Searing Tilapia with a Bernzomatic TS8000
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.
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.
The meal was otherwise simple: fish just smothered in a basil pesto sauce and rice. The final product turned out beautiful.
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All photos are by Thirteenth Knight Photo © 2015