The folk from The Kitchenware Superstore sent me a couple of products to use in my recipes and review. I was delighted to be involved, product reviews are fun and Kitchenware Superstore has a great reputation.
As always, my reviews are unbiased, and all words are my own.
One of the products that arrived is a cooking torch.
To be specific, I received a Hotery Cooking Torch.
I checked the price at the store, currently, it’s on special, reduced from AU$66.00, down to AU$29.99 (Australia wide delivery is free if your order is over $150.00)
Great little price, not a massive investment for what is an essential kitchen tool if you like making brulee and the like.
The instructions are clear and it’s really not complicated to set up and operate.
Before you can use the torch, the unit is filled with gas from the can of butane through a port in the base. I bought my can of gas from the supermarket and it cost me around $3.00.
If you’ve ever filled a gas cigarette lighter, it’s exactly the same gas and exactly the same method of filling.
The actual filling can be tricky to get a handle on. Basically, you just pump the gas in.
There is nothing to let you know when you have filled the torch. The best indicator I noticed was a resistance to pumping in any more gas.
A little gauge/gas level indicator would be handy. Maybe the more expensive, professional models have such a feature?
So, gassed up and ready to go, I made my custards and got ready to brulee.
Here’s some torching tips I’ve picked up along the way.
You actually need quite a lot of sugar on top of your custard. I used a heaped teaspoon at first, and quite frankly, it wasn’t enough. The problem is, once the sugar got wet it wouldn’t caramelise and the damp custard does makes the sugar “soggy” quite quickly.
Put the sugar on top of the custard and then pick up the dish and gently shake it from side to side to help spread the sugar evenly over the surface.
The Hotery blow torch is not at all intimidating for beginners. You won’t have to worry too much about things going too fast.
Turn out the torch and just move it around the sugar. The sugar will start to bubble and turn to caramel, just keep moving about with the flame, trying not to go over the parts that are already caramelised.
You’ll notice that the dishes in these photos are little, one serve aluminium cups. I love them for their convenience and portability. I can give away loads of cream caramels and crème brulee in these, and never have to worry about having enough ramekins.
HOWEVER, aluminium is thin, and it does burn quite easily, so I had to be careful when I was torching around the edges of the dish. You can see in the photos, the caramel is concentrated in the middle… It was all crispy caramel, just not as evenly golden as I would prefer.
With just a little bit of time, and a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to create a shatteringly gorgeous, sweetly delectable caramel disk on top of your beautiful custards.
In summary, the Hotery Cooking Blow Torch is a handy, affordable blow torch for the home cook.
The price is good and if you get yours from the Kitchenware Superstore, you’ll get great service too. They’re lovely people and very helpful.
(If you go to the site now, there’s some absolutely gorgeous specials, including this retro coloured pan set. I MUST have a pink pan!)
Just a couple of small downsides to the Hotery Cooking Blow Torch.
1) Filling the unit. I found it all a bit hit and miss. It didn’t bother me too much but I did run out of gas, mid torching a couple of times, only because I found it impossible to know If I’d completely filled the unit.
2) Turning the unit off, whilst using it, was a bit of a clumsy operation for me.
To turn it on, you turn on the gas knob on the top, and then ignite it using the red button on the side. All good.
However, turning the torch OFF requires you to use two hands. One hand (obviously) holds the torch, the other hand turns off the gas knob.
Like I said, just a bit clumsy and awkward.
I would much prefer one handed operation for the off function.
3) Experienced cooks may look for more torching oomph than this model can deliver. It did the job, but the flame is quite small and you do need to move it around quite a bit in order to achieve the desired result.
4) Filling the unit with gas was a bit of a guessing game. An indicator that lets you know how much gas is in the unit would be helpful.
Despite these small flaws,I love mine. Blow torches are fabulous tools, and they’re price accessible.
Treat yourself, or ask Santa for one this Christmas 😉
I hope that my review was helpful. I’d be happy to answer any questions you have, if you think I can help.
’till next time,