Playing With Fire: Best Kitchen Torches Of 2021
When most folks think of kitchen torches, their mind thinks of crème brulee. And while that tasty treat has become the food torch poster child, there are so many things you can do with a culinary torch such as searing meats, broiling the tops of casseroles, melting cheese, and art projects.
The versatile cooking torch can level up your next meal, impress friends and make for fun experiments — just don’t forget that you’re playing with fire. Even simple tasks like lighting a candle or the grill are perfect for your torch. Cooking blow torches come in similar sizes and shapes, but the features and ease of use separate the excellent from the passable.
We scoured the web, tested products, read hundreds of reviews, and now we have what we consider to be a well-rounded list of the best kitchen torches.
- Best Brulee Torch: Rösle Crème Brulee Kitchen Torch
- Most Budget-Friendly Torch: Gibot Kitchen Torch
- Best Choice: Iwatani PRO2 Butane Kitchen Torch
- Best Multi-Purpose Torch: Bernzomatic TS3500KC Multi-Use Kitchen Torch
- Most Ergonomic Torch: Williams Sonoma Kitchen Torch
- Best Cooking Torch for Beginners: EurKitchen Premium Culinary Butane Torch
- Best Torch for Meats: Homitt Cooking Torch
The Best Kitchen Torch
While I didn’t end up making crème brulee with the Rosle Crème Brulee Kitchen Torch, I did test it on casseroles, cheese, and other dishes to get a feel for what this device can do. I tested this product on a camping trip to see if it’d be easy to use or great for sprucing up camp meals. I am a firm believer that while on camping trips—you should eat well. I torched an alfredo pasta dish and quite a few cheese toppings. While on a rest day during our camping/climbing trip, we spent an evening at a friend’s parent’s home. They cooked us a casserole that wasn’t quite crispy on top, so I grabbed the torch, and we seared the top for the perfect finish before we dug in.
My only major complaint about this cool kitchen gadget is that the safety lock does not enable one-handed operation, which is a bit of a must-have feature for me. I did love the ergonomic handle and adjustable flame. This torch would be perfect for crème brulee, and the safety features make this option a smart choice for a home with curious children. Read the in-depth review here.
60 min of burn time
- Weight9.2 Ounces
The Gibot Kitchen Culinary Torch was my first kitchen torch! I needed it exclusively for art projects and therefore went as cheap as I could. To my surprise, this tool has held up incredibly well to all of the abuse I’ve put it through. It’s nearly unrecognizable now due to the layers of paint coating it.
The single-handed operation is a huge help when I need to hold a canvas, or one hand is dripping paint. The flame height adjusts with the turn of a knob, and refilling this puppy is a breeze. I’ve used this product weekly for the last year, if not multiple times a week, and it’s still going strong. It’s been dropped, slathered in paint, and abused rather heavily. If you need a simple device without too many bells and whistles, the Gibot Culinary Torch is a winner and a steal of a deal.
- Weight8.8 Ounces
When you start digging to find the best of the best when it comes to culinary butane torches, the name that appears again and again in kitchen torch reviews is the Iwatani PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch.
The power behind this device is impressive. It can sear a variety of foods with an adjustable flame capable of producing 2700 degrees F of heat. Single touch ignition makes this product easy to use, while the long nozzle keeps you away from the business end of things. When this product arrives, you’ll notice it’s just the nozzle and handles. This product must be attached to an Iwatani butane canister, which is its main downside. Ensure you can locate these canisters in your area before purchase. For more kitchen essentials, check out our list of the best spice racks.
Compatible only with Iwatani butane canisters
Single touch ignition
- ModelCB-TC-PRO 2
- Weight2.88 Ounces
While most kitchen torches run on butane, the TS3500KC uses propane for fuel and is large enough for heavy-duty kitchen torch tasks for plumbing and other around-the-house jobs too. The kit is a nozzle and handles that sit on a 14.1 oz propane container; the versatile nozzle can be placed on multiple types of propane canisters, making replacing an empty can easy.
Go big or go home, right? This kit can be used for lighting BBQ grills, thawing frozen items, and much more! Trigger ignition gets this device going, and the long nozzle keeps you further back from the hot flames. This device’s handle was crafted with ergonomics in mind for comfort with extended use.
Compatible with multiple propane tanks
- Weight2.8 Ounces
When you’re in a hot kitchen for hours on end, ergonomic tools can make a world of difference, and that’s one of the reasons we love the Williams Sonoma Kitchen Torch. Few brands are as respected when it comes to kitchen tools as WS, and this device is no exception.
A few clever features that stick out to us are the magnetic base, easily read safety and flame lock, and adjustable flame intensity. This torch runs on butane and features a fuel gauge, so you know when to fill up. The device stands 8.5 inches tall, making it perfectly hand-sized for easy use. To cook like a real pro, be sure to also check out our selection of the must-have smart kitchen gadgets.
- BrandWilliams Sonoma
If you’re beginning to dip your toes in the deep waters of the possibilities that exist with a butane torch, the EurKitchen Premium Culinary Butane Torch is a great choice. This device is a bit taller than other torches, making it great for larger hands as well.
While we say this is great for beginners, it works for more advanced users and includes plenty of bells and whistles to satisfy any consumer. A fuel gauge, finger guard, adjustable flame, safety lock, stable base, and ergonomic handle make this tool simple to use. The first thing that draws us in is the sleek matte black design and flared handle. Next, my eye moves to the apparent fuel gauge, so you know when it’s time for a butane refill and the strong angles that make this design truly pop. For more handy devices for your kitchen, browse these top hand mixers everyone is buying right now.
- Weight11.3 Ounces
Most folks think pasty when they think about cooking torches but not Homitt. These folks know all about searing meat and the power to lock in all those juices. That’s why they made the Homitt Refillable Cooking Torch. Yes, it works just as well on sweets and cheese, but this one had the meat-eaters in mind.
With a flame that reached 2500 degrees Fahrenheit, you can do some serious damage. The flame is adjustable. Homitt knows you don’t always need that kind of power. The safety lock, flame adjustment, and trigger are all within reach of a finger, making single-handed operation an actual possibility. The only downside we’ve found is that the trigger is relatively small, so it must be operated with fewer fingers. To discover more cool kitchen equipment like this, take a look at our guide to the best-selling convection ovens on the market.
- Weight9.1 Ounces
Why Trust Us
I've used butane torches for everything from lighting candles when I can't find lighter, searing camp food or home-cooked meals, and even for art projects. These tools are versatile, and I have spent a surprising amount of time coming up with new uses for them. Additionally, I love crème brulee and would never pass up a chance to make it at home.
Who This Is For
This guide is for anyone interested in reading kitchen torch reviews, getting more familiar with the product, or who is ready to purchase one of their very own. This guide talks about the ins and outs of a quality torch and some of the creative uses of these devices. If you're interested in a kitchen torch for kitchen use or otherwise—you're in the right place.
How We Picked
If you've read my guides before—you know I like variety and take time to ensure I understand all user groups for a product before selecting products. This curation method allows me to offer well-rounded guides to a variety of people. I love multi-functional products, and I bet you do too, and this guide focuses on kitchen torches that excel both inside and outside of the kitchen too.
How We Tested
The first butane torch I tested was to create cells in acrylic pour paintings. I got the cheapest one I could find, and it has served me oh so well. I still haven't quite used that torch for anything else. It lives in my art studio and is covered in paint!
When it came time to write about kitchen torches, I tested the Rosle kitchen torch and took it on a camping trip to see what we could crisp while camping with a kitchen torch. Bourgie? Sure. Worth it? Yes.
On the camping trip, we seared the tops of cheesy vegetable egg scrambles, parmesan on everything bagels and avocados, and scorched a few marshmallows since we couldn't have a fire due to burning bans.
While visiting a friend's parents' home for showers and a homecooked meal during the trip, we also used a torch to crisp up the top of her casserole, which I promptly named Northwest Casserole due to the amount of kale, quinoa, lentils, and black beans found in the dish.
Features to Look for in Kitchen Torches
Flame Adjustment - I consider flame adjustment a necessary feature, especially if you plan to use your tool for multiple applications. A flame adjustment feature allows you to alter the intensity and length of the flame on your device.
Handle - A comfortable handle can be the difference between loving your new professional culinary torch and despising it. For longer tasks, a comfortable grip with an ergonomic design can make your user experience much better and save your tired hands for other jobs inside and out of the kitchen.
Burn Time - Most torches run for half an hour to an hour, while some professional culinary torches can run for as long as two hours. The task at hand and your primary use for your device will potentially influence your choice, but it's uncommon to need to run a torch for more than a few minutes at a time unless you are working in a bakery or restaurant.
Safety Features - When you're playing with fire, safety features are a must. Safety features include a stainless steel or aluminum nozzle, safety locks, auto shut-off, heat shield, and flame guards. The more safety, the better. A top kitchen torch will have all of these features or at least a few.
Gas Type - Most kitchen torches use butane as a fuel source, but occasionally, some use propane. Always verify the fuel type with the manufacturer before filling or refilling your device. Flammable gasses are not to be played with!
Base - A steady base on your torch can make using it significantly more straightforward. Some torches attach to the top of a butane bottle, and others have their own base. A solid base does make using your tool easier as you can set it down without worrying about it toppling over. The ends of butane torches are hot after use, so a solid base is a great safety feature and could help avoid fires.
Fuel Gauge - Having the ability to view the fuel levels of your device will keep you clued in on when you need to refill before starting a task but is not a make-or-break feature. If you are using your torch for big projects where stopping to refill will be a nuisance, then a fuel gauge can improve your user experience.
Warranty - Warranties are always a bonus. Who doesn't want extra peace of mind with their purchase? Some companies will back up their products with a warranty but not all, and with kitchen torches being relatively affordable, I wouldn't say it's a dealbreaker.
Kitchen Torch FAQ
Q: What kind of fuel does a kitchen torch use?
A: Most kitchen blowtorches use butane as a fuel option. Some attach directly to the aerosol can, while others get refilled as they empty. Butane is available at most local hardware and big box stores.
Q: Are kitchen torches safe for food?
A: Yes, cooking blowtorches are generally safe for food. The gasses used do not produce byproducts absorbed by the food, nor will they stain the flavor or smell of your food. You generally don't want to burn your food to a crisp with a torch, but a light crisp is perfect.
Q: What food can I make with my kitchen torch?
A: Butane kitchen torches are best for caramelizing, roasting, or searing food. Many people associate them with crème brulee, which is how they've gotten the name brulee torch. You can also roast peppers, cook marshmallows, meringue, and broil the tops of other desserts and dishes with these devices. During testing, we used them to melt cheese, crisp the top of a casserole and make crème brulee.
Q: How do you ignite a kitchen torch?
A: Igniting your torch varies by brand and model. We recommend reviewing the included instructions or manual before attempting to light your new blow torch for cooking. You are literally playing with fire, so be cautious.
Q: How do you refuel a kitchen torch?
A: Some kitchen torches attach to the butane bottle, while others are refilled using a can of butane. For refueling, review your instruction manual and follow the directions closely as butane is a flammable gas and should be handled with care.