Thinking of hosting a bombshell BBQ for your colleagues, mates, or family? While the meat is often always the center of attraction for such a plan, you’re definitely going to need a few side dishes to go with the spread. Considering the amount of protein being consumed already, we do recommend green veggies to tie it all up nicely and nothing does the job better than grilled asparagus. Of all the veggies out there, it is easily adaptive to the grilling cooking method, much unlike its other veggie mates. In this brief piece, we are going to quickly explore how to grill this special veggie on BBQ and answer some of the common burning questions when doing so.
How do you cut vegetables for grilling?
This is a pretty good start for our journey. After all, the way we cut our food has a lot of influence on the final taste, texture, and appearance. Vegetables aren’t the most grill-friendly foods, to begin with, so there’s absolutely a correct way to cut asparagus for the best grilling results. Always use your best knife set for home cooking to ensure all the cuts are clean and swift.
The main concern is to avoid spilling the juices contained inside. As such, cut in a way that cups the veggies and where possible. For instance, when cutting pepper, cut along the short side instead of along the longer side. Similarly, asparagus should be cut into small ‘logs’ rather than split along the longer side. Here are a few more points to remember when cutting and preparing your veggies for grilling on your pellet grills or electric smokers;
The natural vegetable juices are quick to burn when exposed to direct heat, leaving them dry and distastefully crunchy. As such, oil provides a much needed protective coat while also enabling the seasoning such as salt and pepper to stick and blend properly. Asparagus on a grill will quickly react to the heat so stay alert. Find the best oil for flat top grill use for the best results.
Time your cooking properly
Veggies are only tasty when cooked properly and overcooking or undercooking ruins the flavor. As such, always educate yourself properly on the ideal cooking time and the proper well-cooked indicators before firing up and throwing the asparagus on the grill.
Grilling asparagus without the proper equipment can be a nightmare, any veggie really. Get yourself a proper grilling basket so that you don’t lose the smaller pieces and ruin your fire in the process as well.
Remember that veggies aren’t exactly something we’re crazy about so try to cut small pieces that can be eaten in one or two bites. That way, it’s more fun to eat than huge chunks. It also helps to cook it more evenly and faster!
Never hasten the grilling process, make sure the grill is well pre-heated before throwing in the asparagus. This helps to avoid overcooking this delicate veggie. Since every batch of asparagus is of a unique size, recipes can only tell you the average cooking time. As such, test it before you take it off the grill by poking it with a fork. If it’s pierced easily then it’s done. If there’s still some resistance then consider leaving it on for another one or two minutes.
How do you know when asparagus goes bad?
The great grilled asparagus taste is only possible with fresh asparagus. Just like any other veggie, asparagus can easily ruin f not cared for properly or if kept for long. As such, you should be able to tell if your asparagus has gone bad. Here are the tell-tale signs to watch out for;
- Mold – easily the most common sign of rot. It is a result of moisture coming in contact with the asparagus while in storage. Get rid of that asparagus!
- Soggy tips – another common sign of improper storage. To avoid this, keep the asparagus spaced out and free in storage. However, you can reclaim asparagus with soggy tips by simply cutting off those tips. Just make sure you closely inspect the rest of the vegetables for any more tender spots.
- Winkled stalks – This is an eventual sign of deterioration when you keep the asparagus for a long time in storage. It is, however, nothing bad at all, just the vegetable losing moisture, so you can still eat it, it just won’t be fresh!
How do you trim asparagus spears?
This is definitely an important part of the preparation process. Those stems can ruin the taste and the edibility of the asparagus if not properly trimmed. Now, the easiest way to trim your asparagus is only possible when it’s super fresh. Don’t bundle up the asparagus, but rather handle each one individually. Bend it gently by pulling in at both ends, the end will snap off abruptly at some point.
However, if you’re going for a more aesthetically pleasing look, trimming the asparagus with a sharp knife is a better option. Just be patient with it because it can take you a while to do, which is why many people prefer to snap it u and be done with it faster!
Selecting the best Asparagus
To get the best taste out of your asparagus spears, look out for the freshest and fullest when shopping. The first indicator is the weight. If it’s noticeably heavy on handling, its evidence that it’s fresh and still full of juices. Bigger is also better here, and avoid any asparagus with wrinkles.
Simple, Crispy Grilled Asparagus Recipe
Let’s tie up all this knowledge with a simple and quick recipe for grilling asparagus. The flavor will do wonders for your guests’ palate and it will surely balance all that meat flying around! Just make sure all your ingredients are fresh.
Preparation Time : 5-minutes
Cooking Time : 6-minutes
Total Time : 11-minutes
- What you’ll need;
- 1 pound of freshly harvested asparagus.
- 2 spoonfuls of olive oil.
- Half a teaspoon of fine-grained salt.
- Half a teaspoon of pepper.
- Preparation Procedure;
- Preheat the grill to 450 °F
- Snap off the asparagus ends with your hand or use a sharp knife to chop them off.
- Use a large bow to mix the asparagus, the oil, the salt, and finally the pepper (in that order)!
- Now, agitate the whole bow by shaking and tossing until all the asparagus is neatly filmed with the oil and seasoning.
- Pour the mixture into a grilling basket and place it on the grill. Flip the basket at least once during the 6 minutes cooking time.
Note: If you don’t have a grilling basket, clean your grill properly and then place the asparagus directly on the grill’s grates. You can also use garlic salt in place of both seasonings. You can also sprinkle some lemon juice on top to bring out the full flavor.
That’s it! Your grilled asparagus is ready for serving, preferably hot from the grill!
FAQs on Grilling Asparagus
As we wind up, we took the liberty to answer a few frequently asked questions about grilled asparagus. Hopefully, they answer your queries on the subject. If you still got a burning question afterward, hit the comment section and let us know!
Any precautions when grilling asparagus?
Grilled asparagus takes a bit of skill to prepare but it’s doable. You just need to watch out for a few pitfalls. For instance, your placement on the grill is important. In the absence of a grilling basket, the asparagus must sit properly, perpendicular to the direction of the grates. This will ensure that the spears stay on top of the grate, and don’t fall into the fire below.
Be attentive throughout the process. It takes only about 10 minutes to grill asparagus, with some side-turning throughout that time. Any distraction can cause it to burn or dry up quite easily and recovery is impossible.
Can I use aluminum foil to grill asparagus?
Foil is a pretty common grilling aide and YES it works perfectly with asparagus! It will shield your veggies from the direct heat while containing the smaller pieces that are prone to falling into the fire.
Can I steam asparagus?
Definitely not something we would recommend, but sure you can. Asparagus is already soft even when fried or grilled, steaming it will only make it a soggy mess which can be quite unpleasant to eat.
What makes some grilled asparagus crispy and some soft?
It’s all about the amount of heat provided during the grilling asparagus process. Low heat will give you an overly tender result while high heat grilling produces grilled asparagus that’s crispy on the outside but with a tender core. Get yourself the best gas grills with searing burner to achieve the crispest grilled asparagus. It’s a matter of choice, do what you prefer the most.
Ready to throw these amazing greens on the grill? Your guests will surely appreciate having some greens to alleviate the guilt that comes with munching a whole pound of meat in one sitting! Good luck!