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The 8 Best Kitchen Torches of 2020

A useful tool for any home chef

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Best Overall: Iwatani International PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch

Iwatani knows their torches: The Japanese brand has a stellar culinary reputation, and its PRO2 model is a home chef’s dream. The head connects directly to a butane tank (one negative—you will need to buy the brand’s proprietary tanks), providing the perfect amount of power for your non-pro kitchen.

Expect a burn time of 100 minutes per canister, offering plenty of time to toast your meringues, sear your sushi and blacken your tomatoes. The strength and shape of the flame can be adjusted separately, letting you dial the customization to suit your unique needs.

Many kitchen torches have an all-in-one chassis design with a refillable butane compartment. That offers a number of advantages, but it also leads to weaker flames, and reviewers consistently find these styles difficult to fill. But screwing on Iwatani’s butane tank is simple, and the direct connection creates a more powerful flame.

Best Budget: Gibot Blow Torch Lighter

For the crème brûlée-curious, dropping $20-plus on a kitchen torch you might use only once can feel like a foolish purchase. Test out your (miniature) flame-throwing skills with the GiBot Blow Torch Lighter, which offers a non-finicky introduction to fire for an affordable cost.

Unlike large professional models, the GiBot doesn’t connect directly to a butane fuel tank. Instead, you’ll pour butane directly into the gas cylinder, which holds eight to 10 grams of gas—enough to perfect your dinner party desserts.

This mini-model is only 4.7 inches tall, but despite its wee size it still produces an impressive flame, topping out at 5 to 6 inches long. That’s enough to give your brûlées an impressive crust, although you might find yourself running out of gas if you’re serving a crowd and it may not be powerful enough to darken your meats quite as much as you’d like.

Best for Crème Brûlée: EurKitchen Butane Torch with Fuel Gauge

A truly jaw-dropping crème brûlée requires a delicate—yet fearless—hand, and the EurKitchen torch promises to give you the courage to make that sugar bubble. The all-in-one design holds up to 12 grams of butane, and you’ll never know when you’re running low thanks to the handy fuel gauge. (EurKitchen does make a cheaper model without the fuel gauge, but we recommend upgrading.)

Don’t fret about getting up close and personal with your about-to-be-brûléed ramekins: the EurKitchen’s finger guard means you won’t get burned, no matter how big your flame is—and this model can shoot up to six inches of fire.

Because the EurKitchen utilizes a gas control knob, not a trigger, you’re ensured an even flow. No need to worry about ugly, half-crisped and half-burnt crème brûlées. With a little practice, your desserts will be picture-perfect.

Best Professional-Grade: Bernzomatic TS3500KC Multi-Use Torch Kit

Any chef will tell you that the best serious kitchen torch is… well, a torch. The Bernzomatic TS3500KC offers the best of both worlds: a comfortable, ergonomic handle attached to a professional-grade propane tank.

Why propane? Propane provides more consistent heat than butane, which simplifies caramelization, cooks more quickly and ensures an even exterior. That’s extra-important when your kitchen torch skills graduate to steak-searing, which needs to happen quickly, otherwise, you’ll be eating a crispy, yet somehow cold, dinner.

The Bernzomatic tip is pressure-regulated, so no matter how much you twist and turn, your food remains consistent. But there are some drawbacks to this pro option: You’ll need to connect the propane tank yourself, and at 2.8 pounds, long bouts of bruleeing might strain your hands.

Best Ergonomic: Williams Sonoma Kitchen Torch

Slaving over a meal of seared steaks and blackened tomatoes can be back-breaking, finger-aching work. An ergonomic kitchen torch takes away the pain. At eight-and-a-half inches, Williams Sonoma’s kitchen torch perfectly fits your palm, and the comfort grip keeps your joints pain-free. And the angled nozzle means you don’t have to twist your hand awkwardly for even burning.

Use the adjustable switch to change the length of the flame, depending on what you’re searing. Steaks? You’ll want as much fire the torch will provide. Tiny marshmallows for tiny s’mores need much less.

Reviews do say it can be tricky to fill, so make sure you’re flipping it upside down before adding the butane, otherwise, the fuel may spill.

Most Versatile: TROPRO Blow Torch

Pick your torching position with the TROPRO Blow Torch: The neck can be rotated, so you can fire at an angle or head-on. You can even match your torch to your kitchen decor—choose between red and black options. Plan on torching every course of your meal? The adjustable flame ranges from 875 degrees Fahrenheit to a steamy 2,372 degrees.

While this model doesn’t offer a fuel gauge, it doesn’t skimp on features. The child lock protects little hands from disaster, and the included hang buckle makes for easy storage. And the generous 13-gram canister size means you won’t miss that fuel gauge.

Reviewers say this butane torch is easier to fill than its competitors, so you won’t be wasting gas…or spraying it all over your kitchen.

Best for Steaks: SearTeq Searing Torch Attachment

Most butane torches struggle to effectively sear steaks after a sous-vide bath—especially if you’re looking for more than a light char. The solution? Bust out the blowtorch, whose higher temperatures can sear a steak in seconds. A little assistance helps, though, because a blowtorch isn’t designed for careful close-up work.

Enter the SearTeq, which attaches to the blowtorch tip and directs and focuses the flames. Despite the serious firepower, your steaks won’t wind up smoky or overdone. Plus, a blowtorch’s MAP-Pro fuel leaves no taste behind, ensuring your guests won’t accidentally dine on butane or propane.

Yes, a blowtorch is required for searing success. The company recommends the Bernzomatic TS800, whose tip fits perfectly inside the SearTeq.

Best for Novices: Fox Run Crème Brûlée Chef Torch

If you’re just toying around with the idea of introducing fire to your kitchen, there’s no need to splurge on a fancy blowtorch attachment or full canisters of propane or butane. Instead, pick something that just works, without too much fiddling.

The Fox Run kitchen torch has an easy-on push button that assures you have a fire when you want it—and never when you don’t. Many butane models instead use a dial to adjust the strength of the always-on flame. That’s great if you’re comfortable with fire, but if you’re still getting used to the concept, a push-button is key.

This model will support you throughout your home kitchen career. An adjustable flame makes it easy to upgrade to blackened tomatoes and seared meats, and the rubber and stainless steel construction mean it’s durable enough to last for years to come.

The most effective kitchen torches are comfortable, safe, and keep a steady flame. We researched the best options, which can be used for making crème brûlée and more.

Torches: Propane, Butane & More

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