If you’re into gadgets for the kitchen, you’re going to want to read this review. Dremel approached me with the opportunity to review their Versaflame. Are you ready to light up the kitchen? This review I hope will open your mind to the multiple ways home cooks can use the Dremel Versaflame in their cooking, and weigh up whether this nifty tool is worth splurging on.
Although this product is mostly used for crafts, it can also be used in the kitchen. It took me some time to respond to this request from Dremel, as I wasn’t sure if any normal folk would be interested in this tool. The gadget geek in me was keen to give it a shot but I didn’t want to share a tool that would only be used for one recipe; that most people struggle making (crème brulee). With careful consideration and some research into blowtorch recipes; I took on reviewing this delightful tool.
How it works:
Let’s get technical for a minute… Packaged beautifully in a tin box, Dremel sets you up with a technical book filled with illustrations and instructions along with ways to use the different bits and bobs in your ‘toolkit’. It can be overwhelming at first, but Dremel have really covered all bases to ensure the safety of the user as well as the best results from using their product. I was so impressed with the safety features on the Dremel Versaflame.
The Dremel Versaflame uses Butane gas that you would use for a lighter. The instructions show you how to fill the bottle up with gas. Do not expect the gas to be filled already; just in case you might have… Once you have filled the Dremel Versaflame with gas, just underneath the button for igniting the flame is a child safety button. Every time you want to use the Dremel Versaflame you need to slide the child safety across and then press. When you stop pressing the button, the child safety feature snaps back in place immediately. I was so impressed with this! Once the flame is going, or even before clicking the button, you can set the flame size by simply just sliding it across to the desired flame size. If you plan on flaming something for a long time, you can lock the flame in with another lever, so your thumb won’t get too sore holding down the button. In these cases, I would recommend you do that when you have no distractions.
Handling it does need some getting used to. All I can say is that you need to have a bit of a distance so you don’t burn the dish you are working on. I used a brush stroke effect, and tried to ensure the tip of the flame touched the dish. Although while testing I did do the opposite and soon figured it only resulted in burnt food, and a smelly kitchen…
What you can use it on:
At first I was concerned as I didn’t want this to be a tool only used for crème brulee. I mean it does work really well melting sugar, I did test this, but there is more to this nifty gadget… I discovered how many different things this tool helps make the cooking process easier or helps give the finishing touches you need without waiting any longer for good grub or ruining the entire dish for one crispy effect.
I’ve tested this gadget on a few things. For the sweet tooth fans you can make baked Alaska, and toast Swiss meringue topped cupcakes using your Dremel Versaflame. There is also marshmallows! They can be melted and toasted, I mean who says no to s’mores desserts, especially during winter time? The Dremel Versaflame is a handy tool to help unmould jellies and ice-creams and make sure you keep the shape.
Have you ever made a chicken dish and are left with soft wet chicken skin? When baking these chicken dishes, at the end you can make the chicken pieces a bit more appealing and tastier by using the Versaflame to ‘crisp’ them up a bit. When making curries and stews, often tomatoes are blanched in hot water to allow the skin to peel off, with Versaflame you can torch the skin off in minutes, and still keep the integrity of the tomato. This can also be done for peppers.
When doing a roast beef, lamb or pork; you don’t need to get out the clunky big pots to seal the meat. All you need is the blow torch and leave the meat in the roasting tray. This saves dishes and time. When roasting pork, you can finish off the crackling with your Dremel Versaflame as well.
Lastly, and my favourite function, you can melt cheeses… yes, indeed. Can you imagine a Camembert or brie cheese, toasted and melted with your blowtorch with biscuits, or crispy bread? I’m salivating! I tested the blowtorch with cheddar cheese… it does melt, however, you have to make sure your fire is not saturating the cheese, like I did…well I was testing it after all. The best is, like I mentioned before, to always keep a distance from your food and ensure just the tip of the flame is directed on the spot, anymore…from my experience…seems to burn the food.
There is no doubt this gadget is a luxury tool for the kitchen. Do you need it, not really… do you want it, oh hell yes! This is definitely a great tool to have in the kitchen. It calls on the Heston Blumenthal foodies, the dudes that enjoy experimenting with gadgets, food and fire, and the serious cordon bleu home cooks. Make sure you keep this in mind for your birthday or Christmas treat!