best candy thermometer

If you are in the candy-making business then you already know that any old thermometer will not do the trick when checking temperatures. Most of the time you are dealing with temperatures that are extremely high, especially if you need to temper chocolate to an exact degree and need the most accurate thermometer there is.

In this guide, we have reviewed and determined the best candy thermometers out there. So, let us help you spend your money wisely.

Candy Thermometers Comparison

  • Heat Rate: 14 to 572 F
  • AAA battery
  • Touch backlit button
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  • Heat Rate: -58 to 572 F
  • AAA battery
  • Locking base
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  • Heat Rate: 100 to 400 F
  • No battery
  • 6 ½ inch metal probe
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  • Heat Rate: -90 to 400 F
  • No battery
  • Insulated handle
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  • Heat Rate: -58 to 572 F
  • LR44 battery
  • 5" stainless steel probe
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  • Heat Rate: -4 to 482 F
  • Lithium Metal Battery
  • Foldable probe
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  • Heat Rate: -58 to 573 F
  • CR2032 battery
  • 180-degree probe
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  • Heat Rate: -58 to 572 F
  • LR44 battery
  • Silicone spatula attached
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  • Heat Rate: -58 to 572 F
  • LR44 battery
  • Super long probe
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  • Heat Rate: -58 to 572 F
  • AAA battery
  • LCD monitor
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10 Best Candy Thermometer Reviews

Below we have taken the liberty to review what we believe are the 10 most worthy products in the candy thermometer world.

1. ThermoPro TP16S

Top features:

  • Temperature range- 14 – 572 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type of battery- 1 AAA battery (included)
  • 3-year warranty
  • Touch backlit button
  • Preset temperature settings

This candy thermometer would be great for making candy or for smoking food out on the grill. It comes with safety in mind because the temperature gauge has a 40-inch wire mesh cord attached to it that has metal probes that are able to be placed in an oven, grill or directly into liquid.

The ThermoPro is very accurate and able to gain readings within 1.8 degrees of the correct temperature. There are presets temperatures that when reached sound a small alarm to alert the user. It is also able to be used at night or in the dark with its led backlit display that will toggle off after ten seconds to save on power.

The thermometer comes at a very reasonable price and is protected by a 3-year warranty against all damages and defects.

2. ThermoPro TP03

Top features:

  • Temperature range- -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type of battery- 1 AAA battery (included)
  • 3-year warranty
  • Locking base
  • Accurate readouts

The TP03 thermometer is incredibly affordable and also comes protected by a 3-year warranty just in case something happens to it while in use. It is able to gain very accurate temperature readings within .9 degrees and very fast within 3 seconds.

The stainless-steel metal prong is 3.9 inches in length and will lock against the body of the thermometer for safe keeping or storing. There is also a hook at the end to hang it on the wall if you want and a magnetic base so it can be placed on the fridge. The led backlit display will toggle on and off with the press of a button and will auto shut off if left on for more than ten minutes to save on power.

3. Norpro Candy Thermometer

Top features:

  • Temperature range- 100-400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type of battery- battery not needed
  • Adjustable clip for attaching
  • Fast and easy to read temperatures
  • 6 ½ inch metal probe

This thermometer is entirely constructed of stainless steel and is recommended to be hand washed which is really just a quick wipe with a damp cloth.

The Norpro is a coil spring thermometer also known as a dial thermometer which has a long metal probe that is inserted into the liquid within a pot. There is an adjustable clip that will attach the thermometer to the side of the pot so it doesn’t move around while the sugar is melting and will gain an accurate temperature as soon as the sugar melts.

The Norpro unit is not covered by a warranty but it is really not needed since it only costs about $5. It does not take any batteries and will measure temperatures in Fahrenheit and Celsius alike.

4. Polder THM-515 

Top features:

  • Temperature range- -90 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type of battery- battery not needed
  • Insulated handle
  • Pot clip attachment
  • Dishwasher safe

This liquid candy thermometer works great for almost all types of candy making. It comes with large printed temperatures on the meter and has 6 different stages of candy making: deep fry, thread, soft ball, hard ball, soft crack and hard crack.

The Polder is constructed of stainless steel that will not rust and comes with an insulated handle that is also heat resistant. The back of the thermometer has a clip attachment to hook it to the pot so it will not move around during the sugar melting process.

This unit is also able to gain temperature reading well below freezing for making ice cream and other frozen treats as well. The product is dishwasher safe, comes at a very affordable price and is protected by a lifetime warranty if a replacement or refund is ever needed.

5. PBKay Liquid Thermometer

Key features:

  • Temperature range- -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type of battery- LR44 battery (included)
  • Pocket sized with a sheath
  • Stainless steel pot clip attachment
  • 5-inch stainless steel probe

This small metal probe thermometer is one of the most commonly used thermometers by chefs and professionals in the cooking industry. Chefs love it, because its very small and easily fitted in their small pen pockets on their coat’s sleeve or clip onto the front jacket pocket.

The PBKay comes with a protective sheath to store in when not in use and also a stainless-steel pot clip to attach to the pot so it doesn’t move around during the sugar melting process. It can be used to gain accurate temperature readings of just about anything in the kitchen, just make sure to sanitize the metal probe in between readings as to not cross contaminate with other food items.

This candy thermometer is very affordable and also comes with a lifetime warranty to protect it from any damages or defects that may occur while in use or during the shipping process.

6. Smartro ST43

Key features:

  • Temperature range- -4 to 482 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type of battery- 1 lithium metal battery (included)
  • Accurate and instant readings
  • Large backlit display and touch screen
  • Foldable probe
  • Lifetime warranty

This instant read digital candy thermometer is one of the more sophisticated types of its kind. It comes with a large LED backlit display that has a toggle on and off switch and an auto shutoff feature that turns the thermometer off after being unused for 13 minutes. The thermometer is also heat resistant and water proof in the case of splashes.

The long and thin metal probe is constructed of stainless steel and is 3.5 inches long. The probe will fold and lock against the base of the thermometer when not in use and there is a small loop at the base to hang it on a wall or the oven. The back of the Smartro ST43 is magnetic so it can be placed on the fridge as well. It is able to gain accurate temperature readings within 3 seconds and also within .8 degrees of accuracy.

This candy thermometer is very affordable and it comes with a lifetime warranty to protect it for customer satisfaction.

7. Fenvella Candy Thermometer

Key features:

  • Temperature range- -58 to 573 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type of battery- 1 CR2032 battery (2 included)
  • 180-degree rotation probe
  • Heat and water resistant
  • 2-year warranty

The Fenvella thermometer can accurately gain temperature readings within 3 seconds and with a 1-degree accuracy range. The 4-inch-long stainless-steel metal probe is able to swivel 180 degrees back and forth to get to harder to reach areas and when it is done being used it will lock against the body of the thermometer.

There is a bright LED backlit display that allows you to use the thermometer at night or in the dark and has an auto shut off if it hasn’t been used for 10 minutes. It is heat resistant to an extent, splash proof and comes with a replacement battery. There is even a hole at the base to hang on a grill or oven and a magnetic base to place on any metal surface. This unit comes with a 2-year warranty to protect it.

8. Gourmia GTH9185

Key features:

  • Temperature range- -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type of battery- 1 LR44 battery (included)
  • Handy silicone spatula attached
  • Fast and accurate temperature readings
  • Dissembles for cleaning

This is a liquid thermometer with a little bit of a twist to it that most other thermometers do not come with. It has a handy silicone spatula attached to the temperature gauge and in the middle of it is the thermometer. It comes in handy when you happen to be tempering chocolate or need to scrape the edge of the pot while still gaining a temperature reading.

The gauge itself is also heat and water resistant and is able to gain accurate and fast readings within 3 seconds and within a 1-degree range. The display is a backlit LED screen that is easily read and the spatula comes off so you are able to place in the dishwasher or wash by hand before placing it back on the thermometer. There is no warranty to back the product, and that’s why it falls a bit short on our list.

9. Habor 022

Key features:

  • Temperature range- -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type of battery- 1 LR44 battery (included)
  • Super long probe
  • Sheath included
  • Instant read and accurate

This instant read candy thermometer comes at a very reasonable price and comes protected by a 3-year warranty and a meat temperature guide.

The probe is constructed of stainless steel and is 5 inches long so you won’t have to worry about getting too close to the heat while trying to gain a temperature reading. The display is backlit LED so it can be used at night or in the dark and has an auto shut off function when not in use after 10 minutes. The thermometer is heat and water resistant, it comes with a protective plastic sheath and there is a loop at the base of the thermometer to hang it on the oven or stove. It is able to gain reading within 4 seconds and is also within a 1.7-degree accuracy range.

10. Maverick CT-03

Key features:

  • Temperature range- -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Type of battery- 1 AAA battery (included)
  • 14 preprogrammed settings for oil and candy
  • Large LCD monitor
  • Automatic shutoff and alarms with flashes

The Maverick thermometer is equipped with a very long 10 ½ inch metal probe that also pivots to ensure correct placement within the pot. It has a long mesh cord attached to a large LCD backlit display that will alert you with an alarm and flashing lights when the optimal temperature has been reached. This means you won’t have to stand by the stove waiting for the sugar to reach the perfect temperature before tempering.

It is built with stainless steel that is also heat resistant and splatter proof. The probe also has a pot clip attachment to keep the thermometer in place while trying to gain a reading. The thermometer is really not all that expensive when compared to most other thermometers and does come with a 2-year warranty to protect it.

Best Candy Thermometer Buying Guide

There are so many different kinds of candy thermometers out there and some may be great to use for some candy making tasks, but then there are some products that are specific to candy making as well. It can be difficult to differentiate between thermometers if you don’t know what you are looking for.

Construction and Design

candy thermometer design

When it comes to the construction of thermometers, the selection can seem quite daunting. But don’t worry, as long as the unit is made of quality materials with a sound construction, then you are in pretty good shape.

If you choose a glass thermometer, then you are going to want to make sure that it has some kind of protector made of metal to separate itself from the actual pot. These are usually called glass ball thermometers.

Metal attributes to some of the most accurate candy thermometers when measuring the internal temperature of foods. Laser thermometers will do the job but also tend to be less accurate the farther away you are.

Manufacturers of laser thermometers claim they will be spot on but if you test one next to other metal thermometers, you would probably be surprised. They do work well for measuring surface temperatures at very close range.

There are several other features that can come in handy with thermometers like clips or hooks for storage or placement on your chef coat. Also, a retractable prong that folds in itself will protect the thermometer or sheath.

Temperature Accuracy and Range

The range can refer to how far away the candy thermometer can read temperatures as with laser thermometers. But mainly it has to do with how high or low the thermometer can read temperatures. When making candy, it’s not just the very high temperatures that are important but also very cold temperatures matter when it comes to tempering chocolates and sweet breads or ice creams. Whatever the case is, if you are dealing with melting sugar, you are going to need a thermometer that reads well over 600 degrees.

This is probably the most important feature of any thermometer. Accuracy is going to be the make or break moment when it comes to taking the candy off the heat or when it’s time to temper the chocolate. Temperatures need to be incredibly exact when making candy so accuracy is going to be the most important thing to look for. You want to get a thermometer that is able to gain temperatures within -.1 to +.1 with in the degree. This is going to be the most accurate reading. They do go up and below past this so make sure to pay attention to the readings when making a decision.

Price and Warranty

There are some thermometers out there that will literally only cost you a dollar. But then there are some that cost astronomical amounts of cash just to gain a reading. It is important to pay close attention to the price especially if it is very expensive and doesn’t do everything you want it to do. But if you come across a thermometer that is expensive and does have everything you want then make sure it comes with a manufacturer guarantee or some kind of warranty to protect it from damages in the event it breaks or decides to quit working for you.

Types of Candy Thermometers

types of candy thermometers

Liquid Thermometers

These types of thermometers are the most traditionally used, and one of the first types. They can be used with either mercury or alcohol. The alcohol filled thermometers are more commonly used in candy making because they measure extremely low temperatures better and they are more visible to read. These types of thermometers are used in many other fields such as the medical field but also pertain to the ball thermometer when making candy.

Digital Thermometers

This is probably the most effective thermometer available. They are able to gain the most accurate readings the fastest when making candy. They will also be able to get to the closest decimal point of a degree when measuring as opposed to any other thermometer where decimal points are not involved when reading temperatures. The best type of digital thermometer to use for candy making is the metal prong which is inserted in the liquid not the type that gains the temperature from the surface like a laser thermometer.

Coild Spring Dial Thermometers

This type of thermometer is most commonly used when baking turkeys or grilling food if the end of the thermometer has a metal prong. It uses a piece of coiled metal that is placed in the liquid and it will either expand or contract which moves a spring that it attached to a dial which reads the temperature of the liquid in turn.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Candy Thermometer?

They are also known as sugar thermometers because they measure the exact temperature of the melting sugar during the process. These types of thermometers can also be used to measure the temperature of fryers because of the extreme temperatures they measure. They come in many different types and each has a special function for each task. The digital metal prong thermometer has proven to be one of the most accurate and fastest candy thermometers and is what most chefs use today.

How to Use a Candy Thermometer?

When making candy, often times you need to have the melted sugar at a particular stage known as the “ball”. The stage can be soft or hard and sometimes in between known as firm. These stages have particular temperatures but on candy thermometers it will tell you when the stage has been reached without having to remember the exact temperature. This type of thermometer is called a liquid thermometer but any type of thermometer can be used to gain this temperature.

Sometimes thermometers will even have the “soft crack” and “hard crack” stages which are made at much higher temperatures than the ball stages. Usually this is used when making candy such as toffee or brittle.

Can You Use a Candy Thermometer for Meat?

In a sense, candy thermometers are also used as meat thermometers. They are almost identical in every way except that candy thermometers will measure temperatures higher than meat thermometers are able to. But if you wanted to use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of your steak then it would have to a metal prong style thermometer or a laser thermometer to be able to puncture the meat and gain the internal temperature. Liquid candy thermometers will not work as meat thermometers.