Candy making relies on precise timing during the cooking process. A candy thermometer is your best guarantee that your candy will be the right consistency after cooking. Remember to follow your recipe exactly and use your thermometer as directed.
Things You'll Need
- Candy Recipes
- Candy Thermometer
- Pot Holders
- Pot holders
Do a test to be sure your thermometer is accurate. Let it stand in boiling water for 10 minutes. If the thermometer doesn't read 212 degrees F, you need to figure the difference and add or subtract to make the temperature measurements correct for your candy.
Gather the ingredients for your candy recipe.
Follow the recipe as directed until you get to the cooking stage.
Cook the candy as directed. Some recipes will give you a temperature to aim for, while others may use one of the following terms: "thread," "soft ball," "medium ball," "firm ball," "hard ball," "very hard ball," "light (or soft) crack," "hard crack" or "caramelized sugar" stages. The temperatures for some or most of these terms should be indicated on your candy thermometer.
Place the candy thermometer in the pan with the cooking candy. Be sure the bulb of the thermometer never touches the bottom of the pan, or the temperature will register too high. You want to find out the temperature of the candy mixture, not of the pan.
Continue to cook the candy until it reaches the desired temperature.
Remove the candy thermometer (be careful - it will be hot) and follow the recipe to complete the candy making.
Tips & Warnings
- Some cooks say you will have better results with candy if you don't try to make it on a rainy day, when air pressure is low.
- Candy thermometers can also be used to measure temperatures when deep-frying or when making jelly.
- Although there are several different styles of candy thermometers, most cooks like the rectangular metal ones with the thermometer encased in the metal frame. With this design, the thermometer bulb will not touch the bottom of the pan even if you rest the thermometer in the pan.
- If your thermometer doesn't list common temperatures (soft ball, etc.), see the Candy Thermometer Accuracy Web page, under Related Sites.
- Children should be closely supervised when around hot pans or boiling candy mixtures.
What Liquid Is Inside a Thermometer?
Although many people commonly associate thermometers with a mercury filling, the dangerous properties of mercury have spurred manufacturers to use other liquids...
How to Make Sugar Candy
"Sugar candy" refers to any type of candy made primarily from sugar. You can make most sugar candies by beginning with simple...
How to Calibrate a Candy Thermometer
Candy making requires a close eye on the temperature so you get the results you want. A five-degree shift can mean the...
How to Read a Candy Thermometer
A candy thermometer measures the sugar solution used in cooking candy. There are three kinds of candy thermometers. The dial thermometer has...
The Best Rated Meat & Candy Thermometers
While manufacturers and surveys rate products, it is always a good idea to read customer reviews to find out what other home...
What to Do If a Candy Thermometer Breaks
When making candy, using a candy thermometer is the best way to get consistent results. When a candy thermometer appears to be...