How to Use a Cooking Torch

If you are a professional chef or you just love to cook for fun, you're probably familiar with the cooking torch or culinary torch. It's a multi-purpose cooking instrument. Want to brown your meringue? Make a crème Brûlée? Brown the topping on your favorite dish?

Just name it, and a cooking torch will be there to save your day! It doesn't really matter if you're a professional chef or just a cook doing it out of a hobby, if you know how to use a cooking torch it'll be your savior!

How to Use a Cooking Torch

Buy a culinary torch

At first, you have to buy an appropriate torch. Look for the ones with a fuel gauge. It shouldn't take more than sixty dollars to buy a decent torch. 

Check your fuel!

It can be fueled by butane or gas. No matter what the fuel is, make sure it is available in your area so you can get a refill. You can use the fuel gauge to check the amount of fuel left!

Be safe!

Don't forget to take safety measures! Turn on the fan in your kitchen to cool down the temperature. Do not wear flammable clothing at any cost! Keep a fire extinguisher handy! Keep any flammable items out of sight while using the torch!

Place your food and use the torch!

We prefer a cast iron grill or a steel tray to place your food and work the torch on it. Make sure there's no plastic item in the vicinity, or you're going to end up melting it!

Wait for the flame to turn blue!

When the flame is orange or yellow, this is exactly the time when you do not want to use your torch. Wait for the flame to turn blue, and there you go! If you use is before that the torch fuel may contaminate your food and you'll get "torch taste" which you surely do not want!

Clean your nozzle

You'll probably get chunks of food all over your nozzle. So clean the dirty nozzle, or it may lead to poor aim, and you sure don't want chunks of old food all over your freshly cooked meal! Pro tip: clean it with a dishcloth or rag!

Don't burn yourself!

Here comes the obvious. Do not at any cost aim the torch towards yourself, or you'll get burned. Duh! Burns from your blow torch can get as bad as second or third-degree burns! So beware! And make you're your kitchen apron is not flammable! If you have long hair, put your hair up in a bun, so you don't catch fire in your hair!

Take things slow!

Move your torch in slow motion and sweep the flame by your food back and forth. If you just aim it towards a single spot and don't move it, you'll end up with burned food!

Turn the gas off!

Your safety comes first! So if you don't want to set your house on fire, please do turn your gas off! Also, don't forget to turn off the gas of the torch once you are done with torching your food!

Don't burn your food!

The correct amount of distancing is key! Keep the flame at least a couple of inches away from your food, or you might end up with a tray of burnt to crisp, scorched food!

Special tips!

Torch before baking!

If your dish is fish or meat, torching it before baking will leave surface crisp and good to go! But no need to torch it before or after grilling as grilling will do the making crisp job for you!

Make grill lines!

Ready to take your grill and barbeque up a notch? You can make grill marks on your dishes with your blow torch! Simply move the flame aimed at a single line back and forth and ta-da! You have a grill line! Now make several grill lines like this, and you're good to go!

Caramelize your sugar!

Dessert lovers will absolutely adore this neat trick that you can pull off with your kitchen torch! Caramelize the sugar on top of your pie or the sugar on fruits on top of your desserts like berries, grapefruit, cherries or peaches with your kitchen torch and voila!

Grill your peppers!

Spanish or Italian dishes like pasta, tacos, fajitas et cetera demand some grilled peppers for that extra kick in flavor that everybody loves! Avoid the store-bought version of your regular grilled pepper and grill them yourself using your kitchen torch! Just buy fresh peppers and do the job yourself!

Make your mac and cheese extra crispy!

Love the crispy taste of the toppings on your mac and cheese but too impatient to bake it in the oven? Your kitchen torch is good news for you! Turn the toppings of your mac and cheese crispy and brown using your kitchen torch and enjoy!

Make your breakfast oatmeal a little more exciting!

Well if you can brown the toppings of your mac and cheese, why not do the same with your daily breakfast cereal? Turn your boring and bland oatmeal a little interesting by adding toppings and browning it with your handy kitchen torch! Or you can just not add any toppings and torch the surface of the oatmeal to make it a little crunchy and good to munch on before starting your day!

The bottom line

If you know how to use a kitchen torch the right way, you can surprise your guests with many tricks and treats! Now just buy a kitchen torch that is appropriate for you and bring on some creativity in the cooking game!

Cooking should be fun, and it's an art form, so why not do some experiments with your kitchen torch to take it to the next level? Happy cooking!

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