Last weekend, we had a dusting of snow on the ground and the thermometer hovered around 30 degrees at our multigenerational home in the hills above Camas. We decided it would be fun to build a warm fire and enjoy the winter scene outdoors. Fortunately, we’ve got a fire-breathing dragon, and in no time we had toasty flames in the fire pit for family members to enjoy. The photo is my sis Cheri, with her dog Gibbs, keeping a careful watch.
Dragons, okay propane torches, have been around since the 1950’s. Today’s version has evolved into a much easier to use, and much safer to use, country-life essential. You can still purchase the old propane burners which you ignite with a hand held striker after opening the valve on a propane tank. However, thanks to new automatic igniters, you can now pull a trigger and poof – you’ve got fire.
We use our propane torch for a variety of applications too, not just for starting our outdoor fire. An environmentally friendly way to fight noxious weeds is with high heat. You can even easily edge a driveway with a propane torch too. Propane is a clean burning gas and it would take thousands of torches burning for hours and hours to have any impact on air quality.
Other common uses for propane torches include soldering, melting ice and snow, paint removal, loosening nuts and bolts, and my favorite, caramelizing the tops of certain dishes, like Creme brûlée. Yum. Although, ours it too big for kitchen use. A word of caution though, a propane torch is a serious work tool. The tip can stay extremely hot after use so don’t rest it on something flammable, or allow children or pets in the vicinity. They might inadvertently touch it.
Propane torches come in a variety of sizes. You may want to talk to someone at a local hardware, or farm and feed, store to determine the best fit for your needs. We’re certain you’ll enjoy the many benefits of having a fire-breathing dragon available year round. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.