If you are a chef or are a food enthusiast who loves BBQ dishes you are probably thinking do I need a side burner on my grill. You know the fun, ease, and great taste of grilling, but do you know the benefits of a side burner on a grill?
A side burner is one of the most underused cooking equipment. That may sound like an understatement because many grillers swear that they need one, but do not know how they are used. They are designed to function the same as burners which are available in kitchen stoves.
You need a side burner because it makes it convenient for grillers to cook side dishes such as vegetable stir fry, pasta salads, grilled pork, and more. A side burner is undervalued and essential outdoor cooking equipment that comes in handy for warming up beans or cooking side dishes such as corn. You can do this without worrying that the grill is full of meat or have to leave the grilled food to warm the side food indoors.
In this article, we are going to look at what a side burner is, the benefits of a side burner, and whether grill side burners are worth it.
This will help you understand the benefits of side burners in preparing healthy, simple, and delicious meals. Read on to find out if it is a must to have a side burner.
Table of Contents
Why Do I Need A Side Burner On A Grill
A side burner refers to a gas-powered cooking surface that is attached to the side of a hybrid gas charcoal grill or gas grill. Simply put, the grill side burner is designed to work the same as burners found in stoves.
With a BBQ side burner, you can cook anything that can be cooked on an indoor stovetop. However, not all grills come with a side burner. This means that if you are barbecuing meat and the grill is full, you can use it to cook other meals.
Therefore, you have to wait until the meat is cooked so that you can use the grill to make other side meals. This can be time-consuming and before the side meal is ready, the grilled food would have run cold.
If you want to improve your efficiency while cooking outdoors, then you need a side burner on a grill. With a side burner, you can make side dishes while you are grilling which helps reduce your cooking time.
The good thing about a side burner is that it helps grillers maximize their time outside. When you have everything in one place, you will not worry about the pot boiling over or food burning while you are indoors. You will not heat up your house that forces your A/C to rise in less time.
What Do You Use A Grill Side Burner For
A grill may overshadow the importance of a side burner but whether it is pan, wok or pot, a side burner on a grill can handle it.
- The first way to use a side burner is wok cooking. With a wok, you can cook vegetables and other side dishes on a side burner.
- Second, you can use a grill side burner for frying foods outdoors. This will help you save time and eliminate the odor that comes with frying foods indoors. Some of the foods you can fry with a side burner include fresh fries, hushpuppies, and catfish.
- Third, use a grill side burner to cook your beans and boil your corn. What you will need is a stock pot as well as greens with some salt pork or fatback so that you can have a tasty treat.
- Fourth, look at the storage space which is where you will store accessories.
Are Grill Side Burners Worth It
Before you answer the above question, you need to ask yourself do I need a side burner on my grill? Grill side burners are a must have if you are cooking outdoors and want to improve the cooking speed.
Rather than rushing indoors to prepare side meals, you can use side burners to boil vegetables that you can eat with grilled meat. There are many pros of using a side burner on a grill.
First, a side burner improves your cooking efficiency. Second, you can use a side burner to cook on a pot, pan, and wok. Third, a grill side burner is energy efficient as you do not have to use electricity to cook.
The first con of using a side burner is that it has a few seasoning options available to users. Also, you may need to finish cooking on a different heating surface or burner.
The good thing is that you do not have to break the bank to get a grill side burner. You can find high quality and affordable product that matches your purpose and lifestyle.
A gas grill with a side burner can cost as little as $150 to as much as $700. The following are factors to look for before buying a grill side burner.
- First is the durability of the grill side burner. You need to choose a grill side burner which is strong so that you can save money in the long term.
- Second, look at the ease of use of the grill side burner. Look at the features of the grill side burner so that you can know if it is easy for you to operate without any difficulties.
- Third, look at the temperature controls as well as a control knob that is dedicated to a burner.
My favorite gas grill with a side burner is the Char-Broil Classic 360. It is a 3-burner grill that has 360 square inches of cooking area to grill a lot of hamburgers and hotdogs at one time.
It comes with an 8,000 BTU side burner that provides a secondary cooking space for side dishes or sauces. Best of all, it comes at a cheap price on Amazon.
Benefits of Side Burner
You probably know the benefits of a grill, but do you know the benefits of a side burner? A side burner offers an additional cooking surface that helps control a different temperature.
Compared to the main grill which cooks at a high temperature, a side burner cooks to a separate temperature. This makes a side burner suitable for cooking vegetables and sauces.
Also, a grill side burner will save a lot of time because it will help you cook other foods at the same time.
Side burners help you to prepare other side meals to cook. Another benefit of a side burner is that it helps to conserve energy.
When you are not cooking indoors, it means that you will not have to crank the A/C down which helps you save monthly energy bills.
Searing Burner vs Side Burner
A searing burner can be found on a gas grill and is usually hotter than the main grill. This allows you to cook food at a high temperature until a brown crust is formed.
Cooks can use a searing burner to sear food for a certain duration before finishing cooking at a lower temperature on a grill.
On the other hand, a side burner is placed next to the grill burner. Compared to a grill that cooks at a high temperature to grill beef, chicken, or ribs, a side burner works at a controlled temperature which allows you to cook small meals such as sauces or vegetables besides the grill.
What To Cook On Grill Side Burner
Side burners are used to cook side dishes and this ranges from sautéing peppers and onions to grilling Italian sausages. If you are wondering what to cook on a side burner, here are a few examples that will inspire your cooking.
- Char peppers: You can use a side burner to char peppers or veggies by placing them directly to the flame.
- Steam oysters: A side burner can be used to steam oysters and grill the rest. If you want to steam the oysters, start by boiling 1 cup of water and a half glass of beer for aroma and flavor. Place a colander insider the pot and ensure that you arrange the oysters. Bring the mixture to boil then let the oyster steam for 10 minutes.
- Pan fry: You can use the side burner to pan fry and keep the smoke and smell out of the house. The heated cast iron can be used to cook blackened fish. If you want to pan-fry fish, first coat the fish using melted butter then use blackening seasonings and place it inside the skillet for a couple of minutes.
- Cook glazes and sauces: A grill with a side burner allows you to cook delicious glazes and sauces which complement a grilled main meal. Because glazes and sauces require a low temperature than other foods, a side burner is suitable thanks to its temperature control. To cook sauces and ingredients, put them inside the pan then place them on a side burner.
Helpful Tips To Know If You Need A Side Burner On Your Grill
It goes without saying that outdoor grills, as well as a side burner, complement each other just like a microwave and stove do in your indoor kitchen. Each of these have multiple purposes, but one can do things the other cannot.
- If you frequently experience power outages, then you need to use a side burner. The benefit of a side burner on a grill is that it helps you enjoy the flexibility of a gas cooktop without needing electricity.
- You want to save time for outdoor cooking. If you are grilling other food such as meat, a side burner may come in handy if you want to save cooking time by multi-tasking then preparing side dishes like vegetables and sauces.
- Other than the main food, you may need a side burner to cook other side dishes. This includes boiling vegetables, including fresh corn as you wait for the main food to be ready on the grill. In addition to boiled vegetables, you may need a side burner to cook glazes and sauces that complement the main dish.
Good side burners are convenient for those who love using a grill to cook food outdoors. Not only will it save you time, but you can use it to efficiently cook other meals.
When you are selecting a side burner, the question you need to ask yourself is do I need a side burner on my grill? While it is true that a side burner may not be mandatory, it is very helpful.
You may need a side burner not only to prepare side meals but also to warm other foods as you wait for the main dish to finish cooking.