7 Best Candy Thermometer for Making Perfect Fudge, Caramel and More
Whether you’re a seasoned candy maker or just planning to work with sugar, having the best candy thermometer is essential in getting the best results. Just like other kitchen tools and equipment, candy thermometers come very handily in achieving consistency and accuracy in candy making.
But what is the difference between a candy thermometer from a regular one? And why should you buy it? As you read along, we will discuss the different types and features of candy thermometers which you should look for when purchasing. Additionally, we will review and wrap up the best candy thermometer in 2017 to give you an easier buying experience.
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List of Best Candy Thermometer
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*For more information about NCS (Net Customer Satisfaction) grade, please click here. (Price range: $ = $1 - $50 / $$ = $51 - $100 / $$$ = $101 -$150 / $$$$ = $151 - $200 / $$$$$ = $201 - $250 /$$$$$$ = Above $250)
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December 28, 2017
The Top 3 Candy Thermometer Reviews
Cave Tools Digital Cooking Thermometer
This Digital Cooking Thermometer by Cave Tools is also one of the best-selling candy thermometers on Amazon. The fast temperature reading comes out within seconds which saves you a lot of time while cooking or baking and lessens your guesswork. It’s displayed on a large LCD screen that is very visible and easy to read.
It has an auto shut off feature that can save battery life. Other than that, you don’t need to calibrate it frequently because it stays accurate for a longer period compared to other thermometers. Its wide temperature range, which is from -40 to 232 °C or -40 to +450 °F makes it a very versatile thermometer.
The thermometer comes in a storage case with a pocket clip to easily keep its stainless steel probe. Also, the probe’s design makes it easy to immerse in sugar syrup or other kinds of food. And when using the thermometer, you can switch between Fahrenheit or Celsius. This thermometer is suitable to use for barbecue, grilling, candy and chocolate, meat and baking.
Top reasons to buy this product:
- Lightning Fast Temperature Readings in 4-6 Seconds and accurate within 1°F.
- Simple and easy to re-calibrate.
- Extremely versatile thermometer with Min/Max -40 to +450°F.
- Small sized to fit in a pocket.
- Thin pointed probe keeps the juices inside your meat.
- Lifetime money back guarantee.
Rating / Grade
GDEALER Instant Read Thermometer with Collapsible Internal Probe
GDEALER Instant Read Thermometer also has excellent reviews from many users and is a multifunctional thermometer for candy, meats, or other food items. It has an instant digital read within 4-20 seconds that will save you a lot of time when boiling liquid like sugar syrup.
What makes it multifunctional is its vast temperature range from -50 to 300 °C or-58 to 572 °F, which you can use with any type of cooking or baking. It automatically shuts off within 10 minutes of standby and can save battery life.
It has a stainless steel probe with a length of 11 cm which is easily foldable in or out when you need to use it. The thermometer also comes with a meat temperature chart if you need to use it other than candy making. Lastly, you can even switch between Fahrenheit or Celsius depending on your preference.
This candy thermometer is also can be used for outdoor cooking, BBQ, meat, coffee, milk and bath water temperature. And to make your purchase risk free, the company is including a 100% money back and lifetime guarantee.
The GDEALER also has a newer model that is currently in discount. It has additional features of LCD backlit and voice broadcast the temperature.
Rating / Grade
XIKEZAN Waterproof Dual Probe Candy and Cooking Thermometer
XIKEZAN Digital Thermometer is another highly-rated thermometer on Amazon and comes with some unique features. It’s instant-read so it gives you the temperature within seconds. What so great about this choice is that it has a large LCD backlit for easy viewing and big buttons for settings.
It comes with 2 stainless steel probes which allow you to monitor 2 items at the same time. The probes are waterproof and can be immersed in water for a maximum of 30 minutes. Another thing about the probe is its FDA-approve, which assures you that it is safe to use on food.
The thermometer has a countdown timer which can alert you after your set time. It also has a preset temperature feature which also informs you when you reach your desired temperature. You can also switch between Fahrenheit or Celsius so that you are comfortable when you read the temperature when cooking.
Top reasons to buy this product:
- It's equipped with 2 probes that enable you to monitor stove-top and oven at the same time.
- Manually set the target temperature for any other food like yogurt, cereal, bread, cake and many more.
- It has a pre programmed timer alert that will beep once it reached the set temperature.
- The magnetic back panel can adhere to the refrigerator or station on a desk with its stand.
- It's also an indoor thermometer while probes are pulled out for easy storage.
- Offer a 1-year warranty.
Rating / Grade
We go through hundreds of products listing at Amazon and also study the ratings left by previous buyers to find the best candy thermometer for you. Besides that, we also calculate the overall net customer satisfaction (NCS) grade because we want to see how happy is the previous buyers with their purchase of the product.
From our finding, we can say that Cave Tools, GDEALER and XIKEZAN are the best candy thermometer brands. These brands are popular and received many excellent ratings for their products.
Also, the Cave Tools Digital Cooking Thermometer, GDEALER Instant Read Thermometer and XIKEZAN Cooking Thermometer score favorably for the ratings as well as the NCS grade compare to the rest. We believe that you would find these thermometers a good buy too.
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What is a Candy Thermometer?
A candy thermometer or sugar thermometer is used to measure the temperature of cooking sugar. It is used to reach the proper temperature in the candy making process.Sometimes, it can also be used as a deep-fry thermometer or jam thermometer.
Candy thermometers are almost the same as meat thermometers. The only difference is they are calibrated to reach higher temperature ranges that are required when cooking sugar or candy.
Because candy reaches a very high temperature, some candy thermometers do not come with low temperature ranges. Although, there are a lot of multifunctional thermometers on the market today that has a wide range of temperature. These already include freezing up to above boiling, so you can use this when making candy and other food.
Why Use a Candy Thermometer?
The candy making process is very tedious and it follows strict temperature rules to achieve the best results. That’s why buying a thermometer for this purpose is very important. Getting the right temperature while cooking is very crucial to the end result of the candy. Having just a little difference can change the consistency, texture, or flavor.
What Are The Features To Look For
Before buying a candy thermometer, here are some things you should consider:
- Are you going to use it for candy only or other food items also?
- What type of pot will you be cooking the sugar? You should choose a thermometer that is long enough to read the temperature but safe from touching the bottom of the pot.
- Digital or analog? Glass or metal? Each type of thermometer reading has their advantages and disadvantages. And each also has their own unique features which we will discuss later in the article.
Digital vs Analog
Analog thermometers are very common and easy to find, but it can take time before they settle on the right reading. Meanwhile, digital thermometers deliver the temperature fast electronically and will even alert you with a beep if you’ve reached the temperature you are looking for.
You’ll be using your thermometer for making sugar candy so temperature accuracy is crucial to achieving the best and most consistent end product. One way to check your thermometer’s accuracy is by boiling some water and using the thermometer to check the temperature. It should come to 100 °C or 212 °F because this is the boiling point of water.
If it doesn’t come to this temperature then you have to calibrate it yourself. The thermometer’s manual usually contains instructions on how to calibrate it. We also have instructions below on how to calibrate a thermometer.
Not all thermometers are made to be the same; thus, pricing may vary from one brand to another. Generally, an analog thermometer is cheaper but the downside is that it performs slower, hard to read and can be inaccurate sometimes.
On the other hand, a digital model can be pricey but it is user-friendly and has additional features that are helpful for cooking. Besides, it has all bell and whistle that it is impossible to have on an analog model.
Types of Thermometers
Here are the different types of thermometers and their different features.
Analog thermometers usually contain mercury or spirits that react to the heat. It rises and moves through the thermometer to give you a temperature reading. This type of thermometer is usually affordable but can take a longer time to produce a reading.
Digital thermometers are very easy to read compared to analog thermometers. This type of thermometer reads temperatures accurately and gives results faster on its digital display.
There are some digital thermometers that come with an alarm to let you know about the temperature result. Some also have markers for different stages of the candy making process such as soft ball, firm ball, and hard ball stage. This is very useful for those who are regularly making candy.
Glass thermometers are usually tube-shaped and come with a clip to easily attach to the side of the pot while cooking. Some are enclosed in glass protectors to avoid touching the side of the pot and prevent breaking. On its back can include temperature ranges for different stages of heat which comes in handy when cooking.
Metal thermometers often have a 7 to 8-inch probe and can be either analog or digital. This comes with a clip to easily attach to the side of the pot. Analog metal thermometers have a round dial face, similar to a clock, for the temperature reading. On the other hand, digital metal thermometers have a case that displays the temperature reading.
How To Calibrate A Thermometers
Analog and digital thermometers both need calibration once in a while, especially with constant use. While digital thermometers are reliable for a longer period, analog thermometers require frequent calibration.
Often times, to calibrate a thermometer, you need to put it in freezing or boiling water than manually adjust it. If there is no manual adjust option on your thermometer, then it is better to buy a new one for a more accurate temperature reading.
However, for candy thermometers, only the boiling water method is necessary because most of these thermometers don’t have a reading for freezing temperature. Also, keep in mind not plunge the thermometer in boiling water to avoid breakage. For more detail steps in calibrating a thermometer, refer to How to Test Your Candy Thermometer.
How to Use a Candy Thermometer?
Let the sugar and water boil over medium to high heat. When it is already fully boiling, lower the heat to medium but it should be hot enough to keep it boiling. Insert the candy thermometer slowly but avoid it from touching the sides or bottom of the pot to achieve an accurate reading and to prevent the of risk ruining the thermometer.
Let the mixture boil until it reaches the proper temperature or stage you want to achieve and remember to stop at that point. The temperature shouldn’t be less or more so that you have a consistent candy texture.
We’ve just reviewed the best candy thermometers on the market, but it is still up to you to choose which one suit you the most. And as you make your candy, keep in mind that temperature accuracy is very critical to achieving the best outcome. That’s why having a reliable thermometer will come in handy in the kitchen.
There is other well-known candy thermometer brand on the market besides what we featured above. Individually, the Taylor, Norpro, Williams Sonoma, Polder and Maverick CT-03 are famous brands but from what we found through our research, all these brands have low customer satisfaction level. Whereas our recommended list above is all high quality, has ample of good ratings as well as high customer satisfaction level.
As you shop for a candy thermometer, remember the different features that you should look for. Knowing these will help you make the best out of your purchase and will help you in cooking or baking. For us, we’ve chosen digital thermometers because it can give faster and more accurate temperature readings compare to analog.