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Make the Most of Your Grill’s Side Burner

Have you ever used your Cuisinart grill’s side burner? Resting your tongs on its cover doesn’t count.

If you’ve never used your side burner, you’re not alone. The side burner is an underappreciated appliance that many grillers overlook in favour of their trusted indoor range, but it’s an outdoor kitchen powerhouse.

To help you take advantage full advantage of your grill, we’ve compiled some of our best tips for using your side burner, whether you’re firing it up for the first time or you’re a seasoned side burner chef.

3 Things You can Do with your Side Burner

From cooking sides to preparing sauces, your grill’s side burner is as versatile as your indoor range, and it offers the added advantage of keeping your kitchen clean and cool – not to mention giving you an excuse to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors.

  1. Use it your side burner for cooking side dishes, steaming vegetables, or other light cooking.

    Your side burner is the perfect appliance for preparing sides like steamed vegetables or corn on the cob, or even toppings like sauteed peppers, onions, or mushrooms. And as an added bonus, using your side burner will keep your kitchen empty and clean – not to mention preventing strong scents from permeating your entire household.

  2. Your infrared side burner is perfect for searing meat.Side Burner Tip #2If you have a model with an infrared side burner, you can sear meat directly on the grate to create a juice-locking crust, and then transfer it to your grill to finish cooking, no plate required.  The infrared side burner is able to provide a range of cooking temperatures, from searing temperatures for steaks to low temperatures for vegetables and seafood.  If you are grilling a small portion, you can grill the entire meal on the infrared side burner, without having to fire up the main grill.

  3. Make sauces and glazes on your side burner.
    Side Burner Tip #3 (Blog)
    When you mix your sauces and glazes on your side burner, they’re readily available for regular slathering onto whatever you’re grilling. Plus, making sauces and glazes on your side burner makes it easier to adjust the flavour as you grill if needed.

6 Tips for Using your Side Burner

While your side burner functions in much the same way as your indoor range, there are a few simple things you should keep in mind when you cook outdoors to ensure your meal turns out perfectly every time.

  1. Use a cast iron cooking pan.

    Cast iron retains heat and creates a better sear.

  2. Always use a pot lid to cover what you’re cooking on your side burner.Side Burner Tip #5 (Blog)
    Covering your side burner prevents any unwanted splattering from your grill from landing in whatever you’re cooking on your side burner. It will also help retain heat and shorten cooking times.

  3. Protect your side burner from high winds or cold air.

    You should always protect your grill from adverse weather conditions, but if it’s especially windy or cold when you use your side burner, it will preheat and cook less efficiently. Some side burners, like infrared side burners, won’t lose heat to the surrounding air.

  4. Side burners take longer to preheat and cook than your indoor range.Side Burner Tip #7 (Blog)When you’re planning your meal, be sure to adjust cooking times as necessary.

  5. Remove all food residue and dirt on the side burner surface.

    Keeping your side burner clean will prolong its life and improve its performance.

  6. Inspect and clean your side burner often.

    Disassemble and and use a venturi brush to clear any debris such as food residue or cobwebs inside the burner.  Inspect the port holes to ensure they are not clogged with residue.  Build up can cause flash fires.

On The Side
Whether you’re searing steaks or boiling corn on the cob, your grill’s side burner is a versatile tool that can elevate your grilling and streamline your cooking process. So fire up that side burner and give your stovetop a break next time you grill!

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