A Kitchen and Culinary Torch is a Buntane or Propane Torch designed for the Kitchen. When I say designed, its just smaller but advertised for the kitchen. They share all the same features as a butane/prpane torch, and work pretty much the same. In fact, our winning Best Kitchen and Culinary torch is designed to primarily weld pipes and other construction related task. Nevertheless, some of the Kitchen and Culinary Torch are more compact and easier to use than your standard culinary torch.
How to Use a Culinary Torch
Using a Culinary Torch can be a little scary. It is literally spitting out flame from your hand. However, the tip of the flame is usually very controlled. As long as you are careful with it, you should be fine.
For most propane torch, you usually start by turning the gas nozzle. You then press the ignition switch for the flame to flow. Some models have a fine tune setting. You can either let the heat flow readily or focus the heat. When you focus it, the flame gets hotter. The hottest point is usually the blue center of the Flame.
Butane Torch are easier to use and you just activate it with a press of the button. Others have a kill switch where it shuts off if you tilt it. You should avoid those models. They get really annoying when you try and sear food.
Refilling and Replacing Propane and Butane Torch
You can usually buy butane torch gas at your hardware store. If not, you can find it at amazon. Look for the butane refill nozzle typically on the bottom. Get the canister, and use the tip and press down. When its full, you will see butane overflow out. Flip over the torch and let it sit for a while.
For Prpoane cans like those in the Bernzomatic, you have to go to a propane refill station. They can do it for you for a small fee.
Culinary Torch Uses
The main reason why people use a culinary torch is to sear food. By applying direct heat, you are rapidly raising the temperature of the surface. Once it reaches 300 degree Fahrenheit, the sugar on surface will start to caramelize and form a maillard reaction. This will develop different flavor compound.
This searing method is popular among those who enjoy cooking via sous vide. Since the goal is to cook food to a precise temperature, they never develop a maillard reaction. The work around to this is to use a butane/propane torch.
Other popular use of a Kitchen and Culinary torch is to make creme brulee. You sprinkle sugar on top of flan and then you caramelize it for that golden crust. The hotter and more intense the flame, the easier it is to do.
Finally, you can use these torch to skin tomatoes and other stuff. Some people even use it to singe hair off of chicken/animals. You just have to be creative with it.
Best Kitchen and Culinary Torch List
Below you will find a list of some of the Best Kitchen and Culinary Torch. They come in a few different configuration, choose one that best suits you.
Bernzomatic TS8000 – High Intensity Trigger Start Torch (Best Overall)
For shear heat and performance, nothing beats bernzomatic. Out of all the different models out there, this output the strongest flame and browns the best. You can adjust the heat to spread out or you can pin point it. The propane tank that is sold separately is large so you can sear a whole goat if you need to. Best of all, you can also use it for other task, not just cooking. I highly recommend one even if you dont want it for cooking.
Iwatani International CB-TC-PRO 2 Iwatani PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch (Best Buy)
If the Bernzomatic is too expensive, then Iwatani is a good alternative. The canister size is smaller but still large enough for continuous use. You can adjust the intensity of the heat and gas canister are easily replaced. These little burner are the preferred choice by Japanese Sushi Chef. If it works for them, it should work for you.
Messermeister Cheflamme Butane Culinary Kitchen Torch (Best Small Torch)
If compact is your main goal, then Messermeister would be the perfect choice. Its ability to brown is better than other in its category. It looks well made and feels great in the hand. If the fuel runs out, you can easily refuel it as well. Each full canister will have 200 minutes of burn time. Plenty for most kitchen task.
There are many option for Kitchen Torches. The tried and true original bernzomatic will never disappoint. The power, the heat it cannot be beat. However, some find it a bit scary and expensive. In that case, the smaller and more affordable flame by Iwatani is a good option. It the best for budget orientated and professional chef alike. However, if you need something that is truly compact. Then Messermeister Cheflamme is a good choice. It has one of the highest heat output and it will last 200 minutes. Choose the torch that best suits you.
Want to pan fry your steak instead? Check out our article on the Best Frying Pan for Steak.