Even though you may be one of the multitudes who enjoy satisfying their sweet tooth there are those who find it even more gratifying to make their own sweets. Regardless of whether your interests are making jam and jellies, candies, chocolates or any of a number of delectable desires one thing you’re sure to need, is the best candy thermometer.
Also known as a sugar thermometer, jam thermometer, chocolate thermometer or even a deep frying thermometer these cooking tools are invaluable and necessary in order to be successful in the candy making process. They differ from meat thermometers in that they have to be calibrated higher to account for the higher temperatures needed in candy making.
As far as function goes, most candy thermometers are relatively the same. They are designed to provide you the temperature or the cooking stage of a food. The only differences lie in their design and a few distinguishing features so the key to making the right choice is to know what’s available so you can make an informed decision. That’s why we’re covering the best of these models so you can pick the right one to fit your needs.
1. Polder Jelly/Deep Fry/Candy Thermometer Review
The Polder candy thermometer might look like it has a simple design but it’s more than adequate to get the job done. Polder prides itself on producing thermometers that are quality engineered without having to sacrifice accuracy and ease of use. Built to last on the inside and out, these thermometers are mercury-free for your cooking and handling safety.
With its large temperature guide printed right on the front of this 15 inch unit the Polder candy thermometer can reference your temperature readings easily and accurately with just a glance. Offering both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings the display is durable enough to withstand countless washings without having to worry about fading or peeling. Included in this guide is its six different temperature stages: deep fry, hard crack, soft crack, hard ball, soft ball and thread so you can make sure you cook the right foods to the appropriate levels.
With a temperature range of 90 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and 30 to 200 Celsius, the Polder candy thermometer can handle everything. But don’t let the fact that it’s called a candy thermometer fool you because it’s much more than that. In fact, it works for making everything from candies to jellies, creams and sauces, chocolate and even french fries.
This model is made of rugged, rust-resistant stainless steel and comes with an integrated clip that securely attaches it to the side of most pots for exact readings and hands-free convenience. The handle is durable insulated plastic so as not to retain heat. It’s also dishwasher safe as long as you keep it on the top rack.
- Large, easy to read numbers
- Fahrenheit and Celsius
- 6 zone temperature display
- durable clip attachment
- non-conductive plastic handle
- Clip tends to be a little short for small and some medium pots or pans
- May not register accurately if pot isn’t deep enough
2. Taylor Precision 6084J8 Review
Cooking enthusiasts will tell you that the name Taylor is synonymous with quality cooking utensils. A perfect example of this is their line of Precision candy thermometers, one of which being the Taylor Precision 6084J8. It’s simple to use and works great as a sugar thermometer.
The Taylor Precision 6084J8 thermometer might look like the old fashioned, garden-variety cooking thermometer you’ve been accustomed to using but even though it doesn’t have the frills of some other brands it still gets the job done quite nicely. Made of durable stainless steel it has an 8 inch probe and a large 2-inch dial will be greatly appreciated for giving you readings from a quick glance.
It also has the capability of registering from 50 up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit and allows for easy calibration so you’re always in control of your cooking temperatures. The large sturdy clip can secure it to the side of pots to monitor progress.
- Easy to use
- Large display
- Easy to calibrate
- Registers up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
- Doesn’t register in Celsius
- Might not be as accurate as some other models
3. Taylor Precision 5983N Review
The Taylor Precision 5983N might be comparable in appearance to the Polder in that it is stainless steel construction with an insulated handle and a metal guard on the bottom to prevent the thermometer bulb from making contact with food. It also mirrors the Polder by having the temperature guide conveniently printed on the front in large, easy to read fashion. But for all of its comparisons it does differ from the Polder in a few ways.
This alcohol filled candy thermometer is slightly smaller than the Polder, coming in at 12 inches, which is still long enough to ensure your hands stay far enough away from hot liquids. It has an 8 inch face and a temperature range of 100 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 to 200 degrees Celsius.
The metal pot clip is adjustable, allowing you to tailor it to the specific depth of a pot or pan. The analog display lists six different temperature stages including hard crack, soft crack, hard ball, firm ball, soft ball and chocolate melt. It works great for everything from candy syrup to deep frying oil and can be used to create a wide variety of foods from donuts to chicken.
The Taylor Precision 5983N However, there are a few concerns with this model. First is that the liquid in the bulb can arrive separated. Some consumers have stated that, despite the separation, the thermometer still works fine while others state that once the liquid separated it was never accurate. Second is that the lettering and numbers can peel after multiple cleaning.
- Overall size is large enough to provide safety for your hands away from heated foods
- Liquid in bulb can separate
- Lettering and numbers on temperature guide can peel off
4. Wilton Candy Thermometer Review
The Wilton candy thermometer is yet another model that resembles the Polder and the Taylor Precision 5983N. It carries many of the same traits as the other two and can also be used as a jam thermometer or any type of sugar thermometer. An adjustable clip gives you hands-free capability.
This model is 12 inches in length and has a slightly different temperature range of 60 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and 20 to 200 degrees Celsius. The graduations of the temperature scale are large enough to read easily and has the following temperature stages: deep fry, hard crack, soft crack, hard ball, soft ball and thread.
- Easy to calibrate
- Temperature display is easily readable
- Metal pot clip doesn’t stay on very well
- Doesn’t work well with shallow pots
5. Winco Deep Fry/Candy Thermometer Review
Another member of the candy thermometer family that will also look familiar is made by Winco. Whether your needs are on a commercial or private kitchen setting its versatility as a deep fry thermometer or as a sugar thermometer allows you to utilize it for many different projects from candy and fudge to countless varieties of sugary treats, making it a handy addition to your kitchen.
It sports a temperature range of 100 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 to 200 degrees Celsius and its 12 inch length and sturdy, adjustable pot clip allows you to keep your hands safely away from heated dishes and still have great visibility of the temperature scale. The bulb is secured to the frame and is protected on all sides to prevent accidental breakage.
- Versatile for many types of cooking
- Display is large and very legible
- Can display the wrong temperature or get stuck on a temperature
- Metal edges could be too sharp
Choosing the best candy thermometer won’t be difficult now that you know what to look for. As long as you cater your selection to what types of foods you’re most interested in you’ll have the right tool that will allow you to serve up delicious home made masterpieces.