How to Use a Candy Thermometer

As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
  1. Select a saucepan that is small enough to have your candy thermometer bulb in the contents of your ingredients. The saucepan size should allow for the ingredients to be bubbling at the surface.
  2. Attach the clip of your candy thermometer to the edge of the saucepan. Slide the thermometer down to the lowest point so the metal portion touches the bottom of the saucepan. The bulb will be above the bottom of your saucepan. If it was touching the bottom of the saucepan it has the potential to explode due to the direct heat.
  3. Add your contents to the saucepan. Start cooking on 3 on your burner. You want to slowly add heat, and even on 3, the contents will go up to temperature.
  4. Only stir your ingredients as needed. Sometimes with foods like caramel sauce, you just leave the saucepan to bubble and come up to temperature without stirring.
  5. When your food has come to temperature, remove it from the heat source. Put oven mitts on and gently remove the candy thermometer from the sauce pan. Let it cool on a cutting board, or on your stovetop where it is heat safe to cool.
  6. If you have to add any other ingredients to it at this point, use oven mitts to add the foods to the hot contents. Stir gently.
How to Use a Candy Thermometer

How to clean a candy thermometer

To clean a candy thermometer, do not soak it fully. Gently place the dirty end in a bit of soapy water and let the food dissolve. Wipe clean with a cloth gently. You don’t want to use that much force since the bulb is glass. Set it to try on a drying rack.

How do you read a candy thermometer

A candy thermometer is read by looking at the mercury and then the measurement beside it where it lines up exactly. The thermometer will have both Fahrenheit and Celsius. Be sure to check which side you’re reading the thermometer, versus what your recipe requires.

What is the difference between a candy thermometer and a regular thermometer

A regular thermometer cannot be left in extremely hot contents. A candy thermometer can be left in very hot foods, and read at extremely high temperatures (400 degrees F). A regular thermometer is not able to read high temperatures because it isn’t calibrated to read that high.

How does a candy thermometer help when making candy

A candy thermometer will help when making candy because it can be cooked until the exact degree of measurement needed for a candy recipe.

Candy can range from being soft, firm, hard, soft-crack, or hard crack.

This means that you need a candy thermometer to help determine the exact measurement for your recipe. There isn’t a way to guess the temperature or how “cooked” the sugar is.

What the 5 stages of sugar

Sugar StageTemperature in FahrenheitTypes of Candy Made
Soft Stage235-240Fondant, pralines, fudge
Firm Stage245-250Individual Caramels
Hard Stage250-265Nougat, gummies, rock candy, marshmallows
Soft-Crack Stage270-290Butterscotch, saltwater taffy
Hard-Crack Stage300-310Caramel, toffee, peanut brittle, lollipops

What temperature does sugar burn at

Sugar burns at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once sugar has burned, there isn’t anything you can do to mitigate the burnt, bitter flavor. Restart the sugar again on a low temperature to make sure your sugar doesn’t burn.

What temperature does a candy thermometer go to

A candy thermometer measures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius.