I love grilled asparagus.
I hate limp asparagus.
The problem is, it’s VERY easy to fire up the grill, toss some veggies enthusiastically on the flame, and realize a few minutes later that you’re ending with a flaccid disaster.
Yes, I intentionally created that horrible mental image as a warning, because overcooked asparagus is sad, and disappointing.
On the upside, lightly charred, flavorful, and crisp stalks are literally just minutes away!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 lb fresh asparagus spears, about as thin/thick as a pencil
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Grill/cooking spray
- Aluminum foil, or a grill tray, like this one (no, I don’t get a kickback from Weber… that would be nice, though)
And here’s how you do it:
- Turn the grill on, and crank it up to high. If you’re using a grill tray, throw it on now, right in the middle of the grill (for our purposes, I’m going to assume you’re only cooking asparagus)
- Prep the asparagus by cutting or snapping off the hard ends, and tossing the stalks in the olive oil and the salt and pepper – I usually use use a 9×9 baking dish, because it works a lot better than a bowl for working with the long spears.
- Let the grill get hot, and when you’re ready to cook, give the surface (the tray, the sheet of foil, or the grates themselves) a generous blast with the nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the asparagus on the grill, and arrange them so they’re all touching the surface, and have a little bit of space between the spears.
- Close the grill, and let them cook on the first side for NO MORE THAN 1.5 – 2 minutes.
- Flip them over, and then – again – cook them for 1.5 to 2 minutes.
- Remove them from the heat, and serve them up HOT.
That’s it. Minimal ingredients and 3-4 minutes TOPS is all it takes to make perfectly grilled asparagus.
If you’re grilling multiple things, I’d suggest waiting to cook the asparagus until after everything else is off the cooking surface. For instance, if you’re cooking a protein like steak, chicken or fish, use the resting time of the meat to cook up your spears. Rather than cramming everything onto your grates and hoping for appropriate doneness across the board, exercise a bit of patience, and preserve the ability to control your cook times and temps for each item.
Your taste buds (and your real buds) will thank you.