Writer Sophie Brickman took cocktail wizard Dave Arnold's hand-held broiler, the Searzall, for a spin for Bloomberg and found much to love about it. The device, which attaches to a blowtorch and forces the flame to spread evenly to create a "high quality finish," was previously only available through Kickstarter. However, in November it was made available on Amazon for chefs and home cooks alike.
Brickman notes that the Searzall has become a popular tool in professional kitchens: Chef David Chang of the Momofuku empire uses it to add a crispy crust to sous-vide and slow-cooked meats; he cooks eggs with it for chawanmushi; and has even used it to reheat leftover pizza. Chef John Poiarkoff (The Pines, Brooklyn) uses it to sear beef and char oranges for cocktails, and chef Chris Shepard (Underbelly, Houston) has used the tool to melt lard and add "a little bit of texture" to crudo dishes.
Ambitious cooks may use [the Searzall] to recreate restaurant-quality dishes at home.
The Searzall is also ideal for the home cook, Brickman notes. Chang points out that the BTU output of the Searzall is dramatically higher than that of the average home stove. Ambitious cooks may use it to recreate restaurant-quality dishes at home. Brickman found that though it was scary to use at first, it offers a great, even, and powerful heat that chars tuna quite well and chars a Caesar salad nicely. Plus, unlike other blowtorches, there is no lingering fuel flavor.
Her favorite use for the Searzall? Cooking eggs: "Not only did the snot-like texture disappear, but the edges crisped to a crunchy brown, and the yolk remained gooey." Brickman writes, however, that the Searzall is best used "in tandem to a stovetop, not instead of it."