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Last updated: August 18, 2021
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If you enjoy working in the kitchen and trying out new cooking techniques, you may have considered sous vide. This is an interesting cooking style that produces deliciously tender dishes, but you will need to finish off your dish with a sous vide torch. However, if you think that you can use any kitchen torch for sous vide, you might be mistaken. Sous vide charring requires consistent, higher temperatures, so it is important to choose the correct tool.
In our quest to find the best torch for sous vide, we looked at the different fuel sources, which can not only impact the maximum flame temperature, but also the accessibility for long term use. We also assessed the size and weight of each torch. This is important for comfort and safety when using the torch. Finally, we examined the warranty that supports each product and provides quality reassurance.
The Bernzomatic TS8000 is a professional grade torch that can allow you to sear steaks. But, it also offers the practicality to use it for making brulee or even soldering metal! It has a high intensity flame and great heat output that can help to cut your sear times and ensure that your meat remains tender and juicy.
The adjustable flame control knob makes it easy to maintain a safe and effective flame size and intensity. The model also features a longer nozzle that helps to keep the flame further away from your hand. However, despite this, the TS8000 is well balanced, making it easy to operate one handed.
To operate the torch, you simply need to press the ignition button and the flame will appear. As long as you hold down the trigger, you can continue searing. Once you let go, the flame will automatically shut off. This makes the TS8000 remarkably easy and safe to use, and the best kitchen torch for sous vide. You can use a continuous flame as and when you need it.
You can fuel your TS8000 with either propane or Map-Pro gas. While Bernzomatic does have their own branded gas cylinders, you can also use regular cans of propane.
What stands out?
Easy use trigger that allows continuous flame if necessary.
The Sondiko torch is not only the best torch for searing sous vide, but it can also be a great tool for desserts like creme Brule and other baking. Another aspect that makes this torch appealing is its aesthetics. The Sondiko is beautifully crafted and would look great sat on any kitchen countertop.
This torch is made with top quality materials that are designed to last for years of use after purchase. This is supported with a lifetime replacement policy and guarantee. So, while this may not be the cheapest option on our list, you are making a lifetime investment.
The flame is completely adjustable, making it easy to optimize for any dish. Whether you need a higher flame for searing or a lower heat for a more delicate dessert, the Sondiko can accommodate your requirements.
With its one touch operation and simple trigger action, you can create beautiful sous vide safely. The safety lock ensures that you don’t accidentally ignite the burner, while the wide set base provides stability. There is also a burn free finger guard and long angled nozzle to keep your hands safe from the flame.
It is refillable with butane that is sold separately. You can use any brand, but refilling is easy. When you’re ready to use, just slide open the security lock and light using the innovative Piezo Ignition Technology. This creates a mini and portable torch that you can even take with you when camping.
What stands out?
Piezo Ignition Technology
Excellent safety features
What cons did we manage to find?
Butane canister is not supplied, but it can use any brand of butane.
The Blazer GT 8000 Big Shot offers big power yet has a streamlined design. It features a Piezo electric ignition system that makes it easy to use and eliminates the need for an external ignition.
This is perhaps the easiest torch to use, making it a sure contender for the best torch for sous vide steak cooking. All you need to do is turn the fuel dial and you’ll start to hear a hiss from the butane. Press the ignition switch and you’ll feel a slight feedback as the torch ignites.
The dial provides firm response motion against your finger, helping to adjust with precision. You can adjust the flame up to an impressive five inches. So, you can really wow your guests as you finish off searing your sous vide. The Big Shot is also capable of reaching temperatures of 2,500ºf.
In fact, the Big Shot is so durable, you can use it for sous vide or in your workshop! The only issue with the torch is that you do need two hands to ignite it. This does provide greater safety, as you are fully aware of the ignition sequence. But it is not as handy as some of the other torches on our list.
Why are we impressed?
Durable enough to be used in the kitchen or your workshop
If you love to wow your dinner guests, you can really impress with the Kollea Kitchen Blow Torch. This torch has the versatility to handle all types of food prep from caramelizing fruit or crisping bacon to searing delicious sous vide.
The torch has a continuous flam lock that allows prolonged cooking without needing to hold down the ignition switch. You can also easily adjust the flame to reach up to 2,500ºF. There is a safety lock to prevent accidental ignitions and a finger guard to protect against burns.
This superb versatility allows you to elevate any dish. You can finish your food with a quick sear for perfect presentation and flavor. You can even use your torch to create flashy, fun cocktails for your guests or take it with you on camping trips to light your grill or roast marshmallows.
The Kollea torch uses butane and it is refillable. You can quickly refill with gas to provide a convenient and lightweight tool for around the kitchen and your outdoor activities. It has an ergonomic design, so you can operate it with just one hand.
Finally, the Kollea is supported with a 100% risk free warranty. It carries a 45-day money back guarantee and a full two-year warranty. So, if you are dissatisfied in any way, Kollea will work to resolve any issues.
Why is it special?
Easy to use and hold, you can operate it one handed.
The EurKitchen butane torch is a popular mini blow torch ideal for home chefs. While many budding home cooks may feel daunted by professional style torches, this one is specifically designed for a home kitchen.
Although it may take longer to sear with a smaller flame and lower temperature, the EurKitchen is easy to use. It is also better suited to delicate tasks such as making bar cocktails, caramelizing Creme Brule, camping or even your arts and crafts projects.
The torch has a fuel gauge and adjustable flame, making it simple to monitor your refill needs. While it may seem simple the fuel gauge will help you avoid running out of fuel part way through a sear or finishing your Creme Brulee. It can produce a continuous flame up to six inches at temperatures up to 2370ºf.
There is also myriad of built-in safety features. For example, there is a finger guard to help protect your fingers against burns and the extreme heat. There is also a safety lock to prevent gas flow leaking.
The torch runs on butane, which is not included with the torch. However, you can use any brand of butane, providing the canister has a long universal refill tip.
Why are we impressed?
Can deliver a six-inch flame
Flexible enough for sous vide and more delicate kitchen tasks
The Authenzo kitchen torch is another popular choice because it has a low price, but with some great features. It has safety features such as an ignition security lock and wide base to prevent tipping.
However, it is not the sturdiest of options. When compared with some of the other models on our list, it does feel a little fragile. But, if you’re interested in whipping up the occasional sous vide or caramelization, it should be sufficient for your needs. It can create temperatures of up to 2500ºf which does mean that it has the power to handle these culinary tasks. You can even use it for other lighting requirements such as lighting cigars, small handicraft projects, bbqs and campfire lighting. Since it is so small and lightweight, it is easy to take with you on your outdoor adventures.
Another plus point of the Authenzo is that the Piezo ignition allows for use at any angle. You can use it one handed and even upside down without compromising on the flame and cooking performance. This makes it easy for new Sous Vide chefs to get to grips with the best searing techniques.
The Tintec Chef torch is a pro style kitchen cooking torch by a well-regarded brand. It has a lightweight aluminum alloy shell with ABS plastic handle for a long-lasting body with a good grip. This means that it is unlikely to slip, even during heavy usage.
The torch itself is short and small, so it has an easier feel than many other kitchen torches. The stainless steel nozzle is high temperature resistant and ensures durability. There is also a safety lock to avoid accidental ignitions. Additionally, the wide base prevents tipping without interfering with the ergonomics of the torch.
Despite its small size, this model can reach temperatures of 2500ºf with easily adjustable flames.
The Tintec Chef torch is also flexible enough for other uses around the home, including lighting candles, caramelizing desserts and even soldering DIY jewelry. It is supplied with a screwdriver and brush for easy maintenance to ensure product longevity.
Why are we impressed?
Comfortable to hold with a great non slip grip
Supported with a 1-year warranty
What negatives must you be aware of?
Some users have reported issues with trying to adjust the flame to the desired size
The Spicy Dew blow torch is a great tool for creating the perfect texture and flavor. This is a highly rated torch while carrying an affordable price tag. It can be a reliable tool to bring out the best in your sous vide dishes.
From searing meat and melting cheese to caramelizing fruit or finishing off a brule, the Spicy Dew torch can handle it all. It has great usability and superb aesthetics. The compact design makes it easy to store in your kitchen or you can even travel with it.
Despite its modest proportions, the Spicy Dew has a number of superb safety features. There is anti-flare technology, a child safety lock and hand protection guard. The torch is made using heavy duty metals and has a sturdy base to prevent it falling over after you set it down.
The Spicy Dew is also remarkably easy to use. To start the flame, you just need to press the safety lock and trigger button after you rotate the flame adjuster knob. You can also easily adjust the flame intensity to suit your cooking task.
What makes it stand out?
Great versatility and durability
Protects your hands from burns
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Flames can be a little inconsistent
Things to Consider
With so many kitchen torches on the market, it can be tricky to choose the best one for your sous vide. So, here we’ve compiled a buying guide with features to consider and answers to frequently asked questions to help you.
Why buy a torch for sous vide?
While previously they were only found in commercial kitchens and used by pro chefs, kitchen torches have become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, if you want to tackle impressive desserts and sous vide, a torch is an essential kitchen tool.
For sous vide dishes, the finishing touch before you garnish and serve is using a torch. This allows you to sear and crisp up your meats to create that wow finish.
Since sous vide basically involves cooking food in water, there is no way to achieve an outside char without a torch. Using a torch allows you to create a crisp finish as you would in a skillet without overcooking and making the meat dry.
The high temperature of a torch can allow you to create a Maillard reaction. This ensures you have a brown, seared crust on your meat while the inside remains tender and juicy.
Features to consider when choosing a torch for sous vide
Here are just some of the important features you should consider before making your final purchase decision.
Safety of use
Since you’re dealing with extremely high temperatures with this handheld tool, it is crucial that it is as safe as possible to use. At the very least, your torch should have a finger guard and a safety lock. However, it is also worth considering how easy it is to adjust the flame and set the torch down during use.
There are three basic fuel sources used for sous vide torches:
Butane: This is a slightly cooler burning type of gas. It is typically used in smaller torches such as the Authenzo kitchen torch.
Propane: This is a popular fuel for kitchen torches. It can generate high heat while retaining a low price point. It also offers superb versatility.
Map-Pro: This is a propylene gas, which is a type of propane. It burns slightly hotter than regular propane, but it is more expensive. It does offer versatility, but some users report the sear quality does not reflect the higher price compared to regular propane.
Map-Pro replaced MAPP gas, which was discontinued back in 2008.
Max temperature and consistency
The temperature a torch can reach and evenly hold is crucial for sous vide. The higher the temperature, the faster the sear. However, if you want to use your torch for other cooking, such as baking, you will need one that can be easily adjusted.
Ideally, you will choose a highly adjustable model that can range from smoldering to high heat with a turn of a knob.
Consistency is crucial, particularly when charring meat. Your torch should be able to hold a consistent temperature for a longer or shorter period to ensure even searing.
If you want to sear and char sous vide dishes, a small party torch that you would use to caramelize sugar in your desserts is unlikely to produce sufficient, consistent heat.
However, the torch needs to be small enough that you can comfortably handle it. There is no point in buying a large torch if you are unable to hold it safely during use.
You may be unfamiliar with the term torch “taste”, but it is a phenomenon that is attributed to the chemicals in the fuel for kitchen torches. This matter is a source of healthy debate in chef circles. Some argue that butane has more of a torch taste than propane.
However, you can minimize the chances of torch taste by diffusing the flames and allowing it to spread out rather than having one direct flame.
Fire up your torch and allow it to reach a blue flame heat. Hold the nozzle three inches from the food and use a continuous motion to move it around. Avoid staying in one spot for more than a couple of seconds or you could burn the food.
Once you achieve the ideal level of sear, turn off the torch and you’re ready to serve.
Searing builds texture and flavor to create caramelization. This is safe, but you should avoid burning your food. This will not only compromise the flavor, but some experts argue that consuming burned food is bad for you.
As you can see there are some excellent kitchen torches on the market that are suitable for sous vide. From the versatility of the Blazer GT 8000 Big Shot, which is easy to use, yet produces high temperatures that are ideal for sous vide to the Sondiko torch that can sear sous vide and has the flexibility to caramelize sugars for desserts.
However, the stand out as the best torch for sous vide has to be our editor’s choice, the Bernzomatic TS8000. This impressive torch is a pro grade tool that produces a high intensity flame with great heat output. It is a well-balanced torch with a longer nozzle that can be operated with one hand. You just need to hold down the trigger for continuous searing. This makes it ideal for producing delicious sous vide that will wow your family and friends.