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Mar 25, 2012 06:33 PM

ktichen torch

What brand are reliable ones? Anyone use anything else? I tried with creme brulee this weekend, using the broiler but was not happy.
I think I might just bite the bullet and hope I find other uses for it.

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  1. I just use a regular torch (propane) from the hardware store. Cheap.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tim irvine

      me too. The kitchen toys don't do an adequate job. You can also nestle the brulee dishes in ice on a sheet pan and run them under the broiler.

    2. Home Depot - buy a regular propane torch.. its what the chefs use.. you can also use it to sear steaks for those that like their meat "blue"

      2 Replies
      1. re: grant.cook

        I've never looked at one of those. Aren't they large? If it's good enough for chefs, it's good enough for me.

        1. re: itryalot

          They are bigger than a culinary torch, but not huge.. and they put out a lot of heat, and that's what you want. We aren't talking about a welding torch here with a huge oxygen tank - they are smaller than a 2 liter soda bottle, I think.

          I guess it comes down to how often to you need that high heat carmelization that a torch provides - make many meringues, baked Alaska, that sort of thing? Or do you have a reason to do some of your own home plumbing?

          If a torch is a bit much, you can always just buy a salamander from Fantes and cook creme brulees the old fashion way - red hot metal.

      2. I don't know the brands, but I have used various propane and butane torches in professional kitchens. The small tiny butane ones are cute and store very well, but they are pretty useless. They might eventually work and might be able to brulee some things but not when you have any actual work to accomplish. The propane ones from the hardware store are far and away what is most popular to use where I am. They are a little big, and annoying to store, but they can do what they need to do much faster and don't have to keep refilling the little chamber.

        1. I recommend the Bernzomatic TS3000 torch, which any hardware store or Walmart type discount store will have for $25 - $30, including a 1 lb tank of propane. It's got a self-lighting trigger mechanism and a pressure regulator.
          The pressure regulator is an important feature for culinary use. It allows you to invert the torch (as you'll want to do for creme brulee) without putting out the flame.

          2 Replies
          1. re: srgoodman

            If the big guys scare you, the Bernzomatic Micro torch is another good option. It's the same size as the ones you'll see at Williams-Sonoma, but it works better and it is far cheaper.


            I'd still recommend the one that srgoodman suggested though. Far more reliable and you can do a lot more with it.

            1. re: srgoodman

              Ahhh, wish I knew about that inversion issue before I got my torch.

              Nevertheless, it's used more often for blistering chile pepper skins off than plumbing :-).