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7 Things To Know About Picanha!

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The Picanha is quickly becoming one of the most popular cuts of meat that you can eat. One of the reasons why it’s so popular nowadays is because the large fat cap is located directly on top of the overall roast. It provides excellent marbling and can serve to balance out the very lean part of the meat itself.

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The fat cap also serves as a heat shield so it’s a lot easier to control the internal temperature of the meat by placing the fat cap either up or down depending on where the heat source happens to be.

It was also made Popular by the traditional Brazilian steakhouses located in Brazil and throughout the United States. They prepare them on these large skewers and wrap them around in the shape of a ‘c’ and it tastes amazing. 

Smoked picanha

Due to the high fat content located on the fat cap directly on top of the roast, a Picanha makes for an excellent smoked dish. I’ve smoked many of them, and actually eat one just about every day. 

If you are wondering how you can get a smoked picanha and have a smoker, it’s really pretty simple. Just load up the smoker with your favorite type of wood, and place the picanha on the smoker grates. Make sure to season it properly beforehand with other kosher salt and black pepper. That’s a very traditional Texas style way of seasoning any type of meat. 

Once you get the wood in the smoker and have seasoned and placed the picanha on to the smoker grates, crank up the heat pretty hot to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 

This should cook through the pecan at a rate of about 1 or 2 lb per hour. This also lets the fat cap on top of the picanha have a chance to caramelize properly. You don’t want that fat cap to not be rendered down,, you want it to be rendered fully. 

Having a runner down fat cap on top of your picanha is one of the most important parts of the roast itself. Once you to beginning slicing into it, it provides an excellent balance between lean and fatty. It melts in your mouth. 

Depending on your preference in terms of how rare or well-done you want your steak to come out, consider pulling it at about 135 degrees Fahrenheit. This is about medium rare for medium end doneness. If you happen to wrap the picanha while you smoked it for a. Of time, still pulled off at this temperature, and is placed on a counter so it has a chance to expand all the Carrier heat and it won’t cook through any longer.

Where to buy picanha

You can buy picanha at different meat markets or grocery stores. The most notable of which obviously, is Costco.

Throughout the year the meat market butchers at Costco will actually begin placing them out in the meat bins for sale. You can expect to buy these during the warmer months of spring and summer. Down here in Central Texas, I actually asked the meat market butchers when they could start putting the Picanha’s out, and that’s exactly what they told me. It’s a very seasonal cut of meat. 

How to grill picanha

Grilling a picanha is very similar to smoking one. The only difference is that you don’t have to worry about cooking for extended periods of time like you would on a smoker. 

On grilling a piece of meat, it’s done very quickly. 

All you have to do is season it properly with kosher salt and black pepper, and then get a grill going nice and hot and begin searing it on both sides. Both the lean and the fat cap side of the picanha roast need to be grilled thoroughly until around 135 degrees in internal temperature. That’s when a picanha is done. Always make sure to let it rest though, because you don’t want to slice into it too soon and have all the juices within the meat evaporate!

Picanha size

 A lot of the time, picanha will weigh anywhere from 1 to 3 lb. That’s just due to how large the fat cap is, as well as the overall roast. It also depends on how large of the cut the butcher you were seeing had cut it at. On average, most of the picanha that are of choice or prime grade will weigh in at about 2 to 3 lb. That is plenty of meat for one to two people to eat and enjoy thoroughly.

Picanha at Costco 

 As noted above, buying Picanha at Costco can be a great way to buy a lot of meat for very cheap. The average cost that you can expect to buy one at, is around $6.99 per pound.

That is not that bad of a price, considering that the grade is relatively high, at choice or prime grade. The quality  itself is excellent, and I’ve always noticed that the fat cap is perfect and even droops over the end of the meat.

Final Thoughts

 Picanha is very quickly becoming a popular dish to prepare and eat at home. You can buy them and all sorts of sizes and grades, along with different types of fat caps that are small or large and are located directly on top of the roast.

 The fat cap is one of the most important parts of a Picanha because it provides the perfect balance between lean and fatty. It frankly just melts in your mouth as soon as you eat into it. 

This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.

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