Looking for a torch for charring veggies, meringue, creme brule, etc.

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Joined Dec 30, 2015
There was a discussion about torches back in 2009. I knew nothing about torches but learned that Iwatani is good and that butane is good. (BenzOmatic looks like something that belongs in a machine shop.)

This Itwani looked good until I read the 1, 2, and 3 star reviews. They talk about a product that quickly breaks, or isn't hot enough, or is cranky, or was sturdier in its earlier iteration.

Has anything changed in the past 10 years? Is Iwatani still a reliable recommendation for a home cook? Should I consider a more expensive model? Or, maybe reconsider Benz?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Joined Jan 9, 2019
Purchased an "Iregro" Japanese clone from Amazon (can't seem to post the link)
Works very well for me..but if you run it over 5 minutes, the base (screw on part) gets extremely hot.
I think it's because of the butane pre-heating tube runs some of the heat back - which means you can actually use it upside-down after 15 seconds or so.
Let it cool after use, as it DO get hot! (lots of ceramics).
Tried an Asian/Russian eBay clone... THAT was scary!
Slightest movement would cause huge flare-ups! {and cheap rubber pinch seal for gas control}..Aeeiii!
 
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Gotta say, Bernzomatic may look uglier than granny’s panties, but it performs better than any micro torch. Most come with auto ignition, which is very handy. The other handy thing is you don’t have to futz around with recharging the butane tank every ten minutes of use. Mind you I’m prejudiced, working in large kitchens where I have to torch 50-120 creme brûlée’s every night, —assuming the salad/cold guy doesn’t “borrow” it to torch whole tuna loins....

Still, If you want to go the micro torch route, Lee Valley tools (www.leevalley.com) sells one that won’t leak or blow up.
 
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Lol @foodpump! Granny's panties may have turned into bikini bottoms.

Benzomatic seems to have jumped into the micro torch business, and this little Benz looks good. It's not even the smallest one! It won't brulee 50+ of anything, but it does feature a push button igniter and seems suited to light use.

And then I found this one on the Lee Valley site. And, how about this one, that will stay lit for an hour! Great site, BTW. Thank you!

So, I will pick up one of these and hope it won't go belly up in the middle of making something.

Do NOT want an Iregro for sure!
 
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Joined Jan 9, 2019
Again, any unit that plops on top of a large (227g) butane can is more reliable than any refillable, IMHO.
Gone through umpteen refillable small units..found they were always gutless ..and WILL eventually leak/crap out.
Still not doing propane, 'cause I find there's a skunky taste/smell that I don't care for on my food ..(ethyl mercaptan in the propane)
There's supposedly mercaptan in butane also..but have never smelled it in the cheap "buck a can" Asian stuff!) ;-)
 
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