How to Cook Asparagus

You'll never trim asparagus with a knife again. Follow Food Network Kitchen's guide for the best way to prep and cook asparagus.

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Asparagus Basics

Roast, steam, saute and grill your way to asparagus greatness with these tips and techniques. Making the most of this versatile vegetable is easy. The first step: Put down the knife.

Prep Thin Asparagus

Hold a stalk in the middle and at the stalk end, then bend until it snaps.

Prep Thick Asparagus

Peel the bottom half of a stem, then hold a stalk in the middle and at the end; bend to snap as you would thin asparagus.

Season the Stalks

To roast asparagus: Toss to coat with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Get Roasting

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, then roast the asparagus until lightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Steam Asparagus Stalks

To steam asparagus: Fill a steamer with a few inches of salted water.

Lay the asparagus in the steamer insert and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Give Them an Ice Bath

Submerge the asparagus in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Plate and Serve

Season the asparagus with salt and pepper.

Cut Asparagus for Sauteing

To saute asparagus: Melt equal parts olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces, then add to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook Till Tender

Stir the asparagus pieces frequently until tender, about 3 1/2 minutes.

Prep for Grilling

To grill asparagus: Put the asparagus in a resealable plastic bag. Add olive oil, salt and pepper; use the bag to help you evenly coat the asparagus.

Grill to Perfection

Preheat a grill over high heat. Arrange the stalks across the grates, to prevent them from falling through.

Grill until browned and tender, 3 to 4 minutes.