A creme brulee torch is the ultimate cooking luxury. It is used to quickly caramelize the topping on this elegant dessert, a rich smooth custard topped with a crisp melted-sugar crust. Breaking the crust on a creme brulee with a spoon has been called one of life’s greatest small pleasures.

Things You'll Need

Filling the Torch

Shake fuel container several times. This warms the fuel.

Move the flame adjustment lever on the torch to the lowest setting.

Insert the nozzle of the gas container into the refuel valve of the torch using a pumping motion.

Wait a few minutes for the gas to stabilize before you use the torch.

Operating the Torch

Push the air control lever as far back as possible.

Open the flame adjustment lever to the highest setting.

Unlock the safety lock if your torch has one.

Press the ignition. This should ignite your flame immediately. Hold the ignition button down to keep the flame on. Release the ignition button to extinguish the flame.

Adjust the flame control until your flame is about 1/2 inch in length.

Turn off flame by releasing ignition lever. When you finish using the torch make sure the flame is completely out and the adjustment knob is completely closed.

Caramelizing Sugar

Sprinkle the custard evenly with sugar. Use a teaspoon of sugar for each ramekin.

Ignite your torch and move the flame evenly over the surface of the custard until the sugar melts and browns.

Place the custard in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes to harden the sugar.


  • At high altitudes you may have to adjust the flame length to a higher setting.

  • If your torch has a continuous-flame feature you may switch it on while you are holding down the ignition button to maintain the flame even if you remove your finger from the ignition switch. You can turn the torch off by flipping off this switch.