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9 Foods You Should Totally Cook with a Blowtorch

We, as humans, survived in part because we learned to cook. We took fire and we put other animals over that fire, making them edible and therefore ensuring that as far as planet Earth goes, humans are Number 1. Over time, the use of direct-fire cooking has changed and evolved, just as we have. While we tend to use open flames mainly when camping and grilling, we can also use an open flame pretty much wherever we want thanks to the handheld blowtorch.

Small but mighty, a blowtorch is a great appliance to have on hand. Not only can you use it to help you smoke cocktails, but you can apply direct fire to a whole host of foods and flambé the hell out of them. (OK, not all of them are flambéed, because they would entail dousing the food with booze à la Bananas Foster, but roll with it.)

Below, check out nine different foods you can take a blowtorch to and make it better.

First, you’ll need a torch if you don’t have one. Amazon has a ton of options, but  is easy to use and will only cost you around $30.

French Toast

french toast blueberries banana
Joseph Gonzalez

Start your day off right — with fire! Instead of heating up a pan, you can easily use a torch to cook your French toast. You’ll get the same lovely dimpled brown color as you would from a skillet, but in a more hands-on way. Once the egg is cooked through, you can even go back and caramelize some maple syrup on top for double the fiery fun.

Crème Brûlée

blowtorch torch creme brulee
John Joh/Getty Images

Crème brûlée translates to “burnt cream,” so it’s one of the few things that actually require a blowtorch. The caramelized sugar topping adds a nice crunchy texture to the soft, sweet cream below, making it a pretty perfect dessert.

Marshmallows

roasted marshmallow stick
Burak Karademir/Getty Images

Building a campfire just to make a couple s’mores isn’t practical. Using a blowtorch, however, totally is. This one may seem like a gimme, but all you need to do is find some artisanal marshmallows and what looks like you trying to get out of building a fire takes on a whole new level of sophistication.

Fish

seared salmon vegetables dish
Claudia Totir/Getty Images

Practically any type of fish will do. So long as it’s fresh, most fish is fine to eat raw, but putting a good sear on the outside gives it a different flavor and changes the texture a bit. If you have any questions about the fish being eaten raw, make sure to ask your fishmonger about the quality of the cut you’re about to buy. (If all else fails, you can always blowtorch some oysters instead.)

Baked Alaska

baked alaska dessert
MacaPav Photographie/Getty Images

Ice cream and cake tucked inside a toasted shell of meringue is quite possibly the most baller desert ever. A dessert that came (allegedly) out of the U.S.’s acquiring of Alaska — though no records can actually prove this — Baked Alaska has been a classic at fine dining establishments for well over a century.

Roasted Peppers

roasted bell peppers
Jacqueline Khoo/EyeEm/Getty Images

Those red peppers that come in jars? They’re not going to have anything on your own fire-roasted red peppers. What better way to up your antipasto or pizza game than by blowtorching your way to greatness? Since they’re great in a variety of dishes, you can make a few batches of these at once and save them for when you need them.

Skillet Pizza

skillet pepperoni pizza
Diane Bentley Raymond/Getty Images

Who needs an oven when you’ve got a perfectly good blowtorch? Just cook up the crust in a pan and melt the cheese on top with an open flame. You can also use some of the roasted red peppers (above) for topping if you want to go all out. (Tip: If you want a cheese that is meant for grilling, add some halloumi to your mix. This cheese, which more or less officially hails from Cyprus, has a high melting point, allowing you to get the desired fired effect from mozzarella and gooey goodness from the halloumi.

Bananas Foster

bananas foster dessert
StockFood/Getty Images

Looking to really crank your tableside service up to 11? Stop trying to impress people with Caesar salads and guacamole; instead, make them bananas foster. Never made it before? We’ll give you a hint. You’ll need bananas, sugar, booze, and your trusty blowtorch. As delicious as it is visually appealing, you’ll win dessert by lighting this one up (just don’t light yourself on fire in the process).

Mac and Cheese

macaroni and cheese melted
4kodiak/Getty Images

OK, so technically you probably can’t cook mac and cheese entirely with a blowtorch, but you can totally give the top a good browning and make it gourmet if you’ve got a flame handy.Go the extra mile and make this cannabis-infused lobster mac and cheese.

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