The Product That Solves the Problem We Didn't Know Existed

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
December 23, 2013

All photo credits: Kickstarter 

Today in Gadgets For Which People Go Crazy: the Searzall. 

Dave Arnold, Director of Culinary Technology for The French Culinary Institute) and general mad scientist type, decided he needed to “solve a problem in sous vide cooking.” The high-tech cooking process, in which meat is cooked at a steady temperature in a water bath, is great for producing tender meat, but its failure is that it doesn’t help said meat achieve a tasty, crackly crust. (Not exactly an everyday problem for all of us, but an interesting problem nonetheless.)

You might think: I’d just torch the crust, dude! But the typical kitchen blowtorch—the one you might have for finishing crème brûlée, for example—leaves what’s called “torch taste,” which Arnold describes in this video as “bad—it leaves a fuel taste on your food.” Yick. His solution is the Searzall, an “attachment for a torch that turns it into a hand-held broiler.” It does exactly what its name promises: it lets you sear all types of food. This can happen in your restaurant or, more ominously, “in your dorm room.”

“We’ve been making these things in our basement for the last couple of months,” Arnold announces excitedly, and he’d like your money in order to legitimately continue doing so.

Is torch taste a niche problem? Not quite. Maybe it’s the endorsement of Momofuku’s David Chang, or the sight of a sushi chef beautifully searing the skin of a filet, but as we went to press, the project had a cool thousand backers on Kickstarter and had surpassed their fundraising goal of $80,000. Several of the tiers are now sold out, but the $65 option is still available, which includes a “stocking stuffer” promising your favorite gadgethead a shiny new toy in his or her future.

The Searzall is slated to roll out next summer. On-demand s’mores in the park for all!