Best torch for searing etc.

Looking for a torch for kitchen needs.

I’m not joking…

Consider the Searzall attachment if you’re going propane.

Sorry, do NOT do what is in Chris’ picture. You want the short camping propane tanks, not the tall ones. Much less likely to get knocked over, and you do not want your torch tipping over when it is on! The Searzall folks emphasize this too.

Here’s my torch setup (links to Home Depot):

Searzall (which I remove for doing things like creme brûlée)

Bernzomatic TS8000 Premium Torch Head

Bernzomatic WHO159 Universal Torch Extension Hose

Bernzomatic 1 lb. Single Propane Cylinder

The extension hose lets me set the propane tank on the floor and makes it easier to maneuver the torched without your arm getting tired.

No problem. My point is that cheap is good. Go to any commercial kitchen and you’ll find torches from a hardware store, not from Williams-Sonoma.

Thanks for all the suggestions, especially Kevin for the specific links.

I use mapp gas. It burns even hotter than propane.

My understanding is the Searzall is not rated to use MAPP (actually MAP/Pro or something similar, since 2008 actual MAPP is no longer available in the US, no matter what the label says). You can of course take the Searzall off my setup and just use the TS8000.

Actually, I never use this to sear steaks. I mostly use it to melt the cheese on my burgers, roast peppers, tomatoes, etc, and without the Searzall, make creme brûlée. I have also used it to touch up confit duck skin after broiling.

I actually use a Solderall, aka the same torches my plumbers use on projects. Aside from just having it all on hand, mapp burns hotter and probably has a slightly lesser chance of incomplete combustion. Not that I’ve really noticed residue ever with butane or propane.

If I remember correctly, Dave Arnold did some experiments with different torch techniques and actually measured the chemical composition of the resulting meat surface. His conclusion was that “torch taste” results not from incompletely combusted fuel, but from searing at too high a temperature.

Butane works best for me. I’ve used the Bernzomatic propane and it’s not very good but looks industrial.

I’d like to see that. Maybe it’s a combination or not the fuel in some cases. But combustible gas has mercaptan added to it, which is odiferous. I was worried about using my mapp tanks on food so did some experiments to see if I could induce some taste by changing the flame from bluish to yellowish, which indicated incomplete combustion. It certainly wasn’t particularly scientific, but I thought I got a little taste with bad mix.

I think Thomas Keller recommends the MAPP/PRO.

I’m sure it’s somewhere on his blog: