smoked Picanha

Smoked Picanha

Smoked Picanha

This might very well be the absolute best beef roast I’ve ever cooked…

The Picanha – or Sirloin Top Cap – is an extremely tender beef roast topped off with a 1/4” layer of delicious fat. It lies right on the top of the whole sirloin and is often used in Brazilian steak houses or in the US as coulotte steaks.

This Wagyu Picanha came from the Butcher Shoppe in Pensacola, FL. If you are ever down there, stop by and check out Kevin – he runs one of the best butcher shops in the country.

wagyu Picanha

Top Sirloin Cap “Picanha” is most often sliced into steak size pieces and grilled, but I decided to treat it a Prime Rib. For this recipe I scored the fat side into 1” diamonds and seasoned the whole roast with my TX Brisket Rub. It’s a course mix of Salt and Black Pepper that gives beef a Texas style bark.

TX Brisket Rub

To smoke the whole picanha I fired up my Gateway drum and brought the temperature up to 275°F. The roast went on the pit fat side down so the meat juices would drip directly on the coals. Cooking it this way makes the fat render and turn crispy as the bark develops all around. The whole cook only took about 1 hour to get the internal up to 122-125°.

smoked Picanha

At this point I rested the picanha for 15 minutes and then sliced it against the grain. I was blown away by the flavor and tenderness.

smoked Picanha

The bark was perfect, the crunchy salt and pepper balanced perfect with the big beef flavor of medium rare picanha. This is one cut of beef that is way under-rated and you need to try it!

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Smoked Picanha


Picanha Steak seasoned and smoked over charcoal on a drum smoker



  1. Prepare Drum smoker or other pit for indirect cooking at 275°F
  2. Remove picanha roast from packaging and trim away sinew or silver skin from the meat side.  Score the fat side using a sharp knife: make shallow cuts across the fat in one direction spacing the cuts about 1” apart; then make the same shallow cuts in the opposite direction.
  3. Season the picanha with TX Rub on all sides.
  4. Place it on the pit fat side down and insert a probe thermometer into the thickest portion to monitor internal temp.  
  5. Remove from the pit once the internal temperature reaches 122-125°F 
  6. Rest the picanha loosely covered in foil for 10-15 before slicing against the grain.

Keywords: Whole picanha, whole smoked picanha, picanha steak, smoked picanha, picanha

Malcom Reed Connect on Facebook Follow me on Twitter Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Follow me on Instagram Buy Killer Hogs Products Here

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24 responses to “Smoked Picanha”

  1. Robert Younce says:

    I think Malcolm had Beefgasm on that one…

  2. Jacob Kirkland says:

    Just cooked this tonight. I’ve been eyeing this cut at Publix for a couple weeks, wondering how to cook it. It was delicious!

  3. Michael O'Halloran says:

    Long time fan, just ordered a piece from my butcher. The recipe calls for an indirect cook. I don’t have a drum. Will my Weber kettle/slow n sear attachment do the trick?

    • BBBs BBQ says:

      yes. just keep the meat on opposite side of the Slow ‘N Sear and be sure your temp is hovering between 250 to 300.

      • Michael O'Halloran says:

        Since I don’t have a drum like Malcolm uses, should I still score the fat cap and place it fat side down? Since the fat has no coals to drip on should I leave it fat side up ?

        • Brian C says:

          I have a water smoker – I probably should have taken the pan out for this very reason! I did it cap down, then finished it on the lower grate after removing the water pan. Finished it perfectly!

  4. Mike M says:

    Can you do this on a traeger ?

  5. Lance Andrews says:

    My favorite cut as well! Although, I usually reverse sear it after smoking it on the BGE. Any advantage to that sear? Maybe I should just smoke it?

  6. Jeff says:

    I have done this several times now @ 275 degrees / direct heat on my green egg. Smoked with pecan wood. Amazing flavor and melts in your mouth.

  7. Scott says:

    I can vouch for the Butcher Shop in Pensacola. Twice a month stops. And will pick up this cut soon to try it out.

  8. JJ says:

    AHHH YAAAA im excited. that reaction sold me. got one coming tomorrow. even ordered the
    AP TX for the heck of to.

    big fan – love the videos and help.
    thanks again

  9. Brian Cormier says:

    Came out beautifully on my Napoleon water smoker – not much for bark/crust, so I finished it over the lowest grate just above the charcoal. Sealed everything in, best thing I’ve done yet in the smoker!

  10. Robert McDonald says:

    I have followed this recipe/process numerous times on my BGE & the results are spot-on with amazing flavor.
    I cannot recommend this enough. One of my all time favorites to cook, especially when my wife makes her creamed spinach as our side dish!

  11. Bill K says:

    What a great cook. Guga says to always cut the pichana with the grain. You might want to do a side by side comparison. Guga did one and said even with the Waygu there was a much better flavor with the grain. Heck if that is the case instead of slapping the knife hard against the cutting board you might knock the whole thing over!

    • Kevin says:

      Bill, this reply may not matter to you and I started to not send it. cutting a piece of meat with or against the grain does not change the flavor… only affects how tender the piece of meat is. A piece of meat cut against the grain will always be more tender than a piece of meat cut with the grain 100% of the time…….just an FYI

  12. Tommy says:

    If cooking with my Weber Smokey Mountain, should I remove the water pan, or leave it on?

  13. Jim says:

    I have a beef round tip from costco. About 4 lbs. Can I cook this same way on my Oklahoma joe offset smoker?

  14. Allan Faust says:

    Just had one question – You state in teh recipe put roast on indirect cooking, however, in the you have in your descripton the roast placed so the fat drips on the coals… no offense, but which one is it… indirect is not above the coals…. I’m using a pellet smoker so I’m looking to see if i put it on the indirect or girll side… Love the recipes btw.

  15. Ian says:

    Tried this in my stick smoker, ran at 250 – 300 degrees F using apple wood. Amazing, best yet. Thanks Malcolm

  16. Kitchenbtch says:

    I’ve done this three times .
    Love it so much I do two at a time. Now. Slice one really thin, add havarti, horseradish sauce and toast it in the air fryer. 😋!
    Then vac pack the other one and gift it to friends. This is by far the best roast beef ever!

  17. Jascha says:

    How many people does a 3 pound Picanha feed?

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