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rpm_pseud0name's avatar

Please help me choose a candy thermometer.

Asked by rpm_pseud0name (8180 points ) December 13th, 2012

I’m buying a candy thermometer for a friend. But every single one listed on Amazon and other cooking sites have several poor reviews.

I am looking for experienced help. If you have a candy thermometer or know someone who does, I’d like to hear about it.

I’m being very picky here because when it comes to making candy, getting exact temperatures right is absolutely crucial.

Thanks.

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7 Answers

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gailcalled's avatar

I am sending this question to our resident chocolatier.

trailsillustrated's avatar

the big thermometer that your grandmother used. readily available at the superstore or cookshop.

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thorninmud's avatar

By “candy thermometer”, do you mean one for measuring the temperature of coking sugar? Or do you mean a thermometer for measuring the temperature of chocolate? Two very different jobs that require very different instruments. Do you have an idea what kind of “candy” work your friend tends to do?

For cooking sugar, you want a probe-style digital thermometer. This version works well. You can just clip the probe to the rim of the pan and get a real-time readout as the sugar cooks (classic bulb-style thermometers have a lag time, so that the temp you see is always a bit behind the actual temp of the sugar as it rises). But this doesn’t have the finesse necessary for chocolate work.

For chocolate, nothing beats an infrared thermometer. It gives an instant reading, can handle the fractions of a degree that matter in chocolate, and makes no contact with the chocolate, so you’re not constantly cleaning it. They can get very expensive, but I like this little guy. It’s cheap, and it’s the size of a car’s lock clicker, so you can tuck it into a pocket. But you can’t use this for cooking sugar.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@thorninmud What prompted me to buy the gift was an email I received from the friend, complaining about the caramel she made not coming out right because she didn’t have a proper thermometer. So that probe style would be excellent. But I never even knew the infrared thermometer existed!! She cooks a lot and would definitely benefit from both styles. So I’m buying both. :) Thanks.

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