Monday, July 21, 2008

Don't buy this.

Bed, Bath and Beyond's Creme Brulée Torch Set, which I "scored" for $20, has been giving me a royal headache since I bought the damn thing. Let me count the ways:

  1. Four 3-oz ramekins. This is a problem because:
    1. That's a pretty irregular size to replace when you break one, and
    2. BBB doesn't sell individual 3-oz ramekins. No one does - not Williams Sonoma (and they'd charge four times as much as BBB would), not any grocery store upscale or otherwise. I'll need to go to a restaurant supply warehouse to look some more. This is especially irritating because...
  2. ...the recipe that comes with the kit requires six 3-oz ramekins, or else it will overflow into the bain marie that you bake the custard in. I found this out the hard way, when I wasted at least two ramekin's worth of pre-baked liquid creme brulée by trying to get it to all fit in the ramekins and finding, instead, that it won't. Sure makes a nice creme brulée soup out of that bain marie.
  3. The sorest spot of them all: the torch. It is a cheap torch. I did indeed follow the directions exactly, noting when it sputtered, when it gave off no sound of gas at all, and when it worked perfectly. I got it working for one round of cremes brulées. For the second round, I pretty much just settled for custard with sugar on top.
Maybe I should have known better than to trust a cheap-o creme brulée kit. But still, it's $20 I don't have. A very low-end professional torch alone costs almost twice as much (again, at BBB). Mind you, this does not call for a BBB boycott (a BBBB?), just a boycott of this product. There's a similar product next to it which is probably as worthless. Don't buy that one either.


Kitt said...

Thanks for the warning! I actually got a regular, small propane torch at a hardware store that was going out of business. I figured it could handle creme brulee and anything else I might want to heat up.

theminx said...

Cheap Pyrex custard cups work just as well as fancy ramekins; I have both - plus little earthenware ramekins that I got with Trader Joe's creme brulee.

My torch was from Williams-Sonoma - got it as a wedding gift and it's always worked fine.

Sometimes cheap Sorry you got a lemon.

Summer said...

BB&B has a surprisingly good return policy. It might be worth a try to get your $20 back. And thanks for the heads up! I was actually looking at that the other day. Didn't buy it though, and now I know not to!

MD Canon said...

Ditto the comment from Kitt. Even when not on sale a propane cylinder and torch nozzle will run you under $10. I got my cups in a standard 4 oz. size at Kitchen & Company in Bel Air for about $1.50 a piece.

Anonymous said...

I think I have the same torch from WS and it does suck! Definitely need to get a industrial size one to get the perfect crust!