Photo of blow torches for sous vibe

The Five Best Blow Torches for Sous Vide Cooking

Sous vide is an excellent cooking method you can use to get tender meat. However, the exterior of that meat leaves something to be desired for those who enjoy firmness., sous vide cooking should be supplemented by a kitchen torch to address this limitation. Here are the five best blow torches for sous vide cooking.

A blow torch for your kitchen works to add a crispy exterior to your meat. The firm finish ensures a soft inside and a well-done outside. Below, we have a list of the best sous vide torches you can use to meet this goal. 

Five Best Blow Torches for Sous Vide 

Sondiko Butane Torch – The Best Overall

When we write this, Sondio holds the number one bestseller slot for cooking torches on Amazon. They do this by offering one of the highest quality products on the market. 

The flame is just perfect for blazing over your meat. It gives just enough flame for you to be confident in that seared outer texture. However, it isn’t too much fire to burn the meat. 

The adjustable flame knob is located on the back, allowing you to control levels easily. The grip is also suitable for many hand sizes. Others have used the more robust flame features for resin or melting glass. Our preference is to use it for melting cheese.

The only pain behind this one is that it doesn’t take the most popular butane tanks. As a result, filling it can be somewhat annoying. 

It has an adjustable flame that is easy to use.The butane tanks needed to refill it are non-standard.
The maximum temperature doesn’t burn the meat.It can be somewhat hard to refill.
No additional tools are needed for ignition.
Best Blow Torches for Sous Vide Cooking Reviews

SearPro Powerful Cooking Torch –  Great at Searing Meat

Among propane torches, the Searpro is something of a mustang. It’s a big, beefy kitchen torch that sears meat very well. The large capacity tank is a bit unwieldy but covers a broad base. 

It’s a powerful hand torch suitable for starting campfires, roasting peppers, and everything in between. The power behind this is a bit much at first, but you’ll find yourself growing to love it if you like hefty tools. 

For a culinary torch, this thing is a bit too hefty for creme brulee. The flame is adjustable and easy to control, just too beefy for most uses. 

But for sous vide, it’s the perfect steak searing machine. Its also suitable for fish, chicken, and vegetables.  

This powerful hand torch can light your campfire.Too beefy for lighter jobs.
Great at lighting charcoal on the grill.A bit awkward to handle with large size.
Consistent temperature for searing steaks.
Best Blow Torches for Sous Vide Cooking Reviews

 Iwatani Culinary Butane Torch – A Powerful Chef-Quality Torch

On the other end of power comes the Iwani PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch. This smaller flame is about average size but potent enough for starting charcoal and searing meat. 

Having this full flame also gives it the same problem as the Searpro: too much power. Some have compared it to using a flamethrower. 

This torch is the same quality you might expect from professional chefs. As a result of its commercial-grade feel, it’s pretty intimidating and hefty. 

You can tell that Iwatani put a lot of care into this product, as they made it with high-quality material. It takes standard cassette-type butane tanks and has excellent maximum heat output. 

It is a commercial quality torch.Its flame is a bit much for most uses.
It uses standard butane tanks.It’s a bit pricey compared to other options.
It has a stand for easy placement.
Best Blow Torches for Sous Vide Cooking Reviews

Flameturn Kitchen Butane Cooking Torch Attachment – For Those Who Want Reach

Before buying this, note that this is an adapter that connects torch heads and propane tanks. It is also compatible with butane connections, but the product has confused buyers because of how it is written. 

The hose adapter makes your current kitchen torch suitable for outdoor grilling. It also provides greater reach in the case of awkward kitchens. 

This torch attachment is meant to make things easier. It helps avoid accidental ignitions and works well with many of the butane torches on this list. As an attachment, it also functions as an extended handle. It also supplies flame stability for a continuous fuel source. 

Provides excellent stability when connecting fuel sources to torches.Not necessary with many torches.
Works with the most potent torches.Listing often causes confusion.
Made with high-quality temperature resistant material.
Best Blow Torches for Sous Vide Cooking Reviews

Hovico Butane Torch Kitchen Blow Lighter – The Budget Option 

If you don’t have a lot of money to throw around, Hovico has the solution. The flame size behind this is much more reasonable. However, it is a bit too limited for other uses. 

Much like earlier options, it has an easily adjustable control flame knob. Because it is smaller, it isn’t chef certified, but the manufacturer has made it with some level of care. 

As a searing torch, you’ll need to purchase your butane; there are better options on the market. But this is the torch lighter for those on a budget. It’s solid and gets the job done and a much lower price than its competitors. 

It is easy to control the flame size.Flame is a bit too small for some uses.
It’s better for detail-oriented work .It is noticeably cheaper on construction.
Suitable for smaller sous-vide projects.
Best Blow Torches for Sous Vide Cooking Reviews

What You Need To Know Before Buying a Torch for Sous Vide

Avoiding “Torch Taste” When Buying Culinary Torches

A big concern when buying a butane torch is when you taste the flavor of the torch. Because neither butane nor propane tastes excellent, you’ll need a torch that doesn’t have torch taste.

A promising sign you’ll avoid this unwanted flavor comes back to the heat of the flame. If the flame burns hot, it will burn away any potential fluid from reaching your steak. 

However, you’ll want to pay attention to the construction of the butane orch to determine its quality. Any potential leakage results in you possibly tasting your butane fluid. 

Avoid a standard blow torch that isn’t made for cooking as well. A dark blue flame is also a good sign your torch is suitable. 

The Temperature Range of Your Kitchen Torch

The temperature range of your torch should vary based on the adjustable knob. Ideally, you’ll want a torch that can output about 2500 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Some torches can output up to 3500 Fahrenheit, an incredibly high temperature. However, the maximum heat output should never exceed this level. 

There’s rarely any reason for you to get to that level. For a beginner-friendly torch, stick to those with an easy-to-control and adjustable output. 

The Size and Shape of Your Torch 

The SearPro torch, our second on the list, is an excellent example of how size and shape can sometimes be beneficial. SearPro offers something suitable for fireplaces and campsites, making them great for thick cuts of meat. 

More enormous torches are also better for charring peppers, warming tortillas, and other heavy-duty items. Small torches make you feel safer, but giant torches are where professionals say you should be

Finding a Torch With Good Consistency 

While bigger is better, another focus you’ll want to keep in mind is finding a torch with good consistency. The consistency of a torch comes in its ability to create a steady flame. All the torches on this list are known for that in one way or another. 

A constant flow of fire will allow you to have an even sear on your steak. This feature is often the difference between a proper sear and a burnt mess. 

Professional chefs with a great deal of control prefer more giant flames because it saves them time in the kitchen. But a smaller, more controlled flame might be better for beginners.

Also, look for torches with a swirl flame that spread along the entirety of the meat. The swirling flame is great for covering a consistent area. 

Butane or Propane: Which is the Better Fuel? 

A beginner-friendly gas sounds a bit silly, but those who have seared using a torch before will tell you otherwise. 

The overall winner in this category is butane gas. Butane is far more portable than propane. Most times, it’s also easier to switch out, as there are many standardized butane cartridges. 

Butane also isn’t known to change the flavor of food.

Propane comes in larger containers, making it more challenging to move around. This isn’t a problem if you have a hose and plan on finishing your sous vide outdoors. 

A third option, MAPP gas, is a mixture of methyl-acetylene and propadiene. Many professional chefs use MAPP gas due to higher temperatures. That means more time saved in the kitchen. 

Because MAPP gas is more expensive, butane is still the preferred option. It’s also banned in welding operations (just as a bit of trivia point) due to high levels of hydrogen. 

Safety Features in Your Kitchen Torch

When buying a butane torch, the safety features are the same across the board. Here are some things you should look out for:

  • An included safety lock to prevent accidental ignition
  • A finger guard to prevent your finger from being burnt
  • An extended nozzle to separate your hands and the fire 
  • A heat-resistant material 
  • An easy-to-understand adjustment knob
  • An intensity trigger to control the level of flame 

The safest option on this list is our number one vote. Regardless, all of the culinary torches on this list are solid in the safety department. 

Sous Vide Torch FAQs

How Do You Sear Meat Sous Vide With A Torch?

Before searing,  ensuring that the surface of whatever you are searing is dry. A wet surface will just boil the outside, not providing you with that crispy exterior. 

Pad it down with a paper towel, flip it, and repeat. Once you’ve done that, begin hitting it with the torch as soon as it comes out. After the outside is a golden-brown texture, your meat is seared. 

Should You Sear the Meat Before or After The Sous Vide Process?

Professionals tell you that the best time to sear the meat is before the process. This allows any of the flavor and juices to be retained in the meat you are searing. 

After this, you can add seasoning to the meat, but you’ll want to wait for it to normalize in temperature. Sous vide has the excellent potential of taking advantage of the seasoning, as it will be sitting in the bag with the seasoning for some time. 

Can You Overcook a Sous Vide? 

It is easier to undercook sous vide than overcook. Still, overcooking the meat is a possibility, which is why you should remove the food from your sous vide bag as soon as it comes out. 

Recall that a butane torch being taken to the outside will raise the core temperature of your meat. As a result, you’ll want to slightly account for the higher temperature by waiting until the core temperature reduces. 

Failure to do that results in a more significant potential for overcooked meat. 

A Closer Look at Sous Vide Torch Brands 

This review has gone through a wide variety of brands on thi list. Below, we’ll review those brands to let you know where they come from:

  • Sondiko – Sondiko is an Amazon-based brand known for producing high-quality torches. They’ve also expanded into making bread baskets and grow lights, giving their customers a wide range of products as a result.
  • SearPro – Brent Frazey, the owner of SearPro, used to be a helicopter pilot. About two years ago, he got interested in the sous vide cooking method. His response was to create a monster searing machine rather than rely on weak torches.
  • Iwatani – Iwatani can trace its origins back to 1903. Since then, they have grown in the food prep and fueling industries to include over 250 companies. They thrive on the legacy of their founder: Naoji Iwatani.
  • Flameturn – Flameturn (or Flamturn depending on where you look) is a small Amazon company specializing in hose adapters. There’s not much known about them, given their smaller size. 
  • Hovico – Hovico is another small Amazon company known for selling a wide variety of kitchen supplies. 

There is a wide range of company sizes here, but all of them put out solid products.  

Wrap Up

As a reminder, our favorite culinary torch for sous vide is the Sondiko Butane Torch. It provides the best overall quality, making products that are great for beginners with a torch. If you want to get into sous vide, Sondiko has an excellent start for you.

If you are looking for something with a bit more meat, SearPro would probably be better. Otherwise, we have a wide range of products on this list. Some appeal to budgets. Others are better for adapting to propane tanks. 

If you think any of the products could be suitable for your needs, please consider clicking on one of our affiliate links. With these links, we can continue to produce content to help you cook. Thanks for reading!

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