Tune into any Netflix cooking show and you’re bound to see blowtorches used in the kitchen. Sure, blowtorches look cool on camera, but their use by culinary professionals isn’t just for show. They can truly revolutionize your culinary skills by allowing for easy caramelizing, searing, and finishing of dishes just before they’re served. Here, you’ll learn how to use a blowtorch for cooking, from understanding their role to learning proper techniques for blowtorching food. Then comes decision time: which blowtorch will you choose to diversify your prep techniques and put your presentation over the top? The article closes with the best blowtorches for cooking available on the market, including the Iwatani PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch and the Spicy Dew Blow Torch.
Understanding the Role of Blowtorches in Cooking
Blowtorches have become a popular tool in home cooking, offering a range of culinary possibilities. These versatile tools can be used to achieve professional techniques like brazing or caramelizing desserts. However, safety is crucial when using a blowtorch in the kitchen, so it’s important to follow precautions like using a small burner and keeping anything easily flammable (think napkins, garnishes, or the bread being served on the side) away from the flame.
The coolest part is that you feel like a badass using a blowtorch, and even moreso after you’ve plated impressive torched meringue on date night. When choosing the best blowtorch for your needs, consider factors like fuel type (butane or acetylene), suitability for the size of your kitchen, and the size of the fuel tank. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced home cook, a blowtorch can be a great addition to your kitchen arsenal.
The Temperature Range of Small Blowtorches
Small blowtorches are capable of generating temperatures ranging from 2,000 to 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit, making them incredibly versatile tools. This high temperature range allows for quick and precise caramelization of sugars on desserts like crème brûlée, creating that satisfying crackle with a smooth, creamy center. Additionally, small blowtorches can be used to sear meats, resulting in a crispy and flavorful crust that locks in the natural juices. However, it’s important to exercise caution and follow safety guidelines when using a blowtorch. Proper ventilation and keeping a fire extinguisher nearby are essential precautions to ensure a safe culinary experience.
Can Butane be Used for Blowtorching Food?
Butane can indeed be used for blowtorching food in culinary applications. It provides a clean and precise flame that is perfect for searing, caramelizing, and browning food.
Proper Techniques for Blowtorching Food
Proper techniques are essential when using a blowtorch to enhance your culinary creations. It’s crucial to choose the right blowtorch for your specific needs, considering factors like flame intensity and features. Before blowtorching food, make sure it is dry and free from excess moisture. To achieve even charring or browning, hold the blowtorch at a 45-degree angle and move it in a sweeping motion. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different foods and keep practicing to refine your technique.
What to Look For in a Blowtorch
To choose the best blowtorch for home cooking, there are a few factors to consider. First, think about the fuel type that suits your needs and preferences. Butane, propane, or multi-fuel blowtorches are all options to explore.
These are the key differences between butane, propane, and multi-fuel blowtorches for cooking:
Boiling point: Butane has a higher boiling point than propane, which means it will not vaporize as easily in cold weather. This makes it a better choice for use in warm climates or indoors. Propane, on the other hand, has a lower boiling point, so it can be used in colder weather or outdoors.
Longevity: Butane torches typically have a longer burn time than propane torches, because butane provides more energy by volume. However, propane torches can be refilled more easily, as butane canisters are not as widely available.
Flame temperature: The flame temperature of a butane torch is typically lower than that of a propane torch. This means that butane torches are better suited for delicate tasks, such as caramelizing sugar or searing meat. Propane torches, on the other hand, are better suited for tasks that require a higher flame temperature, such as soldering or welding.
Cost: Butane torches are typically more expensive than propane torches. However, the cost of the fuel is usually lower for butane, so the overall cost of ownership may be comparable.
Multi-fuel blowtorches can use either butane or propane, which gives you the flexibility to use the best fuel for the task at hand. However, multi-fuel torches are typically more expensive than single-fuel torches.
Temperature and flame control are also important features to look for. Adjustable flame settings and precise temperature control give you more control over your culinary creations. Safety should be a top priority, so choose a blowtorch with features like a child-resistant ignition switch and a stable base. Look for an ergonomic design and durable construction for ease of use and long-lasting performance. Lastly, consider the versatility of the blowtorch. Can it handle various cooking techniques like caramelizing, searing, and browning?
The Best Blowtorches For Cooking
Iwatani PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch
The Iwatani PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch is highly regarded for its exceptional performance in home cooking. With a powerful flame that can reach temperatures up to 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit, it is perfect for tasks such as caramelizing sugar or searing meats. This torch is incredibly easy to use, featuring a convenient push-button ignition and adjustable flame control. Its long burn time and refillable design with standard butane fuel make it a practical choice. Crafted with durability in mind, the Iwatani PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch is built to withstand regular and frequent use in the kitchen.
The Jo Chef Superior RX Butane Torch
Powerful and efficient, he Jo Chef Superior RX Butane Torch delivers a consistent flame for culinary tasks. It’s easy to keep safety first thanks to the child safety and flame locks. Then there’s the adjustable flame intensity so you can easily adjust the flame to suit your specific needs. The Jo Chef Superior RX Butane Torch is ergonomically designed with a refillable butane tank, and because of the ease of refilling and in operation, it’s the best option for first-time blowtorchers.
Buy Now $38.98
The EurKitchen Premium Culinary Butane Torch
The EurKitchen Premium Culinary Butane Torch is a top choice among professional chefs for its exceptional performance and ease of use. With its precise flame, this torch allows for various cooking techniques with accuracy and control. Whether it’s caramelizing desserts, searing meats, or melting cheese, the EurKitchen torch delivers outstanding results. It’s affordability also makes it easy to stock up for an entire kitchen crew without having to stress over one going missing. Made with high-quality materials, it ensures durability and safety in the kitchen without the need for top-dollar spending. The torch is also refillable and features adjustable flame settings, providing chefs with customized cooking options. With its reliability and versatility, it’s no wonder why the EurKitchen torch is commonplace on those Netflix shows.
Buy Now $14.99
The Bernzomatic TS8000 is a high-intensity blowtorch that excels at tasks like searing and caramelizing. With its trigger start ignition, controlling the flame is effortless. The TS8000 offers a wide temperature range, allowing for precise heat application. It is compatible with various fuel cylinders, providing flexibility in usage. The torch’s durable construction and ergonomic design ensure both comfort and longevity. Its powerful performance and user-friendly features make the Bernzomatic TS8000 a top choice for culinary enthusiasts, with the bonus that its proficient in duties up to and including light welding.
Buy Now $39.97
Spicy Dew Blowtorch
They call the Spicy Dew Blow Torch the “Creme Brulee blowtorch” for a reason: it’s the easiest kitchen blowtorch to get comfortable with and a versatile tool to enhance home cooking. It makes various culinary techniques like caramelizing sugar, browning meringue, and charring vegetables easy. With its adjustable flame control, precise heat application is possible, so those veggies actually still taste like veggies rather than charred mush. The ergonomic design and safety features make it easy and safe to use. Whether it’s for restaurants or dinner parties, the Spicy Dew Blow Torch is perfect for higher-volume cooking. Fuel options like propane and butane ensure efficient combustion. This blowtorch guarantees an excellent cooking experience without creating a circular scar.Buy Now $21.99