Do I need to shave down asparagus ? I break the ends off. I've seen people use a peeler. Is it necessary and why is that done?

  • Posted by: Tasha
  • August 17, 2015


mainecook61 August 19, 2015
Really, I think it depends on the quality of the asparagus---that is, how far it has traveled and how it has been held. Fresh local asparagus doesn't need peeling, and I don't peel the spears that come from my garden. But if the asparagus had a long trek in a truck to get to your grocery store, it's likely peeling will ensure that it's perfectly tender.
ncindc August 19, 2015
I've never peeled, but i do break the ends off. It does "waste" a fair amount of the asparagus, but 1) I never have to worry about woody ends 2) save those ends for a small pot of asparagus stock! Use it for risotto, soup etc- allows you to stretch the asparagus even further.
scruz August 18, 2015
it does take a lot of time and effort to peel, but i find i do it more often than not given the price of asparagus. they do cook uniformly and you get a bit more. when i was working i would just snap them off. my counter is not at a great height for me so it makes my back hurt too. But, i love them spears so i do it.
Maedl August 18, 2015
It depends on what kind of asparagus you are using. If you have white asparagus, yes, you need to peel it or else the asparagus will be bitter and stringy. If you are using green asparagus, then you need not peel. Just cut off the bottom--you can feel with a knife to determine which the fibrous part ends.

One of the few gadgets I have is an asparagus peeler--because local white asparagus is usually the best in the shops. The peeler is like an over-sized tweezer, with blades on either side. Not only do you peel the asparagus twice as fast, you also apply an even pressure so the stalks don’t snap.
Kristen W. August 18, 2015
I have tried peeling just to see what the fuss was about, but I'm a peel-person (so to speak) too, so for me it's not worth the time/effort. Plus I like my asparagus best when it's well-roasted, so the peels get softened pretty well that way.
PieceOfLayerCake August 17, 2015
I never shave asparagus unless I want ribbons....but I'm also that guy who eats broccoli stalks/leaves, the leaves and stem from cauliflower and I also don't peel carrots....or potatoes, generally. I like all that "stuff".
cookbookchick August 17, 2015
I never peel mine, either.
boulangere August 17, 2015
I never peel mine. But then, at work i'm going through a case or two at a time. Still, even at home I don't.
Smaug August 17, 2015
Asparagus peels are tough. The ends are tough, depending on how much they've dried out. Peeled asparagus cooks faster and better.
702551 August 17, 2015
This is particularly true with the thicker asparagus spears.

If you're buying pencil asparagus, there's no need to peel.
SMSF August 17, 2015
Personally I think breaking off the ends wastes too much of the asparagus. I use a knife to cut off the end so i have more control, but only the very tough part which not every spear has. Sometimes a spear will then still have a bit of toughness, so I'll then peel off a thin layer with a peeler, but only the bottom third or so. This ensures more even cooking in my experience.
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