Use That Torch for More Than Crème Brulée

Once you've invested in a torch for creating the sugar crust on crème brulée, you've got the power to transform any number of dishes into something special. Chowhounds apply their torches to everything from weekday breakfasts to holiday feasts. "You can brulée anything you can put sugar on," TeRReT says.

Transform oatmeal by bruléeing the top. It's "[o]ne of the best things in the world," mamachef says. "Truly spectacular," concurs sarahjay. Sprinkle sugar on French toast, then torch it, "and you get an awesome crust," jester99 says. Caramelized fruit is delicious, say hounds who've bruléed grapefruit, bananas, and pineapple.

Torching enhances savory foods, too. 1POINT21GW pats crystallized honey onto a ham before hitting it with flame. "You can make a ham better than Honey Baked Hams for waaaaaaaaay less than they charge," 1POINT21GW says. katecm uses a torch on mashed sweet potatoes spread in a casserole and topped with brown sugar.

For desserts other than crème brulée, hounds recommend caramelized rice pudding. A torch can also brown meringue toppings. Sometimes, using a torch is more about fun than fine cuisine. Bruléed Peeps are "an Easter tradition in my family," ziggylu says. "[W]e just pass the torch around the table and brulée them right on a plate."

Discuss: What else can I brulee besides creme brulee?

Crème brulée image from Shutterstock