Blow torch

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otuatail

Senior Cook
Joined
Nov 3, 2015
Messages
198
Location
York
Hi. I am in (UK). I have seen a blow tourch on BBC Saturday kitchen. Not for the firs time. I bought one on amazon years ago and it was rubbish. Don't want to spend a fortune on something unless I could realy get into it. What whould you recomen, and if you are in the (UK) where?
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
8,524
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
What do you want to use it for?
I too bought a little kitchen one and it was garbage. You could not refill it. Discovered many are like that. Seems to me there is a thread here that talks about it.

Edit: Can't find the thread but I believe the end conclusion was to buy a small hand held blow torch from your hardware store (iron monger). Yes, big to store but more reliable.
 
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medtran49

Master Chef
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
5,104
Location
Florida
We have 2, a small butane fueled, refillable, and a plumber's torch. I use the butane torch for little jobs like creme brulee or to set something on fire like crepe suzette or saganaki. It's just not enough for anything much bigger. Craig uses the plumber's torch OUTSIDE to light the charcoal, to quickly sear meat, blacken pepper skin to peel, which it does a great job as it doesn't really cook the pepper (leaving a firm structure for stuffing), just blackens the skin for later peeling.
 

otuatail

Senior Cook
Joined
Nov 3, 2015
Messages
198
Location
York
The one on the BBC was large and had a very long about 4 inch flame. He used it to Flambé sea bass. It is available 28 minutes into the program @

Verry funny, worth a watch.

 
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Roll_Bones

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,846
Location
Southeast US
I also bought a plumbers torch. Since I had several propane gas cylinders I use for my portable camp stove.
The torch itself was under $15 and I got it at a home improvement store. It has the wide tip.
I use it in my shop and I use it for cooking. Cheap and works very well.
 

pepperhead212

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
3,866
Location
Woodbury, NJ
I threw away one of those butane things, meant for the kitchen (got it as a gift), and just use my plumber's torch, I've had since the early 80s. I rarely use it in the kitchen, but it works better, and definitely lasts longer!
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
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Feb 16, 2013
Messages
8,524
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
Why would it not be?
Just don't drip any left over lead from the tip. Also remember that food caramelizes a lot faster than pipes heat up and might quickly look blacker than the chimney soot. :ROFLMAO:

All kidding aside. Only the flame is touching your food. You are only melting some sugar with it. The butane itself, coming from the canister is no different than the butane from a kitchen torch. Same, same only bigger.
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
50,008
Location
Massachusetts
Plumbers' torches, either butane or propane, are fine for food. You I've used a plumbers torch to brown sugar on crème brûlée. The flame doesn't even have to touch the food. The heat from the burning gas will do the trick.
 

taxlady

Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
29,652
Location
near Montreal, Quebec
If it's a new plumber's torch, I don't see any problem. If it is a used plumber's torch, make sure it is clean, so you don't contaminate your hands while cooking. Actually, with any used torch, it's probably a good idea to make sure it's clean before using it for food.
 

thymeless

Senior Cook
Joined
Aug 12, 2006
Messages
396
I just picked up an iwatani butane torch. Havent done much with it yet but it looks good so far.
 

Roll_Bones

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,846
Location
Southeast US
If you have a broiler/grill in your oven, you can use that, too.
But its not nearly as efficient. By the time you char something under a broiler or on a grill it gets cooked through or very close to cooked through.
This is evident with peppers and tomato's. With the torch you only effect the skin and not the meat inside. And it only takes a minute or two to char each one.
The torch is even better than the gas burner on my range. Not as messy either. I take the items downstairs to my basement and char them down there. I use an old sheet pan with rack.
Is a plumbers torch okay to be used on food?
Its no different than other kitchen torches. Buts it much less money for the gas and the torch itself. Like I saide before I got my torch for less than $15 at the home improvement store. The propane gas canisters are widely available and they also come in larger volume than dedicated kitchen gas cylinders.
If it's a new plumber's torch, I don't see any problem. If it is a used plumber's torch, make sure it is clean, so you don't contaminate your hands while cooking. Actually, with any used torch, it's probably a good idea to make sure it's clean before using it for food.
I bought mine exclusively for kitchen use. But I have used it on other projects. No plumbing though.
 

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