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Nov 27, 2009 08:34 AM

Advice on kitchen torch - moved from Home Cooking board


Would like to know if any of you have this micro torch and what your opinion might be if if you do?
From the latest Lee Valley Xmas catalog.

I did do a search before asking and found that many of you recomend hardware store torches over micro torches, but I'm a wee bit leery of having a regular work torch in my kitchen as I can be a bit of a clutz at times.
Not always mind you, but theres been times.........

The torch info says refillable with standard butane lighter fluid. Probably a silly question but since I know very little about micro torches, would that mean you could refill the torch with an inexpensive can of butane one buys for lighters, or does it mean you refill it with a more expensive specially made butane canister?

Thanks so much


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  1. Yes, you can refill with a regular can of butane. But what do you plan to use this for? These little burners do not produce a lot of heat. They are ok, but not nearly as good as a propane burner from the hardware store for making a crust for creme brulee, and they are not good for much else. But if that's all you plan to use it for, it will do the job,and it won't take up much storage space.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Zeldog

      And to continue Zeldog's list...

      The propane from the hardware store is far cheaper.
      The little burners are insufficient to brown meat (quicker and more uniform than searing)
      Good for starting (intentional) fires in a fireplace or outside.
      You can turn your hand to plumbing

      1. re: Paulustrious

        Thank you Zeldog & Paulustrious

        I did pick up the Micro torch, needed to decide shortly after I posted my question as time was limited for shopping.
        I checked for opinions here before leaving but there was nothing as it was too soon for replies so just bought the darn thing in haste.
        I'm now having second thoughts as the torch is quite small but at the same time I would only be using it for desserts, brulee, meringues etc.

        I've never thought of the torch for searing meat as you mention Paulustrious. If one did that instead of the regular searing, how would you get the fond one would desire? Sorry if thats a silly question but really do not know much about torches in the kitchen at all.
        As for my newly purchased torch, I'm not sure. I'm seriously thinking of returning it. I think even though I'm more than leary about having a hardware torch in my kitchen, (previous house fire) I might be better off as you both say.

        Thank you both for taking the time to respond.


        1. re: Joyfull

          The primary danger with a torch in the kitchen is leaving it on a 'small flame' because you are going to turn it up again later - something one commonly does when plumbing. However you are unlikely to do that.

    2. I use my Mapp gas tourch from HD. This is more power and temperature than than propane. It is instant on, meaning you just push the autoigntion button and you have flame. I use it for kitchen stuff, plumbing, lighting briquets and lump charcoal and illegal fireworks (the safest way to light fireworks).

      We have had the little ones but might as well get the big guy and get the job done a little quicker.

      1. Plus the hardware torch is good for flaming slugs out in the garden and getting charcoal in the BBQ going if in a hurry.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          You want that charcoal ready quick? A torch is all well and good, but a little liquid oxygen does the job a lot better.

          To the OP - I recommend propane. It's far more economical than butane or MAPP gas.

          1. re: alanbarnes

            Propane is suitable for crème brûlée. Mapp is more suited to crème crematée

        2. I've had a little torch like yours for a number of years, use it for creme brulee and I love it. Yes, it's a speciality tool but since creme brulee is my favorite dessert, I consider it worth it. I bet I could kill slugs with it also :)

          1. Hi Joyfull,

            I use a little torch like this all the time - and that's coming from someone who doesn't care much for creme brulee! I used it on Thanksgiving when part of the Turkey wasn't browned enough. I use it when I roast peppers and it doesn't turn black all over - I can easily get the missed spots with this. Sometimes when I roast or barbecue beef or lamb and there's a lingering piece of fat, I used the torch to sear/melt it away. I also use it on tomatoes, especially for Mexican dishes where you're supposed to char the outside so that you can slide the skin off. And although I don't make traditional creme brulee, I once made a little carrot flan amuse bouche where I sprinkled sugar on top and crystallized it with the torch.

            I like the small size of the torch just because it saves room in the kitchen.

            Hope that helps.