Learn how to smoke asparagus on a Traeger or pellet grill/smoker! This Traeger Asparagus recipe is foolproof and yields tender-crisp, delightfully smoky asparagus every time.
Grilling season is the perfect excuse to turn regular summer produce into impressive, crave-worthy sides! This Traeger Asparagus recipe is just that, as the pellet grill turns this popular vegetable into a smoky delight.
Don’t get me wrong, I love sous vide asparagus and blanched asparagus, but Traeger grilled asparagus is extra special. The closed wood-fired pellet grill cooks veggies at a consistent temperature while filling everything with aromatic, all-natural hardwood flavor. The result is perfectly cooked and crisp-tender asparagus that’s smoky and chargrilled.
This superstar side dish pairs particularly well with all of the BBQ classics, from juicy grilled steaks and chicken to potato salad. Or you can keep the grill going for even more impressive, smoky meals, like smoked pork belly, tri-tip steak, and more!
- Asparagus – Look for firm, crisp, and bright green asparagus with tightly closed tips. While the size doesn’t necessarily affect the flavor, thicker spears are better for grilling because they can withstand the heat without overcooking.
- Olive oil
- Brisket dry rub – This smoky and savory 5-spice blend is fantastic on asparagus. If you want to keep things simple, stick to Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper instead.
- Lemon – Freshly squeezed lemon juice from charred lemons brightens up the dish.
How to cook asparagus on a Traeger grill
Place the trimmed asparagus on a small baking sheet. Drizzle the spears with olive oil and the brisket dry rub (or salt and pepper), then toss to coat.
Place the asparagus spears directly on the preheated grill grates, close the lid, and cook until tender and charred around the edges.
When the asparagus is almost finished, place the halved lemon on the grill grates cut side down until charred and softened.
Remove the asparagus from the grill, squeeze the charred lemon over the top, and enjoy!
Tips and tricks
- Remember to chop off the thick, woody ends of the asparagus (the bottom inch or so) before cooking.
- Traeger grills use wood pellets for fuel and flavor. Consider using oak, hickory, fruitwoods, or mesquite to highlight the earthy taste of asparagus.
- If your asparagus spears are thick enough, they shouldn’t fall through the grill grates. Smaller, thinner asparagus can be cooked on a grill tray to keep them in place.
- Make sure there’s some space in between each spear so the heat and smoke can circulate freely and cook the asparagus evenly.
- Grilling asparagus with the lid closed traps the heat and smoke, which helps the veggies cook evenly and take on an intensified smoky flavor profile.
Make this grilled asparagus recipe your own with the following flavor-enhancing techniques and topping ideas:
- Balsamic glaze – Drizzle the grilled asparagus with balsamic glaze instead of lemon juice for a hint of sweetness and acidity.
- Garlic herb butter – Brush a mixture of melted butter, minced garlic, and fresh herbs over the asparagus. To take it up a notch, use my Lemon Butter Dill Sauce instead.
- Romesco Sauce – Grilled asparagus is so delicious with my easy romesco sauce!
- Soy sesame – Drizzle with low-sodium soy sauce during grilling, then garnish with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.
- Cheese – Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan or crumbled goat’s cheese while the smoked asparagus is still warm.
- Bacon – Sprinkle crumbled crispy bacon or homemade bacon salt on top before serving. Or, wrap your asparagus spears in bacon before putting them on the smoker.
- Toasted nuts – Garnish the plated veggies with toasted pine nuts, walnuts, or pecans.
For more topping ideas and serving suggestions, check out this round-up of 15+ Sauces for Asparagus.
If you’re short on time, blanching, soaking, or parboiling the asparagus can reduce the cooking time and help prevent the thicker asparagus spears from drying out during the grilling process. These techniques, however, aren’t necessary for this recipe.
The grill time depends on the thickness of the asparagus, but thicker spears should take around 25 to 30 minutes to cook at 350ºF.
To tell if asparagus is done cooking, pierce the spears with a fork. If there’s a slight resistance but feels tender in the middle, the asparagus is ready to serve.
Make it a memorable meal by serving the grilled asparagus with any of these impressive main dishes:
- Beef Short Ribs
- Smoked Burgers
- Smoked Corned Beef Brisket
- Grilled Pork Chops
- Smoked Pork Belly
- Grilled Rack of Lamb
Let the leftover asparagus cool to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
When you’re ready to enjoy the leftovers, you can eat the asparagus cold or reheat it in the oven, microwave, or a skillet.
More impressive vegetable side dishes
- Easy Grilled Peppers
- Blanched Asparagus
- Grilled Broccolini
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
- Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad
Did you make this grilled asparagus?
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Traeger Asparagus Recipe
- Preheat your traeger (or other pellet grill) to 350 degrees.
- Place asparagus on a small baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with dry rub (or salt and pepper) and toss to combine.
- Place asparagus spears on the grill and cook for 25-30 minutes, until tender and charred in spots.
- During the last 5 minutes of cook time, place the lemon on the grill grates, cut side down, until charred and softened.
- Remove the asparagus from the grill and squeeze the charred lemon over the top.