One of the most under used pieces of outdoor cooking equipment is the forgotten side burner. Here are three reasons to get a side burner on your grill.
One of the most under used pieces of outdoor cooking equipment is the side burner. Many grillers swear they need one, but never use it because they aren’t sure what to do with it or prefer to use their kitchen stove.
But, when you’re grilling, the side burner is right there. You don’t have to go inside to cook corn or warm up beans on the stove or in the oven. The grill side burner really is an essential and undervalued outdoor cooking tool.
Let’s take a look at three reasons to have a side burner or to use the one you already have.
Cooking your vegetables and other side dishes in a wok is a great use for your side burner. If your grill is full of meat and you’ve forgotten to leave room for the grilled vegetables using your side burner, a wok will easily solve the problem.
If you don’t think your side burner is powerful enough to cook on a wok, you’re probably mistaken. Instead of using an inexpensive flat bottomed “wok,” get yourself a good quality cast iron wok. After seasoning the wok, it will give you years of great outdoor cooking perfection. The cast iron wok will conduct the heat and keep the wok hot so you can stir fry your veggies.
If you love fried foods but don’t like the residual odors that come along with frying foods indoors, use your side burner. Because no matter how strong your ventilation system in your indoor kitchen is, chances are you won’t eliminate all the odors that accompany frying foods.
Catfish, hushpuppies, french fries, and anything else that goes along with outdoor cooking is a wonderful use for your side burner and a good cast iron skillet (notice the connection between cooking on your side burner and cast iron?). There really isn’t a need to smell up your house when you’ve got a side burner.
Sure, sometimes it’s a little cold outside in some parts of the world, but if you can grill outdoors you can fry outdoors. Give it a try!
Boiling your corn and cooking your beans are indeed great uses for your side burner. But, there isn’t any reason you have to limit yourself to corn when it comes to boiling food. Cooking a batch of “greens” to go with your BBQ is another good use of your side burner. All you need is a large stock pot and several pounds of greens along with some fatback or salt pork and you can have a tasty treat.
And since you’ve got the stock pot a good boiled dinner of corn, potatoes, shrimp and sausage is just about the best use of a side burner that can I think of, along with simmering soups while ingredients grill.
The side burner doesn’t have to be an appliance that just takes up space in your outdoor cooking island or something that hangs off the side of your freestanding grill. If you can cook it indoors on your stove, there is a good chance it can be cooked outdoors on your side burner.