Nine Kitchen Torches That'll Level Up Your Cooking
We've got picks for the beginner and the cook who really likes to brûlée.
If you're looking to make restaurant-worthy crème brûlée at home and want to achieve a caramelized sugar top that delivers the perfect satisfying "crack!" when you tap your spoon on it, you'll need a kitchen torch. But don't think that this tool is a one-and-done addition to your culinary arsenal. Once you have one, you'll realize how many other dishes you can use it for. Think: Toasting meringue on baked Alaska, fruit tarts, and pies; searing pepper and tomato skins; broiling grapefruit; browning bread crumb toppings on casseroles; melting cheese atop French onion soup; or charring meats after you've cooked them sous vide.
Kitchen torches get their fire from butane, and some of our picks come with gas included while others require you to purchase it separately. All of them are safe to use at home, though, and you'll find that they feature a range of built-in safety features such as locks and child guards. Most of their flames are adjustable and continuous, can extend up to six inches, and hit somewhere between 2,000 and 2,500 degrees F, which is definitely hot enough for any culinary use.
A few guidelines for getting the most out of your kitchen torch: First, remember to use a sweeping motion, which ensures that the flame goes slowly back and forth across the surface of the food. To avoid burning, don't hold it too long over one place. And when you have finished using the torch, store it out of reach of children and in an upright position to stop the butane from leaking.
Spicy Dew Blow Torch
This torch checks all the boxes: It's easy to operate, lightweight but not flimsy, features an adjustable flame, and has a window so you can check the butane level.
Shop Now: Spicy Dew Blow Torch, $22, amazon.com.
Rosle Kitchen Torch
The nice, even flame that this sturdy torch puts out will help ensure that whatever you're charring will be completely uniform throughout (in other words, get ready to elicit oohs and aahs over that crème brûlée).
Shop Now: Rosle Kitchen Torch, $50, crateandbarrel.com.
Messermeister Chef's Torch
EurKitchen Butane Culinary Kitchen Torch
BonJour Chef's Tools Butane Culinary / Crème Brûlée Torch
If you're at all skittish about wielding a torch, this one has an extra-long nozzle and anti-flare-flame that should give you peace of mind. It also has a helpful fuel level indicator window so you know when it's almost time to replace the butane.
Shop Now: BonJour Chef's Tools Butane Culinary / Crème Brûlée Torch, $30, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Bernzomatic Butane Micro Torch
A nice perk of this torch is its pointed tip, so it's great for charring just a small area. Use it carefully, though—this torch can get up to 3,150°F.
Shop Now: Bernzomatic Butane Micro Torch, $27, homedepot.com.
Iwatani International PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch
This high-performing torch connects directly to a gas tank and is powerful enough to give meat a nice char (especially useful if you've cooked a steak sous vide).
Shop Now: Iwatani International PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch, $35, amazon.com.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Torch
The compact size makes this torch a good choice for smaller chefs. Don't worry about its abilities, though—the flame is still quite powerful.
Shop Now: Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Torch, $50, williams-sonoma.com.
TBTEEK Butane Torch
This budget-friendly torch is a great starter tool, and it delivers great bang for your buck. It has an adjustable flame, finger guard, and safety lock.
Shop Now: TBTEEK Butane Torch, $13, amazon.com.