Today, you’re going to learn two different methods on how to trim asparagus properly. Are you a bend and snap kind of person or someone who likes to trim? 

Asparagus on a counter.

Let’s take it back to the basics today with this foolproof, two-method guide for trimming fresh asparagus. We’ll teach you everything you need to know to master this earthy stalk and also share a handful of delicious ways to use it throughout asparagus season. And, to top it off, we’ll divulge one of our favorite storage containers that will keep your asparagus fresh up to 5 times longer!

Did you know? Asparagus is best during the spring season but can be accessed year-round in areas that import it from South America. 

Kitchen Tool Recommendations

Before we dive into how to trim asparagus, let’s first cover a couple of tools we can’t live without (note: these tools are useful for the trimming method – if you go with the snap method, all you need is your hands). 

  • Chef’s Knife – This 8-inch Zwilling knife is one of my all-time favorite tools for chopping and trimming veggies. It’s probably my most used kitchen tool daily. 
  • Cutting Board – Everyone needs a solid, multi-purpose cutting board. As a fan of a minimalist kitchen, I use this cutting board for just about everything. It’s sturdy, high-quality, and beautiful enough to stay on the counter full-time.

How to Trim Asparagus in Two Methods

There are two methods for how trim your asparagus – the snap method and the trim method. Either works great and it’s up to you which one to use. Here’s all you need to know…

The Snap Method (Less Dishes)

The first route for how to trim asparagus we will go over is the snap method. As stated above, all you need is your hands for this one and a kitchen towel to pat dry your trimmed asparagus spears. 

  1. Rinse the Asparagus – Wash the asparagus stalks under cold water in the sink to remove any dirt, grit, or grime. 
  2. Snap the Asparagus – Hold an individual spear from both ends and bend it, letting it naturally snap off at the woody end of the asparagus. Repeat with each remaining spear until all the woody parts are removed. 
  3. Dry the Asparagus – Use a kitchen towel or paper towel to remove any excess moisture. This will allow whatever seasoning you’re using to stick, while also helping the asparagus crisp up nicely. 

The Trim Method (Speedier)

The second method on how to trim asparagus is the trim method. The perks? It’s quicker than the snap method, trimming all your spears in one swoop. For this one, you’ll need a sharp knife, cutting board, and kitchen towel. 

  1. Rinse the Asparagus – Wash the asparagus stalks under cold water in the sink to remove any dirt, grit, or grime. 
  2. Trim the Asparagus – Place a bunch of asparagus on the cutting board, leaving the rubber band holding it together on. Using a sharp knife, cut off the light-colored, tough ends in one swoop. 
  3. Dry the Asparagus – Use a kitchen towel or paper towel to remove any excess moisture to help whatever seasoning you’re using stick, while also helping the asparagus crisp up nicely.

Different Kinds of Asparagus

Depending on the season and grocery store, you’re bound to come across three main types of asparagus. Now that you know how to trim asparagus like a pro, let’s find the variety you like best.

  • Green (Most Common & Popular): Green asparagus is by far the most common variation of asparagus spears. You’ll find it in thicker stalks and super thin, French-style stalks. When eaten raw it’s bitter tasting, but when cooked properly it’s earthy and somewhat grassy tasting. 
  • White: White asparagus is the second most popular spear. If you’re wondering why it’s white, it’s because it’s grown in the dark. Despite its unique coloring, it’s similar in taste to green asparagus but slightly milder. 
  • Purple: Purple asparagus is the sweetest spear of all, as it contains nearly 25% more sugar than the other two. If you don’t want the color to fade, be extra careful not to overcook this vibrant spear! 

Picking the Freshest Asparagus Possible

Whether you’re picking up your asparagus from the grocery store or snagging a bunch from the local farmer’s market, here’s what you need to look for to ensure they are the freshest stalks possible. 

  • Avoid limp or wilted stalks. If the stalks appear limp or wilted, this means that they are past their freshness date. You want to choose the firmest stalks possible, as this means they were just harvested. 
  • Opt for tips that are closed, firm, and compact. The very tip of the asparagus should be firm and completely closed. You’ll know the asparagus is past its prime when the tip appears to be falling apart and brittle. 
  • Choose the most vibrant stalks possible. Last but not least, you need to pay attention to the color of the asparagus spears. You’ll want the top of the spear to be as bright and vibrant green, purple, or white as possible, fading into a white, woody stalk. 
Asparagus held in hand.

Two Different Ways to Store Asparagus

Depending on how long you want your trimmed stalks to stay fresh, there are two ways to store them. No matter which method you use, it’s crucial that you keep the bottoms of the spears moist to prevent the spears from going limp. Here’s the lowdown on both methods: 

  • Short-Term Use: To keep your spears fresh for 3-4 days, trim or snap off the woody bottoms. Next, place the stalks upright in a jar, with about an inch of water. Cover the stalks loosely with a plastic storage bag and place the jar in the fridge. 
  • Long-Term Use (Kitchen Tool Hot Tip): If you want your stalks to last for up to 2 and a half weeks, trim or snap off the wooden bottoms and wrap the bottoms of the stems in damp paper towel. We then like to use the Vacuum Sealer Machine and accompanying Vacuum Sealer Glass Food Storage Container to keep the stalks fresh for up to 5 times longer than conventional airtight storage containers. 

Tasty Asparagus Recipes

The best part about learning hot to trim asparagus properly is using it in all your favorite recipes. Here’s a couple ideas to inspire you…

More Tasty Asparagus Recipes to Check Out

About Author

Avatar photo

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.