Tips & Tricks for Using Your Napoleon Side Burner
Look at your grill. Now back to this article. No, it’s not your grill, but this article will help you to use that beautiful thing outside in even more ways than you already do. If you have a Napoleon Grill that sports a side burner it probably gets underused, either because you don’t think of it, or because you’re not sure how to use it to the best of its ability. Here are some tips and tricks for using your Napoleon Grill’s side burner.
What CAN You Do With A Side Burner?
A side burner saves you space on the grill when you are feeding a crowd, or making something that requires the lid to stay down. First and foremost you can use your side burner for making sides and sauces, allowing you to cook everything you would on your stovetop. Imagine deep-frying without the mess and the smell, on a side burner, you can do that. Side burners are efficient, saving you time and increasing safety, as you won’t be in and out of the house and not paying attention to what’s on your grill. A side burner also comes in handy during emergency situations; allowing you to boil water or cook when you can’t indoors.
Range Side Burners
Some of our BBQ’s feature a range style side burner. This is a burner that resembles the gas burner on a stove. These burners are great for cooking just like you would in the kitchen. Use frying pans, woks, and pots on these burners just like you would normally. If you do wish to use the range side burner for boiling large amounts of water it will take time to come to temperature. Even more so if the weather is cold or there is wind. When you are done using your side burner remember to allow it to cool before you cover it so that you can use the side shelf as a prep and staging area when you are done. To get the most out of your side burner, remember to operate it outdoors only in a space that isn’t enclosed. Although you don’t want to use your side burner indoors you do want to shelter it from wind as the gusts can blow it out.
Infrared Side Burners
Other Napoleon Grills feature our unique infrared side burner. It is a brilliant way to get the most delicious sear marks on meat. To set up for such deliciousness, you need to move the cooking grid into the raised position (before you light the burner). Though the ceramic heats to incredible temperatures within seconds, it still takes a minute or two for the cooking grid to heat. While things are warming up, ensure that any raw meat you wish to sear is dry by removing surface moisture with paper towel. You can also use the reverse sear technique.
An Infrared SIZZLE ZONE™ burner is a ceramic brick filled with tiny holes and grooves. Gas is forced through those holes and ignited by a spark. Since there are so many of these small holes, very little gas is needed to heat the ceramic, which superheats to upwards of 1800°F in seconds. The red glow of the Infrared SIZZLE ZONE™ is actually short wave infrared energy that is responsible for intense heat. This incredible heat transfers into the cooking grids directly above the SIZZLE ZONE™. The grids get hot and create those delicious sear marks on your food.
The Infrared SIZZLE ZONE™ has another talent, one that you may be less familiar with. Did you know that you can do all of the things that you would on a range side burner? Make sauces, sides, use frying pans, woks, and saucepots. When using the infrared side burner in the same way as a range side burner, you need to leave the cooking grid in the lowered position. Like the range side burner, the infrared side burner needs to be operated while sheltered from the wind, but never indoors.
Does your Napoleon have a side burner? Which kind? What was the last thing you cooked on it? Tell us using the hashtags #SideBurner and #NapoleonGrills on our social pages like Facebook and Instagram.