloin meets the rump at the back end of the steer known as the rump/ sirloin cap. Although the rump is well exercised, it is not a muscly area; therefore, it has a high amount of fat and is still quite a tender piece of meat. Contrary to most steaks, picanha is cut with the grain to aid with tenderness in the final product.

How Much Picanha Steak Is on A Cow?

As picanha is cut from the top sirloin/ rump cap of the steer, this section is often used to produce, rump, round and sirloin steaks, which are the most popular primal cuts in the UK. This means a small amount of picanha steaks are produced from each carcass, as there is more of a focus on obtain the more popular cuts that are higher in demand, but any expert butchers will have plenty at hand!

What Does Beef Picanha Steak Look Like?

Picanha is a steak cut left with the fat untrimmed so it has a thick layer of fat running its length similar to a NY strip; this is known as a fat cap. A good picanha should be small and have a high fat content as it is extremely well marbled with chunky ribbons of intramuscular fat.

What Does It Taste Like?

Picanha is an extremely flavourful cut of steak with a robust beefy flavour and it renders flavourful juices due to its high fat content. As it already has a deep flavour it does not require much more seasoning than salt and pepper, yet there are no rules against a marinade or dry rub. Cooking methods such as grilling over an open flame such as a BBQ can add a slight smokiness to the meat, adding to its decadence.

How to Cook Picanha Steak

Picanha is great grilled and most popularly barbequed or cooked in a frying pan on high heat. As it has a fat cap running its length, sear this in the pan first by holding the steak with tongs, then continue to cook the steak in the juices rendered. In Brazilian tradition picanha is usually skewered and cooked over an open flame, then sliced when served, but it can also be a nice steak to oven roast. This cut of steak is best cooked medium/ medium-rare to allow the collagen-breakdown in the fat. Its taste pairs particularly well with a chimichurri sauce and with red wine.

How to Store Picanha Steak

Raw steak can be kept in the fridge for a maximum of 7 days, but should ideally be used within 48 hours, unless it is vacuum packed, in which case it can last between 2 – 4 weeks. When high quality steak is frozen, it can last from 6 – 12 months and still hold the same texture and nutritional value.

Explore Our Locally-Sourced Steaks

We provide a variety of exceptional steak cuts, from premium cuts that are more popular and in demand, to lesser-known cuts that can be used in inventive ways to create the perfect dish using a more cost-effective cut.

The Fibrous One…

Bavette steak is lean and slim cut with a defined grain. It has a gamey texture, beefy flavour and absorbs juices well.

The Tender One…

Fillet is a divine, thick cut steak. It is lean with minimal marbling and tender with a delicate flavour.

The Juicy One…

Succulent, tasty and moist, a forerib steak is a delicious meaty steak and is even perfect for a Sunday roast.

The Bold One…

Ribeye is a universal cut enjoyed by many. It’s thick and juicy, well marbled and flavourful.

The Lean One…

Sirloin steaks are lean, mildly tender, juicy and very tasty. A perfect middle way between a succulent ribeye and a tender fillet.

The 'Best Of Both' One…

This two-sided bone-in steak covers all the bases. It is lean and tender with a delicate flavour on one side and a beefier flavour on the other giving an extra-ordinary dining experience.

The Show Stopping One…

A tomahawk is a thick, juicy steak cut with plenty of marbling and therefore plenty of rich flavour. It is eye-catching with a full rib bone attached and perfect for sharing.

The Steak Lover's One...

With little marbling, rump steak is a more lean, healthier cut of steak that packs a punch with a rich beefy flavour and meaty texture.

The Decadent One...

Small in size, but made up for in thickness, the Chateaubriand is one of the most tender steak cuts with a melt in your mouth texture and delicate beefy flavour.

The Braising One...

Flavourful and budget-friendly, beef daube is a delicious shoulder steak that can be slow-cooked to achieve a desirable tenderness much like the more coveted steak cuts

The Double-Sided One...

With a succulent sirloin on one side and a tender fillet on the other, the prized porterhouse cut is a sizeable steak ideal for sharing as a meal for two

The Flat Iron One...

Although the featherblade steak has a coarser grain, it is extremely tender and well marbled which lends a delicious, rich beefy flavour to the meat

The Gaucho's Favourite One...

The picanha cut originating from Brazil is a juicy, thick-grained steak with a cap of fat and distinctive crescent shape. Its coarse grain makes it perfect for direct heat grilling

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