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Dec 4, 2009 05:23 AM

Question about kitchen torch


I plan to buy kitchen torch ... mainly for experiment with food :)

For example, I want to try to brown meat using it ...

So, after some research I found that for the above I should buy a small torch from hardware store ...

Not just common small creme brule torch.

Any thought and recommendation about this?

Also, will you smell the fuel (butane or propane) in the meal after you torched? :)


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  1. I bought one of the brulee torches and found it to be way underpowered and difficult to get working properly. The plumbing torch I picked up at the hardware store is hotter, easier to use and less expensive. I've never noticed any lingering fuel odors in the food I've torched, but I would assume that is possible if the fuel/air mixture isn't set properly resulting in incomplete combustion.

    1. Go with the propane hardware store type (Wen, Weller, Bernzomatic).
      You can get one for as cheap as $10. The propane gas is like $2-$3 to replace and easy to find everywhere. I don't know what those butane cartridges cost. Propane is lighter than air and unburned gas will dissipate in the gas quickly and will not and can't linger on food.
      Plus the hardware store kind is useful around the house as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: monku

        get a self-igniting one. That eliminates the big risk of fire: it's a pain to relight, so it's set down still lit.

        1. re: dscheidt

          Almost all of them have self igniters and you can get the shortter propane canisters.
          I was at the M Buffet in Henderson((near Las Vegas) and the guy was wielding one in each hand finishing off the creme brulees quick.

      2. I find the hardware store propane torches to be too big and tippy. I found an Iwatani butane torch at a restaurant supply store that is much superior to the mini-torches (which I agree are next to worthless) but is also shorter and more stable than a standard propane torch. It has a self-ignitor.

        1. We used Home-Depot bought one’s in all of my restaurants and I use that at home. Yes they are big and clumsy, but cheap and propane as some else pointed out never leaves a taste on food.

          If you truly need to get a “kitchen” torch the one that I have used quite a few time is this one.

          It’s easier to use than the propane torch, works well and have only caught an off taste once with it.