Mini-torches are useful for exactly one thing: crème brûlée. If you want to bring some localized direct heat to the kitchen, a blowtorch is the only way to go. Sure this sort of tool is going to have more heft and weight than a mini-torch, but it is not that much of a downside-especially when you realize all of the potential options available to you.
For example, a full torch can quickly go to work on sugar crusts and even toast meringues and all without warming up the rest of your chilled pies. You can use a torch to warm up the bowl of your steel stand mixer when beating cold butter to be used in a cake. Best of all, you can use a full torch for kitchen tasks beyond just dessert, especially if you lack access to a gas stove.<h2>The Best Tool for Charring Peppers</h2>When compared to attempting the task with a gas stovetop or a broiler, a blowtorch makes easy work out of blackening peppers to be peeled. Furthermore torch-blackened peppers tend to have a firmer texture than peppers blackened by the other two approaches and this firmer texture is ideal for anyone looking to serve stuffed peppers.
If this particular application interests you, here’s what to do:
Pierce the stem with a fork.
Grip the fork with one hand and turn on your blowtorch with the other.
Wave the flame back and forth against the pepper, figuring out the best distance as you go. You will know that you have the right distance when the skin swiftly crackles and blackens.
Rotate the flame around the pepper, turning the fork as needed, until the crackling ends and the pepper is completely blackened.
Toss the pepper into a bowl and repeat these steps with any other peppers you need.
Cover your bowl of blackened peppers with something and leave them to steam, while covered for around 5 minutes.
Use a towel to wipe the pepper’s exterior. The black skin should wipe away with practically no effort, yielding a perfect roast red pepper.
Warm your tortillas
While its not hard to warm a single tortilla on the cooktop for some charring, it is quite a different task when you are dealing with a lot of tortillas, such as for a dinner party. Having a blowtorch means you can give that great warmth and char to all your tortillas quickly.
Spread your tortillas out along a baking sheet.
Start up the torch and wave its flame over the tortillas until they are lightly charred and beginning to puff up.
Turn each tortilla over with tongs and repeat the last step.
If your particular event calls for a sizable number of tortillas, another option is to just place a new layer of them atop the first layer and blasting away. This method goes by so quickly that it can be done at the last minute. Note that if you have more than a few minutes before serving time, it may be best to cover your sheet of tortillas with foil and keep them in an oven set to 170°F. This will keep the tortillas warm until it time to eat.
“I’m sold. What do I look for?”
Shopping for this purpose is relatively simple. You want a reusable torch head and a cylinder of propane. Note that when the cylinder runs out of gas that it is just dead weight. It also might be a good idea to double check your fire extinguisher, just in case.