Summer is coming up and what better way to enjoy this time than grilling outside. Perhaps you just have an ordinary grill, but we’re here to tell you about grills that come with side burners and give you our top picks. They are especially useful if you have a big family or if you host barbecues for your friends. It gives you additional cooking space and is a good place to cook side dishes and sauces.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Grill with Side Burner – Runner Up
Best Grill with Side Burner – Comparison Table
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Best Grill with Side Burner – Reviews
Best Grill with Side Burner – Buyers Guide
What is a Side Burner on a Grill For?
A side burner is designed to function like the burners you get on a kitchen stovetop. They are smaller than the actual main grill and are used for cooking side dishes and sauces. They’re also great if you have a vegetarian in the group who doesn’t want his or her food cooked with the meat.
The Top Benefits of a Grill Side Burner
Separate Temperature Control
You will probably be cooking meat at a high temperature on the main grill, but you may also want to grill vegetables. This is where a side burner comes in handy. You can lower the temperature on the side burner to suit whatever you are cooking. The side burner has a separate flame to the main grill so you can reduce or increase the heat without affecting the food on the grill. Side burners are also good for making sauces where you need to control the temperature and not overheat the pan.
Cook A Variety of Foods
Nowadays many people are considering a meat-free diet which can cause problems for the person grilling the food. You don’t want to just cook vegetables for them or even just veggie burgers. However, you can put a pan on the side burner and cook things like chili, vegetable stir fry, risotto, or pasta. To sum up, a side burner can be used in the same way as a stovetop burner.
Of course, you can just cook vegetables on the side burner, particularly if you are cooking a meat meal, but want to have some vegetables on the side. Make a ratatouille or fry up some mushrooms and onions. They go great with a steak or in a bun with a burger.
Cook Sauces and Glazes
Meat often benefits from sauces and glazes and a side burner is ideal for cooking these. They need to be cooked at a lower temperature than meat and you can do this with a side burner without having to bother to do some of your cooking in the kitchen. They can be kept at the lowest heat while waiting for the meat to be ready or you can put them on the warming rack.
If you have a side burner you might save a bit of time as you will be able to multi-task. Otherwise, you would have to cook any additional side dishes in the kitchen on the stovetop. Yes, you could have another family member in the kitchen, but then they would miss out on the fun.
If you use the side burner to cook additional dishes, you will save on the energy you would have to use on the stovetop.
In addition, you usually grill when the weather is good. If you are cooking inside in this sort of weather, you might have to use energy for fans and air conditioning.
Cooking Smells and Messes
Food like fish and ribs have strong aromas and if you are cooking them in the kitchen, these smells can permeate the whole house. This won’t happen if you are cooking outdoors. A side burner gives you extra space, so you won’t need to use the kitchen. You will end up with just one appliance to clean, not two.
Back-up Cooking Surface
If your main grill breaks down, the side burner will give you the option of carrying on cooking outdoors. Naturally, you won’t have as much room, but it will still be convenient if there are just a couple of you.
Frequently Asked Questions
We hope that we have told you all you need to know about grills with burners. However, we have answered a couple of questions that you might want to ask. If there’s anything else you would like to know, feel free to contact us.
What are the Main Benefits of a Side Burner?
A side burner offers extra cooking space so you might not need to be in the kitchen cooking while everyone else is outside. Side burners have a separate temperature control which is great when you are cooking side dishes. The high heat of the grill can easily burn vegetables but is suitable for meat and fish. The temperature of the side burner can be reduced or increased without affecting the main grill.
Do Grill Side Burners Need More BTUs?
BTU means British Thermal Unit and it measures the amount of heat produced by a grill. Side burners don’t need extra BTUs to power them.
Can you Add a Side Burner to your Grill?
The simple answer is no unless you find a grill that sells side burners separately to fit their grills. If you just add on a side burner that isn’t specifically made for the grill you will probably void the warranty.
We hope that this article has been interesting and informative, and you have gained an insight into grills with side burners. Maybe you have decided that one of the ones we have reviewed will suit you. We stand by our top pick of the Weber Genesis 11 Liquid Propane Grill. It is made of durable stainless steel and has a powerful Gs4 high-performance grilling system. It has lots of extras such as a warming rack, a thermometer, storage space underneath the grill and a side table. Yes, it’s a bit expensive, but you get what you paid for and you get a great grill for the money.
We hope that you have a great summer grilling outdoors and don’t have to be in a hot kitchen. Enjoy!