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Do you use a side burner with your grill?

About to get a new Weber and I've gone back and forth on a side burner. First I thought it was a silly idea, then someone said they really like it so I reconsidered. Now I'm wondering it I'd really use it. Do you have one and do you like it? If you don't, do you wish you had one? Feel free to weigh in on models--either the Spirit E310 or the Genesis E320.
Thanks for your help.

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  1. I love the side burner with the flip down cover so that I can still use it as a table/landing pad/staging area if I don't want to use the burner. Its a great thing to be able to warm up or recude a sauce or to cook a side (beans or rice or whatever) while grilling. So, given the options I'd definitely get a grill with a side burner.

    I've cooked on the Genesis E320 model at a client's home (privat chef stuff) and have always had good results. I like the cabinet underneath for storing supplies and extra things like some foil pans and a roll of foil in case I forget a clean platter or need to cover or wrap something.

    1. We have used our Weber side burner while barbecuing only 2-3 times and we barbecue every week of the year. We merely consider the side burner great insurance. We live in California so it's our back-up for power outages and earthquakes!

      1. I consider it to be completely and utterly useless. I've got an unlimited supply of cooking fuel (in my case electricity) in my kitchen so I can't imagine why I would ever want to waste the relatively limited supply of LPG that I have on hand using the side burner.

        In another thread someone pointed out that it can be useful for keeping sauce warm to brush onto the meat, which seems sensible assuming your grill is far enough away from your kitchen. For me my grill is literally 20 feet from my stove, so it never crossed my mind.

        I fire mine up occasionally to make sure the line isn't clogged....and that's it.

        That said, side burners on grills are starting to become as ubiquitous as cameras on mobile phones - I see more grills with them than without them when I wander the aisles fantasizing about how I can justify the purchase to my wife. If you get one with a side burner and never use it, you haven't really lost anything and it just might come in handy some day.

        1. We bought a Weber Silver Genesis B a few months ago (comparable with the E310). I spent some time looking at the side burner and decided it wasn't worth the extra cost. My SIL and her husband have one on their grill which they used once - to cook corn. It took so long to boil the water and cook the corn, everything else had been eaten before the corn was ready. That convinced me it wasn't very useful.

          4 Replies
          1. re: cheryl_h

            I use my sideburner to saute onions and peppers when grilling Italian sausages, heating saurkraut when grilling hot dogs, or for warming baked beans wheneever serving them with whatever I am grilling. I never try to boil any large quantities of water. I pretty much use it for what it is there for - convenience and logistics for what I happen to be grilling alongside.

            1. re: RandyL

              Can't you put a pot directly on the grill and do the same?

              1. re: mojoeater

                You'd give up the grill space and you wouldn't get the same level of consistency in the heat. For some things that might not matter, but for other things it could mean that you'd either have to pay a lot of attention or even that it just wouldn't work well for anything delicate or temperature sensitive.

                1. re: ccbweb

                  I would think that you may even kill your pot by putting it on the grill with a large heat area.. If there is a handle, it may melt. The outside of pot may even burn or change color by doing so...

          2. Initially, I used the SB a lot to make a whole meal outside. It's perfect for making rice or anything that can't be grilled. In the past year, I only used it once to make a sauce. However, since I have two grills, I did use one to keep chili and cider warm while making hotdogs for 80 kids on the other last October. That could have been a SB application.

            When faced with this type of decision, I consider which course of action I'm more likely to regret some day. You may wish you'd bought it some day OR it wasn't the best $50 you've ever spent.

            If you're using LPG instead of NG, that could be a bigger decision than getting the SB.