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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Candy Thermometers in 2023



glass candy thermometer
Homemade candy is easy with the right thermometer

Have you ever been to a candy shop where they make homemade candy right in front of you? I’ve always been fascinated with how they blow sugar and make the candy. Maybe you want to learn for yourself! If so, you’ll need a good candy thermometer, and if you need help finding the best one, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Here is a list of the 10 best candy thermometers on the market.

1. Instant Read Candy Thermometer

Digital Meat Thermometer, Waterproof Instant Read Food Thermometer for Cooking and Grilling. Kitchen Gadgets, Accessories with Backlight & Calibration for Candy, BBQ Grill, Liquids, Beef, Turkey

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First up is this instant-read candy thermometer made by JAKO. It’s super fast and has a very accurate readout.

The magnetic back makes it easy to stick to any old fridge, and it even has a handy hook that can double as a bottle opener. There is also a switchblade feature! The switchblade sometimes get stuck and doesn’t open all the way. But, the main thermometer part works great.

This candy thermometer is foldable and easy to carry, though the plastic is a little flimsy. A good safety feature is that it will turn off after 10 minutes, so it won’t get too hot or stop working. It comes with a 10-year warranty on it in case it gets broken at all.

The JAKO Candy Thermometer has the added benefit of doing double duty: it can also be used to measure the temperature of various meats.

2. Polder THM Candy/Jelly/Deep Fry Thermometer

Polder Candy/Jelly/Deep Fry Thermometer Stainless Steel with Pot Clip

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Next, we have the Polder Thermometer. As the title may suggest, it can be used for candy, jelly, and even in a deep fryer.

There are 6 different temperature zones and the temperatures can be read in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. One criticism of the Polder model is that the mercury does sometimes separates inside it, but it is budget friendly and an Amazon best seller; it can last for years if it’s well taken care of.

The font is large and easy to read, and it can clip to the side of the pot to hold the thermometer in place, giving it the most accurate reading possible.

It is also 100% dishwasher safe. Some people are bothered by the style because it looks old fashioned, but its benefits outweigh the aesthetic issue.

Lastly, it has an insulated handle and does not retain any heat, making it completely safe for when the kids are helping you make candy in the kitchen.

3. ThermoPro Candy Thermometer

ThermoPro TP03 Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer Kitchen Cooking Food Candy Thermometer with Backlight and Magnet for Oil Deep Fry BBQ Grill Smoker Thermometer

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Now we have the ThermoPro. This thermometer will give you an exact temperature of your homemade candy in only 3 to 5 seconds.

We need to add, though, that this thermometer needs to be handled with care: the screen can be broken easily if treated roughly. To keep this from happening, make sure you use the ThermoPro’s feature of folding away and locking easily into its base when storing this candy thermometer.

The ThermoPro also has a magnetic back and a hook for convenient storage. Although it is not as sturdy as other candy thermometers on the market, it’s priced for a budget and even comes with a backlight LCD display!

4. Escali Candy/Deepfry/Convection Thermometer

Escali AHC1 NSF Certified Candy/Deep Fry/Confection Thermometer with Extra Dial, 5.5" Probe, Silver

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This candy thermometer is great for a number of reasons. The Escali candy convection thermometer has a vessel clip you can attach to your pot or pan for easy hands-free use.

It has an adjustable temperature marker for easy calculation. This candy thermometer does come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, but we have found that the dial must be placed at an angle that can be difficult to read when hooked onto the pot or pan.

Be patient because it can be tricky to attach to the side of your cookware. When all is said and done, though, we find the Escali candy thermometer to be a great tool to use in the kitchen.

5. KitchenAid Curved Candy and Deep Fry Thermometer

KitchenAid Curved Candy and Deep Fry Thermometer, TEMPERATURE RANGE: 100F to 400F, Black

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This next thermometer reads the temperature of your cooking food in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. It has a large handle that stays cool, so your hands don’t have to go near any type of heat during use.

The KitchenAid candy thermometer comes with a handy adjustable silicone-coated clip, although we have noticed that this clip sometimes loosens and falls off of the thermometer, so be careful when storing it.

One warning about this thermometer: it can be hand washed only. If it is put in a dishwasher, the markings on it will start to rub off and you will not be able to read it any longer. With proper care, this is a great tool to use in your homemade candy making process.

6. OXO Good Grips Glass Candy and Deep Fry Thermometer

OXO Good Grips Glass Candy and Deep Fry Thermometer

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This classic candy deep-fry thermometer is great! It’s budget-friendly and easy to read in both Celsius and Fahrenheit. We have found that the temperature is sometimes slightly off, so we adjust accordingly while making homemade candy.

Although the OXO thermometer includes a pan clip, this clip may break easily when hitting a hard surface, so you’ll need to handle it with care.

This kitchen tool measures a long 15.3 inches. It’s not dishwasher-safe, but it’s easy to wipe clean under hot running water with a little soap.

7. Taylor Adjustable Head Digital Candy Thermometer

Taylor Precision Products 9839-15 Digital Candy-Deep Fry Thermometer with Adjustable Head

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Next, we have the Taylor adjustable head digital candy thermometer.

This one is more advanced than some because it has an adjustable swivel head on it. This particular swivel head can be angled for optimal viewing so it’s easy to read. The adjustable head can make this device extremely top-heavy, so we advise being watchful when attaching it to your cooking pot.

One great thing about this candy thermometer it has a 9-inch stainless steel stem which will help you when cooking big batches of homemade candy in deep pots. Another positive about the Taylor thermometer is that you will not have to worry about buying any batteries for it because the battery needed comes with this thermometer.

A final cool feature on this tool is that it comes with its own pan clip. Sometimes it doesn’t clip perfectly on the pot, but the more you use it the easier it will be to attach it correctly.

8. Meat Thermometer Digital Instant Read

GDEALER DT11 Meat Thermometer Digital Instant Read Thermometer Cooking Candy Food Thermometer with Long Probe Backlight & Calibration Ultra Fast for Kitchen BBQ Grill Smoker Oil Fry Temperature

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Now we have another digital cooking thermometer. This one comes in various colors and has a button that you can press to light up the screen for 10 seconds at a time. You will get acclimated to the location of the temperature change button, although it can be a bit confusing for some people when first using this thermometer.

When correctly calibrated, the temperature display is digital and reads within 3 to 5 seconds. And for the most part, it reads accurately.

It has a 10-minute auto shut off and the probe tip is thin and long so it’s very easy to use. It also has a magnetic back.

The good thing about this thermometer is that if you don’t like it or it breaks within a year, you can return it and get your money back.

9. Taylor Precision Products Candy Thermometer

Taylor Precision Products Classic Line Candy/Deep Fry Thermometer

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We now have an easy to read, highly accurate thermometer. It reads from 100 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unfortunately, this thermometer cannot be washed in the dishwasher and will most likely get ruined if washed in the sink. So in order to clean this thermometer, you do have to take the step of wiping it clean with a paper towel or antibacterial wipe.

Because this thermometer has a hole in it, mold and condensation can gather inside of it and make it unreadable, so you will have to make sure you use the included sleeve that protects it during storage.

If this occurs and you need a new thermometer because yours gets broken or misplaced, that’s not a problem with this Taylor Precision Product because this thermometer comes with a lifetime guarantee.

10. Norpro Candy Thermometer

Norpro Candy Thermometer, 1 EA, Silver

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The Norpro Candy Thermometer is a stainless steel analog candy thermometer. An analog thermometer contains mercury which reacts to heat and moves through the thermometer to give the temperature reading. This thermometer is approximately 9 inches long. The stem is 5.75-inches long.

The attached metal clip hooks right onto the pot. The clip is also adjustable, which is a great perk. The clip fits onto different sizes of pots.

The Norpro Candy Thermometer has both Fahrenheit and Celsius readings and has a temperature range of 100º to 400º F. This thermometer’s range is much higher than what you need for candy making so I’m betting it will earn its keep for other uses as well.

People love how easy the Norpro Candy Thermometer is to clean. All you have to do is put it in hot water, and the sugar residues glides right off.

If you are in the market for a new candy thermometer, the Norpro Candy Thermometer is an affordable choice. It’s analog and these types of thermometers are usually less expensive.

11. CDN Digital Candy/Deep Fry/Pre-Programmed Thermometer

CDN DTC450 Digital Candy/Deep Fry/Pre-Programmed & Programmable Thermometer

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The last product is the CDN digital, preprogrammed thermometer.

This candy thermometer has a range from 40 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. One interesting thing about this candy thermometer is that it is preprogrammed and programmable.

Something else interesting about this digital device is it has an auto turn off. So, if you ever forget to turn it off, you don’t have to worry!

Also, it can be wiped clean with a damp cloth so it won’t get broken in a sink full of dishes or your dishwasher. It also has an adjustable stainless steel clip that you can easily clip it to the side of your pot or pan.

It has a large easy to read display, but we have noticed that sometimes the numbers often go blurry. But, altogether, this is a reliable, easy to use thermometer.

Summary of the Best Candy Thermometers

These 10 best candy thermometers can keep your boring quarantine days interesting. You can make candy by yourself, with friends, or as a family activity. These are some of the best on the market that can be shipped to you within a few days!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What’s the difference between candy thermometers and meat thermometers?

Not all kitchen thermometers are alike! In fact, candy thermometers and meat thermometers are quite different. Firstly, candy thermometers have a higher temperature range — generally up to 400 degrees as opposed to 200—because candy needs to reach a hotter temperature than cooked meats. Candy thermometers are, in general, also longer than meat thermometers, since you’ll need to sometimes measure big batches of candy that’s cooking in deeper pots rather than a cut of meat in a shallow baking pan. Finally, a candy thermometer has a rounded end to stick in gooey concoctions, while a meat thermometer has a pointed end to pierce meats like steaks, pork, seafood, and chicken.

I think the temperature is wrong on my candy thermometer. How do I calibrate it?

Use a constant to calibrate your candy thermometer: boiling water. We know that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. So, fill up a stock pot or deep pot with water and set it on the stove to boil. Once it’s come to a boil and the water has been boiling for ten minutes, check the temperature on your candy thermometer. It should say 212 degrees Fahrenheit, but it may be off by a few degrees (or maybe even a bit more). Simply calculate the difference and use that to calibrate your temperatures when cooking your candy.

Let’s say your candy thermometer says the water is boiling at 216 degrees rather than 212. Then you know you need to subtract four degrees Fahrenheit when measuring the temperature your cooking candy needs to reach. If your sweet concoction needs to reach 230 degrees, then subtract four degrees and stop cooking the candy when your candy thermometer says the candy is at 226 degrees. Use this for all your candy recipes after you figure out how many degrees your candy thermometer is off.

Additional Resources:

Image Credit via Flickr Creative Commons:”Turrones de Coco / Coconut Nougat” (CC BY 2.0) by NeoGaboX

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Rhonda Richardson, Editor

Rhonda grew up with parents who gardened, hunted, fished, canned, and preserved food. Her mother was a professional cook and Rhonda credits her teaching everything from how to make homemade biscuits and gravy to what kind of meals to serve for different occasions. In the kitchen, Rhonda uses a mix of old-fashioned country cooking and up-to-date fads in the kitchen, often experimenting with replacing higher-calorie or fat ingredients with healthier options that still retain the delicious flavors of the originals.

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