which Creme brulee torch??

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by tdurden, Dec 19, 2009.

  1. tdurden

    tdurden

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    I've been looking around to see which torch i should get, some suggested the torches from hardware stores, i found a couple online, like the BonJour Pro Torch with Fuel Gauge

    what are some other good brands that i should check out? what do you guys use?

    thanks
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    If you don't need styling, but want real, professional performance, it's hard to beat the Iwatani CB-TC-Pro for kitchen work.

    I bought one a few months ago after my Bernz of many years died. The next day, we were at a restaurant supply in Monterey Park to get something else, and there were the Iwatanis right at the check-out line. Kismet, right?

    I bought one for $27, plus three extra refills (3 refills, $3) each of which lasts more than 6 hours -- not to mention the refills are a "universal type" and are widely and inexpensively available at sporting good, hardware and restaurant supply stores.

    Dude! That thing is so much better than the Bernz for kitchen work, cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. Far better than I thought it would be.

    It's light years better than torches like the Bonjour with their slick styling, and slim, few-minute butane supplies -- which seems more oriented to Food TV viewers than serious cooks.

    Ask yourself: Do I really care if the butane tank is cute? le

    Compared to the old-school plumbing torches, it's safe, self-starting, adjustable air; adjustable gas; and for no apparent reason, less than half the price of the other self-starting adjustables. No, it doesn't have interchangeable tips and it's not a good choice for welding. Probably good for defrosting pipes, though.

    If you want a tool and not a toy, get the Iwatani.

    BDL

    PS (added on edit). I try not to gush about my own choices, especially equipment choices, and rereading the post was embarassing.

    But the Iwatani really is heads and shoulders better than the "gourmet" pretend-tools and a lot cheaper than the big-deal torches. It's worth the gush.

    My pro friends tell me they dominate the pro kitchen scene. If you ask me, it's for good reasons. It's not only the last torch you'll ever need, $3 worth of gas should last you years. That is, unless you're using the torch to start the charcoal in your Q -- which it's powerful enough to do.
     
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Haven't seen the Iwatani, but the general message is there: Forget about those silly things sold as brulee torches in the gourmet shops. They're a joke.

    Or, if you insist, I'll make you a good deal on a Lenk.

    Being as I don't do any welding---or even soldering---in the kitchen, an assortment of heads isn't necessary (and I would have gotten a unit that handles Maps gas anyway).

    I just went with the ACE brand. It's self-igniting with an angle adjustment, and uses standard propane cans. As I recall (this was a couple of years ago) it came with a bottle of gas, and cost something like 16 bucks.

    Keep in mind that in addition to bruleeing, torches like this have many other uses. You can, for instance, easily char peppers, or help ignite a charcoal fire, or brown crumb toppings, or.....

    Virtually any propane torch does the job better than any "brulee" torch I've ever seen. And the ACE serves me just fine.
     
  4. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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  5. tdurden

    tdurden

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    It says the torch only uses their iwatani canisters, what if I can't find one when I need it...or does it take other canisters as well or they just did that to get you to buy their stuff?
     
  6. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    It takes other canisters. It takes the same push on canisters which fuel butane camping stoves.

    BDL
     
  7. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    The canisters are the 8 ounce ones used for the portable butane burners and are readily available at restaurant supply stores, camping stores, and on the internet.

    The "key"? The burner uses BUTANE, not propane!
     
  8. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Since I do hundreds at a time, I am compelled to go with my Bernz unit, although at times I wish I had an arc weld unit for speed.
     
  9. hotchpotch

    hotchpotch

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    Bernz is the way to go, cheaper, faster, better and multi-uses.

    I have an eccentric friend (ex- pâtissier) who owns a multitude of these little gizmo torches including the ones mentioned here. At home he actually likes the BonJour Chef’s the best, he says it has more controllability and gives the most consistent results.

    To each his own, just give me my bernz.
     
  10. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Hotchpotch,

    You wrote: [Emphasis added]

    If you're calling the Iwatani a "little gizmo torch," you (and perhaps your friend the eccentric) are very mistaken. It is a professional size and duty cycle torch made expressly for commercial kitchen use.

    If you differentiate the Iwatani from any of the Bernz torches, other than in fuel load capacity, and their practicality for soldering and other non-food related uses, I'd be very interested to hear what those distinctions are. For instance, if you make use of the interchangeable tip options of some of the more expensive Bernzes, what do you use the different tips for?

    As it happens, I had a Bernz for years (decades, actually), which was bought as a multi-tip kit from a plumbing store, and only used one tip for all the food operations. The old Bernz was neither adjustable nor was it self-igniting.

    My new Iwatani is not only adjustable, it's adjustable both for gas and air; it's self igniting; and is less than half the price of a Bernz with comparable features. FWIW, the Iwatani gets 7 hours of burn time to a $1 fuel load -- which is a far better time/money value than any of the Bernz torches.

    In fact, when the Bernz finally died, I only bought the Iwatani, "over my dead body," at my wife's insistence. I didn't begin to appreciate it how much better it is than what we had until using it. The Iwatani is a simpler and more convenient torch than an inexpensive Bernz like the TS 3000 (do they still make it?) or TS4000, and far less expensive to use than a more expensive Bernz like the TS7000 or TS8000. And with an air adjustment, which none of the Bernzes have, it's more flexible in use too.

    I have a fair idea of what Ed's talking about, and although I may have my own thoughts about doing 500 brulees at a time, I don't have the experience to make it worthwhile to express them. And for all I know, Ed uses the head with a flexible hose between the torch and tank; or some other special Bernz tip or feature. In any case, Ed's a special guy.

    But the reasoning behind your "Bernz is the best" post, insofar as it relates to the Iwatani -- if it does at all -- baffles. Just wondering what your thoughts are; or, if you even included the Iwatani in your comparison.

    BDL
     
  11. duckfat

    duckfat

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    I load them on sheet pans and do them under the broiler when I have a bunch. Either that or I call maintenance and they roll over the acetylene torch. :lol:
     
  12. hotchpotch

    hotchpotch

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    BDL,

    A little attached to our torch are we? :lol:

    As I said at the end of my post: "to each his own", it appears that this little gizmo (whoops sorry), highly professional torch has become part of your identity, you've reacted like I called your child stupid and ugly.

    I didn't mean any offense, just trying to offer a different opinion. :peace:

    It is just an opinion after all, kind of like enjoying the ballet, some people love it others find it boring, but we are entitled to our opinions and neither one is necessarily right or wrong.

    Personally I own a torch it works just fine and see no reason to buy another one, when it does die, which I have a hard time imagining it will before I die then I might look into the different models out there, until them I am content.

    SIDEBAR: You didn't see me pushing a certain model, I simply suggested a brand name that makes a myriad of torches that work very well, I am not attached to my gizmo and feel no need to say you need the exact one I use, besides I somehow doubt they even make the model I have anymore.

    My friend is eccentric in the fact that he buys every new torch that he finds. He collects them like some people collect matchbooks. He has also used them for decades, much more than I have, he has his likes and dislikes and to him, FOR HOME USE, he prefers the BonJour model. As I said in my very small OP, he enjoys the control and consistency it gives him.

    How did he come to this conclusion, I am just assuming that it is his personal choice and opinion that this is the best for HIS uses and I think that after 45 years using torches professionally in the kitchen he is allowed, as I am and you are, to his own opinion, no matter how eccentric it is. :thumb:

    Cheers.
     
  13. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Hotchpotch,

    No need to defend your opinion from me, I was just trying to understand it.

    From your post, I take it you have no experience with, and no opinion of the Iwatani. Further, that you neither expressed nor implied a comparison with the Iwatani, your friend's BonJour, and/or your (unnamed model) Bernz.

    BTW, is yours propane or poly? Which do you think is best for a home cook, and why?

    BDL
     
  14. hotchpotch

    hotchpotch

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    BDL,

    Sorry for the delay, I emailed rene (eccentric friend) so I could get his exact answer as to why he preferred the Bonjour.

    As for your other queries

    I have only clicked on the Iwatani and played with the adjustments at rene’s house, I have NO actual time using it on products.

    Mine is propane, I have read the debates about propane leaving a noticeable odor or taste on food but personally find that claim specious after having done a comparison many years ago with other chefs between a 100% butane vs 100% propane torch. (We are a weird bunch of guys, we do things like blind tasting’s and other strange stuff).

    My torch is not a secret either; it’s a very basic flexible tube that’s attached to the propane canister. It has two adjustments, air and gas and has no fancy electronic ignition and to be honest I don’t use it very much. The other day I browned one chicken out of my wanna be home sous-vide setup under a torch and one under my infrared broiler, the torch could get the in the folds but for some reason (mental maybe) I liked the looks of the broiler one better, slightly more natural, less perfect, maybe I’m strange, it was sous-vide after all.

    On to Rene, his answer was pretty straight forward; he uses a torch for a lot of delicate work, many times with frozen products and sugar creations where he needs a very delicate and pin-point accurate flame. He said that the Bonjour model was the best around for those applications. He did say that for general cooking applications that require bigger hotter flames he would use something else. So it may all boil down to how and what we use ours on.

    Hope that answers your questions.

    Enjoy the holidays!
     
  15. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    weird bunch of guys, we do things like blind tasting’s

    Only thing weird about blind tastings, Hopscotch, is how infrequently they are done.

    Might have something to do with how often they turn sacred cows into chop meat. Amazing how many times somebody is adement about A vs B, until trying a blind taste test and discovering they couldn't tell the difference.

    I've got a list, I do.....
     
  16. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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    This kind of talk brings back memories of my audio forum days. All the arguments concerning Double blind testing often got highly heated! "You" cooking people are pretty tame ;)

    Thanks for bringing a chuckle to my day KYH :lol:

    dan
     
  17. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Sometime ago I used the Rabbis big propane torch, the one that he koshers everything with .It worked really good could do 6 at a time. Naturally rabbi was not around.
     
  18. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    I remember them. Disciples of Bob Carver and his $5 switcher vs the world. Possibly the "dirtiest" piece of electronics ever. Those guys were seriously nuts, and most packed a fundamental misunderstanding of nearly every branch of math, science or engineering whose jargon they spouted.

    Very similar outlook to the audio writer, Julian Hirsh, who claimed all amplifiers sounded the same. Or to it more fairly, if it measures the same it must be the same.

    Unfortunately Hirsh's claim was made without regard to numerous possibilities. For instance, that not all relevant paramaters were accurately measured or even measured at all; or that those things which were measured may not have been important. And more importantly they denied the importance of the listner's experience. In short, they confused relatively meaningless numbers with objective empiricism.

    The same is very much true for the "double bind" proponents. All "double blind" meant to them was that they were free to ignore the responses of tens of thousands of people who "claimed" they (we, actually) could make valid distinctions even if we knew what equipment was playing at the time.

    Double blind," indeed! Double deaf is more like it.

    It may or may not be of interest to know that VTL actually makes a clean and usable switcher which isn't much more complicated than Bob's.

    BDL

    PS. Dan, I don't know how far back your audio memory goes, but in the late 90s and early 0s I owned Pure Logic, did all of their inventing and kludging, and was most of the other employees too. If you don't remember, and even if you do, Pure Logic manufactured (among other things) Raj cables -- they were the "tunable" ones.
     
  19. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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    LOL!

    Those are exactly the days. That is hilarious :lol: I haven't thought about some of those guys (mtry, eyespy, etc.) for a long time. Back when AA and AR (forums) were at battle.

    I've read about various careers that you've held within your lifetime and I have to ask you to post a time-line of the different jobs that you've had and projects that you've contributed to. Post it here, an e-mail, at your blog site...somewhere. I'm beginning to think you're either the man in the Dos Equis commercials or nearly three hundred years old.

    I remember reading reviews on the Raj cables but never tried or seen them in person. I was a tubehead for a long time (still am really. Go triode guild!) But I'm actually tri-amping (quad if you count my IB sub that I've yet to finish) my DIY EdgarHorns (tractrix) with SS power run by a DEQx-p. For starters ;) Of course my brother has one of my amps on loan until I get his amp done...the kids just take up too much time for me to finish the last amp. Boy do I have to get that thing done...

    Anyways...

    I use my MAPP torch for all things culinary. What can I say? I've had to do light plumbing in the past and it does a bang up job lighting the lump in my kettle or smoker. *I don't do desserts to often*


    dan
     
  20. mikelm

    mikelm

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    Funny and interesting discussion here.

    I'm a Bernz man, myself. I've done most of the maintenance/remodelling on a series of houses - and several investment properties, including a 13,000 sqft warehouse - for the last 45 years. I'm out of the copper plumbing biz now, but my trusty Bernz is stored under the kitchen sink for my cremes brulee!

    Maybe if I put the MAPP tank on, the brulees would go faster! :rolleyes:

    Mike :cool: