Pit Boss Smoked Picanha

Looking to make Pit Boss pichana? This traditional South American cut of meat is best smoked low and slow, then you get juicy succulent meat that’s is perfect for a cookout, weeknight dinner or dinner party.

Picanha can come out tough if you do it wrong! So make sure you follow my tried and tested recipe below!

slicing-reverse-sear-picanha

Pit Boss Picanha

Picanha beef is a Portuguese word for the whole top cut on the backside (or bum) of the cow. In America, it is more commonly known as the sirloin cap steak.

It is traditionally broken down into rump and round. In South American style, particularly in Brazil, keeping that part of the animal whole is more common.

Picanha skewers are popular in Brazilian Steakhouses. They are cooked over a charcoal grill with minimal seasoning applied just some kosher salt and black pepper. Getting hold of a Picanha shouldn’t be too hard, so make sure you ask your butcher and specify that you want that fat cap left on! 

Fun Fact: South American steakhouses first invaded the U.S. in the 1990s. A Brazilian steakhouse chain called Fogo De Chao rose to fame with no set menu—just all-you-can-eat meat!

smoking-picanha-with-chimichurri

What You Need for

Picanha

Coarse Salt

Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Garlic Powder

Olive Oil

Brown Sugar

Smoked Paprika

Apple Cider Vinegar

Worcestershire Sauce

Chimichurri – to serve

How to Smoke Picanha on a Pit Boss

So let’s get to it; join me as I take a traditional Brazilian cut of meat and smoke it. You’ll notice I do two methods below, one there I put the meat on a skewer as well as smoke a whole piece. Then I serve it with sliced chimichurri.

smoked-top-sirloin-cap

Step 1: Preparing the Meat

Take the picanha from the fridge. With a sharp knife, gently glide the blade under the fat cap and remove the layer of silver skin.

Make sure you don’t remove the cap entirely, but leave a slight hinge so you can place it back over. Do not skip this step, as the meat will tense in the smoker, and you’ll be chewing for hours! Once the silver skin is removed, season generously with salt. This will help tenderize the steak, so it melts in the mouth.

Then, let it rest in the fridge for at least 90 minutes.

Step 2: Preparing the Smoker

Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Check that your smoker is clean from the last use, and then load your chips into the hopper. Add the water to the tray and set the temperature to 225°F. Grab a cold one from the fridge as the hard parts are over!

Step 3: Applying the Spice Rub

While waiting for the Pit Boss to heat, remove the Picanha steak from the fridge and pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess salt and moisture. Combine the sugar, pepper, garlic, and paprika.

Rub the meat down with oil before evenly applying the spices and some extra salt to the fat cap.Combine the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and 300ml water in a spray bottle.

picanha-on-pellet-grill
prepping-picanha-for-reverse-sear

Step 4: Smoking

Once the pit boss has reached a temperature of 225°F, put the picanha to the highest part with the fat cap up and the meat directly on.

Some will say you should put it upside down, but gravity works when the cap melts back into it. Don’t argue with the laws of physics.

Input the temperature probe and spray it every 20 minutes with the vinegar solution. Monitor for around 120 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 100°F for medium rare or 115°F for medium.

reverse-sear-picanha-on-pellet-grill-2
reverse-sear-picanha-and-smoking-it

Step 5: Sear

When you have 20 minutes left in the smoking process, preheat your grill to 450°F. You can also use your oven on broil.

Once you finished smoking, place the pichance on the grill and sear for the picanha on both sides, this will give you nice grill marks. Ensure you keep an eye on the fat cap side so it doesn’t start to burn or cause a flare-up. 

traeger-picanha
reverse-sear-picanha-and-smoking-it

Step 6: Rest

Remove from grill, cover, and rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing. Slice the roast the short way with the grain into steaks and cut against the grain to eat.

Tip: Don’t waste any juices! After resting, the liquid left in the foil can be basked over the meat again or added to make a gravy.

resting-reverse-sear-picanha
resting-picanha

Are Top Sirloin Cap and Picanha Steak the Same Thing?

Yes, they are! Americans usually break down the meat further from the sirloin cap and in Brazil, they enjoy it whole.

Serving

Not sure what to serve with your picanha? We thinly sliced ours and topped it with chimichurri.

You can also try the following

Smoked sweet potato with rosemary and garlic

Smoked buttered corn on the cob.

A leafy salad with balsamic vinegar and tomato.

ready-to-eat-reverse-sear-picanha
served-up-reverse-sear-picanha

Pit Boss Smoked Picanha

Charlie
If you want to make Pit Boss picanha here is the simple recipe that turns out a delicious meal.. Your going to love this juicy smoked picanha topped with chimichurri
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 40 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings 4 servings
Calories 510 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pit Boss Smoker
  • 1 Pecan wood pellets (1kg)
  • 1 Sharp knife
  • 1 Temperature probe (comes with the Pit Boss)
  • 1 Sterile spray bottle
  • Tinfoil

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole rump cap or sirloin cap (otherwise known as picanha) 1kg
  • 2 tablespoons Coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh cracked black pepper & garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 100 ml apple cider vinegar
  • 30 ml Worcestershire sauce

Instructions
 

  • Take the picanha from the fridge and with a sharp knife, gently glide the blade under the fat cap and remove the layer of silver skin. Be conscious of the blade and always strike away from your body. (I sound like my mum).
  • Make sure you don’t remove the cap completely but leave a slight hinge so you can place it back over. Do not skip this step as the meat will tense in the smoker and you’d be chewing for hours! Once the silver skin is removed, season generously with salt. This will help to tenderize the steak, so that it melts in the mouth.
  • Then let it rest in the fridge for at least 90 minutes.
  • Note: Leave the salted Picanha for an hour so it penetrates the protein and relaxes the muscle. This will set the basis for a more flavorful and tender result. It’s always about the foundations!
  • We will be smoking for roughly 3 hours or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130F. Check that your smoker is clean from the last time it was used and then load the your chosen chips into the hopper.
  • Add the water to the tray and set the temperature to 225°F. Grab a cold one from the fridge as the hard parts are over!
  • While waiting for the Pit Boss to heat, remove the Picanha steak from the fridge and pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess salt and moisture. Combine the sugar, pepper, garlic, and paprika.
  • Rub the meat down with oil before applying the spices evenly and then some extra salt on the fat cap.In a spray bottle, combine the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and 300ml water.
  • Once the Pit Boss has come to temperature, to 225°F put the Picanha to the highest part with the fat cap up and meat directly on.
  • Some will say you should put it upside down but gravity does the work when the cap melts back into it. Don’t argue with the laws of physics.
  • Input the temperature probe and spray every 20 minutes with the vinegar solution. Monitor until the internal temperature reaches 100°F for med rare or 115°F for medium, which is around 120 mins.
  • When you have 20 minutes left with the smoking process, preheat your grill 450°F, you can also use your the oven on broil.
  • Once you finished smoking, place the pichance on the grill and sear for the picanha on both sides, this will give you nice grill marks. Make sure you keep an eye on the fat cap side so it doesn’t start to burn or cause a flare-up.
  • Remove from grill, cover, and rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing. Slice the roast the short way with the grain into steaks and cut against the grain to eat
  • The meat should be a darkened brown with a caramelized fat cap that oozes flavor when cutting the meat into steaks.
  • Tip: Don’t waste any juices! The liquid left in the foil after resting can be basked over the meat again or added to make a gravy.
Keyword Smoked, smoked picancha

Smoke On!

Charlie

Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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