If you’re shopping for the best sous vide torch, temperature range, torch size, and safety features are among the essential factors to consider. To help you shop, I’ve put together the best sous vide torches with great features at reasonable prices. The ones I’ve picked below deliver restaurant-quality results for your sous vide dishes.
Sous vide (French term which translates to “under a vacuum”) is a culinary approach to make well-done steaks, as well as a wide range of other dishes. In many sous vide dishes, the last technique is to finish off the exterior of the meat. Inducing the Maillard reaction on your steak gives it that dark, crispy, savory crust.
You can’t argue that a nicely seared steak tastes and smells good as it looks. And you can easily make the perfect steaks or burgers, or fish with a good sous vide torch and sous vide vacuum sealer. Because, why buy an expensive steak from the restaurant if you can make it at home?
Why Sear with a Sous Vide Torch?
Why not? Using a sous vide torch helps with quickly searing food on the surface, without drying out the inside. As with a grilled steak, searing sous vide steak gives it a flavor, texture, and desired color. Sous vide torches bring the finishing touch to your protein, helping you to create well-seared meat but without stressing about overcooking it on the inside.
For many home cooks, a sous vide torch is a worthy investment. It’s a good way to cook restaurant-style dishes at home. Adding a kitchen torch to your collection is a great way to build up your cooking setup. Although it may sound like an unnecessary splurge at first, it’s actually a rather versatile cooking tool that may just revolutionize your food prep game.
My Top Picks
|Sondiko Butane Torch
|– Safety lock feature
– Long angled nozzle
– Burn-free finger guard
– Piezo Ignition Technology
– Fits all butane tanks
– Silicone basting brush
– 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (maximum temperature)
|Check on Amazon
|Blazer GT8000 Butane Torch
|– Anti-flare, brass-frame nozzle
– Attachable tabletop base
– Gas-flow adjustment dial
– Piezoelectric ignition system
– 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (maximum temperature)
|Check on Amazon
|EurKitchen Butane Torch
|– Safety lock feature
– Gas flow safety lock
– Built-in finger guard
– Long universal refill tip
– 2,370 degrees Fahrenheit (maximum temperature)
|Check on Amazon
A Buyers Guide in Choosing the Best Torch for Sous Vide
Before you buy sous vide torch, certain factors go into finding the best one. You must look at the torch’s temperature range, size, and the “torch taste”. Refer to the buying guide I’ve curated below to find out everything you need to know before getting a new sous vide torch.
The heat that a sous vide torch can reach is crucial. Searing becomes quicker if the torch has a higher temperature range. Some can reach a much higher temperature than others. So, if you’re not familiar with sous vide torches, you may end up setting it up too high, causing burns.
In this case, a torch with a twistable knob will help make sure you can adjust it from hardly smoldering to high temperatures.
Sous vide torches are available in various sizes. If you’re going to caramelize, make pastries, or melt cheese, you may opt for a smaller kitchen torch. Such torches don’t provide enough heat to sear a traditional sous vide dish on time. Even small powerful torches can only hit temperatures of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anything above that range can burn your food, especially if you’re not skilled to use a sous vide torch. Larger torches do offer more options. Smaller torches, on the other hand, provide versatility within such a limited range.
Torch taste is a phenomenon in which there’s an unpleasant fuel flavor associated with your dish when you finish it with a kitchen torch. The existence of that fuel-like flavor was thought to be due to compounds in the fuel. The use of butane, propane, or MAPP still creates a debate about which ones cause the most torch taste.
But in recent studies, it’s been found that the main reason you get that fuel-like flavor in the dish is the production of new, unpleasant compounds on your meal. These chemical compounds are produced when you turn the heat up too high.
The best thing you can do to minimize the torch flavor is to manage the heat when you sear your food. Torch taste is horrible. The good thing is you can’t taste them in recipes like creme brulee.
Ease of use
Kitchen torches come in various ergonomic designs. It should be easy for you to handle a sous vide torch. Also, you’ll want to ensure it’s straightforward and that you can adjust it while you’re searing. A bulky or heavy torch or one with complicated knobs or dials is a poor choice.
Consistency in Temperature
A good sous vide torch should produce a consistent temperature of flames. Or else, your steak will surprise you with charred parts on it, ruining the whole dish. So makes sure your sous vide torch can maintain a steady temperature over a lengthy or short amount of time. If you’re going to get your kitchen torch online, you may refer to the customer reviews of the product.
Of course, a kitchen torch isn’t just for sous vide dishes. You can also use them to bake and make delicious desserts. Want to brown meringue for baked Alaska? How about making burnt sugar garnishes?
They’re also great for melting cheese sauce cheese to use for other dishes, as well as creating glaze for baked ham, and perhaps you want to melt s’mores. You should be able to use your sous vide torch for other purposes.
Types of Gas Used
There are several different kinds of gases used in torches. Each with its own set of properties that set one apart from the others. Below are some of the main ones used in sous vide torches.
Butane burns a little cooler than the other gases like propane, and it’s often used in smaller sous vide torches. And because it’s cooler, it makes it easier to regulate.
A quality butane torch can also get expensive. But this gas is one of the most used gases in kitchen appliances, so it would be a safer bet for you. Especially if most of the dishes or meals you make everyday involve sous vide cooking. Butane torches are also easy to refill.
Propane is an affordable option for those that are new to sous vide cooking. It’s a common gas in kitchen torches because of its capability to produce high heat. It generates just adequate heat to sear meat without overcooking it. Propane also provides increased flexibility for other purposes.
Map-Pro gas or Propylene is a propane gas variant. This type of gas burns hotter than ordinary propane. It also costs more than propane, and I’ve come across users who argue that its sear quality doesn’t quite meet the expensive price tag.
Map-Pro is the successor to MAPP that burns 150 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to the slight temperature gap, you may not observe that much of a difference when searing your sous vide dish. Many home cooks prefer plain propane over MAP-Pro as it is still pricier.
Here Are the Best Torches for Sous Vide Cooking
If you’ve just gotten into sous vide cooking, a good kitchen torch will be a necessary tool. The best sous vide torches in my list feature a locking function for protection and a customizable flame so you can use them in a wide range of dishes. Here are the best torches for sous vide you could get.
If you’re looking for the best torch for sous vide, the Sondiko Butane Torch is a powerful choice that features a locking system for safe storage. It’s also very simple to use with just a touch of a button — thanks to its Piezo Ignition Technology.
This torch has an adjustable flame that provides the flexibility to achieve the precise kind of sear you desire for any sous vide dishes. You can adjust the temperature up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has a wide base to keep it from tipping over. Its large, angled nozzle with its finger shield will protect your fingers and hand from the flame.
You can easily refill it with butane gas once it runs out. All without requiring a connection to the gas bottle to function. I appreciate that it includes a silicone basting brush, which is useful for glazing your meat. However, I find the overall look to be very basic. Nothing too special. But, given the price and the results it delivers, I believe it’s still worthwhile.
• Durable and easy to use
• Adjustable application
• Has great adjustable and safety features
• Fits all butane tanks
• The flame adjustment dial is too sensitive
The Blazer GT8000 Butane Torch may be a great choice if you’re looking for a heavy-duty kitchen torch. It’s not really designed for sous vide dishes. But it does well in searing thicker pieces of meat extremely well. Keep in mind though, that this isn’t something you’d use on delicate desserts like creme brulee.
This torch features a brass anti-flame ignition system that’s placed in its Japanese stainless steel nozzle. It also has a large fuel tank that’s encased in nylon resin, offering a non-slip grip. The torch has among the world’s first piezo instant ignition mechanisms, and there will be no need for external igniters.
Its wide base is what I like about this torch as it offers added stability in whatever setting. And when you’re ready to store it, you can simply detach the base. You can also easily adjust it to your desired heat length using the gas-flow adjustment dial.
The 2500 degrees Fahrenheit wind-resistant flame is suitable for use both indoors and outdoors. If you want a heavy-duty torch, you may have to prepare a budget for this one, though. It’s on the pricey side, but I think it’s still worth considering.
• Durable and heavy-duty
• Doesn’t require an external igniter
• Excellent base design
• Gas-flow adjustment dial allows precise flame length control
• Easy to store
• The metal sleeve can get very hot
• Some users contradicts the wind resistance feature
The EurKitchen Butane Torch could be worth considering if you want to get the most out of your investment. This butane torch boasts consistency and safety features and is among the most suitable for kitchen use. It’s a little bigger than many other torches, the advantage its size brings adds distance between the handguard and the flame.
Its lock and release function is also close to its grip. I find this convenient given that some designs offer this element on their side, near the flame. It features a finger guard, as well as a clear gauge just on its side so you can check fuel levels while it stands upright.
There’s a caveat with this torch, though. It only uses long butane filling tips. So, if you use a short tip to refill it, it will certainly end up with even more gas on your countertop than in the gas tank.
The torch can produce a 6-inch long consistent flame. It can reach temperatures of up to 2370 degrees Fahrenheit. And when you turn it off, its gas flow safety lock feature prevents gas from leaking.
• Creates consistent flame
• Has great safety features
• Easy to refill
• Uses only long filling tips
Here’s another great option that home cooks swear by, the Jo Chef Kitchen Torch. You can sear meat and fish, make creme brulees, and roast peppers to perfection with its adjustable flame temperatures of up to 2,370 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s made of professional-grade materials, making it both safe and convenient to use. This torch also comes with various safety locks and an adjustable flame feature. Such features let you have optimal control over your food and deliver precise sears.
And much like other torches on the list, this one also has a clear gauge. This feature lets you see the level of fuel you have.
• Durable and versatile
• Comes with great safety features
• Easy to use
• Some users say the gas gauge is barely visible
• There are more affordable options
It may be the last one on my list, but it’s definitely not the least. The Tencoz Blow Torch provides unrivaled flame consistency and efficiency. The Piezo press ignition enables quick, instant lighting. Making it an ideal choice for professional chefs or devoted sous vide dish makers.
It also features a gas flow regulator dial for easy flame adjustment. Another feature I like about torches is the gas flow lock, and this torch is no stranger to this feature. It creates a consistent flame up to 6 inches long. While torching, its built-in finger guard shields you from painful burns. It can reach temperatures of up to 2,370 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can use any brand of butane here, but you need to make sure that the canister has a long universal refill tip. And don’t overfill it to avoid excessive internal pressure.
• Creates long, consistent flame
• Great safety and adjustment features
• Some users find it too small for heavier torching
For beginners, here’s what you can do before lighting the burners of your sous vide torch. This is to make sure that you’re achieving that precise texture and flavor. As well as the right darkness for your meat.
Protect your countertop.
Your kitchen countertop cannot withstand exposure to heat like your sous vide meat does. So, before you light up your torch’s nozzle, you must first put a wire rack atop a nonstick, thick baking sheet. Then, char the meat on the wire rack to make sure you’re protecting your countertop. Torching meat on the barbecue grill is also a good idea.
Dry your food before torching.
Pat the meat dry with a paper towel, or you’ll be burning up fuel and time evaporating any excess water on the meat’s surface. When you torch meat, you tend to spend varying burn periods throughout the surface. So, not drying the meat can also result in uneven searing.
Sous Vide Torch Technique
The technique you use in searing is far more significant than the type it has. It’s crucial to ensure that the torch has a fully oxidizing flame. If you’re sous vide torch has this kind of flame, the gas combust. It’s characterized by a dark blue, fairly short flame that hisses or roars.
A decreasing flame is characterized by a big flame with a yellow end. There is incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons from the fuel in a big, yellow flame which can end up in your food. And this can give it an awful flavor.
To get the best searing results, don’t aim the torch towards the meat until you lift it and set it to create a short, blue flame. While keeping the torch going, you aim it at the food. This is to make sure it sears evenly without burning.
Sous Vide Torch FAQS
What kind of torch is safe for food?
A butane torch is among various types of torches that you can safely use to cook or sear food. Propane torches will suffice, while busy kitchens use MAPP torches.
How do you stop the torch taste?
Torching food will always be linked to torch taste. It’s a very unpleasant “gaseous” taste we wouldn’t want in our food. To minimize the torch taste in your sous vide dishes, you have to control the heat you use for your sous vide dishes.
Can I sear with a propane torch?
Yes, you can. Propane, butane, MAPP, and acetylene are all fine provided that you adjust the torch to a fully oxidizing flame. MAPP gas, however, burns hotter and hence can deliver more heat to the meal, allowing for quick searing.
Can you torch a steak?
Torching a steak is one of the easiest ways to create that ideal, dark, crisp, roasted flavor on the surface. All while retaining the juiciness of the meat inside. A blowtorch comes in handy when cooking thin steaks that need not be completely cooked.
Can I use a butane torch for creme brulee?
You can definitely use a butane torch to make crème brulee. In reality, the ideal way to caramelize sugar before serving is with a butane kitchen torch. It’s a common fuel chefs use for their torches. And using it to make crème brulee would be easy and efficient.
Can I use a lighter instead of a kitchen torch?
If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you could use a lighter, but it will burn poorly and create an awful flavor and scent. I wouldn’t recommend using a lighter, especially if you’re searing meat. Lighters are just not designed for such purposes.
I like the Sondiko Butane Torch the most because it’s affordable, durable, and easy to use. And it has all the useful adjustment and safety features you could want in a torch. But the Blazer GT8000 Butane Torch is just as great for heavy-duty searing. This torch has an excellent base design, with great control for precise sears.
To get the most out of your investment, you may refer to the EurKitchen Butane Torch. This handsome torch creates a consistent flame. And much like many other torches on the list, it also has great safety features.
You don’t have to pay thousands of dollars at a high-end restaurant. Especially if you can make nicely done steaks at home with these fantastic torches. But you need to first make sure to check on the latest prices of everything on the list, so you can start cooking your sous vide dishes to perfection. Good luck!