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BBQ Whole Picanha with a dry rub

Picanha, or top rump, is a Brazilian cut traditionally cooked purely seasoned with salt either cut into steak and cooked on a rotisserie or roasted whole over live fire.

Cooked rare or medium rare with the fat rendered and crisp. In this recipe we add a twist by using a bbq rub to further season and add a flavour enhancing the smoke the bbq will naturally add in the cooking.


  • 1 whole picanha, typically weighing 1.5kg

  • Homemade bbq rub or Tuner & George (T&G) Beef rub

  • 1 tsp Salt

  • 1 tsp Black pepper

  • 2 tsp Onion powder

  • 2 tsp Garlic powder

  • 2 tsp Paprika hot or sweet

  • 2 tsp Ancho chilli powder


Mix all the rub ingredients together to give an even mix and set aside. If using the T&G rub, I tend grind it lightly in a pestle and mortar in order to get a finer texture.

Take the picanha joint out of the fridge an hour before cooking and allow to come to room temperature. Coat the meat in a thin layer of oil to ensure the rub adheres, then apply the rub in an even layer, allow to rest before cooking.

Set up the bbq indirect cooking at around 180-200°c, I use either a ceramic bbq or wood fired pellet grill.


Place the picanha fat side down towards the heat and insert a temperature probe. Roasting at this temperature will take around 45 minutes when looking for medium rare or a 55°c internal temperature. The fat should be crisp and however, if not place directly over the charcoal for a minute or so to directly sear the fat. When using the wood pellet grill the meat is placed fat side down directly above the heat source therefore, the fat comes out rendered and crisp.

Rest for 10-15 minutes on a warm plate covered loosely in foil.

Cut across the grain of the meat to serve in long thin slices.

A simple with an added flavour twist which I hope you try and enjoy!

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