Years ago, “nachos” while camping meant tortilla chips with a chunks of cold guacamole, salsa, and a sprinkle of cold shredded cheese. It wasn’t bad but I knew we could do better without one of those "camping ovens" or bringing along the dutch oven.
[cue sound effects] In comes the blowtorch...
I’ve been bringing a handheld blowtorch camping for the last year or so and it’s been great. Our blowtorch has helped us reheat leftovers, melt cheese , and lightly “toast" bagels. We've used it to start fires (on purpose) and have accidentally caught both food and paper plates on fire.
Does this mean I'm now glamping? Hmmm...no, I don't think so.
Does this mean I am a badass? Yes, yes, it does.
It also helps solve the issue of having 10 barely empty propane cans in our garage, which apparently is an issue we have. We never want to run out so we bring a few with us, even if its just the two of us for a couple nights. When this happens, the tank/can that had barely anything in it remains untouched. Really, who wants to have to change a fuel can halfway through boiling water for coffee in the morning? Not the husband boiling the water for coffee in the morning.
BE SAFE, OK? Don't start a house fire or forest fire or cook in your tent or anything. Really. Don't be dumb.
Thanks and enjoy!
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Step 1: Materials
- Blowtorch - I ordered my Benzomatic TS4000 off Amazon but I think you can also purchase at a big box store. I like it because it screws off and on easily, has a locking trigger, and is comfortable to hold in one hand. I store it separately from the propane canister.
- Propane Canister - any size of propane tank will probably work but I wouldn't want to use a super big one! We use these 16oz cans for camping and often have a ton of extra ones with a few ounces of fuel left in them.
- Chips - tortilla work best!
- Shredded Cheese - I've found that Trader Joe's vegan cheese melts nicely under the torch and recommend blending it with regular cheese!
- Plate or tray - plastic and paper work but take extra precautions to keep them from melting.
- Aluminum Foil - makes clean-up a breeze.
Step 2: Prep
Go outside. It's probably safe to torch a bit inside as you can see but be smart and safe and always have an adult around!
Cover your plate in foil. You wouldn't want to hit a paper or plastic plate with a blowtorch so cover it up well if you aren't going to be using a metal tray. Aluminum foil cools quickly but it does still get pretty hot. Don't grab the foil immediately after torching something; believe me, I've done it. You also wouldn't want to blowtorch directly onto any body parts so make sure you're being safe. Don't be dumb. :)
Lay out your chips on your plate or tray. Spread them out so you have the maximum amount of surface area available for toppings.
Sprinkle on cheese. Vegan cheese, dairy cheese, anything that will melt. A little or a lot, whatever you like. Since you should be doing this outdoors, lets just assume you're being physically active and deserve a little extra on there.
Connect your torch to your gas.
Step 3: Torch It
Test out your torch. For our model, this means rotating the trigger from "off" to "on" and depressing the trigger. Give it a little blow blow (like, choo choo!) for fun. This usually draws a crowd if people weren't already paying attention.
Begin holding your torch about 5 inches away from your food. Press the button to get a flame. Wave it over a small area, keeping the torch moving. Move it closer if the flame is too small and further away if your chips start to catch on fire and/or burn.
Move through the entire tray waving the torch over the food until you see the cheese melt and bubble. It may take up to a minute or so of torching to make a tray of nachos.
Step 4: Eat Up!
Look at these crispy delicious nachos! Serve with additional toppings on the side or scoop on top. Add more cheese and chips to satisfy your crowd!
This also worked out well to melt a little cheese on a veggie meatball sandwich, which I've shared, too. I'll add some additional images as I torch things!