Reverse Sear Picanha in the Oven: A Culinary Guide

When it comes to preparing picanha, the reverse sear method in the oven is a game-changer for meat lovers. This Brazilian cut, also known as the rump cap or sirloin cap, is renowned for its rich flavor and succulent texture. The reverse sear technique allows the picanha to cook evenly, creating a perfectly pink interior with a deliciously caramelized crust.

Understanding the Picanha Cut

The picanha cut is a staple in Brazilian steakhouses, known as churrascarias. It is characterized by its thick layer of fat which, when cooked correctly, renders down and infuses the meat with incredible juiciness and flavor. Selecting a high-quality picanha with a generous fat cap is essential for the best results.

Preparation Before the Reverse Sear

Before you begin, you must prepare the picanha. Start by preheating your oven to a low temperature around 225°F (107°C). This will ensure a gentle and even cook. Next, season the picanha liberally with coarse salt, taking care to cover the fat cap as well – this is where a lot of the flavor will come from.

Place the picanha on a wire rack over a baking sheet. This allows the air to circulate around the meat, cooking it evenly on all sides. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the picanha to monitor its internal temperature.

picanha reverse sear oven

The Reverse Sear Cooking Process

Once your oven is preheated and the picanha is prepared, place it in the oven. The goal is to slowly bring the internal temperature of the meat up to about 10-15 degrees below your desired final temperature. For medium-rare, this would be around 120°F (49°C).

The slow cooking process can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the size of your picanha and the accuracy of your oven’s temperature. It’s critical to rely on the meat thermometer rather than the clock to determine when the picanha is ready for searing.

Finishing with the Perfect Sear

Once your picanha has reached the desired internal temperature, remove it from the oven and let it rest while you preheat a skillet or ovenproof pan over high heat. Add a touch of oil to the pan just before searing to prevent sticking.

Sear the picanha on the fat cap side first, as this will render down the fat and create a flavorful crust. Then, quickly sear the other sides of the meat. This high-temperature searing should only take a few minutes on each side.

After searing, let the meat rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the picanha, ensuring each bite is as succulent as the last. Slice the picanha against the grain to ensure tenderness and serve immediately.

Pairing your reverse seared picanha with vibrant sides such as chimichurri sauce, roasted vegetables, or a fresh salad can elevate this dish to new heights.

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