How To Grill Asparagus

I’ve done broiled asparagus before, and this is basically the same recipe. Today’s version proves two related rules:

  1. Anything that can be grilled can be broiled.
  2. Anything that can be broiled is better when it’s grilled

It’s true for steak, it’s true for vegetables, it’s true for everything.

The reason is that when you’re grilling anything that drips off is vaporised, and the vapor comes back up as additional flavor on whatever you’re cooking. Broiling comes close, but any drippings left in the pan when you’re done are flavor that you lost.


bunch of asparagus
olive oil
salt & pepper


Snap off the cut ends of the asparagus. If you’ve never prepped fresh asparagus before, check out the post on rib steak with broiled asparagus and broccoli for step-by-step instructions. Put the prepped asparagus in a large plate and coat well with olive oil.

Then a generous helping of fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt.

Toss well to combine. You can do this with tongs, but doing it by hand is faster and you’re less likely to drop any.

Place the asparagus on a heated grill, arrange everything in a single layer, and turn the flame down to medium.

“How high is medium.” Umm, good question. Kind of depends on how much pressure you’re getting from your tank, how restrictive your grill is, how far … No, forget that. You want the flames to be at least two or three inches below the grill. Lower than that and you’ll sweat out all the moisture before it’s cooked. Higher than that and you’ll turn it into charcoal.

You can see that I’m using a special veggie tray in my grill. You don’t really need one of these, but it keeps you from dropping skinny veggies — like asparagus — down through the grill.

Turn the asparagus frequently to keep it from burning on one side.

It’s done when the color has changed from bright green to a deep olive color, with brown on the tips and leaves. Unlike meat, which can’t go back into the same plate the raw food was in, grilled veg can go back in the same plate. Which means any oil and seasonings that were left get added back in. Yum.

And that’s it.

Coming up next is the first step in a weeks-long process of making a beautiful dressing. Yes, weeks. Stick around, it’s easier than it sounds. And prettier, too. Then the main dish to go with the asparagus, a dish that will use some of an ingredient left over from a couple of weeks back.

Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus


  • bunch of asparagus
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper


Snap the cut ends off the asparagus. Unless they are fresh-cut, asparagus stalks start losing moisture right away, and the end gets dry and woody.

Toss with olive oil, kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper.

Grill over a medium flame, turning frequently, until the color darkens to a deep olive, and the tips of the leaves are just starting to turn brown.