Know Why Dry-Charring Is the Best and Fastest Way to Cook a Side of Asparagus
Sep 03, 2023 By Fabian Forte

Some veggies are straightforward to prepare, no matter how you cook them, but asparagus is more challenging. If not cooked properly, asparagus can have a woody texture and be stringy. However, there is a better and faster way to prepare the green spears than by sautéing them in butter with almond slivers or grilling them as a side dish to your main dish.

And when time is of the essence, and you need supper on the table as soon as possible, it will aid in that endeavor. The best way to prepare asparagus is by dry-charring, but you've never done it before. The process is quicker and healthier since it does not add liquid.

The cooked veggies you end up with have the ideal texture, somewhere between crisp and soft, which is why this approach is the best. Consequently, it goes wonderfully with other vegetables, such as snap peas or green beans.

Why Dry-Charring Is The Best Method?

Dry charring is a fast and easy way to prepare vegetables with no oil or fat. The cooking is dry, meaning no fats or oils are added to the pan or veggies. This preparation method produces asparagus that is both crisp and soft, with a robust flavor and a hint of smokiness.

Carrots and green beans are only two examples of other veggies that benefit greatly from this method. To char veggies this way, you must set them on a skillet without any additional fat and cook them over high heat.

If you cook without fat, your skillet will get hot without smoking, resulting in scorched veggies rather than steamed or smoked ones. Of course, you won't want to use direct heat on the veggies or the pan itself.

Dry Charred Serious Eats Asparagus Recipe

Asparagus on the grill is easy to make and delicious as a salad or side dish. Asparagus cooked in a sauce made of lemon, shallots, and herbs has a delicious smokey flavor. You can also eat asparagus with sauce to double its flavor.


  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For Toppings

  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp shallots



The asparagus spears should be lightly coated in olive oil. Heat a big cast-iron skillet or grill pan over high heat until very hot (you may need to do this in batches to ensure uniform cooking), or fire up the grill.


Place 6 to 8 stalks of asparagus in the pan and cook until charred, turning occasionally. Make sure they brown evenly on all sides by flipping them over every minute or so for the first two minutes of cooking or until a fork can easily go through them.


Remove the burnt asparagus and set it aside; cook it in batches until it is all done.


Put the white wine vinegar and the Dijon mustard in a bowl and mix them thoroughly with a whisk. One tablespoon of olive oil is a good place to start; whisking as you add will help the ingredients emulsify. While whisking, the dressing can be thicker by adding more olive oil, 1 tsp at a time.


Add chopped shallots, lemon zest, salt, and pepper to the dressing. Prepare a serving tray or plate for the charred asparagus, then arrange the spears on top.


Chop some chives for garnish and serve hot or cold.

The Perks Of Cooking Charred Asparagus

  • Grilling asparagus in a panini press or stovetop grill makes for a tasty meal.
  • You can get this delicious meal on the table in just 15 minutes.
  • The dressing is uncomplicated but lends a welcome brightness to the meal and brings out the full flavor of the asparagus.
  • When grilled, asparagus takes on an entirely new flavor (one that's far preferable to its steamed or poached counterparts). The spears' smokey, slightly burnt tips are well worth the wait.
  • The grilled asparagus is delicious as a salad or a side dish and can be served hot or cold. The dish is perfect for a barbeque since it can be made entirely beforehand.

Other Ways To Cook Asparagus


Put in a big basin of cold water or a clean sink. To clean the asparagus, toss and swirl it around in the water. Asparagus spears may be broken in half, and their woody ends discarded by holding the spear by its tip and bending it at its center. Leave the woody part behind.

Roasted Asparagus

Put in the preheated oven and set the temperature to 400 degrees F. Rolling wet asparagus on a dish towel is an effective way to dry it. Add olive oil to taste, roughly 1 tablespoon for every pound of asparagus, and toss in a big bowl.

Sprinkle with salt and stir to combine. Asparagus should be arranged in a single layer on a big, rimmed baking sheet. Check your asparagus after 10 minutes if it is extremely thin, and continue baking until it is golden brown and soft, around 15-20 minutes. If more salt is desired, add it. Serve.

Blanched Asparagus

Half-fill a very big pot with water. Put some ice cubes in a big dish of cold water and leave it aside. Bring to a boil by setting the saucepan over high heat. Throw in some asparagus, just till tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Asparagus should be moved to the ice water using tongs. Once you've dunked it a few times, you may finish it by marinating, sautéing in butter, olive oil, salt, or whatever else you prefer!


Charring asparagus is the quickest way to prepare it, although all these techniques are valid. Asparagus should have sturdy stalks when purchased. If a bunch has broken ends or is overly browned at the tips, it has probably been sitting on the shelf for a while and is not your best bet.