Q: DO I REALLY NEED A SIDE BURNER ON MY GRILL?
A: That depends on just how much of a barbeque fanatic you are — and if you want your sauce for basting or topping at arm’s reach.
Consumer Reports found that while the side burner does a fine job of keeping sauces and side dishes warm, it isn’t a great option for actual cooking. Side burners take longer to boil water than a typical stovetop and tend to get too hot to simmer sauces, making them, well, not too hot as an all-purpose cooking tool.
You also might consider how far away your grill is located from the house. If you have grill assistants willing to lug things back and forth from the stove or fridge, you might be good to go.