How to Grill Asparagus Perfectly

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When it comes to vegetables, asparagus is probably one of the easiest to prepare. It can be steamed or simmered in no time for a healthy side dish that's a perfect accompaniment for many dinners. You can even steam it in the microwave! However, when the weather is nice out, grilling is a fantastic option. It adds a light crispness, a delicate char, and a smokey flavor that you won't get with the other cooking methods.

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Things You'll Need

  • Green, purple or white asparagus, preferably thick

  • Oil for grilling (olive oil is a good option)

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • Chef's knife

  • Cutting board

  • Heat-resistant tongs for grilling

  • Optional: fresh squeezed lemon juice or balsamic vinegar

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Tools

Preheat a gas grill on high heat for 10 to 15 minutes.

Any type of asparagus will work on the grill, but thicker varieties (which are available in every color) are less likely to fall through the grill grates or char if left unattended. They're a bit easier to work with, and they provide a nice balance between the crisp outer skin and the soft interior.

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Purple asparagus turns green after it has been cooked!

Step 2: Trim the Tough Ends

Trim off approximately 1 to 2 inches from the root end of the asparagus, as this side can be a bit fibrous.

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Step 3: Coat with Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper

Coat the asparagus liberally to prevent it from sticking to the grates.

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Step 4: Grill and Serve

Place the asparagus on the grill and close the lid. Using tongs, turn every 2 to 3 minutes to cook evenly. If possible, avoid over charring the skins. The total cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the asparagus, but will take approximately 7 to 10 minutes. It's a good idea to test one for doneness before removing them.

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They can be served as is, but are also wonderful with a spritz of fresh lemon juice or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Image Credit: Jennifer Farley -