How Long To Cook Asparagus?

Green Asparagus is a healthy fibrous vegetable that goes well with many other dishes. It is easy to prepare and quite simple to cook. But how long does it take for asparagus to cook? It is also a question of taste how long to cook asparagus, as it depends on the cooking time whether asparagus turns out soft and melts on the tongue or whether they have a crisp, snappy texture.

How Long Does It Take For Asparagus To Cook?

Green asparagus has a very short cooking time. With Grade 2 – thin asparagus, 2 to 10 minutes of cooking time is sufficient, depending on the type of cooking. Thick asparagus spears – Grade 1, take about 5 to 15 minutes. 

Asparagus Grades

Grade 1 = not less than 1/2 inch diameter, 12 mm, like your pinky

Grade 2 = not less than 5/16 inch, 8 mm, like a pencil

How Long To Cook Asparagus?

Asparagus cooking time for the different cooking methods at a glance. Times can vary depending on whether you prefer them al dente or rather soft.

how long to cook asparagus

How Do You Know When Asparagus Is Done

You can tell whether the asparagus is done by two simple methods:

Lift the asparagus e.g. with a fork out of the water (don’t prick it in, but put it on the fork) and see how much the asparagus bends. The more it bends, the softer it is. Asparagus, which is not yet done bends only slightly. If the asparagus hangs really limply, it has become too soft and may already be overcooked.

The other method is simply poking into it. Use a fork, paring knife, or skewer and poke in the asparagus, if these are soft but offer a little resistance, the asparagus is cooked sufficiently.

What Is The Best Way To Cook Asparagus?

While boiling them in water is probably the most common way to cook asparagus, you should also try other methods of cooking. Asparagus can be steamed, sauteed, braised, roasted in the oven, grilled on the BBQ or even fried in a pan or in a wok. This creates distinctive flavors that complement the fine taste of the asparagus.

To say which is the best way to cook asparagus is actually not possible. The different cooking methods each produce their own special flavors and tastes and allow the creation of many different dishes. Asparagus is great in salads, as a side dish in combination with poultry, meat or fish or in Asian dishes.

Steaming, sautéing, boiling, frying, roasting or grilling

The preparation of green asparagus is very easy, the fibrous vegetable is quickly prepared and cooked.

Boiling green asparagus in a pot

Wash the asparagus, cut off the purple bottom end, and then cook in salted water with a pinch of sugar. If you add a few sprinkles of lemon juice or vinegar to the cooking water, the asparagus will keep its fresh color. The asparagus should be covered by the water. The cooking time is approximately 5 minutes, give or take. Thin spears need a little shorter, thick ones a little longer.

Tipp: If you blanch green asparagus after boiling it in ice water, it will keep its wonderful green color.

Steaming green asparagus

Ideal for green asparagus is an asparagus pot with a steamer basket in which the green asparagus is standing. This way, flavor, and taste remain in the asparagus and not in the asparagus water.
Fill the pot only to a third with water and place the bundles of asparagus vertically so that only the asparagus ends are cooked standing in the water. The top two-thirds of asparagus cook in the steam. This way, the green asparagus not only tastes more aromatic but also retains its special flavors and nutrients. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus spears.

Sauteing Green Asparagus

Sauteing (frying with very little fat) works well for asparagus that is not too thick. Cut the asparagus into 1- to 2-inch lengths. Add very little cooking oil in a wok or large frying pan, when hot, toss in the asparagus and cook and stir for about 4 to 6 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Sauteing brings out flavors, add salt, pepper, and herbal seasonings according to taste.

Pan-fried green asparagus

If you take a little more fat, sauteing becomes frying. As a result, green asparagus tastes extremely delicious when fried in the pan with garlic, green onions, and other seasonings. The green asparagus will be done quickly and should be ready after about 5 minutes.

Oven-Roasted Asparagus

Roasting asparagus is super easy. Thick spears are more suitable, they overcook not as quick and do not become too soft and limp. Put the prepared asparagus on a baking tray with a bit of olive oil or butter and some spices, roast in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The cooking time varies depending on the thickness, thin asparagus is ready in about 10 minutes, grade 1 may take between 15 to 20 minutes.

Grilling Green Asparagus

Green asparagus is also great on the grill, you can simply put the spears on the grate. The vegetables will be done in about 8 to 10 minutes, but make sure the grill is not too hot, they burn quickly. Tip: Very nice when wrapped with bacon. Put several spears together with shish kebab skewers. This way, the asparagus cannot slip through the grate.

When you marinate the asparagus, it is best to put them on the grill in a tray. The grilling time can double when using a tray.

grill asparagus

How Long To Grill Asparagus?

Green asparagus is particularly suitable for grilling. Simply trim off the bottom end, about an inch(maybe more if the spears are very thick), dress with a little oil or marinade, and put them on the grillage. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until the asparagus is nicely browned. Season the spears with salt and pepper according to taste and serve.

White asparagus is usually much thicker than green asparagus and therefore needs longer on the grill until it is cooked. A good idea is to blanch the white asparagus first before dressing it with oil or marinating it. Grill it for 4 to 10 minutes on each side until it is ready. Season to taste.

The time how long to grill asparagus can vary greatly depending on the type of your BBQ and how well the thing is fired up.

Do you have to peel green asparagus?

You don’t have to peel all of the green asparagus. Only the lower whitish-purple end should be cut off because it is often a little woody and fibrous. In thick asparagus, the peel at the lower end is sometimes a little fibrous too and you better peel it. Peeling is not necessary where the skin is green, thin, and soft.

Tip: Get a special asparagus pot with a basket. The spears can stand upright in the basked, this protects the delicate heads and allows them to cook gently in the steam, and avoids the problem of unevenly cooked asparagus (because of the decreasing thickness) where the bottom end is hard and the head is too soft.

More Info:

Asparagus Grades and Standards:

About all the goods in asparagus:

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