Your Kitchen Needs Blow Torch Excitement

mini blow torch

A blow torch brings drama to the kitchen…in a good way. How else you can get that perfectly caramelized sugar in seconds flat?

During my recent blow torch adventure I was a little hesitant at first. It seemed scary! But the truth is that once you master your flame, cooking with a blow torch is easy and useful. Blow torches let you caramelize, brown, roast, crisp-ify (no, that’s not a word), and heat exactly the way you want in a short amount of time.

Choosing Your Blow Torch

I used the mini chef’s torch you see above, but you don’t have to limit yourself to a  “kitchen torch.” In fact, a higher powered blow torch will get you results much faster, AND you can use it for all that metal soldering you do.

But then again, if you don’t want a huge butane canister under your sink, then this crème brûlée torch (pictured below) may be more your speed.  By the way, you can use the torch for much more than crème brûlée, as I’m about to prove with red peppers and pine nuts.

Iwatani International Corp. Creme Brulee Torch, Each, White

Iwatani International Corp. Creme Brulee Torch, Each, White
(affiliate link)

Blow Torch Sauce and Dip Recipes

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip Recipe

I was inspired by the dip recipe over at Much to My Delight (recipe here), but I didn’t use store-bought roasted peppers nor did I puree the dip. Instead, I served it more like a fresh salsa.

*1 red pepper, roasted with a blow torch

*1/2 cup feta cheese

*1 clove garlic

*1 tsp. paprika

*1 tsp. Italian seasoning

*Juice of 1/4 lemon

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and serve.

blow torching red peppersRoasting red peppers with a small kitchen torch will take a long time. You’ll need patience. I’ve got to believe that it’s more efficient to a) roast them in the broiler, b) throw them on the grill, or c) rest the peppers over your gas stove.

However you do it, the end product will be good. Red pepper salsa makes sense!

roasted red pepper dipRed Pepper Pesto Recipe

While roasting red peppers with a mini-blow torch may be tedious, browning pine nuts with a blow torch takes less than a minute. The popping and sizzling sound is satisfying, too. After roasting the pine nuts, I headed over to The Perfect Pantry and followed the pesto recipe she posted there. Oh, and in case you don’t remember, you should always make pesto at home; don’t buy it at the store.

pesto with roasted pine nuts

Pine Nut and Tomato Bruschetta Recipe

I used the remainder of the roasted pine nuts to make a fantastic bruschetta. I highly recommend this one for your next dip party.

*1 tbsp. olive oil

*1 shallot

*1 garlic clove

*1 tomato, de-seeded and chopped

*1/4 c. roasted pine nuts

*1 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette

*3 fresh basil leaves, chopped

*Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Heat up olive oil on stove top. Throw in shallot and garlic and cook until soft. Put mixture in a separate bowl and add all remaining ingredients. Stir well.

roasted pine nuts for bruschetta

Alas…The Crème Brûlée

You can’t talk about cooking with a blow torch and not mention crème brûlée. Direct heat on sugar results in caramelization…that delicious crunchy goodness on top. That crunch, by the way, is the only reason I eat crème brûlée, and I crave it often.

I’m not going to share the recipe I followed for this crème brûlée, because it tasted like eggs. But I will tell you that it was super easy to make the crisp top layer. Simply sprinkle brown sugar over the custard and torch that puppy. Tastes goooood…..

making crispy brulee with flame
How do you use your kitchen torch?


  1. I love your interpretation, and thanks for the shout-out! I’ve always avoided buying a torch, figuring it was one of those one-use wonders and I’d only use it for creme brulee. Very clever to use it to roast peppers! The pine nut and tomato bruschetta also sounds fab. I bet you are very popular at parties!

  2. Ah, I’d love one of these little devices, but I think my hubbs would freak (im very clumsy– I’m sure he would think I’d burn the house down LOL).
    *kisses* HH

    1. I’m clumsy too and my husband was very nervous. But after about 10 seconds I totally had the hang of it. Nothing to fear.

  3. Smile. Now I have even more justification for buying one of these torches. I didn’t think about roasting peppers with one! Thank you for sharing another beautifully rendered post. You know how to get my week off to a great start. I hope your week bursts forth with flavor and love. Hugs from Austin!

  4. I’ve always wanted a blow torch for the kitchen and also heard the ‘kitchen ones’ aren’t as good as the ‘non’ kitchen ones. I had never thought of the other handy dandy uses (nuts/peppers). You are BRILLIANT!

    1. I think the size/power of the torch you need will depend on what you want to do with it. If it’s just creme brulee, then a kitchen torch is probably fine. If you’re working with peppers or corn on the cob, then you definitely need the big one.

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