How to get a blowtorch across continents?

I've decided to get a blow torch when I'm in the US in the summer. How can I get it home with me to Nigeria??? Anyone travelled on an airplane with one? or cargoed it? Help!

Kitchen Butterfly


Alexa C. May 18, 2018
You are not allowed to ship any butane canisters by plane not even in your luggage. But you can still buy a butane torch and take it with you as long as its empty and not refilled with butane. You can add a note on the butane torch that its empty so customs would know that while checking.
Alexa @ NewportButane
Kitchen B. June 11, 2013
Thanks everyone - this thread can be considered 'closed' with huge success. I tried Mensaque's heated spoon to brulee method this morning with superb results. I've attached some photos - you'll have to scroll up about mid-way to see them embedded in my response and thanks to Mensaque.

Thanks to EVERYONE.

Moving forward - I will get my broiler fixed....and ease off on the intercontinental search for a blowtorch.

Thanks so much guys - this is the value of this Hotline. Superb!!
Kitchen B. June 10, 2013
Thanks Irina. And Everyone.

Currently trying Menasque's 'heated spoon to brulee' method. Meaning, I've made the creme in the creme brulee......all that's left is to test the brulee method. I'll report back in a few days. Thanks
irinaleibo June 10, 2013
Also check with companies that sell to Marine industry and paint etc. Ask at the local hardware store.
Good luck!
irinaleibo June 10, 2013
Also check with companies that sell to Marine industry and paint etc. Ask at the local hardware store.
Good luck!
Kitchen B. June 6, 2013
This is why I love food52-so many useful tips and advice.

Mensaque, I LOVE your walk around! Genius and will give it ago.

I am thrilled about the ideas cause I now have multiple options which don't take me anywhere near an airport!

Rest assured I won't be taking ANY risks. I am Nigerian, which makes for some interesting travel - I won't be complicating things further!!

Will post the recipe and photos once accomplished! Thanks everyone
HalfPint June 10, 2013
Can't wait to hear if you can get that blow torch into Nigeria.
ChefOno June 6, 2013

Not only is hardlikearmour correct about using a "plumbing" torch, that's the only style I've ever used in a professional setting. Those little things they sell in cooking stores are toys by comparison. The only down side to a larger torch is the amount of storage space one requires (which can be mitigated somewhat by using "fat boy" cylinders). They work beautifully for many chores including roasting / skinning peppers, heating tortillas, starting a charcoal grill, chasing guests who insist on standing behind you while you're cooking… And now I've got Pierino's suggestions on my to-do list.

Make sure you purchase a pressure regulated model which will keep a constant flame when turned "upside down" ("right side up" for culinary use).

pierino June 6, 2013
Another culinary use for a torch
Pegeen June 6, 2013
mensaque, I've never heard that tip before. Like all good ideas, simple and smart. Will definitely try it.
mensaque June 6, 2013
Here's another idea for you(though I think you're keen on hardlikearmour's great idea,but...)on how to brûler your crème:spread the sugar over the custard,take a big metal spoon or a spatula,heat it on your stove burner and and press it on the sugar till brown.Works like a charm!
mensaque June 6, 2013
Oh,and when it cools a bit it will make a crust.
Kitchen B. June 11, 2013
Oh Mensaque - THANK YOU.

Your suggestion worked beautifully and in no time at all.

I made my lemongrass custard, dabbed the top after the requisite cooling period then sprinkled caster sugar evenly over the top.

I heated up a round-bottomed ladle, and placed that on the sugar - slim columns of steam rose up, I heard a sizzle and when I lifted my spoon, the top was golden glazed and shiny.

Seconds later, my crust was formed, which shattered like stained glass.

Kitchen B. June 11, 2013
Superb. Superb. Superb. Thank you everyone!
mensaque June 11, 2013
i'm so glad I could help,you're very welcome!Now I'm in the mood for some brûlée myself...XOXO.
Hilarybee June 6, 2013
That's such a good idea, hardlikearmour! I'm assuming the plumbing canister fits a larger size blow torch?
hardlikearmour June 6, 2013
It's larger than the ones that are sold for culinary use, but it's what I use. I got one for sweating some pipes, and saw no need to buy another for cooking! It's definitely small enough to work with using one hand.
hardlikearmour June 6, 2013
Don't forget you can use one that's intended for plumbing. If they plumb with copper pipes in Nigeria, they should carry them at hardware or home improvement stores.
Kitchen B. June 6, 2013
There's a huge South African store in Lagos, Nigeria ( I'll be traveling there in a few days) and I'll have a look for propane and butane canisters and of course blow torches.

I really appreciate all the help
Kitchen B. June 6, 2013
Thanks you guys! so many ideas and things to consider. Haven't used my broiler in Nigeria to brûlée but I did when I lived in the Netherlands and it was a disaster. It came out dark and black.

Yes the humidity is high though I counteract that with air conditioning.
Maedl June 6, 2013
If you are in Nigeria, perhaps it isn't the broiler that is to blame. Don't you need relatively low humidity to achieve that crackly top? Perhaps your humidity is too high.
Kitchen B. June 6, 2013
Thanks for the wonderful suggestions. I'll give online ordering a go before I head to the US! I have been dreaming about a lemongrass creme brûlée I had at my sister's wedding where the caramelised top shattered like glass!

I want to brûlée meringues and have s complete arsenal of kitchen tools. My broiler is temperamental..... And my past experiences with brûléeing under a broiler were disastrous!

Many many thanks
Pegeen June 6, 2013
Kitchen Butterfly, you'll want to distinguish between interesting suggestions and the law. Nothing fun about being detained at the airport, coming or going, or your luggage being "lost."
SKK June 5, 2013
KitchenButterfly, you are a well traveled scientist. Something may be missing in your question. What are you going to use it for? Maybe there is another solution if we know what the use is.
Pegeen June 5, 2013
No explosive or flammable items in carry-on or checked luggage in or out of the USA.
As far as having it shipped, check first with Nigeria's rules. Sounds like a risky idea all around.
ChefOno June 5, 2013

Ditto what Pierino said (both posts).

According to international regulations (IATA), it is illegal to carry or ship hazardous material aboard passenger aircraft. That includes an "empty" cylinder. Some freight companies will ship flammable gas via cargo aircraft but it's very expensive.

Hilarybee June 5, 2013
First of all, I'd think it would be dangerous to put the propane cylinder in your packed bag. It could be fine, parcels are shipped via air with all sort of hazards. But then again, could explode all over your stuff. I have made many moves and traveled extensively in the last three years because of my husband's work. I have brought a lot of my cooking gadgets- but not the blow torch. I just went to Tesco and bought one in England. When we left, it stayed in the furnished apartment. I've checked knives, in a case and labeled, with no problem. UK security at Heathrow asked me about them once and I fibbed and said I needed them as a chef. If you can't find one where you are, use the broiler or order another off the internet.
pierino June 5, 2013
Now, thinking outside the envelope, is there a reason you can't buy a blow torch in Nigeria? It's a fairly primitive technology. If you can it would save on all the cargo and shipping costs.
amysarah June 5, 2013
I'd have it shipped. The vendor and/or manufacturer can hopefully advise you on how to ship overseas, but you might want to check on specifics of receiving it in Nigeria. These days I'm sure there are regulations about transporting something like this and I'd respect that.
ChefJune June 5, 2013
Why couldn't you carry it in your checked luggage? Then, of course you'll need to source the butane when you get back home.
HalfPint June 5, 2013
It might be worth it to just ship the torch head and an small empty canister (both purchased from any hardward store in the US) to Nigeria. Your biggest challenge is to find propane or butane source to fill that empty canister.

Voted the Best Reply!

pierino June 5, 2013
You might be able to get the blow torch head through in your checked luggage but then you would have to have a source for a butane canister that will screw in properly at the Nigerian end, in other words do the needle and threads match up (and I'm not talking sewing).
mensaque June 5, 2013
Once I got into a plane with a chef's knife and two bottles of champagne in my hand baggage...But that was before 9/11.Ask for informations at your travelling agency and air-line.Just make sure to mention it's for cooking,you don't wanna be flagged,hahaha!
Maedl June 5, 2013
I’d try ordering one from Amazon, Williams-Sonoma, or some other large store and see if they will mail it to you. I don’t think you’ll be able to carry it.
Dona June 5, 2013
I'll be interested in the answers. I tries taking one to Costa Rica, it got confiscated.
Recommended by Food52