I want to have oven roasted tomatoes that have some black on them for salsa. I have over 100 tomatoes and don't want to use the oven for a full day doing this. I think a blowtorch might blacken the tomatoes in a good way. Would this have the desired effect (i.e., having blackened charred tomatoes)? How would it be different from baking them in an oven?

I know the tomatoes won't lose as much liquid as if they were baked, but that is not an issue since I'll be reducing them in a salsa anyway.

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    Well - they'll still be almost entirely raw if you just blow-torch them compared to roasting them in the oven ...
    – brhans
    Aug 28, 2019 at 22:05
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    ...plus, it will take you a lot longer to blow torch 100 tomatoes, than it would to place them on sheet pans and put them in the oven. It certainly wouldn't take a full day.
    – moscafj
    Aug 28, 2019 at 22:11
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    Hey, we can't really tell you if it will have the "desired effect" since we don't know the effect you desire. Rephrase your question?
    – FuzzyChef
    Aug 28, 2019 at 22:43
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    And I have heard that some people can taste the propane from food that has been torched. So I would at least try it to see if you like the flavor. Aug 28, 2019 at 23:13
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    If the tomatoes aren't tiny, 100 is going to make a rather large amount of salsa ... unless you're going to be canning, have a huge family, are planning a large party, or going to be giving it away to friends ... it's probably best not to turn it all into salsa. At the very least, make multiple smaller batches of salsa, so you can decide what you like and refine your recipe as you go.
    – Joe
    Aug 29, 2019 at 2:31

2 Answers 2


Does your oven have a fan-grill?

30-ish tomatoes on a tray, 3 trays, set to fan grill & rotate the trays every few mins.

Alternatively, use the regular oven & when the tomatoes are nearly done, switch to the grill. Rotate as above.


It depends on what effect you're going for.

If all you want is some burnt bits? Sure, go for it. Heck, you don't even have to use the tomatoes for that; you can just burn some paper, or grind up some lump charcoal. (I wouldn't suggest using briquettes or self-lighting charcoal for that.)

If you're going for the taste of roasted tomatoes, that won't be there. That develops through a longer cooking time (though not all day. See Tetsujin's answer) and can't really be short-cutted. A kitchen torch doesn't deliver much heat compared to an oven, just very focused heat.

The other thing you might consider, particularly if your oven is low-powered and/or doesn't have a convection mode, is roasting some of the tomatoes and leaving the others raw. I've actually made salsa like this before, because I like the taste of roasted tomatoes and also the tang of fresh ones. It lets you absolutely roast the hell out of the ones you're roasting.

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