The kitchen torch is a very versatile and amazing tool. I was first exposed to a kitchen torch many years ago when I witnessed a chef making creme brulee. Until that point I guess I never thought about how the sugar is caramelized into a tasty hard topping.
There are many ways you can use a butane kitchen torch and not just for cooking. It can also be used for soldering, it’s great for lighting a cigar, creating jewelry or fixing a plumbing problem, but for this article I’m going to concentrate on using a kitchen blowtorch.
Be sure to use your torch on a non-flammable surface or metal baking pan.
1. Creme Brulee – This is the most popular use for a kitchen torch. After prepping the creme brulee, torch the surface to melt the sugar into a beautiful brown topping.
2. Brown Meringue – Make your meringue look like a professional creation. Brown the topping just before serving. My favorites are lemon meringue and banana cream pie.
3. Marshmallows – Bet you didn’t think about using a torch to brown marshmallows, but it you don’t have a fire this is a great alternative. Put your marshmallows on a fork and twirl in front of the flame.
4. Burnt sugar garnishes – These are great to place on top of desserts, or ice cream. Use cookie cutters, metal ones of course, on a metal cookie sheet. Fill the bottom of each cookie cutter with a little sugar then use the torch to heat and melt the sugar, wait for the sugar to harden. Wallah!
5. Salad toppings – Sprinkle the top of a salad with bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, then brown the topping with your torch until the cheese just starts to melt.
6. Peeling tomatoes – Use the torch to char the skin of the tomato until it cracks. Once it cools the skin will peel off very easily.
7. Heat up the ice cream scoop – This is a great way to quickly heat up an ice cream scoop so that it just cuts through ice cream and makes it easy to scoop out.
8. Roasting peppers– There’s nothing like the taste of a perfectly roasted pepper. Char the skin of the pepper and then you can either peel the skin or leave the skin on a for that great roasted pepper taste. This works great for sweet and chili peppers.
9. Melt chocolate – Add some milk or dark chocolate to a metal container and then heat the container with your kitchen torch, you have yummy chocolate goodness in just a few minutes for your favorite ice cream or other dessert. It will also give the chocolate a nice glossy appearance.
10. Browning meat – A kitchen torch is a great way to brown meat. Just before you’re ready to serve, use the kitchen torch to brown the top of the meat. It will give your meal a finished, savory look and will really enhance the flavor.
These are just a fraction of the things you can create to experiment with a culinary torch. If you haven’t tried using a torch in the kitchen, give it a try, it will open up a whole new cooking experience.