Barbecued, Rubbed Picanha Steak

From: Nick at number 23 and (though note that I used an ordinary barbecue, aided by a wireless meat thermometer).

The rub
The steak as
Trimming away
The steak with
                skin removed
The rubbed steak
                on the barbecue

Note: the rub on the picanha steak, is so strong that this is best served in thin (max 5 mm thick) slices with salad or other accompaniments, in which case 500 gm of steak, is easily enough for 6 people. The meat is slow-cooked so leave yourself several hours for this; for instance, if you start fiddling with the barbecue at 15:00 you might be ready to eat by 19:00, though of course there's lots of waiting time in that.  Cooking on a barbecue and, probably, getting the dish right in general, requires a Meater or equivalent.
Note: if you can't barbecue for some reason then place on a baking try in the centre of an oven at 100 C for 90 minutes and sizzle at the end under a very hot grill.
Note: can be prepared in advance and frozen.


For the rub:

For the steak:


  1. Get your barbecue up to temperature: you want good grey ash for this, no flames, so leave yourself several hours for this stage.
  2. Mix the rub ingredients together; this will make more than you need so store the remainder for later in a resealable plastic bag.
  3. The steak will come with a thick layer of skin attached: pull the meat away from the skin, applying a sharp knife at the interface between the two, leaving a slab of lean steak.
  4. Coat the steak in the rub and press it in as hard as you can, then turn the steak over and repeat.
  5. Place a couple of bricks on the barbecue (to prevent radiant heat getting directly at the steak), put some foil over the top of the bricks and, if you can, place the grill from a grill pan on top of that.
  6. Insert your steak thermometer into the steak and place the steak on top of the above assembly.
  7. Cook for ~ 1.5 hours or for however long your steak thermometer recommends for your style of steak; I went for 57 C, a kind of conservative medium rare, but would recommend 55 C for a more conventional medium rare.
  8. Put the steak to one side (removing the steak thermometer), remove the bricks etc. and add more coals to the barbecue; now you want as much heat as you can get.
  9. Prepare the rest of the meal.
  10. 15 minutes before you want to serve the meal, assuming your barbecue is sizzling hot, place your steak directly on the grill for no more than 2 minutes per side; remember, the meat is already cooked, you're just searing the outside.
  11. Leave to rest until serving time; serve in thin (e.g. 5 mm thick) slices.

Back to Meades Family Homepage