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Old 12-09-2009, 11:00 AM   #1
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Torch safe ramekins

A while back I experimented with making Creme Brulee. After a couple tries, it came out pretty good, but in the process I cracked a few ramekins while using a torch to caramelize the sugar.

I'm not sure what they are made out of, it guess it feels like some sort of stoneware or ceramic, but they apparently couldn't take the heat of the torch. In the ramekin's defense, I wasn't using a standard kitchen torch, I was using a much larger propane torch from Home Depot.

Now I'm looking for a new set of ramekins to replace them. I want to make absolutely sure they can handle the heat in case I want to try it again someday. Unfortunately, I haven't found any Ramekins that advertise being "torch safe", and I have only found a few that advertise even being broiler safe.

I've found some ramekins on Amazon that advertise being either broiler safe, or safe up to 500F degrees. Is this the kind of thing I'm looking for? Unfortunately, as this is my first post, I can't include links.

Is there a specific material I should be looking for? How can I tell if a Ramekin is safe to use with a torch?

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Old 12-09-2009, 11:09 AM   #2
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Ceramic ramekins should be OK. It's important to not hold the torch in one place. Move it back and forth over the surface where the sugar is.

Corning makes ramekins of all different size that should work well.
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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and maybe invest in a kitchen torch.

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Old 12-11-2009, 08:35 AM   #4
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Like Andy said - ceramic ramekins should be just fine. Sounds like your having a problem with thermal shock. Two things to try: 1) Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before putting torch to it. 2) Start heating your sugar in the middle of the dish and work out toward the edges - and keep the flame moving.

A small kitchen torch is nice and convenient (you can toss it into a drawer when not in use) but they are more expensive in the long run to use than a large one - and a large one will work just fine (they were being used in kitchens long before the little toy torches came on the market).

I use ceramic ramekins and a large torch, use the above method, and have never popped one - but I did a time or two before I learned to do it that way.
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:44 AM   #5
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I would check with a local restaurant supply company if possible. You can find a lot of ramekins out there that really should not be torched or even place under a broiler.
I use a large torch to burn my brule's and don't have a problem.

Just another idea, when you are burning the sugar use a fine granulated sugar and burn it once, let cool for a couple of minutes, sugar it again and then give it a second burn. Makes a nice hard shell over the custard.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:01 PM   #6
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I use a Home Depot torch because that is how I was taught in school. I have used ramekins of all shapes, sizes and materials and haven't cracked one yet (oops, probably just jinxed myself LOL). We were taught that the trick is to stay more in the middle and the heat will radiate to the sides to melt the sugar. This way the flame doesn't touch the ramekin and you still get a nice even carmelization. But this is just my experience.
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