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Best mini torch for brulee, etc.

I'd like to buy a mini blow torch to make creme brulee, etc. Which ones are recommended? I'd like it to be simple and under $50. The Bonjour Chef's Torch gets rave reviews, at least on Amazon, but I want to check with the experts first. Thanks!

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  1. I enjoy using a torch for cooking. I decided against a single tasker mini one and just use the big one from the garage. In fact, I keep it in the kitchen now. I guess if I used it at the table a lot I might get a mini one, but I don't.

    1. I have and recommend the Iwatani, which is attached to a standard size butane canister available at most asian markets. I see it in use at many sushi bars.

      1. I used to do a LOT of crafting... sadly that seems to have gone away?? I turned a uni-tasker into a multi-tasker. Have a heat gun... looks a bit like a small hair drier, used for embossing powder... would burn your hair OFF in a heart beat! It will actually brulee sugar... just takes a bit longer. No actual flame... plugs in.

        1. I use a regular propane torch. I think it was about $10 at Home Depot.

          3 Replies
          1. re: tim irvine

            Hi, Tim:

            +1 on the regular propane torch. I use a Ace Hardware-branded Bernzamatic with the one-button actuator that releases gas and ignites it at the same time. Let off the button and she stops. Well under $50 *with* the gas.

            The only tweak I make is to use the squat bottles intended for camping rather than the tall ones, because the former don't topple over so easily.


            1. re: kaleokahu

              Kaleo, I probably should have bought that one, but since I don't smoke cigars on a regular basis anymore this is my excuse to buy wooden matches.


              1. re: kaleokahu

                I also suggest a self-lighting Bernzomatic propane torch. They not only self-light, but also have a regulator that allows you to invert the torch without extinguishing the flame.

                The lowest priced Bernzomatic with all these features is the TS3000. You can get it for about $25, with gas, at the big box store of your choice.

            2. I have a mini torch from WS, it works well enough. But I prefer my propane torch...same one the others mentioned.

              1. I also use the Iwatani torch, which also has really good reviews on Amazon. The fuel canisters are larger than the Bonjour Chef's, and they were very inexpensive at the local Asian grocery store (about $1.10 each instead of $3/$4 at the local hardware store).
                I live in an apartment, so I don't really have use for an full size blowtorch. But I use the Iwatani for searing things after cooking sous vide and for carmelizing.

                1. I bought the Bonjour Chef's Torch about a year ago based on the Amazon reviews and have been very happy with it. I, too, live in an apartment and had no place to store, nor any other use for, a propane torch with a full-sized canister. But I use it almost exclusively for brulee. If I were to use it for sous vide cooking, I'd probably want something more powerful.

                  1. Bernz-A-Matic for me. Plus you can do home repairs, and more with it.