How to Use a Candy Thermometer

Photo of author

By: Rachae's Nosheri


Cooks who work with sugary solutions need a candy thermometer in order to achieve malleable candy and other sweet treats. At certain temperatures, sugar solutions must reach certain malleability thresholds that make for candy making success.

Before using a candy thermometer, conduct an accuracy test in boiling water to make sure that its readings match 212 degrees Fahrenheit accurately – this can make all the difference in your cooking!


Candy making requires precise temperatures, and having an accurate candy thermometer can save a lot of headache and heartache. Before candy thermometers became popular, chefs would judge their syrup by dropping some into cold water (known as the “water test”) and then judging its texture (soft ball or soft crack) to determine its success or failure. But this process can be extremely time consuming and error prone – now all you need is one device!

Candy thermometers are cooking thermometers designed specifically to measure the higher temperatures encountered when boiling sugar mixtures, and robust enough to withstand the knocks and blows associated with their use. They often feature a long tip intended to submerge into pots of bubbling sugar and they include scales to indicate various stages of candy and caramel cooking.

As well as being sturdy, a good candy thermometer must also be easily read from a distance, even at great distance. This requires large dials or screens with easy reading capabilities regardless of digital or analog design – most digital models include an LCD display which shows current temperature as well as what your set it for alerts (to let you know it’s time to remove syrup from heat).

Candy thermometers should also be designed to withstand being submerged into hot liquids. Generally speaking, they tend to be longer than meat thermometers in order to fit submerged in deep pots of boiling sugar without touching the bottom and generally constructed of metal which provides greater thermal shock resistance than glass.

Finally, an effective candy thermometer must be easy to maintain and clean. This is particularly crucial if it’s a bulb-type thermometer that must be removed periodically from boiling sugar to be tested against cold water bowls to check accuracy. A bulb thermometer should be easy to take out from its bowl before being rinsed with cold water to refresh before resuming its journey back into boiling sugar again.


Glass candy thermometers resemble mercury-filled thermometers in many ways, with one key distinction: alcohol or mineral spirits in a bulb at the bottom expand and climb the scale to display temperature readings. They’re fairly cheap and easy to find at most grocery stores; designed to withstand temperatures well beyond boiling point for accurate readings.

Cooks who do not possess a candy thermometer may resort to using a meat thermometer instead, which is intended for lower temperatures but this method is less accurate, more time consuming, and requires them to place it back in cold water after each use. Furthermore, this may lead to inaccurate results as long as it’s not cleaned correctly before being put back into service.

Candy thermometers boast an extensive temperature range – typically covering anything from 140 degrees (meat) to 400+ degrees (candy). This significant variation underscores why chefs need a candy thermometer.

These thermometers should be stored safely away from children as they can become very hot when touched, potentially burning little fingers if touched directly. Furthermore, it’s best to store it away from stovetops and pans that heat quickly; additionally, glass thermometers should never be submerged under cold water after using as such a drastic temperature shift could break them.

Candy thermometers should be cleaned after every use with a damp paper towel in order to avoid becoming crusted with sugar or sticky. If this occurs, immersing it in boiling water may help clear away excess crusted sugar crustage. A dirty thermometer may provide inaccurate readings – something which could prove costly when making candy!

Make sure that you have an extra candy thermometer handy just in case one breaks, and test your current thermometer regularly to ensure it still functions as expected – for instance if your candy thermometer shows temperatures different from that of boiling water when tested, adjust accordingly for your recipe.


Digital candy thermometers are essential tools for those who enjoy crafting their own confectionary. Easy to use and providing accurate results, digital candy thermometers also come in various styles so it will be simple for you to find one suitable to your needs.

Thermometers are essential tools in all forms of cooking, but especially so for candy making. Sugar solutions can reach temperatures that can be exceptionally high; an accurate thermometer will ensure your candies turn out correctly; using an incorrect one could result in burnt pots of sugar! It is crucial that you select an accurate one to meet your individual needs.

Digital candy thermometers are the best way to ensure you are cooking candies at the appropriate temperature. Easy and hassle-free use make this thermometer invaluable; simply insert into boiling syrup or liquid quickly and effortlessly for quick reading of current temperature and alarm set off if it reaches desired goal.

Candy thermometers have long been part of everyday kitchen life, and are becoming more widely utilized over time. They have replaced the outdated practice of measuring syrup’s sugar concentration by dropping bits into water for testing purposes; home chefs first made the switch from hand measuring to digital thermometry as their first big leap forward in home baking.

Digital candy thermometers must be calibrated regularly in order to remain accurate. You can do this by placing it into a hot bath you are already using for other tasks or purchasing calibration kits from most hardware stores. Furthermore, testing your thermometer periodically will keep you aware of any discrepancies or errors.

Though it can be tempting, sticking your finger into a pot of boiling sugar may not be advised for any type of cooking. A digital candy thermometer is the best way to accurately determine the temperature of sugar mixtures; you’ll find them readily available at most supermarkets and houseware stores. Candy makers will find this tool indispensable, while it may even come in handy during deep frying processes.


To achieve the perfect candy, it is crucial that syrup or sugar be cooked to an accurate temperature for best results. A candy thermometer helps ensure a burnt batch doesn’t happen while also saving time by eliminating firm or soft pilling when making toffee, fudge, or hard boiled candies. In the past, home cooks would rely on using either glass thermometers or “water test” methods as ways of measuring their syrup’s temperature – although these techniques work, they’re far less accurate or convenient!

There is a wide variety of candy thermometers on the market, ranging from traditional glass and metal thermometers to digital versions. Candy thermometers usually consist of long, narrow thermometers with high heat ranges designed for use with boiling liquids or foods; most feature metal frames with tempered glass tubes; however some come with prongs or infrared sensors to provide instant readouts. Furthermore, candy thermometers must withstand higher temperatures than meat thermometers due to being placed into foods and liquids with much higher heat ranges – an important consideration given that candy thermometers must also be placed into food at temperatures significantly higher than meat thermometers when measuring such foods and liquids at high heat ranges when inserting them into hot foods and liquids at much higher heat range.

These thermometers are specifically designed to handle the high temperatures required to produce candy, sauces and syrups that require high heat ranges such as candies. You can find them at most grocery stores as well as specialty kitchen shops or online.

A typical candy thermometer provides seven pre-programmed candy stages for the cook to choose from and an indicator light that illuminates when it has reached their chosen temperature. These thermometers can be extremely helpful when creating candies regularly as it eliminates guesswork when reaching specific stages. It is essential when using candy thermometers that they are handled carefully: not touching directly with your hands when holding or submerging into water.

Photo of author

Rachae's Nosheri

Rachael’s Nosheri is a Jewish deli located in 120 S. 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. We serve breakfast and lunch comfort foods and deli sandwiches. Our extensive menu and reasonable prices make us a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Our food is pretty good if you’re in the mood for deli sandwiches, and we’re known for our American, Bagels, Breakfast, Lunch Specials, and Sandwiches.

Leave a Comment