A butane or propane torch is an indispensable appliance for people who cook, especially chefs. These torches can create searing heat that gives a crispy texture and caramelized color to meats, seafood, vegetables, desserts, and other foods.

Both types of fuel can be used in the same way. However, you should consider some key differences between the two before you use either one. Let’s read the below content to determine whether choosing the small butane torch or propane one is suitable in your case.

Butane And Propane Torch For Cooking

Butane Torch

Source: Pixabay

This variant mainly uses butane to burn, which we often call flammable gas, to create a hot and strong flame. You can use it to make a variety of dishes and also some new recipes.

Some chefs often apply this method to caramelize the sugar in a few particular dishes. Especially in the case of cooking crème Brulee.

Many of us refer to these tools as cooking torches, culinary torches, and kitchen torches. You can use it for many purposes, not just caramelizing sugar.

A touch of this tool can contribute to your food’s attractiveness. In particular, you can also use it to make charred or roasted vegetables, melted cheese, or even roasted meat without using the best meat cutter.

This small tool has evolved into the best culinary tool for those who want to brown the surface of their meal. Not only for culinary usage, but bartenders also employ this one for smoking and burning cocktails.

This variant produces a precise and controlled flame. However, not all chefs and cooks can perfectly utilize this tool.

Is it safe to use this tool to make brown surfaces on meals? Would this practice make our food harmful to our health? It’s quite reasonable why you have such inquiries as you’re using flames and creating a suspicious color on your food. You can rest assured that alkane in this tool won’t produce byproducts.

Moreover, it won’t make your food less tasty or have some strange odor. This feature makes it a useful tool to make constant flames without having to pay an expensive price.

It is also suitable for direct cooking as the carbon monoxide (CO) it produces won’t penetrate the food and harm your health.

However, when using this one, it is advisable to open the windows. One more point to notice is that you should keep the point away, as the flame will make food hotter, which means you’re at risk of burning yourself if you keep the point near your body.

All the points I made above contribute to the fact that using this variant won’t leave aftertastes in your food and therefore be suitable for cooking.

Propane Torch

Source: iStock

This tool is an excellent complement to any kitchen. Instead of butane, it uses propane to create flame to heat and flame.

People use it in many industries, including manufacturing and construction, as well as cooking. This tool features efficient use due to its compact and lightweight design.

If you are looking for a low-cost and easy-to-use appliance, this tool will be the best choice for you. With this one, you can refill or detach the tanks anytime.

They often use these to make caramelized sugar and many kinds of meringue toppings.

This is because these torches produce a brighter flame than its rival. Though the temperature created by this tool is quite high, you can still gain control over it.

Another outstanding feature of it is that you can find them almost anywhere, including electronic stores. You can easily find chefs using this tool to unmold jellies and ice creams, sometimes brown cheesecakes.

Oftentimes, you see people using this to warm up knives, make clean cuts, and cut frozen food.

Some Differences Between Butane And Propane Torch


The head of a propane tool is tiny and curls inward. Thanks to this design, you can create the blowtorch to produce a focused flame. If it is near the object, it can deliver the higher temperature more accurately. The heat of the flame decreases when you keep it far away.

On the contrary, the other one is a straight tool from open to the end so that it can produce a complete flame. With its triggers, you can produce that substance from low to high volumes, which allows you to create a flame with adjustable temperature.


When you use both of them at the same time to produce different temperature levels. The butane variant reaches its highest temperatures of roughly 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can see that this is an ideal temperature for most welding operations. At that time, the other one may reach much greater temperatures. In particular, it reaches the highest level of around 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit.

Typical Uses

The butane model is smaller and lighter, but the flame is lower than its opponent. Therefore, people often use it for welding metals such as silver, or some substances like clay, and cement.

You can also use it to shrink tubing and the wired system. A bigger gas tank goes with the propane one so you can wear it as a backpack or hold it in your hand. It comes with strong heat and precise flame so that you can commonly use it to weld metals.

Special Uses

Apart from some common features, both of them come with distinct purposes. To illustrate, the butane is more suitable for making burned sugar for sweets like crème brûlée than the other one.

Besides, people also utilize the large, portable propane tanks for tasks such as gardening. It has become efficient equipment for some people to get rid of weeds and without support from chemicals.

Final Thoughts

Depending on your cooking purposes, it is hard to choose between the best butane torch and propane torch. Both of them can perform well and come with different uses, as well as their strong points.

However, we highly recommend the butane as it is easy to use and suitable for most people. Although it has a slower cooking speed than the propane, you can enjoy a more delicious and fresh meal.


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