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From torching meringue to roasting peppers, from finishing a creme brulee to starting a campfire or grill, a high-quality kitchen torch is a must for any gourmet home chef.
But the range of brands and styles available is about as expansive as the list of tricks this tool can perform.
Does choosing which one is right for you really need to be so complicated?
To help you sort through the options, we’ve researched dozens of models and selected our top 9 favorites.
Among these models, the temperature of the flames produced can reach up to 4000°F. Given that the highest temperature most oven broilers reach is around 500°F, this is an insane number!
So there is no denying that they will get your food broiled. Fast.
This is ideal for more delicate desserts that need to be broiled without completely melting them like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Creamy custards such as creme brulee or sugary desserts like marshmallows are both examples of delicate desserts that need a quick sear from the flame without ruining their final texture and appearance.
There are two different styles of torches from which to choose – we’ll discuss both the refillable cartridges and the torch heads that screw onto a bottle of butane.
Each style has its own perks, and which design you choose will depend on what you find the most comfortable to use.
Read on to discover the details of each of our tip picks!
9 of the Best Kitchen Torches for Home Use
Overall, the refillable models are smaller, easier to grasp, and a bit less scary than the torch heads – ideal for beginners!
The base handle contains a cartridge that holds a small amount of fuel, typically butane.
Be aware that the cartridge is intentionally empty upon delivery, for safety reasons. You will have to fill the cartridge with gas before using it for the first time.
Filling and refilling this type of kitchen torch is generally the same across different models:
After locating the gas valve, which is typically found on the bottom of the tool’s base, you then turn it upside down and attach your model’s recommended type of gas canister.
Depending on the type and size of the gas canister, you may or may not need an adapter to properly and safely connect it to the valve.
When attached, the gas will then begin transferring from the gas canister into the cartridge in the base of the kitchen torch. As soon as it has filled, turn it back right side up so it’s standing and allow it to rest for a few minutes before lighting.
Some models provide a gauge on the handle that shows how much fuel remains – helpful for those who wish to get an idea of how much fuel they are using and to see how much is left before needing to refill.
On the downside, the cartridges can be frustrating to refill. And for those who like to sear or caramelize their grub regularly, they must be refilled often due to the smaller volume of this style of torch.
Directions are typically provided on both the fuel and the torches to describe the proper procedure for refilling. Please follow these directions closely to ensure a successful and safe transfer of gas.
Here are our top picks in this category:
Bella Tavola Mini
The Bella Tavola Mini Torch from Wall Lenk is quite possibly the least intimidating model on the market!
If you don’t want to have to deal with the terror of handling a large appliance attached to a seemingly huge gas canister that spews powerful flames like a power-hungry dragon, opt for this smaller and incredibly approachable design.
Bella Tavola Mini Torch, available on Sur La Table
This little cutie is ideal to whip out to finish a perfect batch of creme brulee, melt shredded cheese, or simply light a couple candles to set the mood for dinner.
It is made of plastic and aluminum, weighs 3.2 ounces, and is 4.5 inches in length, 1.25 inches in width, and 7.5 inches in height. It reaches a maximum temperature of 2400°F.
The windproof and waterproof ignition system offers the perfect travel-sized replacement for matchsticks or spark lighters. It also features a child-resistant latch underneath the trigger.
With a continuous/off switch located on the side of the torch head, you have the option to create a continuous flame when ignited. You can also adjust the intensity of the flame by using the gas adjustment dial.
The Bella Tavola Mini is available from the manufacturer in green, orange, purple, red, blue, or black. On Sur La Table’s website, this model is currently offered in red or black plastic.
Bella Tavola BT-15 1.5-ounce butane canisters, available on Amazon
The cartridge will need to be refilled with butane fuel. You can refill this device with most brands of butane canisters, or you can purchase butane canisters from Bella Tavola, if preferred. Bella Tavola sells 1.5-ounce canisters of their own name-brand “BT-15” butane, available now on Amazon.
You can also purchase a combo pack on Amazon that includes both the torch and one “BT-15” canister. Four different appliance color options are currently available on Amazon.
The gas valve for filling is located on the bottom of the base. And a 1-year warranty is included with this model.
Check customer reviews and prices at Sur La Table now.
The BonJour Chef’s Creme Brulee Torch is a small aluminum torch. The body of the appliance is a light gray color.
Don’t be fooled by the name – while it is definitely ideal for preparing creme brulee, it can be used for all sorts of other browning and melting purposes, such as browning meringue or twice-baked potatoes, and melting cheese on top of French onion soup.
BonJour Chef’s Creme Brulee Torch, available on Amazon
It is powered by standard butane fuel. Butane canisters are not included with purchase, and will need to be bought separately. You will need to manually fill the kitchen torch with the fuel, and refill it as needed.
This product measures 4.5 inches in length, 2.17 inches in width, and 6.6 inches in height, and it weighs 0.76 pounds.
It features an anti-flare flame, a fuel window to gauge how much butane remains in the canister, an ergonomic handle, a removable stand, and a safety lock that allows users to create a continuous flame without holding any buttons.
You are able to adjust the flame length by moving the flame adjustment slide, as well as the flame width by pushing the air control lever. Both controls are found on the head.
According to the FAQ page on the company’s website, BonJour states that this model will operate for an average of three hours after a refill, depending on the size of the flame.
The manufacturer claims the temperature of the flame produced ranges from 2012 to 2822°F, though verified Amazon customers argued that it veers towards the lower end of this range.
This particular BonJour tool falls under the company’s quality assurance guarantee, a promise that the product will be free of defects at the time of purchase. If found to be defective upon opening the package, you can return it with your proof of purchase and they will replace the tool or give you a full refund.
You may contact BonJour via their website, or by calling their Consumer Relations Department.
Jo Chef Super RX
Jo Chef’s Super RX Kitchen Torch provides another approachable and easy-to-operate choice for any home chef, with an adjustable flame strength that can reach a temperature of 2370°F.
The bright red colors of the ignition button, adjustable flame dial, and safety lock – all located on the head of the torch – indicate the important parts of the tool.
Jo Chef Super RX Kitchen Torch with 2 butane canisters, available on Amazon
There is a small gauge window with a “MAX” line that helps you clearly see the amount of fuel that is in the cartridge, a useful feature that prevents you from having to guess how much (or how little) fuel is inside.
The cartridge holds 0.88 ounces of gas, and has a burning time of up to 35 minutes.
In order to refill, you need to remove the plastic stand from the base and connect a butane canister to the gas valve located on the bottom.
You can purchase butane canisters separately, or you can purchase one of the sets that Jo Chef provides, with the torch and 1 to 5 canisters of their own name-brand butane fuel.
The torch measures 1.7 inches in width, 5.1 inches in length, and 7 inches in height, and it weighs 1.32 pounds.
The nozzle and body are made of aluminum and zinc, while the other sections are made of reinforced nylon.
Jo Chef offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, and a 1-year warranty to customers who sign up for a free Jo Chef VIP club membership on the company website.
Read customer reviews and check all purchasing options on Amazon.
The Messermeister Cheflamme Culinary Torch is a sleek aluminum model with a silver color that reaches a temperature of 2000°F and can burn for 200 minutes of use per 9 ounces of butane.
Messermeister is now a 100% woman-owned company that began in Germany in the early 1980s as a source of premium German cutlery. It has since expanded internationally to manufacture and sell new and innovative culinary kitchenware items, such as kitchen torches.
Messermeister Cheflamme Culinary Torch, available on Sur La Table
The Messermeister Cheflamme torch balances high quality with a reasonable price, making it the ideal choice for those who favor the refillable canister style.
It has an on/off lock that serves as both a child safety feature and a continual flame feature, so you can operate it with the flame constantly on without holding down any buttons. The adjustable temperature dial allows for a variety of flame intensities.
While it can burn for up to 200 minutes, some verified customers on Amazon.com noted that the butane burned much more quickly than they expected on the highest heat setting.
This model measures 3 inches in width, 6.75 inches in length, and 10.5 inches in height. It weighs 4.8 ounces. Messermeister also makes a mini version.
As with many of the other models recommended here, butane is not included with your purchase, and will need to be bought separately.
Messermeister guarantees product satisfaction. If you are unsatisfied with the product, you may return it for an exchange or refund. Credit will be issued back through your original payment method if returned within 30 days.
The Rosle Kitchen Torch reaches a temperature of up to 2372°F.
It has a steel, silver-colored canister in the center, with a white plastic base and head, and a steel nozzle. The buttons and adjustment settings are made of dark gray plastic.
It weighs about 11 ounces, and measures 5 by 3.5 by 6.7 inches.
Rosle Kitchen Torch, available on Sur La Table
It features an adjustable gas dial to regulate the flame size, depending on your needs and comfort level, as well as a childproof safety switch. A continuous operation setting is available for ease of use, and the manufacturer claims each refill of the canister lasts for up to 1 full hour of burn time.
A topple-free base allows users to keep it standing in a sturdy, upright position when not in use.
It’s easy to fill and refill the empty cartridge with any commonly available lighter gas, such as butane or propane. You will need to remove the stand base on the bottom to access the gas valve.
Though most of the products sold by Rosle have a lifetime warranty, the company website confirms that purchase of their kitchen torch only includes a 5-year warranty, due to some of its mechanical components.
Amazon.com and a few other websites where this product is sold mistakenly list a lifetime warranty for it, but please be aware that this is incorrect.
The torch head type is precisely what it sounds like – a head that must be screwed onto a fuel canister for use.
In my opinion, this variety is simpler to use than the refillable models, since it attaches directly to the fuel source without the steps involved in frequently refilling empty canisters from a separate fuel supply.
But some home cooks are not comfortable holding a full bottle of fuel while they work. Admittedly, it can be intimidating to use a piece of equipment that may also be used on construction sites!
Makes you feel like a culinary version of MacGyver…
While most of the refillable options are small and easy to grasp (and, yes, far less intimidating), the actual fuel canisters used as the base for the heads are generally bigger.
Butane canisters can be about 6 inches tall, but propane gas canisters for larger torch heads can reach a foot tall, and may be bulky to hold.
Because you are handling an entire bottle of a flammable gas, please be incredibly cautious when using and storing your canisters, making sure they are stored upright and away from any heat, gas, or fire source.
Once you move past the initial shock of the gas canister size, and get used to holding it, the torch head versions are ideal if you brulee foods often, or you are shopping for a stronger fire source for outdoor use like grilling and campfires.
These types are often used in restaurant kitchens, where the fast-paced demand of platings for large volumes of customers necessitates reliable, long-lasting equipment.
The heads that attach to whole gas canisters are more effective, more consistent, and they do outlast the smaller refillable canisters, especially when used on a regular basis.
Read on for our top choices in this category.
The Bernzomatic TS8000T Max Performance Torch is mainly marketed as a gas-powered construction torch, designed for soldering, brazing, heat-treating, and welding.
While it is one the best choices for plumbers and welders, Bernzomatic also points out that it is a smart choice for restaurant and home chefs.
Bernzomatic Max Performance Torch, available on Amazon
And this brand has definitely been a staple in most of the restaurant kitchens where I have worked!
From plumbers to cooks to pyromaniacs, this is a phenomenal option.
Torches that are marketed for culinary applications, such as those in the refillable canister category, are designed to be more home-friendly. They are typically smaller with a limited amount of gas storage and strength.
However, with the Benzomatic TS8000T’s large, optimized swirl flame that provides maximum heat output, a chef can have maximum power for the most efficient and effective use when flaming food.
The flame can also be adjusted from a low, gentle flame up to a flame with high intensity that can melt even metal. It is perfect for tasks as simple as browning marshmallows or as intense as searing meat.
As verified via a phone call with a Bernzomatic customer service representative, the head trigger is compatible only with MAP-Pro or propane gas cylinders specifically designed for use with hand torches. Butane is used for smaller devices only, and it should not be used with this particular high-intensity trigger.
For the best results, Bernzomatic does recommend using the head trigger with one of the company’s branded MAP-Pro or propane fuel cylinders, such as their 14.1-ounce MAP-Pro Hand Torch Cylinder or their 14.1-ounce Propane Fuel Cylinder.
Bernzomatic 14.1-ounce MAP-Pro Cylinder, 2-pack, available on Amazon
The flame temperature can reach 3730°F, about 1000 degrees higher than most of the other models reviewed in this article, and the company claims their product offers a faster heat transfer than traditional propane gas cylinders.
One verified customer on Amazon excitedly noted that it “sears meat like a dragon,” applauding the power of this high-intensity tool.
The head has a cast aluminum body for durability, and features an instant on/off trigger igniter for simple one-handed operation. It also includes a lock button so users have the option to keep it lit for finger-free use.
This model measures 1.91 by 5.25 by 12.25 inches, and it weighs 1.2 pounds.
The Bernzomatic TS8000T can be used with a handheld broiler attachment, like the Booker and Dax Torch Attachment currently available on Amazon, which is great for those who plan to use it to finish dishes cooked sous vide.
Booker and Dax Handheld Broiler Torch Attachment, available on Amazon
Sous vide is a method of cooking food in a vacuum-sealed bag under water that is held at a constant temperature. After bringing the food to a consistent temperature all the way through, meats and vegetables are finished with a torch to get the perfect Maillard sear on the outside.
All Bernzomatic equipment comes with an instruction manual, which is the same for all of the company’s trigger-start torches. It is also available to view for free on the company’s website.
Carefully read through the assembly and safety warnings and precautions detailed in the manual.
This model comes with a limited lifetime warranty to replace any parts that may break.
But if all you plan to use your new torch for is to occasionally finish off a marshmallow or brulee a piece of fruit, this is likely a much larger and more expensive tool than you need.
This one is for all you grill masters, fire pit enthusiasts, and culinarians combined!
The Bluu Gas Kitchen Torch Pro is mighty enough to be the perfect fire starter for campfires and grills, but it can still be used safely indoors for more delicate tasks like caramelizing sugar on top of desserts.
Bluu Gas Kitchen Torch Pro, available on Amazon
The Piezo ignition is activated with a trigger and a security lock prevents accidental ignition. This CSA-certified torch head has a maximum BTU heat output of 400,000 and can heat up to 4000°F – its wide nozzle is designed for a higher output.
Piezoelectric ignition relies on a form of electric charge which hits a crystal to create a spark, an option favored for its quick response that’s often used in portable camping stoves, gas grills, and certain types of lighters.
The torch features an adjustable gas control design. Users simply rotate a dial to increase or decrease the strength of the flame.
The torch head is compatible with most propane, butane, MAPP, and MAP-Pro gas canisters. Gas canisters are not included with your purchase.
An EN417 adapter – suitable for connecting to smaller propane tanks – and a vertical stand are both included with purchase. The vertical stand is helpful as a resting prop, keeping the hot torch head at a safe distance from any surface.
This model measures 12 by 17 by 2.5 inches and it weighs 3.63 pounds.
Bluu provides a 1-year warranty from the date of purchase against any defects in materials and workmanship.
Iwatani CB-TC-PRO 2
The Iwatani Professional Cooking Torch is a chef favorite. It is a torch head option that screws onto separately purchased butane canisters and features a Piezo ignition.
The Iwatani Professional reaches a high heat of 2700°F, with a continual burning time of approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes.
The head measures 7 by 1.5 by 3 inches and weighs 2.88 ounces. Compared to other heavy-duty torch heads, this is a lightweight option.
Iwatani Professional Cooking Torch, available on Amazon
It features two dials for flame adjustments: the flame strength adjustment knob changes the intensity of the flame, and the flame shape adjustment knob adjusts the overall length and width of the flame.
It also has an on/off lock that allows for a continuous flame without the need to press down on any buttons to maintain it.
This model comes with a stabilizing stand that attaches to the bottom of the butane fuel canister, providing a solid foundation for it to stand upright. The extra surface area on the foundation is a huge help in keeping the torch steady on the counter.
A detailed instruction manual is included with purchase. And a 1-year warranty is also included, commencing from the date of purchase – if any failure occurs or defects are noted within this time, you may return it for free repairs.
Because of its manageable size and high reliability, the Iwatani Professional is the ideal choice for home cooks who are shopping for a torch head model.
The manufacturer suggests that the head should only be used with Iwatani-brand butane canisters, which you can purchase separately on Amazon.
Iwatani Butane Canisters, 3-pack, available on Amazon
Several Amazon reviewers claim they have successfully used it with other brands.
Through my own personal experience, however, this head does NOT fit on other brands. I tried. And failed.
Rest assured that I had absolutely no problem with using the Iwatani brand butane canister. It worked perfectly, and I would also recommend that for the safest use of this torch option, using the name-brand butane canisters is best.
Check reviews and prices on Amazon now!
Sterno 50114 Professional
The Sterno 50114 Professional Culinary Torch is a professional-grade culinary torch head that attaches to small 8-ounce butane canisters, making it far more approachable and less bulky to handle than something like the Bernzomatic.
The head measures 3 by 8 by 4 inches, and weighs only 0.3 pounds, so this is another lightweight option.
Sterno Professional Culinary Torch, available on Amazon
A dial is used to control the flame intensity to adjust for a variety of culinary uses like melting, browning, crisping, and caramelizing.
It includes a safety lock to prevent accidental ignition, and features an anti-flare design with a Piezo ignition system for instant start-up and shut-off.
You can use this torch upright or inverted, to get every angle of your favorite dessert evenly caramelized.
You will need to purchase the butane canisters separately. For the best and safest results, Sterno recommends using their name-brand butane fuel, which includes the company’s industry-first, built-in, state of the art Countersink Release Vent (CRV) safety feature.
Sterno 8-ounce Butane Fuel Cartridge, 12-pack, available on Amazon
They are currently available to purchase in a 12-pack on Amazon.
However, with a quick call to Sterno’s customer service, a company representative confirmed that, while they advise that customers should use Sterno’s products, other butane canisters are acceptable.
A manual with step-by-step instructions and photos is included with your purchase, and this can also be accessed on Sterno’s company website.
Check prices and read customer reviews on Amazon now.
A Note on Purchasing Fuel Canisters
I have mentioned this a few times throughout this guide, but there’s no harm in repetition!
When you purchase either a refillable cartridge or a torch head, note that your order will most likely not include the butane canister that is necessary to make it work. You will need to purchase fuel separately.
There may be a certain size or a particular type of fuel canister that you will need, as indicated by the manufacturer. Be sure to check the manual provided with your tool to ensure that you purchase and use the recommended fuel.
Some models are compatible with a range of canisters, while others may only be compatible with a specific type of fuel or able to fit canisters of a particular size.
Some butane canisters provide different top insert attachments, referred to as adapters, so they can be applied to models of different sizes.
Jo Chef 5.07-ounce Butane Canister, available on Amazon
I recommend Jo Chef’s 5.07-ounce butane canister, available on Amazon. The canister comes with a universal lighter refill valve that fits most torches, as well as 4 additional nozzle adapter valves. This is a great choice to have on hand, so can switch out the attachment if a certain size does not fit properly.
How to Decide
Unsure as to whether you prefer the refillable model or the torch head? Debating between low cost and reliability?
Ask yourself these questions to help you decide:
- Are you nervous holding an entire butane canister while in use?
- Will children or teenagers want to help with some of the torching?
- Do you have limited or no experience handling torches?
- Will a kitchen torch be a fun tool to use only on rare occasions?
If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, go with the smaller, refillable model.
While refills can be annoying, the smaller flame is better for use if you will not be using it too often, or if you have children who want to help with toasting marshmallows. And of course, adult supervision is always a requirement.
How do you plan to use your torch? If it’s just the occasional sugar caramelizing, then the low-cost variety is probably fine, as this task does not require prolonged use.
If you answered no to all of the above questions, I highly recommend the torch head option.
Not only does it provide a more consistent and stronger flame, the head attachments take up less space in the kitchen. And because they eliminate the need for regular refills, they are safer and cleaner to use overall than smaller handheld varieties.
If you are planning to brown meat, which requires a stronger flame, think you will be using it on at least a weekly basis, or if you plan to put it to use outside of the kitchen as well, then torch head options are definitely the right style for you.
Now Put It to Use!
We hope our guide to the top kitchen torches gave you plenty of information to make the right decision for your own needs. With our help, you’ll be making perfectly caramelized creme brulee and other toasted goodies with your preferred tool!
As always, be sure to practice caution when operating any sort of kitchen equipment, especially your kitchen torch.
We want seared homemade marshmallows, not singed eyebrows!
Do you own a culinary torch already? What is your favorite way to use it? Let us know in the comments below.
Love collecting and using new gizmos and gadgets in the kitchen? Want to spoil yourself with more? Continue reading even more of our reviews of different kitchen tools to find your next purchase, starting with these:
- The Best Salt and Peppers Mills: 7 Top Picks Reviewed
- The Best Potato Ricers for the Perfect Mashed Spuds
- The Best Microplanes and Zesters for Your Home
© Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Product photos provided by: Sur La Table and Amazon. Originally published on August 1, 2017. Last updated on April 8, 2023.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is an ACS Certified Cheese Professional and cheesemonger living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she's not nibbling on her favorite cheeses or testing a batch of cupcakes, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga, wine, hiking, singing in the shower, and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.