If you love both asparagus and grilling, grilled asparagus will be just what you need to complement your chicken or steak barbecue feast. The process to grill asparagus is very simple and results are very tasty.
Start with fresh asparagus from your garden or the grocery store. Look for firm, thick, green spears that do not appear to be dried out. We tried canned asparagus and found it to be too soggy for the grill. Fresh is always best when it comes to vegetables. Also, if the spears are too thin, they may dry out and turn crispy.
Prepare in advance by using a marinade. Start by washing the asparagus and placing it in a square Tupperware container or glass brownie or cake pan. I emphasize the use of a plastic or glass container because metal pans can alter the taste due to acids in the marinade, and not in a good way. You can use any favorite type of marinade. That can be as simple as extra virgin olive oil, or a salad dressing of your choice. A salad dressing marinade should be oil based because cooking oils prevents the asparagus from drying out on the grill. Our favorite is Ken’s Steak House Italian Dressing & Marinade, which is available in the salad dressing section of most grocery stores in the USA. You can use whatever you wish. Experimentation can be fun.
Make sure the marinade covers the asparagus. If it doesn’t, add extra virgin olive oil until everything is submerged. Place the pan in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours prior to grilling.
Make sure the grill is heated to a medium temperature of 400 to 450 degrees. Don’t place the asparagus directly on the grill. It will stick and some of the spears will likely fall through. We use an enameled grilling tray designed for grilling vegetables, but if you do not have something like that, aluminum foil will work. A covered grill generally works better than an open grill. There may be some flare-ups due to the oils in the marinade, so using a cooking tray of some type avoids scorching.
Place the spears side-by-side on your choice of cooking surface. The asparagus should be turned half-way through the process, which takes about 15 minutes per side for a total of about 30 minutes. That’s about the same amount of time to cook a steak, but less than it takes to cook chicken, so plan accordingly. The asparagus is done when it is slightly browned. The tastiest point is where it’s a bit crunchy, but not burned.