Searing Tilapia with a Bernzomatic TS8000

20 December 2015


Tonight I got to play with a new toy, the Bernzomatic TS8000 torch (linked below), a gift from my fiancé who found it on my Amazon wish list.  It had been a long time desire of mine but I couldn’t justify buying it for myself (thank you, dear!).  I started playing with fire–literally–shortly after I started to experiment with sous-vide, a technique of cooking which uses a temperature controlled water bath and extended cooking periods to cook foods in an extremely precise matter.  The problem with this technique is that–for example cooking a steak–you will get the steak cooked to a perfect temperature but you will lack the beautiful sear we all desire on the steak and it becomes incredibly difficult to achieve that sear without overcooking the steak.  The solution?  A high-powered, extremely HOT torch (originally intended for welding).  Does that sound like over-kill?  It probably is, but it sure is fun as hell.

After receiving the torch, I couldn’t wait to test it out on some food.  I had some tilapia in the refrigerator that I had marinated in a pesto sauce for a few hours.  I went ahead and sous-vide the tilapia at 60°C for 45 minutes.  After I removed it from the water bath, I set it in a cast iron pan and went to work.  The results were gorgeous.

The beginning of the torching

The beginning of the torching.

My fiancé had watched me torch creme brûlée with my puny butane torch for Thanksgiving but was in awe of the process with this decidedly much more “grown up” torch.

Within seconds, a beautiful sear began to form

Within seconds, a beautiful sear began to form.


The flame spread nicely to cover the fish and give it an even sear.

The flame spread nicely to cover the fish and give it an even sear.


Fire is tasty

Fire is tasty!

The meal was otherwise simple: fish just smothered in a basil pesto sauce and rice.  The final product turned out beautiful.

Up close finished product

Up close finished product.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.  This is at no extra cost to you and helps us keep this blog running.  

All photos are by Thirteenth Knight Photo  © 2015


  • Reply Sous-Vide Curried Chicken Thighs – Almost Kosher 24 December 2015 at 8:07 pm

    […] chicken thigh with the same Middle Eastern spice and recreate the grill flavor using my lovely new torch.  The spice paste I created turned out with more of a curry flavor than originally intended, but […]

  • Reply Chicken Sausage Penne with a Pesto Sauce and Garlic – Almost Kosher 29 December 2015 at 8:04 pm

    […] but no marinara.  Suddenly I remembered that I still had some leftover pesto sauce from the night I seared the tilapia and thought…what the hell?  Let’s make this work.  Let’s also not forget that […]

  • Reply Chicken Posole, Kosher-Style (Posole Rojo Con Pollo) – Almost Kosher 31 December 2015 at 8:21 pm

    […] on a foil-lined baking sheet.  If you happen to have a bernzomatic torch (like the one I used to torch fish recently), you can of course use that! **Spoiler alert** I used my torch :).  Immediately put the charred […]

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