I’m new to sous vide (as in only used it 4 or 5 times so far) and have been using a torch to sear up the meat. I’m using a TS4000 because I happened to have one but I’d like to get a dedicated torch for this and leave the garage torch in the garage.
I was looking at getting a TS8000 but I’d like to look bigger. My first attempt at torching was like most you tube videos… some makeshift grill over a cookie sheet done in the kitchen. Works fine and all but the smoke detector really didn’t appreciate me crisping up the fat. I started doing this on the BBQ or gas grill depending on where you’re from. No worries about flame damage and also the BBQ is lit just to keep the meat from getting cold.
So since I always have a 30Lb tank of propane handy I’d like a torch that I can run off that, and get a lot more BTU out of too. Using the little TS4000 is barely enough when doing a few steaks for the family but I think would come up short if I do sous vide for entertaining.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
I do have the TS8000, married with a Searzall. I still sear in my cast iron skillet on the range top (I’m in an apartment) - I do have a Weber electric BBQ on my balcony, but it doesn’t get hot enough for steak - at least, not to do them the way I like.
I really wish the BBQ companies would realize that they’re missing a huge opportunity and give us a nice searing station for the range top. Something that puts out about 40,000 BTU’s in about a 12" x 20" space.
I think as sous vide catches on more, we’ll see other options come available. It’s still very much a developing market (at least here in north america that is)
You could always build a Turbaque.
If that’s a bit much, there is always the humble half-million BTU weed burner from the local big box hardware store.
Seriously, if you want to entertain and sear a bunch of steaks all at once, it’s hard to beat the 36" Blackstone griddle.
I have one, it’s fantastic. Great cooktop, very even heating, rolls like a dream. The possibilities of what else you can do with it are endless. Do not get the 2-burner, it is designed very poorly, it uses round stove burners that only heat up a tiny area of the griddle and the tops on the 2-burner are prone to warping.
You could also go with a propane turkey fryer and a big Lodge cast iron pan. I have two of these… At 50k BTU, they will get that pan insanely hot in short order.
As for the TS8000 and a searzall, they are a great combo and you could use an adapter hose to run it from your 30lb tank. The searzall does a great job, but, unfortunately, it is not the most expedient way to sear.
The problem with either of the things you are looking at is the size: they are very small, and you can only do one small area at a time. If you use a Searzall, as fischersd suggests, it will increase the surface area, however, the folks that I know personally, and myself, do not like it, as it makes the heating less efficient in our opinion, and we find it tends to overcook the meat. It sounds to me like your looking for something with an overall larger flame, not just a more intense heat. The problem with the more intense heat is torch taste. A lot of folks out there attribute it to tiny particles in the fuel permeating the meat and giving it an off flavor. What really happens is the fats on the surface are heated too high, burn, and give a bad flavor. Basically, what happens to a cast iron skillet when you season it is happening in minute amounts on your meat. With an increased size in flame, you will cook more of the meat faster, avoiding overcooking, and getting each piece done faster as well. You might look into, as acs suggests, a weed burner. You will need to be a bit careful with this, as with any torch, but for quickly getting large quantities cooked (as a tiny little propane welding torch isn’t doing it for you) it might be a way to go. Either that or buy a proper salamander like this https://www.acitydiscount.com/Imperial-Range-36-Commercial-6kw-Electric-Salamander-Broiler-ISB36-E.0.175363.1.1.htm
I know this is an old thread, but answers for newbies is always a good thing.
Harbor Freight has a weed burner attachment that works wonders. Since you sear on the grill it would be perfect for your use. Lots of heat, easy to use, quickly seared meat. Go to Harbor Freight and search for weed burner.
I like the one with push button ignition. And it’s far less costly than a Searzall.