If you haven’t used a kitchen blowtorch before, it might seem a little intimidating. You want me to LIGHT my food on fire?! In my kitchen? Yes, yes we do.Besides being able to make s’mores indoors (what could be better), you can also do cool things like sear meat; caramelize sugar on fruit, desserts, or oatmeal; and give any dish a toasty finish.
Basically, the torch produces a super-high heat that makes it easy to char foods or caramelize sugar, and once you know how to use it, the kitchen is your oyster. It’s like broiling, but way more fun. Best of all, they are way less expensive than you’d think—you can find one on Amazon for less than $20. Hey Santa, hope you’re listening!
1. Matcha Breakfast Brûlée
The matcha craze came in hard, so hopefully you’re not sick of it already, because this new way to eat it is blowing our mind (pun intended). Swirl some matcha powder into Greek yogurt, as well as vanilla and honey. Then sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on top to torch, resulting in that crunchy-sweet layer you’d find on crème brûlée.
2. Torched Salmon in Green Sauce
This green juice sauce looks a little shocking at first glance, but it’s actually a pretty genius way to get in your veggies. Plus, it tastes great under salmon, which you can cook the night before and then sear with your blowtorch when ready to eat. It warms it up without heating it completely through and adds a toasty crunch to the outside. Trust us, you’ll feel v. fancy eating this meal.
3. Brûléed Honey Nutmeg Pomelos
What’s a pomelo, you ask? It’s a large citrus fruit, so if you can’t find one in the store, grapefruits make a perfect substitution here. This recipe is as easy as it gets, but will give your midday snack or breakfast side a whole new life. Besides the fruit, you just need honey and nutmeg, and your new favorite kitchen appliance for some caramelizing. By the way, if you don’t have a torch yet, broiling works too.
4. Fig, Pistachio, and Goat Cheese Bites
File these under “desserts to make when the in-laws come to town.” You’ll get major chef brownie points with little-to-no stress. Plus, you’ll get to eat these delicious appetizers too, so it’s really a win-win. Interestingly, you toast the figs before stuffing them with goat cheese and pistachio crumbles, so the crunch factor is hidden in each bite.
5. Classic Crème Brûlée
Of course, we couldn’t get through this list without including the OG torch recipe, crème brûlée. Break it out for a dinner party, birthday celebration, or just to make a Wednesday night more exciting… you deserve it. You can make the recipe slightly healthier by using coconut sugar instead of white sugar, and coconut milk instead of heavy cream.
6. Coffee Steel-Cut Oatmeal Brûlée
We hate to diss one of our go-to breakfast foods, but oatmeal can get a little boring sometimes, even if you switch up your mix-ins. This recipe practically makes it a whole new dish though, and we’re kind of obsessed. The oats are cooked in coffee and coconut milk, and topped with a little sugar before you torch ’em. Get ready for so much flavor (and a dose of caffeine—score!).
7. Meyer Lemon Bar Brûlée
Lemon bars are such an underrated dessert, especially when they have a cool crème brûlée finish like these do. They’re also pretty simple to make, with an easy butter-sugar-flour crust (again, some healthy swaps could definitely be used here) and a lemon-zest-filled center. Once they’re finished, sprinkle with sugar and torch till golden brown.