How To Brulee (Caramelize Sugar) Creme Brulee In A Home Oven Broiler

While we use the finest kitchen torches to make our sugar sizzle and get that hard candy shell that everyone loves on their creme brulee, it often doesn’t make sense for the home cook to have this type of equipment unless you’re confident in your love for the candy covered custard that is creme brulee.

But don’t worry, you probably have the perfect tool in your own home already — your oven! As long as you take the proper precautions (hot things are dangerous and hurt! remember how much pain you were in after you didn’t listen to your parents), the results from the home oven broiler can be an exceptional creme brulee.  We even do it at our homes when we don’t have the torches handy.

So here’s how you do it:


DO NOT USE A TOASTER OVER. The space is too small so the heat goes every where and you end up with a disappointing candy shell and warm soupy custard.

THE CONTAINER WILL BE HOT. If you have one of our take away aluminum ramekins, heat transfers very quickly. That means it will get very hot very quickly. The good news is that it also gets very cool very quickly. So use oven mitts or anything else to keep your skin safe when taking it out of the heat. The aluminum will cool quickly and you should be able to handle with your hands after a few moments out of the heat. The ceramic ramekins are slower to transfer hear so will depend on how long you leave them in the oven. They will also take longer to cool down. Please be careful and use common sense. Remember, creme brulee = fun, burns = no fun.

Now, set your oven on broil and give it a few minutes to warm up. It works best if you wait until it’s at it’s hottest before putting the creme brulee in the oven.

How to Brulee Creme Brulee In A Home Oven Broiler Text only Instructions
(scroll down for instructions with pictures):

1. Remove the lid or cover from your creme brulee.

2. Sprinkle white sugar over the top of your C’EST BRULEE crème brulee, making sure to completely cover the top of the custard.

3. Rotating or gently shaking the ramekin from side to side will help make an even layer of sugar. The more sugar you use, the longer it will take to brulee and result in a thicker bruleed candy coating.

4. Place the sugared-coated creme brulee ramekin on a cookie sheet or pan on a rack so that it’s about two inches below the heating element (gas flame, electric element, etc). Be careful not to touch the heat source with your hand. And leave the oven or broiler door open while bruleeing the sugar.

5. Carefully watch the brulee, when the sugar starts to bubble and turn brown the sugar is caramelized and ready to remove. This step may take 2-5 minutes, depending on the temperature of your oven, electric or flame, and distance the brulee is from the heat. The degree of brulee is a personal preference, some people like a thin light brown candy shell and others like a dark brown to black burnt sugar taste. Simply leave your creme brulee in for the desired amount of time. Remember, though, no do-overs, so it’s best to pull it out a little before it’s just right to your taste than wait too long and have the sugar more burnt than you would like.

5a. If bruleeing more than one creme brulee at once, you may have to shift them around the oven or remove some before the others based on hotspots in your oven.

6. After removing from the oven, allow your creme brulee to cool for a minute or two to allow the sugar to harden and avoid burning yourself.

7. Now, grab a spoon, give that candy shell it’s first tap, and dig in to enjoy the incredible textures and tastes of your freshly bruleed creme brulee!

How to Brulee Creme Brulee In A Home Oven Broiler Instructions With Pictures: