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How to Tell When Grilled Asparagus is Done

Whether you’re new to grilling, or a veteran grill master, asparagus can be a little tricky. It’s thin and delicate, so it doesn’t take long to cook. But how do you know when it’s done?

In the post, we are going to go over a few tips on how to tell when your grilled asparagus is ready to come off the grill.

Grilled asparagus on a charcoal grill.

What is the best way to check if asparagus is done?

Grilled asparagus is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy this springtime vegetable. But how do you know when it is done?

Tenderness and color are the best indicators in telling when they are cooked through. Here are a few tips.

Tenderness

The best way to check if grilled asparagus is done is to use a fork to pierce the thickest part of the spears. If the asparagus is cooked through, the fork should slide in with little resistance.

Color

Observing the color and texture are key ways to tell if grilled asparagus is done. It should be a deep green, but not so dark that they are blackened. It will also be wilted and soft.

Why is it important to grill asparagus properly?

Grilling asparagus is a great way to transform it from a vegetable you may not have liked as a kid to a smoky, savory, and flavorful treat.

However, it is important to grill asparagus properly in order to achieve the best flavor and texture.

To make asparagus crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, it is important to grease the grill grates with olive oil and control the heat.

Moreover, look for the fatter stalks when buying asparagus, since they are much better suited to grilling and have better flavor.

Grilling asparagus properly will result in char marks, a crispy exterior, and a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with a vinaigrette or marinade.

With a few tips and tricks, anyone can become a master of the grill and enjoy the delicious flavor of grilled asparagus.

What should I look for when grilling asparagus?

When grilling asparagus, you should look for medium to thick stalks that are vibrant green, plump, and with well-defined tops.

Avoid dull green, withered or wilted stalks, and tops that are mushy, and check for woody ends.

Buy stalks that aren’t too thin or too thick – too thin and they can burn quickly and fall through the grates, while too thick and they can be woody and stringy.

To test for doneness, use a fork to pierce the thickest part of the spears – if it slides in with little resistance, then the asparagus is cooked through.

Or, look for a deep green color, but not blackened. Err on the side of undercooking, as asparagus will continue to cook even after it is removed from the grill.

How Long to Grill Asparagus?

Grilling asparagus is a simple way to bring out its natural flavor while adding a smoky essence.

Asparagus can be cooked to both tender-crisp or completely tender depending on how long it is grilled.

Grill asparagus, turning occasionally, until tender and charred, 3 to 4 minutes for tender-crisp, or 6 to 10 minutes for more tender asparagus.

Thicker spears will take longer to cook so adjust the cooking time accordingly.

As an example, to make perfectly cooked tender-crisp asparagus on a grill, heat a grill over high heat and toss the asparagus spears with olive oil and kosher salt, and pepper.

Grill for 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and charred. Serve hot.

Knowing how long to grill something is half the battle of grilling delicious foods! Check out my post to learn more about How Long To Grill Chicken Thighs.

What’s the Best Asparagus to Grill?

When it comes to grilling, thicker asparagus spears are the best choice. Look for stalks that are vibrant green, plump, and with well-defined tops.

Thicker stalks won’t fall through the grates as easily and are less likely to overcook on the grill. Medium to thick asparagus spears is preferable, as thin asparagus can become overcooked too quickly.

For the best flavor, choose asparagus spears that are about the thickness of your pointer finger.

What types of grills are best for cooking asparagus?

When it comes to grilling asparagus, not all grills are created equal. The main things to consider are the heat and the size of the grates.

For the most flavorful and tender asparagus spears, you want a grill that is hot enough to provide that char and sear, but not so hot that the asparagus shrivels up and becomes dehydrated.

Grates that are too big can also be problematic, as you run the risk of losing the asparagus through the grates. Gas grills tend to be the most convenient option, as they heat up quickly and easily.

Charcoal and wood grills also work well, as they can provide a smoky flavor to the asparagus. Furthermore, a grill basket is an easy way to avoid potential asparagus loss, as it holds the stalks in place.

So when it comes to grilling asparagus, gas grills tend to be the most effective for achieving tender and flavorful asparagus.

There are so many advantages to grilling and different types of grills out there. Read more about the Advantages of Grilling to learn more.

Easy grilled asparagus recipe

1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, about 375-400 degrees F.

2. Rinse asparagus and snap off the woody ends.

3. Toss asparagus with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Grill for about 6-8 minutes, rotating halfway through until the asparagus is slightly charred and easily pierced with a fork.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to tell when grilled asparagus is done, you can enjoy this healthy and delicious vegetable all summer long. Be sure to check out our Grilled Bone-In Chicken Breast Recipe as it would pair well with grilled asparagus.

FAQ

What is the best way to season grilled asparagus?

The best way to season grilled asparagus is to drizzle the asparagus with olive oil, then season it with salt and pepper. For some extra flavor, add lemon juice, lemon zest, and garlic.
You can also add additional seasonings such as crushed red pepper flakes, chipotle powder, or dried herbs like Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, or dried thyme

Is it better to use a skewer or foil packet when grilling asparagus?

When it comes to grilling asparagus, the best option depends on the size of the spears. For thick asparagus, skewing the spears is the best method of grilling as it makes it easier to skewer and less likely to overcook.
Thin asparagus, however, can be a bit more tricky to skewer, so it’s best to use a metal cooling rack or create a foil packet. Both methods provide a delicious way to enjoy grilled asparagus.

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