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Best non jewelry use of a casting torch

Tim wanted to make a pot roast in our crock pot yesterday. I told
him that he needed to sear the meat first. He didn’t want to mess up
the stove he had just cleaned the day before.

He took it into the shop and seared it with the rosebud tip on our
casting torch.

Yup. It worked beautifully and tasted great.

He also likes to start the BBQ briquettes with a plumbers torch. Hot
coals in 5 minutes instead of 45.

Don’t try this at home kids.

Jo Haemer

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Hi Jo,

For many years, the ‘kitchen’ in the metals shop at Cranbrook used
one of those big ‘shower head’ looking annealing torches, upside down
under a tripod as the main stovetop for all of us cooking dinner. And
I want it on record that there were already sandblaster marks on
the pots and pans before I thought of it.


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Also good for burning off the hair from a freshly plucked chicken, ,
but keep the high temp. flame away, using a softer flame or you semi
cook/sear the skin and it will them often split/tear while cooking.
Good to burn off the fine stickers on prickly pears too!!!

john dach

Nifty hint, Jo. I’ve fire polished chips on goblet rims - just have
to preheat the piece in the oven and then put the goblet back in the
oven to cool gradually. If the goblet cracks, nothing is lost since
it was toast anyway.

Judy in Kansas, who is waiting to learn other such non-jewelry uses
for the torch!

Ha ha ha! I regularly use my casting torch to roast peppers,
especially poblanos.


When I want to impress my dinner guests, I take them and our creme
brulee desert down into my studio, light my acetyline torch, and
gently kiss the creme brulee with a delicate flame. Sure beats those
wimpy kitchen brulee torches one gets at the culinary supply place.
Makes a great impression on everyone (at least those who did not fee
the studio when i first light the torch and the flame shoots out.

Got to be careful though as too much flame and one has a charred,
molten gooey mess.


Loved this post! When family visited this summer, we wanted a real
Southern Honey Baked Ham but I did not want to pay $10 dollars a
pound for it. Bought a spiral sliced ham from Sam’s Club and used
this recipe. The kids and I brought this big ham down to my studio,
patted on the glaze ingredients and torched it. DELICIOUS! My family
claims that I make the best Honey Baked Ham in the south.

Blend the following:
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/8 teaspoon paprika
dash ground ginger
dash ground allspice

Massage the blend into the ham, light your torch and and glaze that
ham. Delightful!

A great way to get quick revenge on those evil ticks that harass my
precious (and sometimes naughty) dogs. A bit overkill, but quite

I’ve tried to toast bread, melt butter, heat up my water or tea and
at times, heat up the pickle with my torch during blackouts. I once
tried caramelizing the brown sugar on creme brulee with my torch. Of
course it was a little burnt, but my mom loved it once she stopped
laughing. 3 weeks ago, I had my students giggling as I tried to warm
up the pickle with the torch for the school studio was darn cold and
the ^$*#!@!^ outlet not working. I think I have the crockpot working
now, after doing some work on the outlet and plug. I’ll try to
speed-heat the pickle, or even throw it in the microwave to get it
hot faster. The things we doin our workshops/studios.


I don’t have a casting torch but I have plenty of other things that
make fire in my shop.

For the past few summers I’ve taken my larger propane torch outside
and used it to kill weeds in the cracks in our driveway.

I also use my little butane torch to light the charcoal and wood
chips for our meat smoker.

My next off-label planned use for the butane torch is to try
polishing acrylic pen blanks after turning them on the lathe. I
haven’t tried it yet but the videos I’ve watched on Youtube
demonstrating this technique make it look sort of almost easy…

Kathy Johnson

Oh Gosh! I forgot the time that Tim’s Uncle Bob brought in a big bag
of elephant garlic from his garden. We put it in the burnout oven to

Filled three stories of Zell Brothers Jewelers with the wonderful
smell of roasting garlic. We ate it all for lunch. The sales folks
were so jealous, they couldn’t imbibe without offensive breath. The
next day we all oozed garlic from our pores as well as some very
impressive roast garlic farts.

Needles to say, the sales folks did not ask us to come down to the
main floor for consults that day.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

I’m in a medieval reenactment group (the SCA) & a bunch of us built
a clay forge to smelt some iron ('cause that’s our idea of a fun
weekend). At one point, one of the guys felt we were wasting all that
lovely fire & he brought out some steaks, which we proceeded to cook
over the fire.

Absolutely perfect rare stake down in less than 60 seconds-- it was
awesome! :smiley: Meanwhile, students at my MA alma mater have been known
to use the burnout kilns to cook pizza.

Artist, metalsmith, chaos magnet, rare steak lover

My next off-label planned use for the butane torch is to try
polishing acrylic pen blanks after turning them on the lathe. 

What do you mean Kathy? Are you making your own pens? That is
something I would be interested in hearing about.

I have often looked with amazement at the humble Bic pen and
wondered how such a useful and really somewhat complicated device
can be made and sold for only a few cents. I mean, if someone asked
me to make them a pen from scratch that would hold ink for months at
a time and would allow them to write on paper without drips or
smears, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea how to do it and if I did
make it I would want to charge them 2000 bucks for the job!


Does anyone else find it very funny that there is one subset of us
who have these creatively awesome ideas for using our equipment to
prepare food, right in our studios, and yet there is another subset
terrified of the chemicals we use just by their mere presence? Don’t
know why, just seems so funny to me!

I love this thread–keep 'em coming! :slight_smile:

Oh Jo - I had such a good chuckle at the garlic. Roasted garlic so
good, but boy, it really stinks up the body, esp. when you pass gas.
I once made chickpeas sauteed in plenty of garlic and salt, and took
some to work, and after I warmed up the garlicy chickpeas for lunch,
my boss at the fine jewelry gallery asked me what did I make? After
that, I made sure not to bring in any stinky or garlicy meals. He
was very polite, but it was clear he didn’t approve the garlic

Keep those stories coming - we all need a good laugh at the bench. I
have to confess I have thought of torching the icy driveway with a
blowtorch to get the darn ice off. My ice chipper is honed to a
sharp edge after years of chipping ice/snow.


Well I must admit I have used my torch on food. I do not use any
lethal chemicals in the shop if I can avoid it so though I would
never teach it is ok to eat in there of course I do. many a melted
cheese sandwich has been made lol I buy a box of those restaurant
foil squares slap one on my sculpting turntable(7 inchs and steel)
then stack my sandwich light touch of flame to each side sandwich in
tummy warm and good. and oh those skewers of meat and tomatoes onions
and mushrooms lol Of course I am a professional Retired from chefdom
in Disneyworld to retraiing in silversmithing but hey all skills in
life come in handy. and yes chefs burn things too lol


All this talk of cooking in the studio (or shop as you see fit) has
me contemplating the thought of running my burnout kiln to a cheery
650C and seeing what sort of job it does in cooking tandori chicken
and garlic nan. I have often used a torch to caramelise the top of a
creme caramel but just by taking a little butane torch kitchen
rather than using the oxy-propane in the studio.


My next off-label planned use for the butane torch is to try
polishing acrylic pen blanks after turning them on the lathe. 
What do you mean Kathy? Are you making your own pens? That is
something I would be interested in hearing about. 

Yep, I’m just starting to use a lathe to turn wood and acrylic
blanks into parts for pens. Simple twist pens with roller ball ink
inserts at this point, nothing fancy (yet). Right now I’m using
commercial kits for the pen parts.

To keep this jewelry-related, someday when I have a better handle on
metal shrinkage, I will venture into casting my own clips, caps,
center bands and tips, and I’ll eventually move on to making
fountain pens.

Kathy Johnson

While not for the casting torch… I think the best baked potato
you’ll ever eat is when you wrap it in foil and place it in your red
hot burnout kiln immediately after a casting… something about that
800 degree flash cooking really makes a potato delicious… and its
cooks pretty darn fast too.


I think the best baked potato you'll ever eat is when you wrap it
in foil and place it in your red hot burnout kiln immediately
after a casting. something about that 800 degree flash cooking
really makes a potato delicious.... and its cooks pretty darn fast

Like how fast? You’ve got me hungry for taters.