Most helpful critical review
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Horses for courses - e.g. are you making Apple Tart Fine or Crème Brûlée?
on 24 March 2013
Whether or not this is suitable is determined by what you want it for, because the flame is pencil thin.
I bought it to make Gordon Ramsay's Apple Tart Fine, the relevance being that I needed to use it to heat multiple individual desserts, each an area the size of a small side plate - i.e. much larger than a ramekin containing a crème brûlée. It was as useless as an ashtray on a motorbike - the flame was so fine that it took painfully long to caramelise each tart, by which time the area I had started on had cooled down, resulting in a barely warm tart (tarts cool quickly - a crème brûlée won't as its deepness, plus the ramekin, helps to retain the heat). I would estimate that a standard DIY blowtorch throws out heat at a rate of between ten and twenty times greater.
Fortunately I hadn't deleted the TV programme so I looked at it and GR used a standard DIY blowtorch. So I went to B&Q & bought one. What a difference!
If you need to brown a small area with pencil-thin accuracy, then this is your man. Otherwise buy a standard DIY blow-torch.
Personally I have doubts as to whether this chef's blowtorch would even be suitable for a crème brûlée for the same reason, but I leave that decision to you (I haven't used it for that so I can't comment). I suggest searching on YouTube for whatever you are making and seeing whether they used a diddy blowtorch or a full-size one.
Incidentally, a DIY blowtorch costs roughly the same as a chef's one and has the advantage that the gas lasts far, far longer (the chef's one ran out of gas after heating approximately 3-4 apple tart fines. Pathetic. And as it starts to run out, the flow of gas decreases so it takes longer to caramelise things - making a painfully slow thing even slower. The solution is to refill it the moment the power starts to decrease).
One advantage of a pencil-thin flame is that there is less chance of burning yourself. But then I would never hold the item that I am heating in my fingers regardless of how fine the flame is as one simple distraction and...
Incidentally, this has a secondary use. It's handy having one of these in the house if you don't have a gas cooker. I used it to mend a broken piece of plastic where I couldn't buy a replacement part and where the cosmetics of the broken part didn't matter - I used it to heat a paperclip, used that to melt two tiny holes in the plastic, inserted a piece of garden wire & bound the two together. It took 10 minutes to mend it and has never broken since. Far stronger than glue.
Incidentally, I suggest that you try the Apple Tart Fine recipe.