Grilled asparagus is a healthy, delicious side dish that goes great with any cookout. Grilling asparagus brings out a sweeter flavor that you just will not get by cooking on the stove. The only problem with grilling this vegetable is that they tend to fall through the grate on the grill. Well, I’ve got the solution on how to grill asparagus without losing the spears through the grill grates.
How to Grill Asparagus
The first step is preparing the asparagus. After you have washed it thoroughly grab a asparagus spear and bend the stalk over with your other hand. The asparagus will break where the woody portion ends and the tender section begins. You can throw out the woody base.
Now there are several different ways to make grilled asparagus without it falling through the grate. One is using skewers, the other is using aluminum foil, and the other is using a vegetable grill basket. I definitely prefer using skewers or toothpicks when grilling asparagus because I like for them to be directly on the grate getting that great grill flavor.
The use of bamboo skewers is a lot easier than toothpicks because they are larger and longer, but both will still work. You will want to soak your skewers in water for around an hour before using them. This is to prevent them from catching fire when grilling. Place 4 or 5 asparagus spears side by side and skewer them just below the tips and also an inch or so from the bottom. It will basically look like an asparagus raft.
You can use either a charcoal grill or a gas grill when you grill asparagus, it really doesn’t matter. I am a charcoal grill guy so I tend to use that more often. Either way you need to set up your grill for high, direct heat. Make sure you preheat those grills to high before you place the asparagus on it.
Once your grill is all set and preheated, place the asparagus directly over the fire. They will not take long to cook, so don’t walk away. You will want to grill them for 2 to 4 minutes per side. With the asparagus spears skewered into a raft it is really easy to turn them with a pair of tongs. That’s it, 2 to 4 minutes per side and you are done.
Now if you want to know how to grill asparagus using aluminum foil or a vegetable grill basket it is really simple too. Prep your grill and your asparagus the same way as above minus the skewers of course. If you are using foil tear a sheet large enough for a single layer of asparagus. You want a single lay so it cooks easier. Place your asparagus in the center and fold each end of the foil over to seal the asparagus inside. Place this pouch directly over the flame as before. Using this method it will take around 4 to 6 minutes per side. Make sure to flip it half way through. Once it’s done open the pouch to check for your desired amount of doneness. Some people prefer it softer, while others like it crisper.
Using a vegetable grill basket is almost the same as cooking the asparagus right over the flame, but you don’t need the skewers. If you have a grill basket place the prepared vegetable in a single layer in the basket on a grill preheat to high. Grill the asparagus for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, turning with a pair of tongs.
Now that you know how to grill asparagus how about we get into some marinades and asparagus recipes?
There is no sense in cooking it up without adding a bit for flavor to it, that is way makes asparagus marinades so great. The marinades are really simple and add some really unique flavors to your asparagus. Two of the most popular recipes are sesame grill asparagus and Italian grilled asparagus.
What you will need is about 1 pound of asparagus prepared as explained above, 2 Tbsp sesame oil, 2 Tbsp sesame seeds, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 minced garlic clove, kosher salt and black pepper.
In a small bowl mix together the sesame oil, soy sauce, and minced garlic. Brush this mixture on both sides of your prepared asparagus. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Place the asparagus on the grill and cook as explained above. As they cook sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
This recipe is basically the same as the sesame recipe but we will substitute olive oil for the sesame oil and lemon juice for the soy sauce.
What you will need is about 1 pound of asparagus prepared as explained above, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1 minced garlic clove, kosher salt and black pepper.
In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic. Brush this mixture on both sides of your prepared asparagus. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Place the asparagus on the grill and cook as explained above. As the asparagus cooks you can optionally sprinkle it with a bit of fresh chopped herbs or some grated Parmesan cheese.
Play with different marinades to find that flavor that is unique to you, there are many different spices and marinades you could try.
It is really simple to cook grilled asparagus, and it makes such a wonderful side dish to any cookout. Now that you know how to grill asparagus make sure you try making this delicious, healthy grilled dish.
If you wanted to try grilling your asparagus using a grill basket, they are not a very big investment and they come in really handy for grilling all sorts of vegetable. They are great for vegetable of all shapes and sizes. The vegetable grill basket I prefer is this one >> Vegetable Grill Basket