Cookbook | Ingredients | Cookbook equipment

A blowtorch or kitchen torch is a tool that produces a controlled flame that can be used in cooking.

Selection edit

All blowtorches use a flammable gas like propane or butane to generate the flame. The main differences between blowtorch models include the type of gas, the canister, the nozzle, and the grip. Some varieties of torch are smaller and more compact, designed specifically for use in a kitchen. The exact type of torch you choose will depend on your personal needs as a cook. Generally, the torch you choose should have a sufficiently hot flame, and it should be easy for you to handle and maneuver.

The flame on a blowtorch should, optimally, be blue in color and very hot. Yellow or orange flames reflect inefficient combustion, which results in cooler fire and the formation of unpleasant-tasting soot.

Use edit

Blowtorches are mainly used when a small, hot, and precise flame is desired. This gives them an advantage over oven broilers and other open flames. They are commonly used to create a caramelized or charred crust on foods, such as meats, seafood, crème brûlée, meringue, marshmallow, and fruit. They are also useful for unmolding cold foods and heating knives to cut cold foods. In a pinch, a torch can help contribute a smoky flavor when stir-frying in a home kitchen.

Technique edit

When using a blowtorch when cooking, it is important to maintain an even sweeping motion with the flame to prevent scorching or uneven heating. Depending on the food you are torching, you will also want to adjust the flame size, if possible, and the distance the flame is from the surface of the food. Make sure that the food is on a heatproof surface or in a heatproof container before torching.

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