How Long It Should Take To Torch The Perfect Crust On Steak

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"Spaceballs the flamethrower! [whoosh] The kids love this one." So proclaimed Yogurt the Magnificent in the irreverent comedy "Spaceballs" in 1987. Humor aside, have you thought of adding a kitchen torch to your cooking arsenal? These handheld devices, also called culinary torches, are great for turning the top layer of crème brûlée brown, melting or crisping the top layer of a cheese dish, roasting red or green peppers, and creating a top-notch grilled cheese. Don't forget about toasting marshmallows for indoor summer campouts!

A kitchen torch is perfect for caramelizing sugar, onions, and garlic for that perfectly done appearance and smoky flavor you crave. You have plenty of options when buying a culinary torch, according to Bon Appétit. The best ones offer precision blue flames, refillable butane canisters, and safety latches for the triggering mechanism. A culinary torch also comes in handy for getting that perfect charred crust on sous vide steak. As with everything using a directed blast of fire, you don't need a lot of time or effort to sear a delectable crust for steak, says Serious Eats. A beautiful brown crust can really elevate your steak to that just-right flavor.

Spend about 90 seconds torching your sous vide steak

Cooking a steak sous vide involves vacuum-sealing the meat in plastic and boiling it in water for about 60 minutes, notes Serious Eats. It's perfectly seasoned, and the juices are intact, thanks to the vacuum-sealed bag. It didn't take a lot of effort on your part, either. But your steak isn't quite done yet. There is one flavor missing, the flavor you can only get from searing the outer surface of a steak. Time to get out the kitchen torch. InsideHook suggests keeping the nozzle around a finger-length away from the surface of the steak and moving slowly to prevent over-searing. The goal is to get that just-right brown crust that finishes the flavor profile of the meat.

Serious Eats says to go over the top part of your sous vide ribeye for about 60 seconds. Turn over the meat and continue for about another half a minute. Browning with a torch creates the sear in about half the time of pan-searing, locking in even more flavor. Feel free to combine torching and pan-searing for an even brown layer. No matter how steady of a hand you have, one main downside of torching is that some spots have more char than others. Pan-searing with oil, combined with torching the meat at the same time, solves the uneven charring problem. Of course, you should be safe when combining an open flame with oil. Always read the safety instructions and practice first!