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I'm going to be grilling some asparagus which I have never done before. How long should I be having them on the grill so that they're not all mushy and soft? Is there something I should be doing to them beforehand to help them retain their crunchyness?

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    If you don't have a grill pan, and your grill has large openings on the grates, you might want to use a couple of skewers to make something that looks like a raft out of the asparagus ... it means they'll only cook from two sides, but it's better than lossing most of 'em as a sacrifice to the grill gods. – Joe Feb 6 '11 at 22:19
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I sometimes steam asparagus before sautéing on a high heat with some lemon juice to get some caramelization on the outside of the asparagus. You could adapt this idea to the grill by sealing the asparagus in tin foil with a little water and steaming for four minutes (for finger thick spears). Then give them a bit of colour by placing them directly over the grill for a minute.

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Clean and dry the asparagus, and then hand rub with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh ground salt and pepper

Char on very hot BBQ grill turning frequently until the surface starts to bubble

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I rub them in butter, salt then contain them I n aluminum foil tent to cook in the grill. I keep the coals to one side and put the veggies on the other side, place the grill lid on and open the vent holes above the food. Cook to desired tenderness.

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