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Best Smoked Picanha On The Traeger

Smoked picanha is a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for any barbecue or grilling occasion. Picanha, also known as top sirloin cap or coulotte, is a popular cut of beef in Brazil and is known for its tenderness and rich marbling. When smoked on a Traeger grill, the picanha develops a smoky and charred flavor that enhances its natural juiciness.

The Traeger grill is a versatile tool that allows you to smoke, grill, bake, roast, braise, and barbecue all in one. It uses wood pellets as fuel, which adds a unique smoky flavor to the food. The Traeger grill also features a digital temperature control system that ensures consistent heat and smoke levels throughout the cooking process. This makes it an excellent choice for smoking picanha, as it allows you to achieve the perfect balance of smokiness and tenderness.

Key Takeaways

  • Smoked Picanha is a delicious and flavorful dish that can be cooked on a Traeger Grill.
  • Choosing the right cut of Picanha is important for smoking, as it should have a good amount of fat and marbling.
  • Preparing the Picanha for smoking involves trimming excess fat and seasoning with a rub or marinade.
  • Choosing the right wood chips, such as hickory or mesquite, can enhance the smoky flavor of the Picanha.
  • Setting up the Traeger Grill for smoking involves preheating and maintaining a consistent temperature.
  • Smoking Picanha requires a low and slow cooking method, with a recommended internal temperature of 135-140°F.
  • Adding flavor to smoked Picanha can be done with marinades or rubs, such as a garlic and herb rub or a red wine marinade.
  • Smoked Picanha can be served with a variety of sides, such as roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.
  • Pairing wines with smoked Picanha can be done with bold reds, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec.
  • Leftover smoked Picanha can be used in recipes such as tacos or sandwiches, or simply reheated and enjoyed as is.

Choosing the Best Cut of Picanha for Smoking

Picanha comes from the top sirloin section of the cow and is known for its triangular shape and thick layer of fat on one side. When selecting picanha for smoking, it’s important to choose a cut that has a good amount of marbling and a thick layer of fat. This will ensure that the meat stays moist and tender during the smoking process.

Look for picanha cuts that have a bright red color and are well-marbled with thin streaks of fat running through the meat. Avoid cuts that have excessive fat or are discolored, as this may indicate poor quality or spoilage.

Preparing the Picanha for Smoking

Before smoking the picanha, it’s important to trim any excess fat and season the meat properly. Start by trimming the fat cap to about ¼ inch thickness, leaving a thin layer to protect the meat from drying out. Score the fat cap in a diamond pattern to help render the fat and enhance the flavor.

Next, season the picanha with a dry rub or marinade of your choice. A simple combination of salt, pepper, and garlic powder works well, but you can also experiment with different flavors and spices. Make sure to coat the entire surface of the meat with the seasoning and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to penetrate.

Choosing the Right Wood Chips for Smoking Picanha

The type of wood chips you use when smoking picanha can greatly impact the flavor of the meat. Different types of wood chips produce different flavors, ranging from mild and fruity to strong and smoky. Some popular options for smoking picanha include hickory, mesquite, oak, and cherry.

Hickory wood chips are known for their strong and smoky flavor, which pairs well with the rich marbling of picanha. Mesquite wood chips have a bold and intense flavor that can be overpowering if used in excess, so it’s best to use them sparingly. Oak wood chips provide a milder and more balanced flavor that complements the natural taste of picanha. Cherry wood chips add a subtle sweetness to the meat and can help balance out any bitterness from excessive smoke.

Setting Up the Traeger Grill for Smoking Picanha

To set up the Traeger grill for smoking picanha, start by filling the hopper with your choice of wood pellets. Preheat the grill to 225°F (107°C) and allow it to reach temperature before placing the picanha on the grill grates.

Place a drip pan filled with water or beef broth underneath the grill grates to catch any drippings and prevent flare-ups. This will also help keep the meat moist during the smoking process. If desired, you can also add a handful of soaked wood chips directly onto the hot coals or into the pellet hopper to enhance the smoky flavor.

Smoking Picanha: Temperature and Timing Tips

When smoking picanha on the Traeger grill, it’s important to maintain a consistent temperature and timing to ensure that the meat cooks evenly and reaches the desired level of doneness. The ideal temperature for smoking picanha is around 225°F (107°C), which allows the meat to slowly cook and absorb the smoky flavors.

The cooking time for picanha will vary depending on the size and thickness of the cut. As a general guideline, plan for about 1 hour of smoking time for every inch of thickness. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the picanha and remove it from the grill when it reaches your desired level of doneness. For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of 130°F (54°C), while medium should be around 140°F (60°C).

Adding Flavor to Smoked Picanha: Marinades and Rubs

While picanha is delicious on its own, you can enhance its flavor even further by using marinades or rubs. Marinades are liquid-based mixtures that help tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor, while rubs are dry mixtures that add a crusty texture and intense flavor to the surface of the meat.

For a simple marinade, combine olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, and your choice of herbs and spices. Let the picanha marinate in the mixture for at least 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator before smoking.

If you prefer a dry rub, combine salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and any other spices you like. Generously coat the picanha with the rub and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before smoking.

Serving Suggestions for Smoked Picanha

Smoked picanha is a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways. For a traditional Brazilian experience, slice the picanha into thin strips and serve it with chimichurri sauce, which is made from parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, and spices. The bright and tangy flavors of the chimichurri complement the smoky and rich taste of the picanha.

You can also serve smoked picanha as the main protein in a sandwich or wrap. Thinly slice the meat and layer it on a crusty baguette or tortilla with your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese. Add a spread of mayonnaise or aioli for extra creaminess.

For a more elegant presentation, serve smoked picanha as part of a steakhouse-style meal. Pair it with roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, and a creamy sauce like béarnaise or peppercorn.

Pairing Wines with Smoked Picanha

When it comes to pairing wines with smoked picanha, it’s important to consider the rich and smoky flavors of the meat. Opt for red wines that have enough body and tannins to stand up to the bold flavors of the picanha.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a classic choice that pairs well with grilled and smoked meats. Its full-bodied nature and firm tannins complement the richness of the picanha. Malbec is another great option, with its dark fruit flavors and smooth finish.

If you prefer a lighter wine, Pinot Noir can be a good choice. Look for one with enough acidity to cut through the richness of the meat. Syrah/Shiraz is also worth considering, as it offers a balance of fruitiness and spiciness that can enhance the flavors of the picanha.

Tips for Leftover Smoked Picanha: Recipes and Ideas

If you have any leftover smoked picanha, don’t let it go to waste. There are plenty of delicious ways to repurpose it into new dishes. Here are a few ideas:

1. Smoked Picanha Tacos: Thinly slice the leftover picanha and warm it up in a skillet with some onions and peppers. Serve it in warm tortillas with your favorite taco toppings, such as salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.

2. Smoked Picanha Hash: Chop the leftover picanha into small pieces and sauté it with diced potatoes, onions, and bell peppers. Season with salt, pepper, and any other spices you like. Serve it as a hearty breakfast or brunch dish.

3. Smoked Picanha Salad: Slice the leftover picanha and serve it on top of a bed of mixed greens. Add your favorite salad toppings, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, and crumbled cheese. Drizzle with a vinaigrette or creamy dressing.

4. Smoked Picanha Pizza: Use the leftover picanha as a topping for homemade pizza. Spread tomato sauce on a pizza crust and layer on the sliced picanha, along with your favorite cheeses and toppings. Bake until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but feel free to get creative and experiment with different recipes and flavors. The smoky and tender nature of smoked picanha makes it a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

If you’re looking to expand your grilling repertoire beyond smoked picanha, you might be interested in our article on the “Best Grilled Fish Tacos Near Me.” In this guide, we explore the top spots to find delicious fish tacos and provide tips on how to recreate them at home. Whether you prefer a crispy battered fish or a grilled fillet, this article will help you satisfy your taco cravings. Check it out here!


What is Picanha?

Picanha is a cut of beef that comes from the top sirloin. It is a popular cut in Brazil and is known for its rich flavor and tenderness.

What is a Traeger?

A Traeger is a brand of wood pellet grill that uses wood pellets to smoke and cook food. It is known for its versatility and ability to infuse food with a smoky flavor.

What makes smoked Picanha on the Traeger the best?

Smoking Picanha on the Traeger allows the meat to cook slowly and absorb the smoky flavor from the wood pellets. This results in a tender and flavorful cut of meat that is sure to impress.

What type of wood pellets should I use for smoking Picanha on the Traeger?

Hickory, mesquite, and oak are popular wood pellet flavors for smoking beef. However, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

What temperature should I smoke Picanha on the Traeger?

The Traeger should be set to 225-250°F for smoking Picanha. The internal temperature of the meat should reach 135°F for medium-rare or 145°F for medium.

How long does it take to smoke Picanha on the Traeger?

Smoking Picanha on the Traeger typically takes 1-2 hours, depending on the size of the cut and desired level of doneness.

What should I serve with smoked Picanha?

Smoked Picanha pairs well with a variety of sides, such as roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a fresh salad. It is also delicious served with chimichurri sauce.

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