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Where to buy a Kitchen Torch?

Anyone know of where I could buy a mini-torch for Brulees in the Queen West neighbourhood? I've tried some smaller hardware stores and had no luck. Thanks in advance,

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  1. If you can travel a bit you can get one at Nella Cucina at Bathurst and Bloor, or on the other side of Queen at Nella on Queen East of Parliament on the South side.

    1. I searched last valentines day, I found a few large ones meant for restaurant use (Nicholau on Queen at Bathurst), comprised of a control valve and nozzle which fits onto one of those blue hand torch bottles (about $70 plus the gas canister, guessing around $10 at CDNtire), IMO way to big for home use...I eventually, I bought a small and sexy one for around $80 + $10 for fuel at W&S -- I know, I know, but nothing is too good for the girl, right? -- + it is great, she uses it for creme brulee (worth the price right there!!) and I have played it on peppers and stuff, oh what fun!...I'd recommend it, although you might be able to beat the price online or something...

      1. Just an FYI in case you're thinking about the bigger torches. The one I bought turned off everytime I inverted it, driving me to insanity trying to do brulee. Turns out it's a safety feature on some torches.

        6 Replies
          1. re: Mila

            ...the smaller one I got has a most unsafe but great feature, a switch that allows you to release the fire button and it will stay on, upside down sideways, whenever...use with caution!...it is actually easy to let your guard down and point it around when you turn and stuff...

            1. re: Recyclor

              I was hoping to avoid Williams-Sonoma, but it may have to do. Thanks for the replies.

              1. re: jamesm

                Caynes is far, but I was there last week, and saw some small, easy to use ones.
                I can't remember the price, but it was very very cheap.
                If it is just for home use, it would do.
                You could call them.

              2. re: Recyclor

                i have one that does the same thing. however i seem to have trouble refilling the fuel, and can't recall if the torch came with instructions. any tips? i bought the fuel from W&S, but the torch was given to me as a gift a few years ago.

                1. re: auberginegal

                  Hi auberginegal, I filled it when I first bought it and once since, I have just forced the fuel nozzle into the valve on the base of the torch, it seems to fill it pretty quickly, I think I can feel the wieght of the fuel in the torch, a guage would be useful...I havent had any issues, it's been very straight forward, maybe there is a problem with either the fuel canister nozzle or torch valve on yours. With a product (for that price) from a store wanting a high-end reputaion I wouldn't hesitate to bring it in and get them to run through it with you...sorry that's not too helpful, good luck!

            2. Have you tried Canadian Tire? They are selling some surprisingly upscale brands (KitchenAid, etc) now. I picked up some KA baking supplies and a roaster at 50% off last year.
              Their website advertises a butane torch for $35 with "chef's torch" as one of its uses. I'm not sure what to look for in a culinary torch, although I'm also interested in getting an inexpensive one (along with a fire extinguisher!)

              1 Reply
              1. re: jinxed

                I've been using a small one I got at home depot about three years ago. It can be used as a soldering iron too. I think it was about $30 then, might be cheaper now. Works fine for what I use it for, i.e. hand roasting 1 or 2 tomatoes for salsa, cream brulee, etc.

                The soldering iron part doesn't work very well though. :p

                1. To me a mini torch is the size of a sharpie felt pen, they are often sold at larger hardware stores, the mini torch is often used in jewelery applications. I would not expect to find a mini torch at a smaller hardware store because of its limited hardware application.

                  At a smaller hardware store one could find a Benzomatic torch, takes a ~16oz cartridge. If that is too large, try Amazon.com there are several inexpensive torches on their site, including ones with brulee in their name.

                  I prefer the larger benzomatic over the mini torch, the flame from my mini torch is very small and intense (it can weld when used with oxygen, I use it to solder), one can get a "fan" adapter for the benzomatic that spreads out the flame. I do not think a benzomatic can generate enough heat to weld.

                  1. Are you SURE you want a kitchen mini torch? After seeing them in many restaurants, I took the hint. I got a standard propane torch at Home Depot. Cost little and works beautifully. It may be hotter than one of those little butane torches, but the wide flame tip is much easier to control and produces better results faster.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: embee

                      Yes, I'm in total agreement with this. I picked up mine for $15 at Home Depot. It browns fast enough not to overcook the custard inside.

                    2. Lee Valley Tools on King West (or their mail order is excellent)

                      1. I'm not sure about Queen West...but I've seen small kitchen torches at Kitchen Stuff Plus, on Yonge St. south of Bloor. I believe they are butane torches though, not the propane ones others have recommended below (good suggestion!).

                        1. I bought a mini butane torch at The Bay at Queen/Yonge about a year ago. At the time, it was on the clearance rack for half-price, so there's a possibility that they no longer carry them (or maybe it's just an older model they were clearing out to make room for a newer one).

                          I'd suggest calling ahead to check.

                          1. I just purchased a butane refill at European Hotel & Restaurant Supply on 343 Horner Avenue in south Etobicoke. One can sells for $2.35 and refills my torch easily. I also found European also sells the N2O (nitrous oxide) for compressed gas cream whippers.