The only reason I bought a kitchen torch was because I wanted to make crème brûlée. My first kitchen torch, I bought at Gourdo’s several years ago. It wasn’t cheap, the price was upward of 700 pesos, and it was disposable. Once the butane gas was used up, I had to throw away the entire thing.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my daughters would find so many uses for it. They used the kitchen torch to toast bread, to melt cheese, to grill every imaginable kind of topping… We ended up buying another and another, and another. Taking a cue from my girls, I used the kitchen torch for several other cooking projects (see the chocolate cupcakes with crème brûlée frosting, baked salmon and peaches, and meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting posts).
A kitchen torch is a cute little convenience, no doubt, but still a pricey convenience. There came a time when Speedy did not want to buy a replacement anymore. But the girls missed having one. So did I. Fortunately, Speedy discovered a better and much cheaper alternative. At the hardware store, he found a torch with a replaceable canister of butane gas. No need to throw the whole thing away each time the gas is used up. Instead, just buy a new canister of butane gas.
The initial cost is around 500 pesos. For that price, you get the torch apparatus and a large canister of butane gas. The size of the canister is more than twice the size of the disposable kind we used to buy at Gourdo’s.
For this hardware-bought torch, once the butane is used up, simply twist to separate the torch apparatus from the canister then attach the torch apparatus to a new canister. The replacement canister of butane gas, also available at hardware stores, costs between 70 and 80 pesos.
At the risk of sounding too obvious, we’ve never been without a kitchen torch since.