With the exception of small travel-sized grills, most grills have a warming rack. Found above the main cooking grate, it’s a versatile feature that can help you grill delicious food. But many people are unfamiliar with the warming rack, let alone know how to use it. To take advantage of your grill’s warming rack, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with this feature and how it works.

What Is the Warming Rack?

The warming rack is a grate found on most medium- and large-sized grills that’s used to either cook food at a lower temperature or keep food warm. It’s typically located several inches above the grill’s main cooking grate. As a result, food placed on the warming rack is exposed to less heat. You won’t be able to cook thick cuts of meat on the warming rack. Rather, it’s designed to slow cook food at a lower temperature than the main cooking grate.

Slow Cook Steaks After Searing

The next time you grill steaks, try using your grill’s warming rack. You can still sear your steaks by placing them on the main cooking grate. After searing each side for a few minutes, move your steaks to the warming rack. Searing helps to lock in the steaks’ juices, while the warming rack will slow cook the interior of your steaks without drying them out.

Toast Hamburger or Hotdog Buns

You can also use your grill’s warming rack to toast hamburger and hotdog buns. Placing buns on your grill’s main cooking grate will likely burn them. Grill grates can easily reach or even exceed 500 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than enough heat to burn hamburger and hotdog buns. Because the warming rack is located several inches above the main cooking grate, though, it will expose your buns to less heat, allowing you to toast, rather than burn, your buns. Just remember to coat your grill’s warming rack with oil to prevent your buns from sticking to it.

Keep Veggies Warm

The warming rack is perfect for keeping veggies warm while the rest of your food is still grilling on the main cooking rack. If you’re cooking ribs with corn on the cob, for example, the corn will likely cook faster than the ribs. After your corn has finished cooking on the main grate, you can move it to the warming rack. The warming rack will keep your corn — or any other food for that matter — warm until the rest of your food is finished cooking. When you remove your food from the main cooking grate, you can also remove the food from the warming rack.

Cook Potatoes

You can’t always cook potatoes by placing them directly on your grill’s main cooking grate. Doing so will expose the potatoes to an excessive amount of heat, resulting in a charred exterior and uncooked interior. A simple solution, however, is to use your grill’s warming rack. Rather than placing potatoes on your grill’s main cooking grate, you can place them on the warming rack where they’ll cook more slowly and thoroughly.

Add Sauce to Food

You can use the warming rack to add sauce to your food. If you want to add barbecue sauce to ribs, for instance, move the ribs to the warming rack and then brush them with your desired sauce. With its low heat, the warming rack won’t burn your barbecue sauce. It will provide just enough heat to keep the ribs and sauce warm. Furthermore, sauce is less likely to drip onto your firewood for cooking or charcoal if you add it using the warming rack. Sauce may still drip from the warming rack. But since the warming rack is above the main cooking grate, the sauce shouldn’t reach your wood or charcoal.

Rearrange Food

If you’re trying to cook a lot of food on your grill, you may have to rearrange it so that it can all fit on the main grate. Assuming your grill has a warming rack, you can temporarily move your food here to change the placement of your other food.

These are just a few ways to use your grill’s warming rack. The warming rack is a highly versatile feature that can open the doors to new culinary possibilities, only some of which are listed here. As you begin using your grill’s warming rack, you’ll probably discover other uses for it.

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Featured image Photo by Evan Wise