Pro Tips For The Best Grilled Asparagus
A couple of pro tips will help you get the most out of your grilled asparagus.
- Use thick asparagus stalks if youre cooking on grates. Avoid using thinner stalks if youre grilling the asparagus directly on the grill grates. This will prevent the spears from falling through into the fire!
- Avoid over flipping the asparagus. Avoid over flipping the spears or foil packet. If youre cooking on grates, over flipping can compromise the char marks. If youre steaming the asparagus in the foil packet, youll increase the odds of tearing the foil.
- Play around with different seasonings. This is a great baseline recipe, but feel free to tweak it with your favorite seasonings. Tack on some freshly cracked black pepper Add a squeeze of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar right after they come off the grill.
Hot Tip: Dont want to fire up the grill? Use a grill pan on your stove top instead.
How Do You Know When Asparagus Goes Bad
It is the tips of asparagus they will begin to go bad first, which is also the most desirable part of the asparagus. The best way to tell if your asparagus is going bad is to look at the tips, they will begin to turn a very dark green and when you touch them they will just mush between your fingers.
How Long And How Hot To Grill
You can grill over charcoal or on a gas grill.
On gas grills, set the heat to medium. On charcoal grills, set the asparagus away from the center. You’ll want to grill for about five minutes.
If you’d like to grill asparagus in your oven, toss it with olive oil, put it on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet, and set it under the broiler for three to five minutes.
Regardless of where you’re grilling your asparagus, if it’s not wrapped in foil be sure to keep an eye on it. You want it to be brownish and a little crispy when you’re done, but not charred.
Season with salt and pepper. Some people like to marinate in oil and vinegar before grilling, or to put a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar inside the foil packet. Grilling asparagus has such great results you probably won’t even need a sauce.
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Recipes To Add Asparagus To
The methods listed above are great when it comes to cooking asparagus on its own for a side dish. But there are more ways to use asparagusyou can also incorporate it into dishes like salads, pastas and stir-fries.
How Long To Blanch Asparagus
Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the asparagus is just tender. Using tongs, immediately transfer the asparagus to the bowl of water. The cold water will help to stop the asparagus from cooking.
Remove from water and serve your blanched asparagus however you like! You can marinate it or give it a light saute in butter or olive oil a sprinkle of kosher salt and youre good to go.
There you have it! Roasted asparagus, grilled asparagus, and blanched asparagus. Whats YOUR fave?
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Should I Cut Or Snap Asparagus
The conventional wisdom is that this natural snap-off point is where the unpalatable toughness ends, and the tender asparagus begins. This is one snap decision thats dead wrong. Of course, cutting and peeling individual asparagus spears takes time. But in this case, time really is money.
Yes! Place packet on grill over low heat. Cover grill cook 10 to 15 minutes, rotating packet ½ turn after 4 minutes, until asparagus is tender. To serve, cut large X across top of packet carefully fold back foil to allow steam to escape.
Ways To Serve Your Asparagus
There are so many different ways to use your grilled asparagus. Below, find a couple of options.
- Alongside Protein: Pair the asparagus with a grilled ribeye, 5-minute grilled chicken, or pork kabobs for a quick low-carb meal.
- Salads: Chop and chill the asparagus and add it to your favorite salads throughout the week.
- Pastas: Slice up the asparagus and add it to alfredo pasta.
- Soups: Dice the asparagus and add it into minestrone soup for a smokey kick.
Hot Tip: Spruce up your asparagus by topping it with parmesan cheese or feta cheese right when it comes off the grill. Then, sprinkle on some roasted pine nuts or almonds for a nice nutty crunch.
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Notes On Grills And Equipment
Gas Grill: If you have a gas grill turn all of the burners on to high to preheat them. Keep the grill lid closed while you preheat the grill to allow it to get very hot. Once it is hot, use your grill brush to remove any burnt on debris from previous meals.
Charcoal Grill: Preheat your charcoal completely before grilling. I like to use a blend of mostly hardwood charcoal plus a few briquettes. Using a sick or tongs rake out the coals to cover the bottom of the kettle, so that there are no hot spots. Make sure that your grill rack is hot and clean before adding on the asparagus.
Note: charcoal grills tend to run hotter than gas grills, so the timing for this recipe will be faster than for gas. Thin asparagus will take only one or two minutes over hot charcoal.
Vegetable Grill Basket
If you have a vegetable grill basket, this is definitely the recipe to use it! Asparagus tends to fall between the grill grates, even if you are careful, so the grill basket really helps to prevent that.
I also like that they have more surface area and help to brown the asparagus better.
Note: For best results preheat the grill pan completely before adding the asparagus.
Stovetop Grill Pan
If you do not have an outdoor grill you can definitely make this on your stovetop grill pan. This is the style I recommend. You will have to cook the asparagus in batches. Use high heat, and if the pan is smoking excessively, simply adjust the heat down as needed.
Asparagus Right On The Grill
As with all grilled vegetables, you’ll want to preheat the grill and make sure your asparagus is at room temperature before you throw it on. Coat the asparagus in olive oil and season well with salt and pepper and your favorite spices. Just pop those babies right on the grill, be careful to cross them the opposite way to the grill slits so they don’t fall through and let the fire work its magic. You’ll want to flip them so they cook evenly and on both sides.
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Can I Grill Asparagus Wrapped In Foil
If you prefer softer, steamed asparagus you can cook it right on the grill in a foil pouch. Start by laying out a piece of heavy-duty foil. Add the asparagus and season with oil and any seasoning you like. Then seal the packet. Place directly in the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes. Carefully open the packet and serve.
Tips For Great Asparagus
- While they can be directly grilled on the barbecue grate, they can certainly be cooked in a grill pan or tray or wrapped in foil.
- Store asparagus in a bag in the refrigerator with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel to keep it fresh longer.
- When preparing asparagus, hold the bottom end with one hand and the middle of the stalk with the other end and snap off the bottom. The asparagus will naturally break where the woody section starts on the bottom, discard the bottom portion.
- To get a little bit of char without overcooking the asparagus, medium-high heat is best.
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How To Saut Asparagus
Not only is sautéing a delicious way to cook asparagus, it’s fast, too. And it’s certainly convenient when you have no other reason to crank up your oven .
To sauté whole asparagus spears, add a glug of oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the prepped asparagus and a big pinch of salt, and toss to make sure everything is coated. Allow the stalks time to take on some color, shaking the pan occasionally for about 5 minutes.
We love this method for a dish of blistered asparagus doused in a chile-lime-honey sauce and topped with crunchy peanuts. If simplicity is your thing, try this lemony asparagus number which can be on your table in as little as 5 minutes.
Making Grilled Asparagus On The Grill Grates
For the first method, well show you how to grill the asparagus directly on the grill grates for a nice char.
- Trim the Asparagus: First, cut or snap off the rough ends of the asparagus stalks.
- Season the Asparagus: Next, season the asparagus with avocado or olive oil and garlic parsley salt.
- Grill the Asparagus: Preheat a gas grill to 400°F or get the coals in your charcoal grill nice and hot. Place the asparagus stalks diagonally across the grill grates and cook for 3 minutes on the first side. Flip the asparagus over and cook for an additional 2 minutes on the other side. Serve and enjoy!
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Why We Love Grilled Asparagus
This recipe is an absolute must save! You will go back to it over and over again, because not only is it ready in mere minutes but it also is low in calories, naturally low-carb and high in fiber!
It is a perfect simple recipe to serve as a spring side dish, or to add to a fancier holiday meal like Easter or Mothers Day. It goes great with roasts, or chicken or as a side dish to accompany a simple weeknight dinner.
I sure hope you are not getting sick of all of the asparagus I have been sharing here this April. April is the peak of the asparagus season, so I wanted to make sure that you had all sorts of ideas of what to make with this underappreciated veggie.
I did some research before my where I made this Asparagus Panzanella, and I learned that Americans eat only 1.75 pounds of asparagus per year. Thats opposed to more popular veggies like onions or tomatoes
Folks, I am set out to change all that! I want to give you all sorts of fun and interesting ways to make fresh asparagus for your dinner table. From recipes like this Shaved Asparagus Salad to this recipe for Asparagus Pizza, I want you to embrace this superstar spring veggie!
Preparing Asparagus For Grilling
Rinse asparagus under cold running water to remove any dirt or sand from the stalks and tips before beginning preparation. Do not wash until ready to use.
Begin preparing the asparagus by simply trimming off the bottom ends of the stalks. Find the area where the green color begins to fade. This is where the tough woody end begins and is where the stalk should be trimmed off. Do not remove the spears at the top of the stalk. An alternative method is to snap off the asparagus ends. Hold an asparagus spear firmly towards the end and bend it until it breaks naturally. The spear should break at the point where it becomes tough. After removing the ends, the stalks will be varying lengths. Keep this in mind when considering your presentation. If it is important that the spears be the same length, line them up flush at the top and trim them off at the bottom so that they are all the same length. If appearance is not critical, do not trim to even lengths because this ends up wasting some of the good asparagus spear. To prepare spears that are thick and have tough skin, cut off the ends as shown above and peel the skin with an asparagus peeler. A regular vegetable peeler can also be used to peel the stalks. Do not peel the tips. Younger, thinner asparagus generally are tender enough that they do not require peeling. White asparagus have a tougher stem and should always be peeled.
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When To Start Grilling
If youre grilling with other meats, make sure to finish all of your meats/seafood first before starting on your asparagus as they cook fast.Brush grates with a light coating of oilPreheat grill to get it nice and hot Grill over direct heat
How long they take depends on thickness. Usually, you can cook them for about 4 minutes, or until nicely marked or charred with grill marks. Flip and continue grilling for a further 3-4 minutes until fork-tender.
How Do You Trim Asparagus
The thicker bottom of asparagus stalks tends to be tough and woody, and isnt great to eat. The best way to figure out where to trim your asparagus is to take a stalk and gently bend it. Wherever the stalk snaps is the spot where the tender part starts and the tough part ends. From there, you can line up all your asparagus stalks and trim the bottom off in the same spot as where your original piece of asparagus snapped in half.
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How To Cook Asparagus On The Stovetop Grill Or Oven
We know that spring has officially sprung when we see the first bunches of freshly picked green spears lining the stalls at the farmers market. Suddenly, how to cook asparagus every which way is the only thing on our collective minds.
Were biased, but with its vibrant green color, earthy yet sweet flavor, and exceptional versatility , we think asparagus may be our favorite spring vegetable. It isn’t hard to turn it into something simple and spectacular, whether you blanch the freshest stalks and pair them with something creamy or throw the spears on the grill. We also think it makes great party food: portable and delicious, hot or cold. Hello, patio season. Ready to dive into how to cook fresh asparagus so that it shines for months in all your spring salads, platters, and main courses? Us too.
Asparagus is at its seasonal peak from April through June on the East Coastyoull find it earlier on the West Coast, typically February through May. Year-round Peruvian asparagus lives on, but theres nothing as verdant and delicious as the spring stuff.
You could skip cooking altogether and shave raw asparagus into a ribbony salad.
Purple spears have a high occurrence of anthocyaninsthe same element that shades purple cabbage and cauliflower. The color will fade to green as it cooks, so enjoy the saturated hue while you can. Treat purple asparagus the same as green.
Grilling Asparagus In A Grill Basket Or Vegetable Grate
If you have a grill basket or vegetable grate, this is a great place to use that accessory. Place the trimmed spears into a grill basket on on the grate, making sure they are not layered too deeply. You want them to cook quickly and evenly, so while you dont need only a single layer of vegetables in the basket or tray, you want to make sure everything has a chance to be at the bottom against the fire, so dont stack them too thickly.
Toss them every few minutes as they grill, until they have some nice browned spots and are tender. This will take anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes total, depending on how many asparagus are in the basket, whether the basket was heat on the grill to start with, how high the heat of the fire is, and again the thickness of the stalks.
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How To Roast Asparagus
Roasted green anything can turn even folks ambivalent about vegetables into veggie lovers, as roasting elicits natural sweetness from the vegetable. If youre looking for a versatile asparagus recipe, you cant go wrong with roastingit makes for an elegant accompaniment to chicken, fish, eggs, you name it.
To roast asparagus, grab a baking sheet , and set your oven to 400°-450°F. Toss prepped spears with a bit of olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper if desired, and pop into the oven for 8 to 18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks, until easily pierced with a knife. Dress it up from there. We love this rendition of Roasted Asparagus With Garlic. Roasted asparagus also marries brilliantly with Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar.
How To Cook Asparagus
While asparagus is luckily usually found year round in grocery stores, like most produce it still has a peak season. You’ll find the best asparagus during spring. Asparagus season usually starts around late February and goes clear until June, but the peak is in April. Here, we give you a primer on the myriad ways to cook it to its utmost potential!
Asparagus is a versatile spring vegetable that can be cooked however your heart desires. But it’s also perfect when cooked on its own, with just a little salt and pepper. Which method you decide to choose depends on your mood and circumstance.
First, trim them. There are two methods for trimming asparagus. 1. You can simply snap off the woody ends wherever they naturally break. This is super easy, but there is some waste. 2. Peel the woody outer bits with a vegetable peeler. Not only will they look beautiful, but you’ll be saving some of the asparagus you would otherwise be throwing away!
If you’re lazy AF, you should roast it. It’s a no prep situation and in the end, the asparagus will be perfectly tender and charred . We < 3 roasted asparagus, whether it comes in the form of caprese asparagus or dreamy roasted asparagus carbonara.
If you’re in a hurry, sauté it. All you need is a hot skillet + EVOO + salt + pepper. Just stir ’em around occasionally and in 5 to 7 minutes they’ll be tender in delicious! We like using this method in our ridiculously good lemon, asparagus & chicken pasta.
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