You can make some dishes in the kitchen with limited equipment, but when it comes to caramelizing creme brulee or roasting meringue, you have to have a butane cooking torch. There is simply no way around achieving the perfect hardness of creme brulee without using a butane torch to candy the top.
But using an open flame in a kitchen can be intimidating, especially if you have never used one before. That’s why we’re here! We’re not here just to tell you which butane torch is the best; we’re here to help you learn which is the best butane torch you should choose and why you should choose it.
So sit back and get ready to learn all about using fire in the kitchen in this butane torch review and buying guide.
Best Overall Butane Torch
1. Sondiko Refillable Butane Torch
The Sondiko refillable butane torch is our choice for the best overall butane torch for many reasons.
First, it has a safety lock that will prevent the torch from accidentally igniting. This adds a level of safety to using a device that will ignite an open flame with a simple push of the button.
Once the butane lighter has been lit, you will turn the starter's dial to the right to keep the torch lit. Then you can adjust the intensity of the flame by sliding the regulator on the side. Once you are ready to turn the torch off, turn the dial to the left, and the flame will turn off.
The butane torch does not come with a butane gas tank for safety purposes, but a gas butane tank can be used to fill the canister with gas for easy filling when you need to refill the torch. Just make sure that the butane gas tank has a long universal refill tip on the butane gas tank you choose so that it can fit the gas canister to fill it.
The butane torch also comes with a silicone basting brush so that you can brush different dishes with butter or glaze before carmelizing.
It heats to a maximum temperature of 2372 degrees and has a chart to indicate what flame setting you need to use for the type of food you are searing, caramelizing, or flambeing.
Best Premium Butane Torch
2. EurKitchen Culinary Butane Torch with Finger Guard and Gas Gauge
The best premium butane torch is the EurKitchen culinary butane torch. It is a professional-grade culinary butane torch with safety features and a precision dial to make sure you use the right size flame each and every time.
There is a heat guard on the top of the butane tank canister to keep your finger safely protected from the open flame when the butane heater is in use. There is also a safety lock that will keep the flame from igniting accidentally or unintentionally.
There is a sturdy, flat base for you to easily set the butane torch down on the counter when it is not in use. This allows you to safely pick it up again when you need to use the torch lighter.
For safety reasons, a butane gas tank is not included with the butane torch, so you will have to purchase one separately. The butane tank needs to have a long universal refill tip that will fit the gas canister to refill it. One of the best features of this premium butane torch is the gas tank gauge indicator on the torch's side to show you how full the butane tank is.
The maximum temperature the butane torch can reach is 2370 degrees. It has an adjustable precision flame for you to use the exact size flame you need for what you’re heating, as well as a continuous flow function that keeps the flame burning without having to hold down the nozzle the entire time.
The safety features, gas gauge, and continuous flow of high heat put this premium butane torch lighter at the top of our list.
Best Budget Butane Torch
3. ARCBLD Culinary Butane Torch Lighter
The ARCBLD refillable butane torch is the best butane torch on a budget. For less than $15, it has everything you need to sear, flambe, or carmelize any dish.
Because this is a budget butane torch, it doesn’t have as many safety features or gas tank gauges to let you know how full the butane gas tank is. However, it does have a safety lock that will prevent the butane torch from accidentally igniting.
What it doesn’t have are finger protectors or a sturdy base. This isn’t dangerous, but not having these features can add a level of concern when using it. Still, it is a functional and affordable butane torch for any job.
There is a sliding turn dial on the side of the torch that will let you adjust the flame intensity. The flame's temperature ranges from the lowest setting of 800 degrees and goes up to a maximum temperature of nearly 2500 degrees.
The butane torch has a refillable canister to refill with butane when it is empty. The butane gas tank will need to have a long universal refill tip to fill the canister. For safety reasons, a butane gas tank is not included with the butane torch, so you will have to purchase one separately.
4. Iwatani International Culinary Butane Torch
Another great option is the Iwatani International culinary butane torch. It is another professional grade premium option if you are looking for a higher-quality butane torch.
The difference in this butane torch from the first three on our list is that this butane torch attaches to the butane gas tank, whereas the first options had a refillable gas tank canister built directly into the butane torch.
To place the torch onto a butane gas tank, simply twist and lock the torch into place onto the tip of the butane torch. When you need to sit the butane torch down, a large and sturdy safety base will keep the butane torch from falling over.
One feature that this professional butane torch doesn’t have is a safety lock, but to offset this feature is an ignition trigger that takes some force to ignite the flame. It’s still a one-touch ignition trigger, but the trigger's pull requires more force since there is no safety lock.
You can adjust the flame's intensity and shape by using the knob on the back of the torch to adjust the gas flow. This will adjust both the size and the flame's temperature, giving you the option to heat different types of food or drinks. The maximum temperature of the butane torch reaches 2700 degrees.
5. FunOwlet Culinary Butane Torch
Another butane nozzle attachment that you can attach to a butane gas canister is this torch by FunOwlet.
It is similar to the option by Iwatani International butane torch, except it does not include a large safety base the way the Iwatani International option does.
When attaching the butane torch to the gas tank canister, make sure you have a butane gas canister with a snap joint so that the torch can correctly attach to the tank. You will know that it is correctly attached when you rotate the nozzle into place, and it locks securely onto the gas canister.
The butane torch will ignite when pulling the trigger, and you can adjust the flame size and intensity with the turn dial knob on the back of the torch.
One beneficial feature of this butane torch is that it can be used upside down. If, for any reason, you need to light or heat the underside of an object, then you can with this butane torch.
The maximum temperature of the butane torch reaches 2500 degrees. When you are ready to turn the torch off, just close the valve switch, and the flame will go out.
Just remember that there is no base that you can sit the butane torch on; it will only be the canister that sits on the counter, so be careful when setting the torch down as you are using it.
6. Cadrim Double Fire Cooking Torch
Why use one flame when you can have two?
The double fire cooking torch by Cadrim gives you double the flame when just one flame isn’t enough. But don’t worry, you can still use one single flame if you want. The double flame is a great option to have if you will be heating a large dish, as it will cover more area than a single flame.
The body of the butane torch is ceramic to stay cool and comfortable in your hand as you hold the torch. There is a safety lock that will prevent the butane torch from accidentally igniting.
Once you have ignited the butane torch, you can adjust the flame's intensity by using the adjustable sliding dial on the side of the torch. You can also remove your finger from the igniter, and the flame will continue to burn. There is a switch on the top of the torch that allows you to choose a single or double flame. When you are ready to turn the flame off, you will turn the switch on the torch's side to the off position.
The butane torch reaches a maximum temperature of 2100 degrees. When refilling the canister body of the torch, you will need to use a butane gas tank long universal tip.
7. Harnmor Kitchen Butane Torch
This butane kitchen torch by Harnmor is another refillable option on our list that is affordable, adjustable, and easy to use. What sets this butane torch apart from the rest are the additional nozzles that are included with the torch. These nozzles help refill the butane gas tank safely and as full as possible without any air pockets or waste.
The long nozzle is used to remove all of the air from the gas tank canister. This frees up all of the space in the tank so that you can fill the tank fully with the butane gas. Otherwise, there would be air pockets that take up much of the space in the canister tank, preventing it from being completely filled with butane.
When you are refilling the torch with butane, you will need to use a butane tank with a long universal tip to fit the refill valve on the torch.
The torch has a Piezo ignition, which allows it to be ignited with just one hand by pulling the ignition trigger on the torch. Once the ignition is lit, you can press the button on the side of the torch to continue burning. When you are done using the torch, you will push the igniter button to turn the flame off.
There is a sliding adjustable flame regulator on the side of the torch to adjust the size and temperature of the flame. The maximum temperature of the flame reaches 2372 degrees.
8. RAVS Kitchen Butane Torch
The RAVS kitchen butane torch is last on our list. It has a full copper body with a ceramic nozzle for comfort, cooling, and safety while you hold the butane torch.
There is a turn dial on the side of the torch to open the flame and allow it to be ignited. When the turn dial is turned all the way to the right, the ignition on the back of the torch can be pushed to light the flame. You can use the same turn dial on the side to adjust the flame intensity once it has been ignited. You will turn the dial completely left to turn the flame off.
To refill the butane gas tank canister, you will need to purchase a universal long tip can of butane fuel. The long tip will penetrate the gauge of the fuel canister. This will allow the canister to be filled with butane.
There is a wide base that the torch will sit on for additional safety when you need to set the torch down. The manufacturer has also included a pair of anti-scald barbeque gloves. The maximum temperature that the torch can reach is 2300 degrees.
Butane Torch Buying Guide: Features, Uses, and More!
Butane torches can have different designs and features that set them apart from one another. While the butane torch concept is generally the same (there is an extremely hot flame that is ignited from a handheld butane kitchen torch), there can be different safety features and designs that make each butane torch differ.
Butane torches can have various safety features, including a safety lock, finger guard, and a stable base.
A safety lock on the butane torch will need to be spun or pushed before the flame can be ignited. This adds a level of safety that will leave you to rest assured that the butane torch will not be inadvertently ignited.
If there is no safety lock on the torch, look at how the torch is ignited. If it has a trigger that has to be pulled to ignite the flame, it will likely require you to use some strength to pull the trigger. While this isn’t a true safety feature, it typically requires enough strength to ignite the flame that prevents the flame from being ignited inadvertently.
The butane torch may also have a finger guard or finger shield to protect your fingers from the heat of the flame while it is ignited. This will be a small piece of material that extends outward from the base of the canister that will act as a shield to protect your hand, especially your index finger, from the extreme heat of the flame.
You also may want to choose a butane torch that includes a stable base. The stable base will keep the butane torch standing upright as you sit it on the countertop when it is not in use. This adds an additional layer of protection because it will keep the butane torch standing upright rather than falling over onto the counter, causing you to grab the torch by the hot torch head.
Attachment Nozzle Torch Head vs. Refillable Canister
The butane torch will either be an attachment nozzle torch head or a refillable canister butane torch, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both options.
Attachment Nozzle Torch Head
An attachment nozzle torch head will connect directly onto the nozzle of the butane gas tank. The advantage of an attachment nozzle torch head is how easy it is to connect-and-go. Once you securely attach the torch head to the butane gas tank's nozzle, it is ready to use.
The disadvantage of an attachment nozzle torch head is that there is typically no safety finger guard or shields to protect the hand holding the butane torch from the excessive heat it is emitting.
Another disadvantage of an attachment nozzle torch head is that there is no base on the tank's body to keep it standing securely upright when the torch is not in use.
If protection is a priority, you may want to choose a refillable canister with added protection, like a safety lock, finger shield, or sturdy base.
A refillable canister butane torch has a refillable butane gas tank canister permanently attached to the torch head. The advantage of a refillable canister butane torch is that you typically have a variety of safety features, including a finger shield, safety lock, and sturdy base.
A refillable canister's disadvantage is that you have to refill the butane gas tank when it runs out. This can be a tedious or painstaking process, as you have to make sure you purchase the right type of butane gas canister to insert into the torch tank.
You may need to remove all of the air from the tank before filling the tank, then allow the butane to sit for a few seconds before topping the tank off. This can cut into your cook time if you are unaware that your butane torch has run out of fuel.
If you are using a refillable canister butane torch, you may want to choose a canister with a fuel gauge that will show you how much fuel is left in the canister. This will keep you from being caught off guard that your butane torch is low on fuel. At the same time, it can keep you from making an unnecessary butane gas can purchase when you don’t need to.
Not all dishes or drinks will need the highest heat possible. Some may require a low and slow burn, while others may need to be burned hot and fast. For this reason, you will want to choose a butane torch that has an adjustable flame.
There may be a sliding lever, a turn dial knob, or adjustable nozzle tip that will control the flame's size and temperature. Just make sure the butane torch you choose has an adjustable flame option so that you can adjust the size and temperature of the flame.
The butane torch will have an ignition button or trigger. This is what causes the flame to appear.
There are different types of ignitions that your butane torch will have. These include Piezo ignition triggers and quick-fire ignition buttons.
The Piezo ignition is an electric charge that occurs when there is high pressure or a strong impact. This electric charge ignites the butane fuel and creates the flame emitted from the nozzle of the butane torch.
A quick-fire ignition button is typically located on the back of the nozzle head. Most times, the gas will be released by turning the knob's dial on the back of the nozzle. Then you will press the quick-fire ignition button to light the flame.
Another feature you should consider is a butane torch that will create a constant flame, whether by pressing an additional button to continue the flame or having the ignition button create a constant flame until it is dialed all the way off.
A constant flame button will exponentially help reduce hand fatigue while holding the butane torch. Otherwise, you would have to hold the trigger or the button of the butane torch to keep the flame burning. This can cause your hand to tire quickly, making this a feature that is highly desirable in the kitchen while heating different dishes.
A butane torch can be used for more than just crystallizing sugar on creme brulee. You can sear meat, melt cheese, roast vegetables, roast marshmallows, and char wood for a smoky cocktail. The culinary possibilities are endless when you have a butane torch, and you don’t have to wait for an oven broiler to heat the dish. Just grab your torch, turn it on, and heat your dish.
Things to Consider When Buying a Butane Torch
- A butane torch burns at an incredible heat of over 2300 degrees in a matter of seconds. This makes the butane torch dangerous if it isn’t stored properly or if it winds up in the wrong hands.
- Always keep your butane torch stored in a cool location away from heat, direct sunlight, or other food and drink products.
- Make sure that no children can reach the butane torch. Even if the butane torch has a trigger or button that requires force to ignite the flame, a child may be able to ignite it anyway, burning themselves or dropping the butane torch and accidentally catching the area on fire.
- You will also want to make sure that you do not use the butane torch for more than 5 minutes at a time. Using the torch for long periods of time can cause damage to the butane torch or even yourself. Short bursts of heat is best for butane torches to keep them from becoming damaged and you from becoming injured. The good news is that most dishes only need to be heated for a couple of minutes at the most, so you should never have a situation where you would be using your butane torch for more than 5 minutes.
- Using too high of heat on food will cause what is known as torch taste. Torch taste is the unpleasant flavor you can taste typically after searing meat like steak or fatty meat. Sometimes, torch taste is unavoidable with these types of food, even when using a lower heat for shorter time periods. Torch taste typically cannot be tasted on sweet dishes, roasted vegetables, or creme brulee, so if you are searing a steak or fatty cut of meat, you may experience torch taste if you use the heat for too long.
A butane torch is a kitchen tool you should always have on hand. They are inexpensive, convenient, and extremely effective in finishing off any type of dish or dessert.