What is Espeto?

June 21, 2024

What is Espeto?

Espeto is a traditional Brazilian dish that consists of skewered meat cooked over an open flame. It is a popular dish in Brazil, especially during barbecues and outdoor gatherings. The term “espeto” actually refers to the skewer itself, which is used to hold the meat in place while it cooks. The meat is typically seasoned with salt and other spices before being skewered and cooked to perfection.

History of Espeto

The origins of espeto can be traced back to the indigenous people of Brazil, who used skewers to cook meat over an open flame. Over time, the dish evolved and became a staple in Brazilian cuisine. Today, espeto is enjoyed by people of all ages and is often served at restaurants and food stalls throughout the country.

Types of Meat Used in Espeto

There are several types of meat that can be used in espeto, including beef, chicken, pork, and lamb. Each type of meat has its own unique flavor and texture, making espeto a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by meat lovers of all kinds. Some restaurants even offer seafood espeto, which features skewered shrimp, fish, and other types of seafood.

Seasonings and Marinades

Seasonings and marinades play a crucial role in the flavor of espeto. Common seasonings used in espeto include salt, pepper, garlic, and various herbs and spices. Some recipes call for a marinade made with olive oil, vinegar, and citrus juices, which helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor. The key is to let the meat marinate for several hours before skewering and cooking it.

How to Cook Espeto

Cooking espeto is a simple process that involves skewering the meat and cooking it over an open flame. The meat is typically cooked on a grill or barbecue, where it is rotated regularly to ensure even cooking. Some people prefer to cook espeto over a wood fire, which imparts a smoky flavor to the meat. The cooking time can vary depending on the type of meat used and how well-done you prefer it.

Serving Suggestions

Espeto is typically served with a side of rice, beans, and farofa, a toasted cassava flour mixture. Some people also enjoy espeto with a side of salad or grilled vegetables. To complete the meal, many restaurants offer a variety of sauces and condiments, such as chimichurri, barbecue sauce, and hot sauce. The combination of flavors and textures makes espeto a satisfying and delicious meal.

Health Benefits of Espeto

While espeto is a delicious and satisfying dish, it also offers several health benefits. Lean cuts of meat, such as chicken and fish, are high in protein and low in fat, making them a healthy choice for those looking to maintain a balanced diet. Additionally, the grilling process helps to reduce the amount of fat in the meat, making espeto a healthier alternative to fried or greasy foods.

Popular Variations of Espeto

There are several popular variations of espeto that cater to different tastes and preferences. Some restaurants offer espeto de picanha, which features skewered beef sirloin cooked to perfection. Others serve espeto de frango, which consists of skewered chicken marinated in a savory sauce. For those looking for a unique twist on the classic dish, there are even vegetarian espeto options available, featuring skewered vegetables and tofu.

Where to Find Espeto

Espeto can be found at a variety of restaurants and food stalls throughout Brazil. In addition to traditional churrascarias, which specialize in grilled meats, many street vendors and food trucks offer espeto as a quick and convenient meal option. Some restaurants even offer espeto as a catering option for events and parties, making it easy to enjoy this delicious dish wherever you are.


In conclusion, espeto is a delicious and versatile dish that is enjoyed by people of all ages in Brazil. Whether you prefer beef, chicken, pork, or seafood, there is a type of espeto to suit your tastes. With the right seasonings and marinades, espeto can be a flavorful and satisfying meal that is perfect for any occasion. So next time you’re in Brazil, be sure to try this traditional dish and experience the unique flavors of espeto.

Tatiana Cesso

As a journalist, I've made it my mission to explore and share stories that inspire, inform, and entertain. You may have stumbled upon my work in esteemed publications such as InStyle, Marie Claire, Bazaar, L’Officiel, and Vogue, among others. Having called the U.S. home since 2010, I've lived in Chicago, LA, and currently, Miami. But my heart always beats to the rhythm of Brazil. It's where I was born and raised, and my love for its culture, people, and energy knows no bounds. To share this passion, I've founded Brazilcore, a platform aimed at bridging the gap between Brazil and English speakers worldwide.