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Wok hei with torch


heidih
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Interesting.  I use a torch for searing meat that I have cooked SV.  Not the one in the article but this one: https://www.amazon.com/BernzOmatic-361472-BZ4500HS-Shrink-Torch/dp/B00834RCLU/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=heat+shrink+torch&qid=1581552680&sr=8-3

 

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I have yet to taste any food cooked 'by torch' that I do not get at the very least, a background propane nuance to it.  It's disgusting. 

 

I know I have sensitive taste buds, but seriously people, this is a bad hack cooking technique!

 

 

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1 hour ago, TicTac said:

I have yet to taste any food cooked 'by torch' that I do not get at the very least, a background propane nuance to it.  It's disgusting. 

I know I have sensitive taste buds, but seriously people, this is a bad hack cooking technique!

 

 

Interesting point. I am not taste sensitive but my nose is quite the sniffer. I can not be near a buffet table if they are using sterno.

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2 hours ago, TicTac said:

I have yet to taste any food cooked 'by torch' that I do not get at the very least, a background propane nuance to it.  It's disgusting. 

 

I know I have sensitive taste buds, but seriously people, this is a bad hack cooking technique!

 

 


Bad torch technique then. 

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Oh and it has to be the right kind of torch.  The cheap torches are not regulated and if you tip them too far (which tends to happen) liquid fuel will start filling the torch head and it's more than can burn, so you'll get some un-burned fuel in the mix.  If you get too much, the torch will flame out.  The torch in the article and the one I use have built-in regulators, so liquid can never reach the head.  It's also important to light the torch away from the food, again so no un-burned fuel hits the food.

 

FYI, my torch was sold by Sansaire (while they were still around) as part of a searing kit, but except for being painted white, it is identical to heat shrink torch.

Mark

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2 hours ago, mgaretz said:


Bad torch technique then. 

 

It's possible, I suppose - however this was even detected when the head chef at Zen took a blow torch to a piece of Toro - as nice as it might have been I could still detect that hit of butane/propane - whatever it is those devices use.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm considering purchasing a bernzomatic ts8000 torch.

I often char stuff over the direct flame of a gas range, and never noticed off flavor. I don't know if I'm less sensitive or if it's indeed a matter of having a clean burn.

Anyone familiar with this torch (or can recommend others)?

~ Shai N.

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I have a torch I use when cooking, but there is no way it can give wok hei! That only comes from a wok, well seasoned from contiuous daily use over a long period of time.

 

But I've said many times before,wok hei is a concept only Americans seem to obsess about. Most Chinese cooks aren't interested.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, shain said:

I'm considering purchasing a bernzomatic ts8000 torch.

I often char stuff over the direct flame of a gas range, and never noticed off flavor. I don't know if I'm less sensitive or if it's indeed a matter of having a clean burn.

Anyone familiar with this torch (or can recommend others)?

 

The one you want is the Bernzomatic BZ4500HS - a heat shrink torch.  Clean burn and nice wide flame.  I have been using one for many years now.  The main thing about torches is to make sure you get one with a regulator built in - that allows you to have the tank above the torch head without liquid propane flowing into the torch which causes a flameout and I suspect is responsible for "torch taste" since none of the cheaper "culinary" torches are regulated.

Edited by mgaretz (log)
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Mark

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1 hour ago, shain said:

I'm considering purchasing a bernzomatic ts8000 torch.

I often char stuff over the direct flame of a gas range, and never noticed off flavor. I don't know if I'm less sensitive or if it's indeed a matter of having a clean burn.

Anyone familiar with this torch (or can recommend others)?

I'm a big fan of the hose torch - you can clip the tank to your belt or pocket or whatever (which keeps the tank upright), and then torch wherever it's convenient.  Plus the swirl flame it produces is really effective.  I've been using it for years and have never had any kind of torch taste.

https://www.bernzomatic.com/Products/Hand-Torches/Instant-On-Off/BZ8250HT

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

I have a torch I use when cooking, but there is no way it can give wok hei! That only comes from a wok, well seasoned from contiuous daily use over a long period of time.

 

But I've said many times before,wok hei is a concept only Americans seem to obsess about. Most Chinese cooks aren't interested.

 

Wok hei is not my main goal for the torch. And I agree that wok hei is not needed in most dishes, as well as that the flavor a torch will bring is not exactly wok hei. I do hope that it will give some grilled flavor, which I think complements many dishes (even if it's not necessary). 

 

For example, a few things I might use it on:

- Vegetables for salsa, or other salads/sauces where charred flavor is wanted.

- Neapolitan pizza, when I feel like having the more traditional texture-flavor. I imagine that I can shorten the baking time to just until the dough is cooked through, then proceed to torch it so that it can some charred crisp spots without drying or over-cooking the cheese.

- Browning/melting things that don't fit a pan without turning on the broiler (casseroles, things topped with cheeses etc).

- And also charring ingredients in order to add flavor to dishes where it works well - fried rice, some noodles dishes and also non-Asian dishes like (vegetarian) burgers and grilled corn :P

- Any other ideas?

 

Edited by shain (log)

~ Shai N.

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41 minutes ago, mgaretz said:

 

The one you want is the Bernzomatic BZ4500HS - a heat shrink torch.  Clean burn and nice wide flame.  I have been using one for many years now.  The main thing about torches is to make sure you get one with a regulator built in - that allows you to have the tank above the torch head without liquid propane flowing into the torch which causes a flameout and I suspect is responsible for "torch taste" since none of the cheaper "culinary" torches are regulated.

 

Thanks! Is there any other difference other than the flame width?

 

36 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I'm a big fan of the hose torch - you can clip the tank to your belt or pocket or whatever (which keeps the tank upright), and then torch wherever it's convenient.  Plus the swirl flame it produces is really effective.  I've been using it for years and have never had any kind of torch taste.

https://www.bernzomatic.com/Products/Hand-Torches/Instant-On-Off/BZ8250HT

 

Thanks! I see that this torch has a narrow flame like the ts, do you find it too narrow?

 

~ Shai N.

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I think the searzall is more useful for steaks, where you are actually trying to evenly cook the surface without charring it in spots.

~ Shai N.

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2 hours ago, shain said:

 

Thanks! Is there any other difference other than the flame width?

 

 

Thanks! I see that this torch has a narrow flame like the ts, do you find it too narrow?

 

When I crank up the gas all the say, the last thing I would call that flame is narrow - but it's not fanned out.  But it's so hot that I have to hold it quite a ways back to not turn everythingn into charcoal immediately.

 

I commonly use it to blister peppers/tomatoes etc when a salsa, and I also cook salmon sousvide then pat dry and torch the top/sides for some textural variation and flavor.

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Posted (edited)

The torch I mentioned was sold by Sansaire (RIP), rebadged and painted white, specifically as a searing torch.  That's how I bought it but someone here pointed out it was just the rebadged heat shrink torch.  I have used the small culinary torches and they can't hold a candle to the BZ4500HS (forgive the almost pun).  You can make it into a "hose torch" simply by adding a hose, like this one: https://amzn.to/3prrBeM but I have never found the need, and I like being able to set the tank aside without having to figure out where to rest the hot torch head.  I have used it sear all kinds of things from roasts to steaks to burgers to veggies to crème brûlée.  ETA Bernzomatic lists "cooking" as one of its primary purposes: https://www.bernzomatic.com/Products/Hand-Torches/Instant-On-Off/BZ4500HS and I see they have renamed it the "Wide Surface Torch".

 

 

Edited by mgaretz (log)
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Posted (edited)

I have a 700,000 BTU torch like this one that I used to clear weeds before I plant my vegetable garden.

 

https://www.amazon.com/AUSAIL-Propane-Flamethrower-Trigger-Charcoal/dp/B08M6GFBW8/ref=sr_1_9?dchild=1&keywords=blow+torch&qid=1623035756&smid=A2EIN88G2MB33B&sr=8-9

 

 

 

I also use this torch for BBQ and after sous vide.

 

Very nice except can't use it indoors. Too hot and too noisy.

 

dcarch

 

 

Edited by dcarch (log)
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I know an organic potato farmer who uses one like that to control potato bugs. The slightly charred plants will grow back, the bugs do not. "Good luck evolving fast enough to beat a flamethrower!" was her grimly satisfied comment to me when I interviewed her for the local paper.

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