Candy Thermometer Buying Guide

At first glance, the thermometer is negligible, because of its size. However, every kitchen needs to have one because of how useful it can be.

Whether you are grilling meat for your guest, making candy for breakfast, or deep-frying chicken for the whole family, you need a good thermometer if you want to be as accurate as possible.

Since all candy thermometers are not created the same, you need a way of selecting the best from the myriad of options on the market. This guide will guide you on what to look for and what type is the best for you.

What Are the Different Types of Thermometers on the Market?

Not only do they come in different brands, kitchen thermometers are also available in different varieties. Before you can select the best one or choose the one that suits your needs, you need to consider the different types available. Some of these are listed below:

  • Dial Instant Read

Dial Instant Read Thermometer is a little different from digital models with longer read time – between 15 to 20 seconds – and dial out feature. When it comes to accuracy, the digital instant read thermometers are better, although they serve closely related functions.

  • Infrared Thermometers

The infrared thermometer has a faster read time than the other two models above. The read time is only 1 second, which is the fastest you can come across. It uses an infrared light in measuring temperature of food so you can use it to hold hot or cold food. They also have a wider temperature range than the rest, but their accuracy is lower compared to the other types.

  • Oven Thermometers

You can use the oven thermometers when you are cooking food with grill or the oven. They are heat-resistant and are great for measuring high temp ranges.

  • Digital Instant Read

This thermometer often come with a long probe featuring 10 second read time and digital readout and is more suitable for candy making, drying and baking because of its accuracy.

  • Candy Thermometers

If you are looking at thermometers that could assist you with candy making or deep drying, some models are specifically designed for that. These types of thermometers often have long probes that uses dial or digital read out. They offer more accuracy and more temperature range.

Why Do You Need Candy Thermometer?

If your goal is to make more candy (whether for yourself or family), you need to get yourself a dedicated candy thermometer.

Most digital candy thermometer can easily cover 200 degree F to 360 degree F and they are specially calibrated for candy-making temperature. In fact, some have a label ranges to show you how the candy is progressing.

You need to find yourself one of the best candy thermometers that will give you the accurate measurement and temperature reading you need for making delectable candies for your family and friends.​

Different Stages of Candy Making

The entire candy making process hinges on temperature. If you are going to take only one thing from this guide, it is to understand this. When you get the temperature right, you are on a great start to making the best candy.

To further cement your understanding of this concept, here are the different temperature required for candy-making. Note that some recipes may require that you burn syrup to a certain degree for use in your candy making.​

  • Soft Ball – 2350F to 240oF
  • Firm Ball – 245oF to 250oF
  • Hard Ball – 245oF to 265oF
  • Soft Crack – 270oF to 290oF
  • Hard Crack – 300oF to 310oF

What to Look for In a Candy Thermometer

There are a couple of brands around that you can choose from, depending on your preferences and budget of course. Before you make your choice though, there are certain elements you need to look for in the best candy thermometer such as these:

  • Display

There are basically two varieties of candy thermometers according to display style, analogue and digital. While the analogue models are cheaper, their reading time is longer than digital models. Digital thermometers deliver reading them electronically, so they are faster but also more expensive.

  • Calibration

Since thermometers deal with temperature, calibration is very important. Whether you choose analogue or digital doesn’t matter as you still need to calibrate. What’s important to note here is that analogue variants take longer to calibrate than their digital counterpart.

  • Material

Candy thermometers are also grouped into different categories according to material. Some are made from glass with some protective features while others are only mounted on a metal backing. Some models with metal back option come with temperature zones that correspond to specific heat levels, which help with cooking. The other type is metal thermometers, mostly featuring a 7 inch probe with a round dial.

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