Top 6 Best Kitchen Torch for Sous Vide and Buyer’s Guide

Hand me the blow torch, I mean “kitchen” torch!

I might’ve said that when I bought my first kitchen torch! Kitchen torches aren’t as big as blow torches like what Elon Musk sells, but it’s a cooking appliance you’ll want to add to pair with your sous vide cooker. 

Kitchen torches put the flourish and finishing touches on your sous vide food. I cover the best kitchen torch for sous vide to get the crunchy crust that locks in the steak’s juices and flavors. 

To get that feeling of eating at a high-end steakhouse restaurant, you’ll want to get a look at one of these top sous vide kitchen torches. If you’re in a hurry, here’re the top ones. 

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Bernzomatic TS8000 - High Intensity Trigger Start Torch
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EurKitchen Culinary Cooking Butane Torch - Fuel Not Included - Refillable...
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Authenzo Kitchen Butane Torch Lighter (Butane Gas Not Included,Black)
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Bernzomatic TS8000 Trigger Start Torch
EurKitchen Culinary Cooking Butane Torch
Sondiko Butane Torch
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Bernzomatic TS8000 - High Intensity Trigger Start Torch
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Bernzomatic TS8000 Trigger Start Torch
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EurKitchen Culinary Cooking Butane Torch
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Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

I previously discussed the perfect Sous Vide Starter Kit with the best sous vide cookers and sous vide containers for different budget levels. Those items will get you cooked perfection. A sous vide torch will finish off the cooking with a flourish.

Let’s get into the best sous vide kitchen torches out there. 

6 Best Kitchen Torch for Sous Vide

One note is the majority of these torches do not come with the gas fuel cylinders. As you read, keep an eye on which of these torches might suit your cooking needs more. 

1. Bernzomatic TS8000 High Intensity Trigger Start Torch

On Sale
Bernzomatic TS8000 - High Intensity Trigger Start Torch
  • Auto start/stop ignition easily ignites and extinguishes flame
  • Ultra swirl flame provides maximum heat output for large diameter soldering, brazing, heat treating and light welding

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Bernzomatic TS8000 Trigger Start Torch is the best overall and most professional grade torch to sear those steaks, while still having an all-around multipurpose torch for soldering metal. The high-intensity flame and maximum heat output will cut your searing time to keep the juices in, while also getting the food to the table faster. 

The Bernzomatic TS8000 has an adjustable flame control knob to maintain flame size and flame intensity for safety. The longer nozzle also keeps the swirling flame further from your hand, while still keeping the balance for easy one-hand operation.

There’s an on/off trigger that keeps searing simple for quick and easy charring. Press the ignition button and flame on, let go and the flame is off. Doesn’t get much easier. It also allows for a continuous flame if you need it. 

The TS8000 is field by either MAP-Pro or Propane gas. Bernzomatic does have their own branded 14.1 oz. MAP-Pro Hand Torch Cylinder they sell, but you can also use regular propane cans. I have torch gas options in the next section below.  

Pair the TS8000 with a Searzall Torch Accessory to give you an even better, more even sear. The Searzall gives you an evenly spread flame, while minimizing any of the propane gas taste you might get from kitchen torches. 

Searzall Torch Attachment

Booker & Dax Torch Attachment, Pro Grade, Chef Certified, Handheld Broiler,...
  • Included in purchase | (1) searzall, (1) pre-attached aluminium sleeve Adapter, (1) 2-mm Allen key, (1) pre-attached thumbscrew, (1) searzall spacing stick - Torch is not included but is necessary for use
  • How IT works | the searzall is an attachment secured to the top of a torch to create the perfect sear in seconds. Two lightweight high temperature metal screens convert the torch’s flame into Radiant heat, evenly spreading the flame to provide a professional quality finish

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Searzall is made of stainless steel by Booker and Dax Lab, and it started out as a Kickstarter campaign. If you sous vide a lot and want high-quality sears, you’ll want to get the TS8000 and Searzall. 

If you’re still new to searing, you might want to get the TS8000 by itself first and then get the Searzall later. 

Carla Uses a Searzall Torch to Sear Steak | Bon Appétit

There is a Bernzomatic TS8000 and Searzall Torch Kit if you want to get them together. 

Bernzomatic TS8000 - High Intensity Trigger Start Torch with Searzall Torch...
  • Auto start/stop ignition easily ignites and extinguishes flame
  • Ultra swirl flame provides maximum heat output for large diameter soldering, brazing, heat treating and light welding

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Bernzomatic TS4000 Trigger Start Torch

On Sale
Bernzomatic TS4000 Trigger Start Torch
  • TRIGGER START - Trigger start torch for ease of lighting, instant on/off trigger increases fuel savings.
  • DURABLE - Stainless steel burn tube, cast aluminum body, brass burn tip.

Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Bernzomatic TS4000 Trigger Start Torch is basically the little brother of the TS8000. In the sibling battle, the main difference between the TS4000 vs. TS8000 is that the latter gives you double the BTU’s, which means it gets the searing done faster.

The TS4000 does not have adjustable flame control, but it does have the on/off ignition button for easy handling with one-hand searing. 

3. EurKitchen Culinary Cooking Butane Torch

EurKitchen Culinary Cooking Butane Torch - Fuel Not Included - Refillable...
  • UPGRADED MODEL - PROFESSIONAL QUALITY: Perfect for a professional chef or avid home bakers, our kitchen torch provides unmatched flame consistency and reliability; Piezo press ignition allows for fast, safe, immediate lighting.
  • ADJUSTABLE FLAME AND REFILLABLE WITH FUEL GAUGE (BUTANE NOT INCLUDED): Our mini blowtorch features a gas flow regulator dial to easily adjust flame, a fuel gauge to quickly know the torch's current gas level, and a gas flow safety lock when turned off; the torch can create a continuous flame up to 6 inches long with a temperature of 2370°F/1300°C. Quickly refill butane torch lighter with any brand of butane (not included). Please ensure the butane canister has the LONG UNIVERSAL REFILL TIP.

Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The EurKitchen Culinary Butane Torch is a popular kitchen mini blow torch that’s more suited for home chefs. The previous Bernzomatic torches are more professional grade torches and serious sous vide enthusiasts, while the EurKitchen and the rest of the butane cooking torches below are more suited for home kitchens. 

The EurKitchen and ones below also all use butane fuel, which will push out lower temperatures than propane torches. While sears will take longer due to lower temperatures and smaller flames, it’ll also be better for more delicate foods like Crème Brulé, bar cocktails, cigars, camping, and even arts and crafts. 

It has an adjustable flame and a fuel gauge, so you’ll know when the butane tank needs a refill. The torch will create a 6-inch long continuous flame with temperatures up to 2370° Fahrenheit / 1300° Celsius. The fuel gauge is great to have so you don’t run out in the middle of creating that crust on your Creme Brulee. 

The EurKitchen torch has built-in safety features like the finger guard that will help protect your fingers from getting burned by the extreme heat. There’s also a gas flow safety lock button for when the torch is turned off to prevent gas leaks. 

If you’re more of a casual sous vide cook and don’t need to sear many foods at once, look at the EurKitchen butane torch.

4. Iwatani Butane Torch CB-TC-PRO 2

On Sale
Iwatani International CB-TC-PRO 2 Iwatani PRO2 Culinary Butane Torch for...
  • Iwatani top quality butane torch is backed by a 1-year manufacturer (butane not included)
  • Easy to use butane torch - adjustable flame size and shape to concentrate the flame as much or as little as you need, one touch piezo ignition, and stabilizing plate for your safety

Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Iwatani Butane Torch is a high-quality torch for the home chef. It’s great for adding flavors and texture when finishing off your steaks, chicken, fish, and vegetables. 

Adjustable flame size and shape will keep the flame directed or spread out depending on what you want. The Iwatani also has a piezo one touch ignition button for easy use. 

An added safety feature is the stabilizing plate that will prevent the torch from tipping over. 

5. Sondiko Butane Torch

Sondiko Butane Torch, Culinary Torch Refillable Kitchen Butane Torch...
  • ►Safe&Durable - With safety lock prevents accidental ignition and a wide set base helps to prevent it falling over. Long angled nozzle and burn-free finger guard keep your hand safely away from the flame. Made with durable Aluminum alloy body for long lasting use.
  • ►Refillable&Easy to Operate - Refill the kitchen torch with any brand of butane(Butane Gas Isn't Included), simply slide the security lock to open, light up with Piezo Ignition Technology. It is a portable&mini torch that you can take it for many outdoor activities like camping and BBQ.

Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Sondiko Butane Torch is one of the most popular kitchen torches as it’s great for baking and desserts like crème Brulé.

Safety features include a safety lock that you turn on when not using the torch. There’s also a wide base to prevent it from falling over. The long angled nozzle and its finger guard will help keep your finger and hand safe from the flame. 

The flame is adjustable and can be set to a continuous flame mode. The piezo one touch ignition technology will keep it easy to use with one hand operation. 

6. Authenzo Kitchen Butane Torch Lighter

Authenzo Kitchen Butane Torch Lighter (Butane Gas Not Included,Black)
  • Professional Quality Culinary Torch: it is suitable for professional and creative family cooks. It is widely used in the processing of delicious caramel desserts, meat barbecue, cigar lighter, small handicraft and so on
  • Refillable and Adjustable Culinary Torch - adjustable flame intensity temperature can reach up to 1300 c/2500 F to meet various needs

Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Authenzo Kitchen Butane Torch Lighter is another popular kitchen torch because of it’s low price, but that also doesn’t always signal it’s great. I’m including it here because many will see the price and buy it.

The positives are that it has similar safety features like a security lock to prevent accidental flame ignition. It also has a wider base to prevent tipping over. The searing is also good when it works.

For the negatives, I’ve heard from fellow sous vide enthusiasts that it’s not that great and can break easily. I’ve tested it out at a friend’s and it doesn’t feel as sturdy and durable. But it did still get the job done on our chicken and vegetables. 

Torch Gas Fuel Options

Kitchen torches do not usually come with fuel, whether propane gas or butane gas, so you’ll need to buy gas fuel separately. Or look for a package deal with a kitchen torch that includes the gas. 

Descriptions will be short because there’s not much that differentiates one from the other. It’s a fuel that’s a commodity. I’ll cover more on fuel types further below. 

Propane and MAP-Pro Gas Fuel Cylinder

Bernzomatic Pre-Filled MAP-Pro Gas Torch Style Cylinder 14.1 oz

(2) 14.1 oz Bernzomatic Pre-Filled MAP-Pro Gas Torch Style Cylinder - Pack...
  • Ideal for medium to heavy soldering
  • Features an ergonomic grip for comfort

Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

MAP-Pro fuel gas cylinder for the Bernzomatic TS8000 and TS4000. These are more expensive, so you can also look at regular propane gas fuel cylinders. 

Standard Propane Fuel Cylinder – Pack of 3

Standard Propane Fuel Cylinder - Pack of 3
  • Fits Pencil Point Burner Assembly
  • Excellent for Softening Hardened Putty

Last update on 2020-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

These mini-propane tanks will work with the TS8000 and TS4000 as a cheaper option than the Bernzomatic branded MAP-Pro cylinders. Propane also offers more versatility when it comes to use cases. 

Butane Gas Fuel Cylinder

Zippo Butane Fuel 75 ml 

Zippo 3807 Butane Fuel, 75 ml Packaging May Vary
  • 1.48 ounce (42 grams)
  • For use with flex necks, candle lighters, outdoor utility lighters

Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Zippo Butane Fuel is popular and can be used with all sorts of lighters. This will work with the majority of butane cooking torches and the butane tanks.

Ronson Multi-Fill Ultra Butane Fuel 135 ml

Ronson Multi-Fill Ultra Butane Fuel
  • Will not clog burner valves thus affecting flame height and function
  • Universal tip fuels all leading butane lighters

Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Ronson Butane Fuel is another popular butane gas cylinder that’ll work with many butane lighters and torches.

Iwatani Butane Canister 8 Oz (4)

Iwatani Butane Canister 8 Oz (4)
  • UL Approved
  • Butane has a very long shelf life

Last update on 2020-10-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is made for the Iwatani Butane Torches and Stoves, but it’s compatible with several other brands. If you have a different torch, you might want to look at one of the other options above to be on the safe side with compatibility. 

Now that we’ve reviewed the details of the best sous vide kitchen torches and gas options, let’s get into more about features, benefits, searing process, and a complete buying guide. 

Sous Vide Kitchen Torch and Searing Overview 

Previously found only in large commercial restaurant kitchens and used by professional chefs, culinary torches have seen a continued rise in popularity in recent years. Home kitchen torches have become an essential item to own for many home chefs. 

Kitchen torches are used in various cooking applications, from roasting chili peppers, caramelizing fruits for desserts, to torching and finishing off the top of a Creme Brulee, to name a few. 

For many sous vide dishes using f sous vide method, the grand finisher is a kitchen torch right before garnishing and serving. This last step crisps up the skin of your steak, chicken or fish, and upgrades your cooking game.

You achieve the Maillard reaction on your steak with the high temperatures from torches. The outside of your steak browns and creates a crunchy crust on the outside, while keeping it tender and juicy on the inside.

best kitchen torch for sous vide steaks

Benefits of Cooking with a Sous Vide Culinary Torch

Using the sous vide method basically means cooking your food in water. As great as it is for locking in the juices and moisture of your food as it cooks, there is no way you can get the charring on the outside, especially if you are cooking meat.

When you use a sous vide searing torch, you’re able to replicate the effects that you’d normally get from cooking your food on a hot cast iron pan or grill. You get the desirable crispiness on the surface of your food, without risking overcooking the entire piece and making it dry.

Preparation Before Searing

Let’s cover the torching process with a Sous Vide Torch. Here’s a list of things to prepare before you fire up the flames on your sous vide steak to achieve that perfect sear.

Ensure That You Protect Your Countertop

Your sous vide red meat can handle high temperatures well and becomes even more delicious when exposed to the flames of your Sous Vide Torch. Unfortunately, your kitchen countertop (or any other dishware you may own) does not share these qualities. 

Place a wire rack over a not-nonstick heavy baking sheet before you light up that nozzle, and torch your meat on the wire rack for maximum protection for your kitchen hardware.

If you have a BBQ grill, you can also place the meat on there to sear.

Always Dry Your Food Before Torching

Use a paper towel and pat your food, making sure that the surface is completely dry. Otherwise you’ll be wasting your fuel (and time) trying to evaporate the remaining water left on the surface of your food.

That will also lead to uneven searing because of different burn times across the surface of your steak. 

How to Use a Kitchen Torch to Sear Steak

Fire up the nozzle on your kitchen torch and let it heat up to an extremely hot temperature. Once you see a blue flame, rather than a red one, that’s the perfect time to start the searing process.

Hold your torch nozzle about 3 to 4 inches away from the food and then move the nozzle around in a continuous motion. Try not to stay in one spot for any longer than a second or two, or you risk burning your food,

Keep moving your torch around your food until you’ve arrived at the level of crispiness and char that you are looking for. Only you know that perfect char for you.

Once you’re happy with it, turn off your torch, garnish your steak, and get ready to eat!

Proper Sous Vide Torch Technique

To get the highest quality sear on your sous vide steak, be sure not to have the torch anywhere near your red meat until you see the blue flame coming out of your torch’s nozzle. 

Aim the torch at your steak, and always remember to keep it moving to char the entire piece of meat evenly without burning any portion of it.

Is Searing Safe?

Searing, by definition, means to cook something fast with an extremely hot flame in order to brown the surface of your food, preventing the juices on the inside from leaking out. 

The flames will reach temperatures up to 2500°F with butane torches, so it can be dangerous.

As with other cooking methods, you always need to keep safe with cooking. 

Kitchen Torch for Sous Vide Buying Guide

If you’re planning to add a kitchen torch for sous vide into your cooking arsenal, here are some considerations to take note of before you decide on your purchase.

Torch Size

If you’re thinking about searing and charring your sous vide meat, forget about the small pastry torches used to caramelize sugars in desserts. These torches aren’t hot enough to sear a sous vide dish – the maximum temperature these torches put out is only about 2500ºF, which is far from the ideal when you need to sear steak.

Ease of Use

Consider how easy it is for you to handle the torch. It is a tool after all and if the tool is too hard for you to use, then you won’t be able to use it effectively. 

Sous Vide Torches come in a variety of sizes and different ergonomic handles. 

Consistent Temperature

You want a Sous Vide Torch that puts out a consistent temperature of flame no matter what. Otherwise, you’ll end up with some unexpected burnt bits on your steak that ruins the experience.

“Torch Taste”

Torch Taste is a phenomenon that is often associated with or attributed to the chemicals contained in kitchen torch fuels. There’s a healthy debate in many home chef circles as to which of the more popular fuels such as butane, MAP-Pro or propane causes the worst torch taste.

Searzall says that diffusing the flames and spreading it out, rather than having one direct, continuous flame, will help minimize any of “torch taste.” While the science of it is unclear, I do have to say that using the Searzall does help. 

That’s just my opinion, so try it out and see what you think. 

Types of Gas Used in Torches

The type of gas used in Sous Vide Torches each have different characteristics. Let’s explore some of the main ones below:

1. Propane Gas

Propane is a popular gas used in kitchen torches due to its ability to generate high heat and its low price point. It also offers more versatility with other uses. 

2. Butane Gas

Butane is slightly cooler than the others on this list and is found in smaller, pastry or kitchen torches, and cigarette lights.

3. MAP-Pro (Propylene) Gas

Map-Pro is a type of propane that burns slightly higher than regular propane. It’s more expensive than propane however, and according to some users, the sear quality doesn’t match the higher price over propane. But the higher temperatures do offer versatility like soldering with the Bernozomatic torches. 

4. MAPP Gas (Discontinued)

MAPP was discontinued in 2008 and replaced by MAP-Pro. It used to be a good choice because of its high burning temperature and quick searing ability. Now, MAP-Pro offers the same results. 

There you have it, the list of the best kitchen torch for sous vide along with the details on what to look for when buying a sous vide torch.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Sous Vide Torch vs. Pan Sear

In my experience, a sous vide kitchen torch will provide a better overall char on your steak, but a pan will provide a crunchier crust. You can get the same crunchy crust with a torch by searing it longer of course. In the end, I feel the taste with a torch sear is much more flavorful. 

Cast Iron Pan VS Searzall - Best way to sear SOUS VIDE STEAKS - Series E1

MAP-Pro vs. Propane

The main difference between MAPP-Pro and Propane is that MAP-Pro burns at a higher temperature compared to Propane (3730°F vs 3600°F, respectively). Propane is also slightly cheaper than MAP-Pro. 

How Long Does Each Side of the Steak Need to be Seared?

Experts will typically suggest that you would want to sear each side of your steak at least for 45-90 seconds to ensure full sear on every bit of surface on your steak. The time varies a bit due to the type of torch you’re using at the temperatures. 

What Else Do I Need to Know About Pan Searing?

Pan-searing takes about double the time to get a full char on the surface of your steak and needs more attention. Left unattended for just a couple of seconds, your juicy sous vide steak might turn into a dry lump of tough meat on the pan.

Is It Safe to Use a Butane Torch on Food?

Yes, butane is a pure alkane, which means that it doesn’t produce any nasty chemicals when it’s burned. This means it’s safe to use on food and food surfaces without risk of any contamination. Many people may complain about the “taste” of gas, so just be careful about turning the gas fuel knob to the max and overcooking the food. That’s when the butane will taste the strongest.

Should I get a propane or butane torch?

Propane torches put out a lot more heat that butane torches do, due to the fact that it’s a more efficient fuel – this results in better quality searing and charring for your steaks. So, if possible, choose a propane or MAP-Pro torch over butane if you can.