Creating a caramelized topping that cracks under the spoon on a creme brulee was always a case of sticking it under a super-hot grill and hoping for the best.
You couldn’t really see what was happening, it took absolutely ages, and it was really easy to burn your beautiful brulee to a sorry-looking crisp.
Then some bright spark (excuse the pun) had the amazing idea of miniaturizing the welder’s blow-torch. And the butane kitchen blow torch was born.
Butane torches have become an essential kitchen tool.
There are lots of kitchen blow torches on the market. Here’s our list of the best.
These are our choices for the best butane torch
1. CaCaCook Culinary Butane Torch
This culinary butane torch is easy to ignite with a built-in piezo ignitor which emits an electric spark to get the flame burning. It has the all-important locking mechanism so that you can take your finger off the burner and the flame will continue – great for dishes that require an extended blast. The torch comes with a safety lock that protects it from accidentally igniting.
The flame is fully adjustable. Its maximum blast reaches 2370ºF, which is plenty for any culinary task. You can reduce the temperature for jobs that require a more sensitive flame, such as melting cheese and making toast.
The CaCaCook is not only perfect for caramelizing sugars, but is also great for creating a crispy skin for fish, for burning off remaining feathers in preparation for roasting a chicken, and useful for ensuring that food is cooked all the way through when you’re barbecuing.
The body is built from high quality metals, with an abrasive aluminum handle, giving this torch a reassuring, sturdy feel in the hand.
A full tank of butane will supply around 60mins of flame. It’s really easy to refill, using a standard cigarette-lighter butane canister.
Great for glazing a roasted ham, crisping up crackling on the pork joint, searing your steak, roasting and blackening peppers, grilling cheese and toasting bread crumbs on a breaded fish – this really is an excellent, all-round butane torch.
- Adjustable flame
- Safety lock preventing accidental ignition
- Flame trigger lock, keeping the flame alight without pressing the gas button
- CE approved
- No way of gauging exact temperature – will take some practice to get the heat right for specific jobs.
2. Yummy Tools Blow Torch
The Yummy Tools blow torch is a worthy contender for Best Butane Torch.
At just over 7 inches in height, this torch feels well made, and large enough to pack some real power. The butane torches used in professional kitchens are often on the larger side, so you can impress your friends with this professional flame thrower! You’ll be creating caramel and crusting your meat in no time.
Because of its size, this torch is recommended for a wide variety of uses outside of the culinary arts – welding and soldering are amongst the torch’s additional talents.
The torch has a 2.5” base which gives the unit real stability when standing on the kitchen surface. The body is built from aluminum and has a reassuring sturdiness in the hand.
The torch blows with 2 fire modes. You control the flame with the gas feed button, in combination with the air flow control valve. The more air that hits the flame, the higher the burning temperature and fiercer the flame.
The Yummy Tools blow torch comes with an e-book, containing recipe ideas and advice for the additional applications for your flamer. This product is great for creating perfect caramelizations for desserts such as creme brulee, baking meat and crisping up potatoes.
The unit comes unloaded – so you will need to buy an additional butane canister in order to get the blow torch up and running.
- 2 flame modes
- Separate gas and air flow controls for really precise heating temperatures
- Safety locking mechanism prevents accidental ignition
- Gas trigger locks in place for extended use
- Sturdy, large unit, feels good in the hand
- Wide, sturdy base will keep this securely upright on flat, level surfaces
- Come with free recipe e-book.
- Requires butane filling before first use
3. Xpert’s Flame Kitchen Torch
This sturdy blow torch feels well made, whilst being lightweight and portable. The handle and body of the torch are ergonomically designed, so it fits in your hand perfectly.
Great for toasting the top of a meringue, toasting marshmallows atop your favorite hot chocolate drink or for caramelizing the sugar on the top of a creme brulee.
The Xpert’s Flame Kitchen torch has a window in the side of the handle that indicates how much butane remains in the storage chamber. This is a great feature – there’s nothing worse than running out of gas in the middle of a task.
The large butane storage tank can hold enough gas for a 70 minute burn.
There’s a broad standing base to ensure that the torch won’t fall over, as well as having a safety switch that prevents accidental ignition.
With a gas flow regulator, this unit has adjustable heat output which makes it ideal for a wide variety of culinary uses, as well as DIY tasks around the house. The flame burns at an adjustable temperature, up to 2500ºF.
The Xpert’s Flame kitchen torch comes in an attractive gift box, so this could make an ideal Christmas gift for your foodie friends. The pack includes two free e-books, full of delicious barbecue and desert recipes.
The torch is supplied empty, so will need to be filled for first use
- Holds a greater capacity of butane than some of the other units featured in this article
- 70 minute burn time
- Ergonomically designed to be comfortable in the hand
- Butane gas capacity window helps to ensure that you never run out of butane halfway through a task
- Adjustable flame
- Comes with two free ebook download links.
- Comes with no butane. A bottle will need to be purchased along with the torch
4. Ingeniosity Products Culinary Torch
The Ingeniosity culinary torch has the look of a piece of scientific equipment, immediately reassuring the user with its feeling of high quality.
The angle of the flame head is 45º, whilst most of the other torches featured in this article are at 90º to the handle. The angled head makes usage much more comfortable.
The torch is lit with a one press ignition switch and includes a flame guard, preventing the flame from flaring out of control.
Safety is a real priority with this unit. It comes, like all the other torches, with a safety switch to prevent accidents and has a unique hand protection plate which prevents you from burning yourself whilst the torch is flaming. It comes with a wide, sturdy base that will stop it from falling over.
The flame is lit with the standard piezo style electric spark ignitor, has a maximum temperature of 2370ºF and a burn time of up to 60 minutes.
This torch is perfect for all culinary tasks, including flambé, glazing, roasting, melting and toasting. The adjustable temperature control makes it the perfect torch for a wide variety of meat, fish and dessert preparations.
The Ingeniosity culinary torch comes with a full 12 month money-back guarantee.
- Hand protection plate keeps the flame away from your skin
- 45º flame head is a comfortable angle for use
- High level of safety features
- Adjustable flame temperature
- Some users have claimed that this torch is a little tricky to fill with butane.
5. JR Kitchen Culinary Torch
This could be a great contender for best butane torch with its heavy duty gas tank that feels secure in the hand, and the double flamer which effectively doubles the speed of your burn tasks.
This torch is recommended for the sous vide (water-bath) fanatic, providing a fast, even browning, so that heat doesn’t leave the food during the caramelization process.
With an adjustable flame heat of up to 2732ºF and a burn time of up to 60 minutes, this flamer is great for many culinary tasks.
It comes with a 3 year warranty and a 90 day money-back guarantee.
The double flame allows you to work with a larger surface area, facilitating faster caramelization, charring and browning.
The flame head is set at 45º which means that you’re less likely to experience burns as a result of using this culinary torch. The hand protection guard provides double protection against burns, making this one of the safest torches on the market.
With a safety lock for protection against accidental ignition and for locking the flame whilst burning, this is one of the best butane torches we’ve trialled.
- Double flamer, combined with an anti-flare system, makes this one of the safest torches to use
- Maximum burn heat of 2732ºF
- Burn time of up to 60 minutes
- Broad base stops the unit from tipping over
- Hand protection plate to prevent burns
- Comfortable, 45º angled burner
It’s more than just a flame
A decent butane torch should be fully controllable, with settings that create the fiercest flame and settings for a gentler flow of heat.
A kitchen blow torch should be able to self-ignite with a “piezo” spark – a quick, electrical spark, the type of which you might find on a gas hob.
You should be able to lock the trigger for a continuous flame and it should be easily refueled from a butane can.
The fuel tank should be capable of holding enough butane for extended periods of use – no-one wants half a blackened pepper!
A safe butane torch should have a body that does not heat up during use. Equally, there should be a child-safety system preventing accidental ignition.
So, which is the best butane torch?
Taking everything into account, it’s clear that the Culinary Torch Lighter has the best design, the greatest number of safety features and a double burner that halves usage time. The flame is shielded with an anti-flare protection and the sturdy build feels comfortable to hold, instilling confidence in the user. With a top heat of 2732ºF, this is the hottest flame achievable by all of the culinary torches we trialled.
The JR kitchen torch would be a great addition to anyone’s kitchen and could help get a crispy skin on recipes such as this.