This Simple Trick Makes Trimming Asparagus Easy

Anyone who's ever cooked asparagus before knows you can't just drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and toss it in the oven to roast (unless you want woody asparagus that's tough to eat). Before you even think about cooking asparagus, it has to be trimmed first to remove the root ends that are tricky to eat and not tasty at all. But don't just line up all of your asparagus and cut off the bottoms — one of the best ways to trim asparagus is to forget about your knife completely.

Instead of trying to chop all of your asparagus at the right point, just snap off the bottoms instead. According to The Kitchn, you can just hold each stalk between your thumb and forefinger, then bend until the asparagus breaks. It's much easier than trying to guess the best spot to cut, and the satisfying snap makes your prep work a little more fun too.

Why snapping asparagus works better than chopping

According to The Kitchn, your asparagus should snap exactly where the tough, woody part ends and the juicy, taste of part of the veggie begins. That means you won't break off too much and waste any of the edible part of your asparagus, but you also won't get left with any tough, unappetizing bites. The Kitchn reports that asparagus probably snaps easily this way because there's less moisture in the tough root ends, meaning they're less flexible and break instead of bending.

If you're not bending your asparagus to snap off the woody ends, and you're just lining them up on the cutting board to chop them off, you probably won't know exactly where to cut, and could end up wasting some of the veggie. And according to The Spruce Eats, thinner asparagus spears aren't necessarily more tender than thicker ones (the thickness of each spear depends on how old the plant is), so when you're picking out veggies at the store and prepping them, you don't need to worry about how each one looks. The next time you're planning on serving asparagus for dinner, leave your knife in the drawer and snap off the ends instead.