How To Prevent Asparagus From Falling Through Your Grill Grates

If you love grilling, then you know that the sky is basically the limit when it comes to foods you can char to perfection. From grilled chicken to seared steaks to juicy burgers and even smoky plum cake, the grill is one of a home cook's best allies — especially in the summertime, when no one wants to be stuck inside a hot kitchen.

Though we typically associate the grill with meaty foods, it's also a wonderful tool for cooking vegetables of all kinds to their tender, flavorful, steamy best. From hearty slices of grilled eggplant to smoky grilled carrots to cheesy, lime-spritzed grilled Mexican corn, charring our vegetables is one of our very favorite ways to cook them — though some veggies are trickier to grill than others. Take, for example, asparagus, whose slender green spears turn nutty and sweet when roasted at high heat (via Fine Cooking). The only trouble is, those spears tend to slip right through the grill grates and burn up on the coils or coals below — luckily, we've got a simple preparation tip that will keep your asparagus on top of the grill grates where it belongs.

Create a raft of skewered asparagus

If you've ever grilled asparagus, then you know that the high heat of the grill works wonders on the vegetables, drawing out its natural sweetness and nuttiness. You probably also know that grilling asparagus can be frustrating, with even fatter spears tending to fall right through the grill grates. Across the internet, various methods are suggested for keeping asparagus on the right side of the grill, from wrapping the spears inside a foil packet that's then placed on the grill to setting a metal baking sheet on top of the grill grates and using its heat to grill the vegetable (via Masterclass).

Another method we've spotted that can wrangle asparagus into place comes from Leite's Culinaria, which suggests another mode of attack: skewering several spears together, and then grilling that whole "raft" as a unit. The outlet suggests taking cleaned, trimmed asparagus spears, and starting by pushing a skewer that's been soaked in water (so it doesn't burn on the grill) through the lower end of the spear, perpendicular to the spear. Once pushed nearly all the way through, another skewer is added towards the top of the spear, and then, about five more spears of asparagus can be threaded onto the skewers in the same way. This helpful technique results in a well-secured rectangle that can be easily grilled, with no more asparagus lost to the flames below.