How Long To Grill Asparagus (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 6 To 10 Minutes

Asparagus, known for its slender green spears, is a natural addition to many dishes, from salads to frittatas. The name asparagus comes from the Greek word for shoot or sprout. This vegetable originated 2000 years ago in the middle eastern region, where people used it for its unique texture and medicinal properties. Now, people all over love asparagus for its earthy flavour and nutritional benefits. Asparagus has potential anti-cancer and diuretic properties. 

Asparagus grows from a crown planted in the soil. The most common variety available is green asparagus. However, one can also purchase white, which is delicate and more difficult to harvest and purple, which is smaller and sweeter.

One can eat asparagus raw or cook it in many ways. Of all of them, grilling the vegetable is the easiest. It generally takes 8 to 14 minutes to grill spears of asparagus, depending on its thickness.

How Long To Grill Asparagus?

Diameter Of Asparagus StalksTime Taken To Cook It
Thick stalks (1 inch in diameter)6 to 10 minutes
Thin Stalks (approximately 1 cm in diameter)4 to 6 minutes

Grilled asparagus has a strong taste that goes well with any Sunday brunch. The trick to cooking the perfect grilled side dish is to cook the vegetable for the right time. Any more and the spear will burn, any less and the green stems will not have the right texture and taste.

If the asparagus is thicker, it will take approximately 6 to 10 minutes to cook directly on the grill or until you can pierce a fork through the asparagus easily. One must ensure to turn it halfway through the cooking process. Grill the asparagus for 3 minutes on each side for an al dente cook. A well-done stem of asparagus cooks on the grill for 10 minutes.

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One needs to cook skinny asparagus on a vegetable grill plate or aluminium foil so that the pieces do not fall through the grill. These take 4 to 6 minutes to grill on all sides.

Why Does It Take So Long To Grill Asparagus?

The grilling time for asparagus depends on its thickness, size and preference. Asparagus spears can be anywhere from 1 cm to 1 inch in thickness. The more common ones are thin asparagus which are available in all grocery stores. Thick asparagus take a longer time to cook as heat has to penetrate a larger diameter. Additionally, asparagus cut into smaller pieces before cooking will take a shorter time. 

The preference for asparagus plays an essential role in deciding the cooking time. For a tender and soft texture, one must grill the asparagus for 10 minutes. However, if one likes a crip bite then, cook it for 6 minutes.

Thinner stalks are more firm than thicker ones when cooked because the fibres are tightly packed. Therefore, people generally prefer thicker steems of asparagus. 

The method of cooking the asparagus decides the resulting texture. One must wash the asparagus and snap the woody ends off by bending the spears. It breaks at a natural point on the stem. Then, peel the outer layer about halfway up the stalk, resulting in a shorter cooking time and a tender product when cooked. 

Conclusion

Asparagus finds itself in many dishes like salads, omelettes, pasta and also makes an excellent side dish. This veggie is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables and contains a high amount of folic acid. A 150-gram serving provides 60% of the RDA for folic acid. Additionally, asparagus is a good source of fibre, potassium, thiamin, vitamins C, vitamin B6, and A.

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Cooking these vegetables require one to take note of the time. One must grill the asparagus stalks for 6 to 10 minutes for thick stalks and 4 to 6 minutes for thinner stems. The cooking time varies depending on the texture preference. An al dente texture requires less time than a soft and tender one. 

In addition, one must prepare the asparagus stalk well before cooking to reduce the grilling time and result in a much tender stem. 

Reference

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1981.tb04521.x
  2. https://ifst.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ijfs.14269
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