Grilled Rump Cap Steak (Picanha)

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I’m not sure about you, but everytime I hear the word Picanha, I immediately think of steaks impaled onto a rotisserie and roasted over fire, then cut straight onto your plate by waiters at the restaurant.

Although it is a popular choice for visitors, Brazilians like their rump cap chopped into steaks, seasoned, and char-grilled.

Grilled rump cap steaks

Grilled Rump Cap Steak (Picanha)

The rump cap is a beef cut made from the round primal. Picanha, fat cap, coulotte, and top sirloin cap are all names for this cut.

It’s a lean cut from the animal’s hindquarter, with a distinctive thin coating of fat covering one side.

This cut may be prepared in a variety of ways, but my favorite is sliced into steak, roasted over charcoal, and then sprinkled with chimichurri sauce.

Guide to buying rump cap

When purchasing any cut of beef, larger is always better. This is not the case with rump cap. Normally, the rump cap weighs around 2.5 pounds. If it is substantially bigger, you are most certainly paying for the less expensive and tougher cut of silverside.

The problem with silverside is that it must be cooked slowly and slowly. If I cooked silverside this way, not only would the end portions be unpleasant to chew, but they would have cost much more than if I had bought the two slices separately.

So the best rule of thumb is to purchase rump caps when they weigh less than 2.5 pounds and have a good even fat cap. You want a quarter-inch to a half-inch fat cap.

I brought my rump cap from Vermont Wagyu, which is called Coulotte.

Seasoning, go hard, or keep it simple? 

Traditionally, the Brazilians would only use coarse sea salt and would keep things simple.

Setting up the grill

I used my Burch Barrel with Fogo lump charcoal for this meal. Any charcoal grill will suffice.

A gas grill would suffice, but this is one of those dishes that works best over charcoal.

Light the charcoal, and when it is completely white, move it to one side of the grill to create a hot and cool zone.

Place the steaks on the colder side of the grill, opposite the burning fire, when it has warmed up.

You can get the same effect using the burners on a gas barbecue.

Turn the steaks over when they reach an internal temperature of 80F and continue to cook until they reach 115F. When they reach 115°F, place the steaks immediately over the hot coals to generate smoke, fire, and taste.

Simply keep an eye on the steaks, stir them often, and monitor their interior temperatures using an instant-read thermometer. They may be removed from the heat after they reach 130°F medium rare.

Rest the steaks for 10 minutes, slice, and enjoy.

Serving suggestions 

I serve my grilled rump cap with a classic chimichurri sauce.

I chop everything by hand, but you may put it in a food processor and pulse it a few times till it comes together.

Chimichurri may be served on the side or drizzled over the cut rump cap.

Other grilled steak recipes

  • Coffee Crusted Ribeye
  • Grilled Porterhouse Steak
  • Grilled Steak Pinwheels
  • Steak cooked over hot coals (Caveman Style)

FAQs

Is rump cap the same as picanha?

Picanha is what kind of meat? Picanha is a beef cut from the top of the rump. It’s also known as a rump cover, rump cap, sirloin cap, or culotte steak. It has a triangular form and is encircled by a thick layer of fat known as the fat cap.

How to cook a picanha on the grill?

Slice the picanha steak into 1-inch slices. Each strip should be folded into a “C” form and put onto metal skewers. Season the meat immediately with the saved seasoning. Grill the steak for 15-20 minutes, rotating every 5 minutes, until it achieves the desired amount of doneness.

Is picanha a cheap cut?

The good news is that since American butchers don’t put a high value on the cut, picanha is very inexpensive in comparison to other steaks, and it packs so much flavor that Brazilians often merely season it with salt.

Is picanha more expensive than ribeye?

Ribeye Steak often costs 20 to 30% more than Picanha Steak. Both of these steaks may be pan-fried, grilled, or reverse-seared. Picanha is also known as Rump Steak, Rump, Coulotte Steak, and Rump Steak.

Why is my picanha chewy?

Picanha Steaks, Sliced and Skewered

Anything thicker will be chewy and tough. Anything thinner will burn.

Is picanha better than top sirloin?

Picanha is derived from the top sirloin of the cow, therefore the meat naturally has greater marbling and fat. These are essential for softness as well as a great meaty taste. The second reason picanha is regarded a more tender cut is because it has a thick coating of fat on top of the meat.

How to cook picanha on a propane grill?

Sear the Picanha fat side down for 5-7 minutes over the hottest portion of the grill (approximately 250°F). Turn and sear for 3-4 minutes more. Expect flare-ups as the fat melts and absorbs into the meat and the grill. With a sharp knife, cut the Picanha into 3 or 4 parts.

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