side burner on gas grill useful or a gimmick?

elenalJuly 24, 2007

Hi: I'm finally going to spring for a good gas grill, after retiring a rusted out, 15-year old, poor performer. I'm going to get the Weber Genesis E-310 or 320 in copper(propane, 3 burners). I'm wondering if folks find that they use the side burner that comes with their grills? I'm wondering bec. I could bring down the cost by getting the 310 (the version w/o the side burner), but if it is a useful feature, then I'll go for the side burner. I was planning to get the one with the stainless steel rather than the porcelin-coated grates (mainly bec the salesperson said the SS would last a lot longer--don't know if this is true, but I was thinking that the porcelin would chip). I'm open to any reactions to that choice, too. Thanks.

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i never use mine. All that about a pot of beans simmering is bs. I tried using it for blackened fish, but it doesn't get hot enough. I bought a free standing burner for that. got the pot to boil or fry in as well.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 1:17PM
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I don't have that type of bbq. My grill is separate from my burner. We do use the burner on a regular basis because it has a higher btu than any of my indoor burners. Great for use with my wok. My set up is basically an outdoor kitchen so everything is done outside so a burner is essential for making rice, sauces, etc. It just depends on how you use your set up.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2007 at 6:35PM
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thanks to you both for the reactions to my question. both experiences are very helpful.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 3:37PM
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My patio opens to my kitchen so my stove is very convenient. I have never had a side burner and never really missed it. I have had a Weber Genesis for years with the Porcelingrill and flavorizer bars. I like them because they are very easy to clean.. Over the past 18 years, I have replaced them four times.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 9:33AM
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Thanks-it does seem that the side burner is not nec. for me either bec. my kitchen is quite close to my deck.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 11:49AM
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I completely agree that the side burner is not essential. I have used mine 1 time in 3 years and it does have a higher btu. Empties the tank pretty fast if you use it. I do like the extra space it supplies as a side table though! I keep my uncooked items on the left and remove finished foods to the right. Comes in handy to have those two surfaces.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 11:21AM
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We have a built in grill, so they are not side burners but built in burners. Ours are Viking and we use them all the time. Our indoor cooktop is electric and I prefer gas for certain preparations. Ours is a double burner and it gets lots of use.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2007 at 11:04PM
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You might consider geting a plug in Cook Tec conduction burner. You waoun't be able to leave it out but the you wouldn't have to worry about wind blowing on the flames.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2007 at 8:50PM
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I had one but I never used it. It also wasn't very high BTU. Instead I bought a 3 burner camp stove and that thing COOKS. It's great for making blackened food. But truly, I don't even use it as often as I thought I would.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 8:12PM
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We use ours all the time. Even though my kitchen is right there, if we are entertaining outdoors it would be really inconvenient to have to go in because I need something done on the stove.

If we do steaks, I'll use it for frying onion & mushrooms. We also use it to do corn on the cob a lot, or any sauces or gravies needed. I couldn't imagine not having one.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2007 at 4:05PM
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I use a side burner for things like bacon for the burgers or when I make wings I alternate between the grill and the boiling sauce. I guess it depends on how you like to cook. For me I could use an oven too. I hate to heat up the house during those AZ summers.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 12:55AM
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I love my side burner. We stay in a campground over the summer in Maine and use it all the time. It's great for corn or anything that would heat up the house.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 6:02PM
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I've used mine once or twice in several years. I have no real use for one. I found it simpler to do things inside that required a burner (beans, sauce, etc) since my kitchen is so close.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2008 at 6:33PM
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