Would like to buy a Blow Torch

What would you recommend as a good blow torch for home use? Is it necessary if you have a broiler in your oven, as I do? Are there specific recipes where a blow torch is essential. Can you tell that I have a want-to-acquire another kitchen tool?

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11 Comments

Kitchen B. June 1, 2012
Great - thank you. Its obvious, very obvious I should get one!
 
petitbleu May 30, 2012
Absolutely agree with all of the above. Hardware store is the way to go. My mother bought me a little Rosle brûlée torch for Christmas a couple years back, and it really doesn't have the get-up-and-go for even small jobs. It's cute but not cut out for what is purports to be able to do. I also prefer the blowtorch to the broiler in my oven. There are dramatic hot spots when you use the broiler, and it's almost impossible to get an even burnish on anything using it. The blowtorch is excellent for anything you want to brown, from gratins and shepherd's pie to meringue and creme brûlée. Besides, they're freaking fun.
 
Reiney May 30, 2012
Essential? Probably not. But at $15 at the hardware store it's a nice-to-have for sure.

A torch is not only great for bruleeing and toasting meringues, it's handy to heat up the knife to make an even butter pat or portion certain cakes and pies, or heat a scoop for ice cream. You can also use it to quickly warm a mixing bowl before whisking egg whites.



 
ChrisBird May 30, 2012
I have an iwatani one and love it.
Here it is in use on a delicious beef standing rib roast
http://seabirdskitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2007/11/dr-on-standby.html
Here it is on Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/Iwatani-Torch-Burner-Professional-Cb-tc-pro/product-reviews/B0027HO3XO
 
pierino May 30, 2012
I really like ChefOno's example---although I do own one of those wimpy Bonjour ones.

And here is a recipe for you http://www.food52.com/recipes/10483_flame_job_crespelle_con_ricotta_fresca_e_tarocchi_carbonizzati
 

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno May 30, 2012

Necessary? Well, um… sure. Absolutely.

And besides, who says all your batterie de cuisine has to come from a kitchen store? Or should! And believe me, in foodservice, we don't use those little toys they sell at Williams-Sonoma.

Look for one that has an instant on/off trigger start (not all do, less expensive ones don't).

My favorite is the Bernzomatic Quickfire which is the smallest, lightest, handiest on the market (only about a foot tall) but full power.

In second place would be the Bernzomatic TS8000 with a "Fat Boy" MAPP fuel cylinder (which makes it less top-heavy)

Either will let you brûlée like a pro. And if you have a grill, you'll quickly discover a torch is the *only* way to light it.
 
ChefOno May 30, 2012
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boulangere May 30, 2012
I love my blow torch! Ace Hardware.
 
Susan B. May 30, 2012
I agree with Dona - I have a standard blow torch (not really THAT big, but substantial compared to the ones sold in kitchen stores). You do have to be careful though - if you haven't used one before, expect the first one or two brulees to be like the tester pancake - edible but not so pretty! You can also use the torch to put a crust on a roast, brown your meringue (think baked Alaska), roast marshmallows in the summer, or solder that lawn chair back together. I'm just sayin' - lol!
 
Dona May 30, 2012
I have a big blow torch from the hardware store. Doesn't cost much and it works so much better than the little kitchen size torch. I use it for creme brûlée and meringue pie. Totally worth it, even though I have to keep it in the garage.
 
HalfPint May 30, 2012
Totally agree. I got mine from the hardware store too. I think it was ~$10 and much better than that little hand sized one that I got as a gift.
 
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