Collection: Side Burners/ Utility Stove

All grills have a primary grate on which to cook food. Some grills, however, have one or more additional cooking grates or surfaces attached to the side. Known as side burners, they allow you to cook other foods and side items while your meat is cooking on the primary grate. To learn more about side burners and how they work, keep reading.

Side Burners Explained

A side burner is essentially a powered cooking surface — similar to the burners used in kitchen stoves — that’s attached to the side of a grill. It’s typically smaller than the grill’s primary cooking grate, meaning you won’t be able to use it to cook large foods or large quantities of foods. Rather, side burners are designed for small foods, such as sauces and side items. While your main course is cooking on the grill’s primary grate, you can cook small foods like these on the side burner.

Benefits of Using a Side Burner

Because they are powered by a separate heat source, side burners allow you to cook foods at a different temperature than that of the primary grate. Depending on the heat setting, a grill’s primary grate may reach 500 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. While perfect for grilling chicken, steak, ribs and other meats, this heat can burn vegetables and other small foods. If you have a side burner, though, you can cook small foods separately from your meat. Just place your meat on the primary cooking grate, and then place your small foods on the side burner.

Your grill should have a separate temperature control knob for the side burner, which you can adjust to find the “sweet spot” for cooking small foods. Side burners are heated by a separate flame than the main cooking grate. Therefore, you can lower or raise the temperature of your grill’s side burner without it affecting your meat on the primary grate.

Side burners are useful as a backup cooking surface. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen, but if your grill’s main burner fails, you can use still use the side burner to cook foods. Granted, you won’t be able to cook large foods on a side burner, but it’s still an effective way to cook a variety of small foods if your grill’s main burner stops working.

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