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Bruleé torch?

So my girlfriend got me a bruleé torch for my birthday knowing that I love kitchen gizmos. Three problems one, I don't own ramekins (and I'm not interested in buying some), two: I don't particularly like Creme Bruleé, and three, my girlfriend's lactose intolerant.

So no creme bruleé. But there have to be other cool things to do with it. I know about roasting peppers with it (I usually use the burner), but what other cool stuff can I do with it now that I've loaded it up and tested out the bitchin' flame? I eat pretty much anything, and I am an intermediate cook (no homemade pastry or anything), but I'm not half bad in the kitchen.

Thanks a ton.

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  1. You can use it to basically caramelize the surface of anything. I just saw Mike Simon on ICA brûlée a banana slice. I've used mine to melt cheese on things like apps, burn sugar sprinkles on lots of things. Oh, and you know how sometimes you try to spread cold butter on toast...well zap it with a few hundred degree flame and there you go. Also, those little brûlée torches are nice, but if you get into using it head over to the hardware store and pick up a big butane torch, much easier to use and more efficient.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Shane Greenwood

      And when the mac and cheese doesn't get quite as crunchy brown on top as you like it, your torch will fix that problem in a hurry.

    2. First of all, nice girlfriend! You can use it to caramelize onions and to brown meats. If you cook your meat all the way through and you don't want it to be overcooked and tough but you want it to have that nice brown finish, just flame it for a couple of seconds. For caramelizing onions you can cook them the normal way (sautee) but then just finish tem off with the torch for a crisper crunch. Good luck!

      1. I once ordered Bananas Foster in a restaurant, and rather than being served as a flambe' dish, it was served in a glass dessert bowl with a hard crust on top, which I assumed meant it was torched rather than flamed. Not my favorite, but an interesting alternative.

        1. Toast marshmallows

          Heat up hot dogs

          4 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Yes on the marshmallows - and you can swipe the hershey bars on the graham crackers a couple of times insuring the gooey-est smores ever. Ours is on smores duty in front of the TV a lot more than anything in the kitchen.

            1. re: applehome

              Hmm, I've resisted getting a brulee torch because I can get a decent brulee in the oven broiler but I am reconsidering for this. There isn't a good way to melt marshmallows w/out a camp fire.

              1. re: chowser

                Well, sometimes I'll just hold the marshmallow (on a skewer) over the stove top for a minute or so.

                It works, but doesn't have the same charm of a campfire (or even a fireplace).

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  It works okay for a gast stove but not worth it on a flat top electric range.

          2. I used mine to light candles in a power outage once while house-sitting for my folks. I had no idea where the matches were, but you can bet I knew exactly where my brulee torch was!

            1. French onion soup. Use it to get the cheese on top all nice and brown and bubbly!

              1. Toasting open-faced cheese sandwiches...but truth be told, I've had my torch for over 5 years and it gets more use as a cigar lighter for my husband than for anything else.

                1. Baked Alaska......I bought the honkin' big hardware variety and unfortunately I'm so afraid to use the thing in the house I'm running my creme brulees to the garage to finish them off!! :>)

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: LoN

                    This made me chuckle. Don't you hate it when you're afraid of your own kitchen equipment? I've never used the broiler in my life because I'm afraid of burning the place down, particularly with my current nutso oven.

                    And a Baked Alaska. Whose crazy idea was that? Take some ice cream, shape it into a cake, set it on fire, and serve it? But I love it!

                    1. re: LoN

                      I don't have a kitchen torch, but my husband had a proper hardware blowtorch which he let me use to make creme brulee. I was so scared of it - it was all garagey-grubby and the connections seemed a bit dodgy to me. So I went out and, for $17, I bough myself a brand new hardware blowtorch. Everything is nice and shiny and it came with a sheet of instructions on how to use it. I am no longer scared AND I have hidden it away from my husband, who would otherwise use it to weld some greasy thing when he couldn't find his own freaking torch.

                      1. re: Nyleve

                        So help me out a little....please!!! lol What type of nosel attachment do you use.....is it a bent/angled one??? or a fan style??? It just seems when I get the darn thing lit and tip it over to torch the brulees, that it goes out!!??? Maybe I need to attend some type of welding class in order to master this flippin' dessert!!!! Big lol!!!!

                        1. re: LoN

                          And by the way.....I am gearing up to give it another try this week....having a dinner party on Thurs eve, so any immediate tips would be great!!

                          1. re: LoN

                            Ok, mine is sort of a tube thingy with a slightly angled bend to it. The INSTRUCTIONS (ha!) which came with the set said to light a match, hold it close to the end of the nozzle and then very slowly turn the knob. I have discovered that it's best to give the flame a couple of minutes to settle down before turning it over to brulee anything. And sometimes it gets higher or lower once you turn it over. This is a fine art, I tell you. Takes a bit of practice but my second batch of creme brulee was more successful than my first. And I was less terrified that I'd blow up the house.

                            1. re: LoN

                              I use a regular hardware store model with a built in trigger. Very handy and safe.
                              Hold the torch upright and tilt the ramekin and bring it up to the flame...being careful of course. When i started, I would wear a mit - but found you really don't need one... but, yeah... like I said, be careful and you'll be good to go.

                              AzD

                               
                              1. re: ArizonaDave

                                Speaking of types of torches - these guys just did a comparison.
                                Funny guys - check out their previous "tests" too.

                                http://www.kamikazecookery.com/films/13

                                AzD

                        2. Just used my little brulee torch last night to ignite a flambé (cognac flambé to finish off caramelized onions).

                          1. i finish frittatas with mine. it's good for anything like that in a home kitchen, when you don't want to heat up the whole broiler/oven/kitchen for a little job.

                            1. I use mine for lemon meringue pie. Especially good for individual ones in ramekins. It's more reliable than my broiler.

                              1. It's great for zapping fruit flies in the summer time. I know, eeewwww.
                                But it works!!!

                                1. When making pizza on my grill, I have found that the cheese melts, but does not get crusty and 'burnt'. ... yep, I used the creme brulee torch and not I get just the burn I want.