Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Candy/Confectionery Thermometers


Berlinsbreads
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have used an IR thermometer side by side with my regular thermometer and have found that the readings from the surface do differ from the internal readings. I have also learned, however, that the readings are different consistently, so can use the IR thermometer but know that the temps are different by about 7-8 degrees for the caramels I frequently make (I stir right before reading). I would use both for a recipe (PITA, I know) and see if the results are the same or if not, what the differences are. It sure is easier to use the IR thermometer; no worries about the probe being in deep enough, knocking it over while stirring, etc.

I just love cooking toys and ordered the Williams-Sonoma Thermometer whisk just for this type of thing. They are on clearance right now for $13.99 so hurry before they are gone!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The IR thermometers can be a problem in cooking sugar because the surface is not still, so the temperature inside the bubbles rising to the surface can be different than the actual temperature of the rest of the sugar mass. Still, they are pretty nifty gadgets and nothing beats the lack of clean up!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
i love my little wonder tool, but alas it is virtually useless for cooking.  however $25 later i can now verify the temp of my old, old oven where low is about 350 degrees  :huh:

Would you mind sharing where you found the IR thermometer for $25?

Thanks!!

Don't waste your time or time will waste you - Muse

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In various recipes for fudge, caramel, and other desserts, I've seen a recommendation to use a "candy thermometer" to check the temperature with. I don't think I've come across anything in a store that's specifically labelled as a "candy thermometer" although I've seen instant-read or leave-in thermometers. Is a candy thermometer a distinct tool that's different from other thermometers, or is it just another name for an instant-read one?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

candy thermometers usually read to much higher temperatures than a regular "leave-in" or "insta-read" thermometer. look for a thermometer that specifies that it is for deep frying or candy making. it should then be more accurate for the higher temperatures that candy making requires.

oh, if you get a glass thermometer, even though it will withstand the temperatures of the sugar/caramel/hot oil, don't shock it in cold water right after using it. it can and will crack.

some of the newer digital thermometer/timer combos (the probe-type that has a wire cable attaching the thermometer to the readout), can be used for candy making and deep frying as well. just check to make sure it can read up to 400 degrees farenheit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is a candy thermometer a distinct tool that's different from other thermometers, or is it just another name for an instant-read one?

A candy thermometer/fry thermometer can be any mercury thermometer with a range around 200-400F and that clips on to the side of a pan, like these.. Instant-reads are always digital, and usually have a probe connected to the body by a wire. I prefer my $15 instant-read, and use it for everything.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

actually, instant-read thermometers don't have to be digital (although nowadays, they are more often than not) and often don't have the range that a deep frying/candy thermometer offers.

this is what a search for "instant read thermometer" pops up on amazon.com

thermometer search

edited to say:

i think the name "instant-read" is confusing. it just means that you don't leave the thermometer in the item from which you need the temperature reading. you insert the thermometer into the item and it quickly tells you (on either an analog dial or a digital readout) what the interior temperature of the item is.

not being argumentative, just want to clarify. it is best to find an item which has the specific wording on the label so you know it will work for candy and/or deep frying.

Edited by alanamoana (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the correction, alanamoana. I had always thought of the digital probe thermometers as being the instant-read thermometers, but apparently that's not always the case. Anyways, as I said, I've found my cheapo digital thermometer to be perfectly adequate for every candy making task I've thrown at it, and it has IMHO a far more readable display than the old glass mercury candy thermometers.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a digital [not instant read :)] and an old candy thermometer. My digital doesn't have a clasp to keep it from hitting the bottom of the pan, and I haven't seen any that do...but maybe they exist. That's why I stick with my old fashioned one even though I can never read the temp well - I can't read my car's dipstick either.

You know what I want...I want a high altitude thermometer that shows the adjusted temp, not the real temp. I'm tired of making conversions :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

I have a Polder digital and it's pretty accurate.

My least accurate was the Taylor analog (old fashioned) candy thermometer.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just use a digital with a remote prob. I can hook the probe to the pot with a clothes pin or put the master unit on the stove hood (magnetic) and drape the probe to hang at a certain depth in the pot. It's a Polder 602-90 with a price tag around $20. rated 32°F to 392°F

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

We use an infrared thermometer at work mainly to double check ganache temperatures before piping into chocolate shells. I don't know what the brand is that we use (the owner bought it in France). One thing you need to ensure is that the mixture is well stirred prior to taking a reading. The reading tends to be more of a surface temperature and there can be a 'big' variation in larger volume liquids. We haven't used it for sugar as we tend to go by sight/colour.

I will certainly echo lemoncurd's above post. I have now made 3 batches of butterscotch lollies and found that reading the unstirred surface of the roiling mixture is anywhere from 2 to 10 degrees cooler than the stirred mixture. But still...anything is better than those dreadful glass abominations which clip onto the pan.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Hey Everyone

I was wondering what most of you were using for thermometers. Thus far, I've been using this CDN that I got at a restaurant store: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000095RBW/ref=s9_simh_gw_p79_d0_i6?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1HCJMAFHT277HBR4BD8Y&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

Its done very well, the only thing I get nervous about it is it seems like there needs to be a significant amount of liquid that it has to be immersed in, and the liquid has to be thin enough to get to the actual glass meter, since its the bottom is encased in a little metal cylinder with holes. Anyways, like I said, it has done very well (though the black piece of plastic broke off, but thats no biggie) but I've been considering getting a digital probe thermometer. Anyone have any suggestions for a brand? I've seen the one Kerry used in the confectionary 101 course, and was wondering if there was anything I should keep in mind when selecting one? Does having the probe hang over the side of the pan make stirring easy?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I looked for my thermometer which looks like the Amazon one but can't find it...which means I have already tossed it. I found it a pain to use and broke part of it the second time used.

I've been using one of those insta-read thermometer guns for over a year now. Mine is a Mastercraft, which is a Canadian brand sold by Canadian Tire, a Canadian institute of long standing. I love it. Would never go back to any other kind.

The one thing one has to remember...to stir the mixture being measured just before taking its temperature. The gun takes only the top temperature. So far no problems whatsoever. Obviously no use for internal temperatures of meats.

I have a couple of the long metal probe kinds of thermometers. They are a nuisance, always being in the way (for me). I have a couple of the older glass encased thermometers. They still have a function in my life...I just have to remember each time how far out of whack they are by testing them in boiling water keeping in mind at what elevation I happen to be.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Everyone

I was wondering what most of you were using for thermometers. Thus far, I've been using this CDN that I got at a restaurant store: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000095RBW/ref=s9_simh_gw_p79_d0_i6?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1HCJMAFHT277HBR4BD8Y&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

Its done very well, the only thing I get nervous about it is it seems like there needs to be a significant amount of liquid that it has to be immersed in, and the liquid has to be thin enough to get to the actual glass meter, since its the bottom is encased in a little metal cylinder with holes. Anyways, like I said, it has done very well (though the black piece of plastic broke off, but thats no biggie) but I've been considering getting a digital probe thermometer. Anyone have any suggestions for a brand? I've seen the one Kerry used in the confectionary 101 course, and was wondering if there was anything I should keep in mind when selecting one? Does having the probe hang over the side of the pan make stirring easy?

What do you want to use it for? If it's chocolate - I second the suggestion about an infrared thermometer - works well, but for candy I'd suggest one of the digital probe thermometers. I haven't had to look at any other brands as I still have a number of the pyrex ones in my possession. I bought one at Lee Valley for a good price - but had to return it as it went belly up rather quickly (I notice they aren't selling them anymore - I think they had a lot of returns). Polder makes a lot of digital probe thermometers - but they seem pricey.

The probe hanging over the side of the right sized pot doesn't cause too much of a problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oops, didnt realize I didnt say what I was using it for. Yes, its for hard candy, caramel, toffee, etc. I pretty much stopped using my current thermometer with caramels and just test by hand, the mixture seems to get too thick after a while and just kind of gunks up the little space that the thermometer is in at the bottom and doesn't read properly. I've been looking at the probes, I'll probably end up with one of those.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update of sorts: accidentally found the thermometer in question (minas6907) this morning. Did not get rid of it.

Now I remember what happened. I dropped it and the red fluid in the glass scale separated and would not go back together again. Now that it has sat for well over a year, the fluid is back together and I am going to test it in boiling water.

If it can be made to work by adding or subtracting numbers, that will give me 4 different thermometers, not by design, but still very handy for all occasions.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I am on the search for a new thermometer as well. I've had terrible luck with them lately. I have tried two digital's, and returned one and will be returning the other shortly. Sur La Table is great on returns. I bought a regular dial one from them that is going back. It gets to about 225 and gets stuck. I've tried the Maverick digital, and it didn't register accurately. The Taylor digital is 1) top heavy and won't stay put when having to stir thick caramel, and 2) the stem is so short is gets too hot and the screen goes black. Now, the temperature readout is not even showing up. Both digital's are too top heavy, and the clip is useless for keeping it in place.

A regular mercury thermometer was all I used for a while, then it wasn't reading accurately. I'm just doomed I think :sad:

I'm looking at this one now CDN Digital Probe Thermometer or maybe this one

Polder Thermometer

Something has got to give. I think I need to find a way to design one that will work and has a decent clip on it so that it doesn't flop all over the place when something thick is being stirred.

Edited by RWood (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...