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Side Burner: How To Buy For Your BBQ Island, And The 6 Best Brands of 2024

By Daniel Cdebaca

January 5, 2024

There’s no denying it… BBQ grills are the star of the show when it comes to summer cookouts.

But… Are grills enough to get the job (well) done?

Sure, you can grill and rotisserie without a hitch… But as with most things, there is a limit to an outdoor grill’s greatness!

For instance… What if you need to boil water for your pasta or potato salad? Well, you’re out of luck.

And how about whipping up sauces and marinades? Back to your indoor kitchen you go!

For these reasons… You may be looking to add more convenience to your outdoor cooking station.

dual side burner in reclaimed brick outdoor kitchen

So, why not consider a side burner?

These handy outdoor appliances bring all the capabilities of your indoor stovetop, outside… And for grilling enthusiasts everywhere, outdoor side burners are often considered just as important as the grill itself.

Today, we’ll give you the rundown on how to find the perfect outdoor side burner for boiling, braising, simmering, or sauteing… As well as review some of the best side burner brands on the block.

Let’s get to it!

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Side Burner Shopper’s Guide

Before spending any money on a side burner… You should know how to identify the best one for your unique cooking needs.

Let’s go over some important considerations.

Consider Configuration For Your BBQ Side Burner

grill cart with side burner
dual side burner built into outdoor kitchen grill island

First and foremost, you should consider configuration.

When it comes to side burners, there are a few different options!

You’re probably most familiar with cart-mounted grill side burners. Exactly as you’d imagine, these are designed to be affixed to a freestanding grill cart.

If you have a freestanding grill and are looking to add a cart-mounted side burner… Keep in mind that these are brand specific!

If you want a Weber or Char-Broil gas grill with burner, for instance… You’ll need to purchase a Weber or Char-Broil cart-mounted side burner.

Now, if you’re designing an outdoor kitchen… There’s no need for your BBQ island side burner to be directly attached to your built-in grill.

So if desired, you’ll have more freedom to mix and match brands!

For BBQ islands, there are options for either outdoor built-in side burners, or drop-in side burners.

What’s the difference here?

Well, built-in side burners simply slide in an appliance cutout on the edge of your kitchen island, with the knobs facing outwards.

Drop-in burners, on the other hand… Are dropped into a cutout on your kitchen’s countertops.

The control knobs face upwards rather than outwards… So these don’t have to be on the edge of your kitchen island!

This makes drop-in side burners a great choice for tight spaces and corners.

In both cases, the cooktop will be counter-level.

What Type of Side Burner Speaks to You?

l shaped outdoor kitchen with open grill side burner and refrigerator on a deck

Next, you should think about what type of side burner you need.

The choices are all straightforward… And the type you choose really boils down to what (and how much) you’re planning to cook, as well as the amount of counter space you have to work with.

If you’re simply looking to bring the functionality of your indoor cooktop outside… A single or double side burner would suffice!

These will give you the power you need for whipping up side dishes, sauces, or marinades.

For smaller kitchens (and smaller cooks) a single side burner will provide space for just one pan at a time.

And you guessed it, a double side burner has double the cooking area, for two pots or pans.

For scorching hot searing power… You may also consider an infrared searing station!

Though infrared searing burners really only serve one function (searing, of course)… They do their job exceptionally well.

If your propane or natural gas grill doesn’t have a built-in sear station (or if you have a pellet or charcoal grill)…. This would be the perfect way to introduce searing capabilities to your cooking station.

And lastly, if you really want to take your outdoor cooking up a notch… You may consider investing in a side burner and flat top combo!

These feature both a side burner and flat top cooking surface, all in one appliance… For unmatched outdoor cooking versatility.

Want to bring your idea to life?

Use our free 3D design tool to bring the outdoor kitchen of your dreams to reality in just a few minutes.

Keep an Eye Out for Quality

single side burner with lid on

As with all outdoor appliances… The quality of your outdoor kitchen side burner is a big deal.

A high quality side burner will look and work better, for longer… And confirming quality up front will allow you to feel confident in your investment.

Identifying quality is a twofold process. Before you buy, you’ll want to conduct research on both materials and warranty.

Of course, the longer the warranty, the better. Ideally, you should invest in a side burner with a lifetime warranty!

As for materials… Though it may elevate cost, outdoor side burners made with 304 stainless steel construction are the best of the bunch.

This is because 304 stainless steel is great at holding up to rust and corrosion (unlike cheaper metals, like aluminum, powder coated steel, cast iron, or lower grades of stainless steel).

Alright. With these considerations fresh in your mind… Let’s see what side burner brands are out there!

The Best Side Burner Brands of 2024

There are tons of side burner options available.

Trying to narrow it down to the best side burner may feel like searching for a needle in a haystack.

That’s why we’ve done the digging for you!

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best side burners on the market.

  1. Best Budget Side Burner: RCS Drop-In Single Side Burner
  2. Best Side Burner for Searing: Summerset TRL Series Built-in Infrared Burner
  3. Most Versatile Side Burner: DCS Liberty Built-In Double Side Burner and Griddle
  4. Best Splurge: Twin Eagles Built-In Side Burner
  5. The Runner Up: Blaze Grills Side Burner
  6. Our Overall Top Pick: Coyote Built-in Side Burner

1. Best Budget Side Burner: RCS Drop-In Single Side Burner

RCS drop in single side burner
Product Highlights

Materials:304 Stainless Steel

Warranty: Lifetime

Price: $359.00

If you’re looking for a solid propane or natural gas side burner that won’t break the bank… This option from RCS may be of interest!

A single burner dishes out 12,000 BTUs… And the burner is fired up via a one touch control knob.

The grate itself is slightly elevated above the burner, for better airflow… And its solid stainless steel construction allows for even heating.

A removable stainless steel cover is included with The RCS drop-in single side burner, to keep it covered when not in use.

In regard to build quality, all components are constructed with 304 stainless steel! No complaints, here.

We also can’t critique the warranty! RCS warrants their products for a lifetime.

At the time of writing, The RCS drop-in single side burner costs just $359.00.

2. Best Side Burner for Searing: Summerset TRL Series Built-in Infrared Burner

summerset TRL built in sear side burner
Product Highlights

Materials: Ceramic Burner, 304 Stainless Steel Grids & Housing

Warranty: Lifetime on Construction, Cooking Grates, Burners, Burner Covers, and Valves / 3 Years on Electrical Components

Price: $710.00

Summerset’s TRL built-in infrared burner is great for those looking to bring some extra searing power to their backyard grill station.

Powered by natural gas or propane, the single ceramic infrared burner has a 15,000 total BTU output… And can reach temperatures up to a scorching hot 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit. This is more than enough heat for searing your proteins!

The linear cooking grates span across the entire burner, so you can certainly achieve those sought after sear marks.

And the grill is easily turned on with a front-facing, push and turn control knob… Which can be toggled between “high” and “low” settings.

As with the previous option, you’ll also get a removable lid for this heavy duty sear burner.

Aside from the ceramic burner, all other components are constructed with durable, 304 stainless steel!

For the warranty, Summerset offers a lifetime of coverage on the construction, cooking grates, burners, burner covers, and valves. The electrical components are covered for three years.

At the time of writing, Summerset’s searing side burner costs $710.00.

3. Most Versatile Side Burner: DCS Series 9 Built-in Double Side Burner and Griddle

DCS Series double side burner
Product Highlights

Materials: Brass Cast Burners, 304 Stainless Steel

Warranty: 5 Years for Structural Integrity, Interior, and Exterior / 2 Years For Parts & Labor

Price: $3,999.00

The DCS Series 9 natural gas or propane side burner and griddle combo is sure to leave your guests impressed at your next summer cookout.

With a double side burner on one side and a flat top griddle on the other… There’s no denying that this built-in appliance will introduce some outstanding versatility to your grill station!

The double side burner itself boasts two sealed burners, each of which has a 17,000 BTU output.

And the 15” x 11” griddle plate burner brings an additional 12,000 BTUs to the table.

Each burner is easy to use, with push and turn ignition.

Other special features include two stainless steel covers for each cooking area, a removable grease catch, and control knobs with LED lights.

This all sounds great so far! So, how’s it built?

DCS claims full 304 stainless steel construction, with brass cast burners.

Despite this, the warranty still leaves something to be desired.

There’s five years of coverage on the structural integrity, interior, and exterior body parts, while the remaining parts are covered for two years.

This side burner and flat top combo will certainly cost you a pretty penny… After all, you’re getting two appliances in one!

At the time of writing, pricing is set at $3,499.00.

4. Best Splurge: Twin Eagles Built-in Side Burner

twin eagles built in double side burner
Product Highlights

Materials: 304 Stainless Steel

Warranty: Two Years

Price: $1,809.00 – $1,949.00

Perhaps you’d prefer a high-end side burner, but could do without the griddle.

If so, the Twin Eagles built-in double side burner is another option that may be worth the splurge!

This side burner is packed with great features.

You’ll get two sealed dual ring burners, with a 17,500 BTU output each…

A removable stainless steel lid…

Push and turn, blue-lit control knobs…

A built-in wind guard…

And a one-piece S grate with a smooth surface, for easily moving pots and pans.

From top to bottom, these built-in side burners are constructed with full 304 stainless steel construction.

But again, Twin Eagle’s warranty is far from the best… You’ll only get two years of coverage.

Even so, the special features here are certainly appealing!

At the time of writing, the Twin Eagles built-in double side burner costs $1,809.00.

And for a freestanding Twin Eagles gas grill with side burner … There’s also a cart-mounted model available for $1,949.00.

5. The Runner Up: Blaze Grills Side Burners

Product Highlights

Materials: 304 Stainless Steel Housing & Grid, Cast Brass Burner

Warranty: Lifetime for Stainless Steel Components, 15 Years for Control Valves, One Year for Electrical and Ignition Components

Price: $399.00 – $799.00

Though Blaze’s side burners may not be our number one pick… These are still all-around great products!

Blaze offers both single and double, propane or natural gas side burners.

Their single side burner (blz-sb1) is designed for drop-in installation, while their double side burner is intended to be built-in.

So, what can you expect from each?

Starting with the Blaze drop-in single side burner… This dishes out 12,000 total BTUs from a cast brass burner, and is fired up via a push and turn knob.

It also includes a stainless steel lid, to keep your side burner covered when not in use.

Blaze’s Premium LTE built-in double side burner brings a bit more to the table.

Two brass plated burners crank out 12,000 BTUs apiece… And other special features include red LED illuminated push and turn control knobs, a raised cooking grate for enhanced airflow, and a drip tray for easy cleanup.

Again, you’ll also get a removable stainless steel cover.

Aside from the cast brass burners, the remaining components of Blaze side burners are constructed of stainless steel.

Though Blaze doesn’t directly specify the grade used… They do state that all stainless steel components are covered by a lifetime warranty, which leads us to believe its 304!

You’ll also get 15 years of coverage on the control valves, and a one year warranty on all electrical and ignition components.

At the time of writing, Blaze’s propane or natural gas single side burners cost $399.00… While the double side burner rings in at $799.00.

6. Our Top Pick: Coyote Outdoor Living Single or Double Side Burner

coyote single side burner
coyote dual side burner
cart mounted side burner
Product Highlights

Materials: Brass Burners, 304 Stainless Steel

Warranty: Lifetime for Burners, Frame, Housing / 5 Years for Cooking Grid / 1 Year for Ignition System

Price: $649.00 – $999.00

Last but not least, let’s talk about our overall top pick… And that would be Coyote’s single or double side burners!

These side burners are available as built-in models… Or, you can pair a cart-mounted single side burner with a freestanding Coyote gas grill.

Their liquid propane or natural gas-powered single side burner features one brass burner, with a 15,000 BTU total output… Heavy duty stainless steel cooking grates… A push and turn control knob… And a removable lid.

The same goes for their double side burner… The only difference here is that you’ll get an additional 15,000 BTU burner.

In either case, these burners are made with durable 304 stainless steel construction… And the frame, housing, and burners are warranted for a lifetime!

You’ll also get five years of coverage on the cooking grids, as well as one year for the ignition systems.

At the time of writing, Coyote’s built-in single side burner costs $649.00, while the double side burner costs $999.00.

You can also purchase the cart-mounted single side burner for $899.00, to be paired with their two burner gas grills.

A Spectacular Spot For Your New Side Burner

linear outdoor kitchen with built in grill and side burner

A freestanding grill and side burner setup is one thing…

But if we could be so bold… We’d say that a BBQ island is the absolute best spot for your new side burner!

But if you’re looking at built-in side burners… Well, you probably already knew that!

When summer is in full swing, you’re not going to miss making the trek from your indoor range to your outdoor grill station to round out your recipes.

But as you plan your outdoor kitchen… What’s the easiest way to factor a side burner into your design?

If you’re looking for the utmost convenience… You really can’t beat RTA Outdoor Living.

We’ve made designing your outdoor kitchen a straightforward, streamlined process.

In just minutes, you can use our free online design tool to fashion up the kitchen of your dreams!

From layout, to finish, to the appliances you choose… Every aspect of your project is entirely at your discretion.

Speaking of appliances… How does a built-in side burner come into play?

Well, each and every RTA outdoor kitchen is paired with premium appliances and accessories from Coyote Outdoor Living!

So, along with Coyote’s top-of-the-line side burners… You’ll also have full access to the rest of their collection!

This includes built-in pellet grills, charcoal grills, and gas grills… Their kamado smoker... Power burners for lobster boils or wok-style cooking… And so much more. (A pizza oven from Alfa may also pique your interest!)

There’s no need to mix and match brands or keep stock of multiple retailers… RTA is a one-stop-outdoor kitchen solution!

Now, you already know your side burner will last for the long haul… So you should feel confident that your new kitchen island will, too.

That’s why our kitchens are made with high performance concrete panels, backed by a structural guarantee, and built to last a lifetime… So you can tackle your project with peace of mind, and know you’ll get the most from your investment.

If your interest is piqued, where do you begin?

Our Learning Hub is a great place to jump in!

Or, get straight to it and start designing!

Need Help With Your Plans?

Talk to one of our expert designers and they will guide you from planning to installation. Schedule a call today.

FAQ

Side burners are great for whipping up dishes and sides that you can’t make on a grill.

With a side burner, you can do everything you can do on your indoor stovetop… Including boiling, braising, sautéing, and frying.

Side burners aren’t a necessity… But we’d say that you would surely benefit from squeezing a side burner into your outdoor cooking setup!

They take your outdoor cooking up a notch, by allowing you to do anything and everything that you can do on your indoor cooktop.

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