HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


kitchen torch- uses besides creme brulee?

  • t

Hi all,

I received an awesome kitchen mini-blowtorch thing for Christmas this year. I'm thrilled as it combines two of my favorite things- cooking, and FIRE! I know they're used to carmelize the sugar atop creme brulee, which I'm looking forward to making. But what else can one do with this thing? Are there main courses that I might be able to put to the torch? Other desserts? It would be cool to make a multi-course meal in which everything was torched.

The Pie Queen

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. What a great gift! You need to try it on everything you mentioned, and report back... I am a professional pastry chef, but my experience with the blow-torch is confined to creme brulee and kitchen towels at a previous employer...

    Please, let us know and have fun,

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mimi
      The Pie Queen

      Thanks all! What a lot of inventive suggestions. I must say, that I would not have bought this thing for myself. There are other fancy appliances I'd much rather have, and ones that I'd use more often. I mean, how often can one eat creme brulee? (And not become spherical.) Anyway, I'm happy to have other uses for it. I actually made "grapefruit brulee" this morning, and it was pretty good. Roasting red peppers with it is a great idea. And I don't think I've had bananas foster or cherries jubilee, but I guess I will be having them someday in the near future. I'll let you know.

      -The Pie Queen

      p.s. I did try using it to light candles. Total overkill, but what a feeling of power! Whee! >:)

      1. re: The Pie Queen
        Caitlin Wheeler

        Inspired by your post, I made a Gateau Breton (Butter cake from How to Be a Domestic Goddess with my own addition of lemon zest, vanilla and cinnamon and just a smidgen of almond extract) and decided it would be fabulous with a crunchy topping, so I got out my torch, sprinkled on sugar and bruleed! It gives it a wonderful crunchy top.

        1. re: Caitlin Wheeler
          The Pie Queen

          Nice! Flame on, you crazy Kitchen Goddess!


    2. c
      Caitlin McGrath

      How about "torched" Alaska?

      1. household DIY projects, like soldering...handy for lighting candles and conducting hard-core seances.

        1 Reply
        1. re: magnolia

          Also for the odd silver soldering job if your jewelry is in need of very minor repairs

        2. actually I've always wondered that myself. What else *can* a mini-blow torch be used for? Whomever thought this one up is a serious marketing genius. Perhaps you can use it to melt the cheese on top of onion soup (though maybe it's too strong for that). Otherwise you could use it for home improvement projects, like soldering...handy for lighting candles and conducting hard-core seances.

          1 Reply
          1. re: magnolia

            I think there's something wrong with me, because I rarely pass up a chance to buy a mini torch or kitchen torch, they fascinate me. If you think the torch is too strong for something, try backing off with it- you may find a k
            inder and gentler torching to your liking.

          2. Instead of the kitchen-only torch for creme brulee, I bought a regular blow torch at Home Depot for only about $12, which included enough fuel for a lifetime of creme brulees, and it works great. I don't plan on sweating any copper pipe with it, but at that price, who cares?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pat Darnell
              Brandon Nelson

              Me too...

              With the $28 I saved on buying the "kitchen" torch I can afford to experiment with different creme brulee recipes.

              Support the site! Shop the Chowmart!

              1. re: Pat Darnell

                I was actually curious about this as well. I have a few torches: a 'bernz-o-matic' propane w/small hand pieces for small flame and a butane one. I use them for non food-related things, but always wondered if I could roast peppers with them & such.

                My main question is: would the gasses (propane, butane) have an effect on the flavor of the food? Or would some be more harmful to use than others... What sort of gas does the kitchen torch use? Butane, I think, smells weird & might taste weird, not to mention the warning on the fuel bottle: "This fuel, and byproducts of combustion of this fuel, contain chemicals known to the state of CA to cause cancer, birth defects, and other reproductive harm." Double-yikes.

              2. How about for toasting marshmallows that you float on a mug of hot cocoa?

                1. That easy, to intimidate intruders in the kitchen, especially the kind that think they can come in and lift the lids off all of the pots...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chino Wayne

                    Brilliant, although I think a Super Soaker is just as efficient and safer.

                  2. I saw Martha S. use it on a meringue pie after putting it in the freezer 20 minutes instead of baking. Hers looked a little torched, actually, but I've always thought it would be fun to try.

                    1. Lighting Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubilee, of course.

                      1 Reply
                      1. Guess what!You can use it to singe the pin feathers off the plucked fowl of your choice.It's also useful for getting frozen desserts out of metal molds-heat the metal with a light hand,and things will slip out easily.

                        1. While it is not really all that different from the creme brulee, Le Zinc has a grapefruit brulee on their menu for breakfast. It's a cut grapefruit with sugar on top that has been carmelized. At least, it allows you the chance to use your torch in the morning!

                          1. I got one of those, too! Let us know what you do with it. I'm a little fearful - every potholder I own has at least one burn mark....
                            But I do love creme brulee.

                            1. Quick roasting/charring of peppers for peeling. Works best for smaller peppers such as jalapenos, cherry, etc. because they do not need the sustained heat to produce roasted effect.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: SBCochran

                                Sometimes when I char red bell or poblano peppers on my gas burner, there are places that I can't quite get blackened. The little torch is helpful there.

                              2. You guys DO all have charming designer fire extinguishers in your kitchen, I hope.....

                                1. Glazing a ham - that crunchy way that Honey Baked has is an easy to perform with a torch. Same with a pork roast covered with chutney or preserves mixed with brown sugar.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: bryan

                                    How could we forget Flaming Moes?

                                    1. re: bryan

                                      Honey baked actually uses a torch to get that glaze.

                                    2. Oh, you lucky duck! I've wanted a manageably-sized blowtorch ever since I saw Wolfgang Puck finish a Tarte Tatin with one once.

                                      1. j
                                        Joann Creekmore

                                        I just used mine last night to finish off the top of my Chantilly potatoes instead of using the broiler since my oven was already in use.

                                        1. In the LA board today, a review of Tsujiki Sushi
                                          "nigiri sushi with some huge scallops from Peru that were amazingly sweet and flavorful, seared lightly with a blowtorch"
                                          just a thought.....

                                          1. In my family, I'm the cupcake queen! I bought a kitchen torch online and am waiting to experiment with Caramelized Sugar Topped Cupcakes and so much more...
                                            Homemade Smores
                                            Skillet Pizza (great for summer when you oven is off limits)
                                            Homemade Mac and Cheese (noodles overcook before the top is crunchy)
                                            Peeling Peppers and Tomatoes
                                            Caramelizing Sugar on top of deserts
                                            Seared Tuna
                                            The most amazing marshmallow topped hot cocoa
                                            Anything topped with cheese, sugar, or mashmallow

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: angieerickson

                                              This has got to be the record for oldest revived thread. 10 years!

                                              I use mine for meringue pies.

                                              1. re: angieerickson

                                                I live in southern AZ, and YES- the torch for charring a few chiles for dinner. Otherwise I have my preferences, and they do NOT involve a rotating basket of them in front of a grocery store, it ruins the chiles. Instead, fire up the charcoal grill and throw those bad boys on top of the coals. Whoops, wrong thread, sorry. But the torch is really good for scorching the skin off chiles

                                              2. I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned using it for heat-shrink tubing for electrical repairs.

                                                Well, that, and scaring the crap out of the cat with the thing.

                                                1. works very well for burning off the small feathers of a chicken after slaughtering.

                                                  1. I used to be heavily into crafts... back when people actually made stuff. Had an ever growing stash of raw materials and tools. I don't have a kitchen torch but ended up with a CRAFT tool that worked for brulee-ing... sorta.

                                                    A heat gun used for embossing! Looks a bit like a small hair dryer but would burn your head bald if used for that purpose. NO flame, just blows HOT air at a not so powerful rate... so it wouldn't blowed embossing powder all over the place before it melts. It took a bit of time, but worked fine for melting/browning sugar on top of things

                                                    1. I use mine to sear meat, both for sous vide and otherwise. They are great for roasting peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant.