Picanha steak holds a lot of value in Brazil as one of the most popular cuts for various dishes. In the United States, the cut isn’t as well-known, but it’s been on the rise as one to pop on the grill. However, like other steaks, you can also sizzle it to perfection in the oven.
The best thing about picanha steak is its fat cap that covers the entire cut. When picanha steak cooks, the fat renders down to flavor and tenderize the steak. With this cut, it’s all about cooking it nice and slow in the oven to allow that process to happen.
Preparing Picanha Steak for the Oven
After removing the steak from the refrigerator, use a knife to score the fat cap. Then, salt the fat cap generously, and add salt to the rest of the steak. Now, let the picanha steak sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to allow it to brine with the salt.
A few minutes before cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add about ½ an inch of water to the bottom of a roasting pan.
Oven-Cooked Picanha Steak Cooking Time
A picanha roast takes much more time than cut steaks to cook in the oven. If cooking to medium-rare, expect the roast to take about an hour in the oven, give or take 10-20 minutes, depending on its size. For higher doneness levels, your roast may need between 90-120 minutes. Picanha also takes about 10-15 minutes to rest after cooking.
The chart below shows the temperature ranges to cook picanha to for each level of doneness. For medium-rare, remove picanha steak from the oven when it reaches between 120-125℉. After resting, it should reach 130-135℉.
|Doneness||Temperature to Remove from Oven||Final Temperature|
Medium Rare Picanha Steak
After salting picanha steak and keeping it at room temperature for 45 minutes, it’s time to let it roast. Set your oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle picanha steak with black pepper. Add picanha to a roasting pan with ½ an inch of water at the bottom. Cook for 60-80 minutes, using a digital thermometer to check its temperature. Rest for 10-15 minutes before enjoying.
Oven Cooking Tips for Picanha Steak
Here are a few helpful tips to consider when cooking picanha steak in the oven.
Cook It Slowly
Cooking picanha on a somewhat low temperature for a longer amount of time gives it the time it needs to break down the fat cap and give you the tasty, tender results you want. Expect picanha to take a couple of hours to be ready from start to finish, depending on how done you like your steak. Trust us: this slower process is worth the wait.
Score the Fat
Scoring the fat cap of picanha is the key to getting excellent results. Make a crosshatch pattern in the fat cap with your knife before adding salt and letting the steak rest prior to cooking. This lets the salt penetrate and helps the fat break down while cooking.
Know How to Slice It
After you cook picanha steak in the oven, you’ll need to slice it into individual servings. To do that, slice against the grain with your knife. You’ll need to look for the direction the long fibers run and slice in the opposite direction. Doing so helps break up those long fibers so that the meat doesn’t end up chewy.
Choosing the Right Cut
The best route to go for choosing the best cut of picanha steak is heading to a trusted butcher shop. Butchers know how to cut picanha properly so that you get plenty of meat with a fat cap that covers the top. Butchers also know the importance of aging, which gives picanha time to tenderize and boost its flavor after cutting.
Butchers can also preslice picanha steak for you if you’d prefer. However, we suggest keeping it intact as a roast to cook in the oven. It takes a little longer, but the lengthier process helps the fat render properly to do its job of adding flavor to the steak and enhancing its texture.
Oven Cooking Picanha Steak Instructions
Follow along with these simple instructions to learn how to cook picanha steak in the oven.
Step 1: Preparing Picanha
Start by removing your steak from the refrigerator and moving it to a clean plate or roasting pan. Score the fat cap by making crosshatch marks with a knife. This allows salt to penetrate the fat cap and helps the fat render when cooking. Then, sprinkle salt generously on all sides of the picanha roast, using your fingertips to press the salt into the meat and fat gently. Leave at room temperature for 45 minutes.
Step 2: Roasting Picanha
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add a ½ inch of water to the bottom of a roasting pan. Transfer the steak to the pan and then place the pan in the oven on the middle rack. Cook for 60-70 minutes for medium-rare until your thermometer reads 120-125℉. Cook an extra 10-30 minutes, depending on your desired doneness level.
Step 3: Resting and Serving Picanha
Remove the roast from the oven and transfer to a clean plate or cutting board. Tent it loosely with foil, and rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Slice against the grain before serving. Enjoy!
Oven-Cooked Picanha Steak Recipe
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 75-120 minutes
- 2-3 lb. picanha roast
- Remove steak from the refrigerator. Score the fat cap using crosshatch marks. Salt generously on all sides, using fingertips to rub salt into the meat and fat cap. Let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle black pepper on the steak. Place steak in roasting pan and add about a ½ inch of water to the bottom. Transfer to your oven’s middle rack. Cook for 60-90 minutes, depending on your desired doneness level.
- Check the temperature of the thickest part of the steak before resting for 10-15 minutes on a foil-tented plate. Slice against the grain and serve.
Other Ways to Cook Picanha Steak
Here are a few more ways to cook picanha steak at home:
- Grilled picanha steak
- Skewered picanha steak
- Sous vide picanha steak
- Reverse picanha steak
- Pan-seared picanha steak
- Slow-cooked picanha steak
Your Guide to Cooking Picanha Steak in the Oven
Want to learn more about picanha steak and how to cook with it in your home? Read our guide on cooking picanha steak and learn how to grill picanha steak. This cut of beef is just as versatile as any other, and it’s one you absolutely don’t want to miss out on. Don’t forget to shop our award-winning selection of steaks!
Oven-Cooked Picanha Steak
- 2-3 lb picanha roast
- Remove steak from the refrigerator. Score the fat cap using crosshatch marks. Salt generously on all sides, using fingertips to rub salt into the meat and fat cap. Let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle black pepper on the steak. Place steak in roasting pan and add about a ½ inch of water to the bottom. Transfer to your oven's middle rack. Cook for 60-90 minutes, depending on your desired doneness leve
- Check the temperature of the thickest part of the steak before resting for 10-15 minutes on a foil-tented plate. Slice against the grain and serve