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kitchen torch- uses besides creme brulee?

The Pie Queen Jan 14, 2002 11:00 AM

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. m
    Mimi Jan 14, 2002 11:07 AM

    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 Jan 15, 2002 03:33 PM

      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 Jan 15, 2002 06:12 PM

        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 Jan 15, 2002 06:59 PM

          Nice! Flame on, you crazy Kitchen Goddess!


    2. c
      Caitlin McGrath Jan 14, 2002 11:14 AM

      How about "torched" Alaska?

      1. m
        magnolia Jan 14, 2002 11:31 AM

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

        1. m
          magnolia Jan 14, 2002 11:33 AM

          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. p
            Pat Darnell Jan 14, 2002 11:38 AM

            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 Jan 15, 2002 01:00 AM

              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
                cheyenne Jan 28, 2002 12:20 AM

                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. u
                Uncledave Jan 14, 2002 11:44 AM

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

                1. c
                  Chino Wayne Jan 14, 2002 11:54 AM

                  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. t
                    torches Jan 14, 2002 12:10 PM

                    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. p
                      PRSMDave Jan 14, 2002 12:17 PM

                      Lighting Bananas Foster and Cherries Jubilee, of course.

                      1. m
                        M.K. Jan 14, 2002 01:54 PM

                        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. h
                          HJH3 Jan 14, 2002 02:03 PM

                          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. c
                            cjbmirage2 Jan 14, 2002 02:29 PM

                            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. s
                              SBCochran Jan 14, 2002 04:50 PM

                              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
                                zora Jan 14, 2002 07:09 PM

                                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. g
                                galleygirl Jan 14, 2002 05:05 PM

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

                                1. b
                                  bryan Jan 15, 2002 02:22 AM

                                  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.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bryan
                                    bryan Jan 15, 2002 03:09 AM

                                    How could we forget Flaming Moes?

                                  2. c
                                    Cats Jan 15, 2002 03:57 AM

                                    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 Jan 15, 2002 07:29 AM

                                      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. c
                                        ciaolette Jan 28, 2002 02:52 PM

                                        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.....

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