From breakfast to dessert, we've got you covered.

Jill Waldbieser
October 29, 2018

For lots of Americans, cooler temps mean an end to grilling season. But what if you could harness the power to sear, smoke, char, and roast, all with a handheld device?

That’s basically what culinary torches do. None other than Julia Child first popularized the use of blowtorches in the kitchen, using a full-sized version to fire up desserts like Baked Alaska and crème brûlée—not to mention her ratings. Smaller chef’s versions soon followed, and there’s plenty you can do with them beyond the dessert course.

As for our favorite torches, we like Authenzo Kitchen Butane Torch Lighter ($13, Amazon), which is great for more intricate work, like smoking cocktails. Meanwhile, the EurKitchen Culinary Butane Torch ($20, Amazon) has a larger head and works faster and more efficiently when you’re feeding a crowd. Try their fire power out on:

Cocktails

Charred garnishes add extra flavor to drinks, or you can smoke up a glass before pouring your concoction inside.

Make: Grilled Pineapple Lemonade

Vegetables

Make roasted red pepper for romesco sauce or to toss on salads, or char veggies like cauliflower before pureeing for soup for extra flavor. It’s faster than preheating your oven.

Make: Roasted Almond Romesco Sauce

Fruit

Want to kick breakfast up a notch? Torch some bananas before adding them to your oatmeal. Or caramelize a little brown sugar on top of a grapefruit for a great day starter.

Make: Broiled Grapefruit With Ginger-Maple Cream

Cheese

Besides smoking cheese for burgers, which is simply delicious, you can perfect French onion soup. A torch’s precision helps melt the cheese layer without spilling a drop.

Make: French Onion Soup

Chocolate

We especially like making s’mores with a torch because not only can you get your chocolate the perfect degree of melted, you can also toast marshmallows without burning them, the risk you run at any campfire.

Make: Sheet Pan S'mores

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