Review

10 Best Candy Thermometer Reviews of 2020

So you are in the market for a new candy thermometer. Whether you’re a hobbyist, starting a new business, or professional, you deserve the best candy thermometer.

Candy thermometers are also known as jam, sugar, or cooking thermometers. Like other thermometers, they’re used for testing the temperature. In this case, they’re telling us the temperature of our candy solution as it is cooking. They are akin to meat thermometers; they can read temperatures in the range of 400 degrees Fahrenheit and higher.

As the name indicates, these are most commonly found in candy kitchens. But DIY and small-scale candy makers should not be a stranger to these thermometers, it will dramatically increase the quality of their product.

5 Best Candy Thermometer: Editor’s Recommended 

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If you started doing research for the best thermometer for candy making, you definitely notice how many options there are. With all of these choices, how can we make sure we’re picking the best one?

10 Best Candy Thermometer Reviews:

Now we will spend a few minutes to review some of the top candy thermometers. There are a lot of different candy thermometers available, but this condensed list eliminates all of the bad choices. The following candy thermometers are available for purchase online, and have some of the best reviews.

1. Harbor 022 Candy Thermometer

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Harbor 022 Candy Thermometer
20,925 Reviews
Harbor 022 Candy Thermometer
  • INSTANT READ & ACCURATE: 4-6 seconds ultra fast response time with accuracy of ±1℃, takes...
  • SUPER LONG PROBE: No more Hands' Burning, This 4. 7"(Probe) digital meat thermometer can detect...
  • EASY TO USE: Simply insert probe into your food or liquid and get the temp; this kitchen meat...

Harbor is a big name when it comes to temperature probes, and their candy thermometer is no exception. Harbor’s thermometer boasts a 4.7-inch probe which means you can stay farther away from the hot liquid. Also, the tip of the thermometer comes to a point which means your temperature rating will be more accurate.

This thermometer will read the temperature quickly – it only takes around 4 to 6 seconds. Fast reading speed is imperative when it comes to making candy. Just a few seconds could be the difference between perfect candy and over- or under-cooked candy.

This probe will operate between 58 and 572 degrees F with an accuracy of plus or minus 1 degree C, or plus or minus 2 degrees F. The temperature is measured with a resolution of 0.1 degrees C or F.

The temperature is displayed on an ultra-clear LCD display screen, no need to read a gauge. The text is large and easy to read. The unit is also very easy to operate, there are two buttons on the body – one for power and one to change units from F to C.

It is important to remember to never use this probe in a closed oven. Additionally, it is not waterproof so keep the body out of liquids.

Batteries are included, and the machine automatically powers down after 10 minutes to preserve battery life.

Highlighted Features:

  • 7-inch probe
  • Quick temperature reading
  • 58-572 degree F range
  • Accuracy of plus or minus 2 degrees F
  • Resolution of 0.1 degrees
  • Ultra-clear LCD display with large text
  • Easy to operate
  • Auto-off feature

Buy on Amazon

2. Polder THM-515 Candy Thermometer

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Polder THM-515 Candy Thermometer
  • 6 TEMPERATURE ZONES printed on display, large and easy-to-read quick references: Deep Fry,...
  • INSULATED HANDLE stays cool-to-the-touch and does not retain heat
  • POT CLIP ATTACHMENT clips to side of pot and securely holds thermometer in place for precise...

This Polder thermometer looks sleek and modern, showcasing a mostly stainless-steel assembly. It does not have a probe, it clips directly to your pot. It is designed to sit in the pot while you’re making candy and gives you a constant read-out for the temperature of the liquid. The temperature probe is active at the very bottom of the thermometer, making sure you get a perfect reading the whole time.

The rust-proof stainless steel will constantly give you a manual gauge temperature reading, there is no waiting for a digital readout. This makes it possible to constantly track the temperature of your mixture without damaging the internal components.

This Polder candy thermometer will operate between 90 and 400 degrees F – a huge operating range. Not only does it give constant temperature feedback, but it also does so across a 310 degree Fahrenheit range!

The gauge readout appears as a red level against a stainless steel background for a clear contrast. The labels on the gauge offer six zones: thread, soft ball, hard ball, soft crack, hard crack, and deep fry. These zones offer benchmarks for your temperature reading.

There are no buttons on the unit, you clamp it to your pot and go about your business. It is a device that works in the background while you make your candy. The whole assembly is dishwasher safe and totally waterproof.

Of course, you need to make sure the pot you’re using is deep enough for the clip to hold onto. Polder also offers a generous warranty on the thermometer, so if you’re not satisfied you can easily return it to the company and get a replacement.

The handle is insulated so you won’t burn yourself taking the probe on and off the pot. The assembly is rust-proof so there’s no fear of corrosion over time, especially since it’ll be exposed to liquid all the time.

Highlighted Features:

  • Constant temperature reading
  • Rust-proof, waterproof stainless steel
  • 90-400 degree F readout
  • Bright red liquid
  • Zonal temperature list
  • Easy use
  • Adjustable clamp
  • Generous warranty
  • Insulated handle

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3. CDN DTC450 Digital Candy Thermometer

CDN DTC450 Digital Candy Thermometer
  • Digital candy thermometer--essential tool for making your favorite sweets
  • Large easy-to-read display with temperature range of 40 to 450 degrees F
  • Dual progress display; preprogrammed and programmable; auto-off

If you’re looking for high-tech products in the kitchen, look no further. This programmable candy thermometer made by CDN might be exactly what you’re looking for. The probe is around 9.5″ long so you can use it without fear of molten candy splashing on your hand. The probe comes to a point, maximizing the accuracy of the reading.

It will read temperatures between 40 degrees F all the way up to 450 degrees F. It reads quickly, and over a wide temperature spectrum.

This thermometer has a feature that alerts you when you reach your desired temperature. It can be programmed with up to 7 candy stages. The face of the thermometer will show the current temperature, as well as the programmed temperature you put in. When it gets within 3 degrees F of the programmed temperature, it sounds alert warnings.

There is an adjustable stainless steel clamp that allows you to fasten the thermometer onto the pot as you’re using it. There’s also a head shield on the probe that protects it from high temperatures and long exposure to higher-temperatures.

This CDN Thermometer has three buttons – Mode, +, and -. It is very easy to program and to change the program. The unit comes with batteries and has an auto-off feature that will save the life of the battery.

This thermometer is a great example of introducing technology to the kitchen. It is futuristic and allows you to maximize your ability to cook candy to your liking.

Highlighted Features:

  • High tech
  • Programmable
  • 5-inch probe
  • High accuracy reading
  • 40 – 450-degree F range
  • Alert when reaching your desired temperature
  • Has a shield that protects from high temperature
  • Auto-off feature

Buy on Amazon

4. Winco Candy Thermometer

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Winco Candy Thermometer
  • Measures 2 Inch x 11-3/4 Inch
  • Top hanging loop
  • Built-in pot clip

Winco’s candy thermometer is an inexpensive alternative to measure your candy temperatures. Its overall dimensions are around 2 x 11.75 inches. Its simple design takes all of the guesswork out of operating it.

This candy thermometer has a bright red temperature gauge that travels along the middle of a metal face. It is waterproof and easy to clean. Additionally, the text will not wear off. Even after continued use and washing the black numbering will still be legible.

This gauge operates between 100 and 400 degrees F and offers 6 different temperature zones. Printed on the face are indicators for temperature ranges of thread, soft ball, hard ball, soft crack, hard crack, and deep fry. These labels act as a reminder for the range you should be looking for when doing these different processes.

Winco’s thermometer also has a pot clip that allows you to fasten the assembly to a pot for continuous read-out while cooking. There is a hanging ring on the top of the gauge that lets you hang the probe for measurement.

This probe comes in a 1, 2, or 3-quantity package, with better deals the more you purchase at a time.

This probe is good for commercial use, as well as recreational use. Its simplistic design has very few parts that can wear or break, so it is good for continued use over the years.

It has good manufactured quality and sits at a very fair price point.

Highlighted Features:

  • Cost-effective
  • Simple design
  • Red temperature indicator
  • Waterproof
  • 100 to 400-degree F range
  • 6 temperature zones
  • Adjustable pot clip and hanging ring
  • Good quality, lasts a long time.

Buy on Amazon

5. Taylor Precision Products Candy Thermometer

Taylor Precision Products Candy Thermometer
  • EASY TO READ: It is easy to read the temperatures with the bright blue food-safe spirit.
  • CONVENIENT DESIGN: The adjustable clip secures the thermometer to the cooking pan for safety...
  • STORAGE AND REFERENCE: The handy sleeve protects the thermometer and also includes the range of...

The next thermometer to look at is the Taylor brand candy thermometer. It is a very cost-effective option. This is a gauge thermometer, with a bright blue temperature indicator magnified against a white background.

The probe is about 8 inches long. It reads temperatures quickly and provides a range between 100 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The sleeve has a cheat sheet on it with 16 different candy, jelly, or deep-fried foods and it with their corresponding desired temperature. Make sure you keep it handy when cooking.

There is a convenient adjustable clip that will secure the thermometer to the cooking pan while you’re reading its temperature. Additionally, this thermometer has a lifetime guarantee, so there’s no worry if it starts to fail over time.

The composition of the body is glass and plastic, with a metal clip near the top. The candy thermometer reviews advise that you’re careful when handling this product, and to avoid dropping it. Every part of it, even the liquid inside, is food-grade so there’s nothing to worry about health-wise.

When you’re done using the thermometer, give it a quick clean with a damp cloth, then wipe dry. Put the thermometer in its protective sleeve. This hard-plastic sleeve will give better protection to the glass on your thermometer. It can be stored anywhere, though the preference would be in a drawer.

Highlighted Features:

  • Cost-effective
  • Bright blue temperature indicator
  • 8-inch probe
  • Constant temperature, 100 to 400 degrees F range
  • Protective sleeve
  • 16 temperature zones
  • Adjustable clip
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Food-grade materials.

Buy on Amazon

6. DiGi Digital Candy Thermometer

No products found.

This candy thermometer has a digital readout and a 5-inch probe. The lettering is large and clear, and the probe is thin and highly accurate. The large face is shatter-proof, and the entire thermometer is water-proof.

The probe will read temperatures between -40 and 450-degrees F accurately. It will produce a readout in less than 6 seconds. It fits easily in your hand and is super lightweight.

This DiGi candy thermometer has an adjustable clip so it can be clamped to the side of a pot, which means it’s great for candy. It also has a protective sleeve to keep it safe during transporting or storage.

Each purchase comes with a supplied sheet as well as a pdf that has different recommended temperatures. This thermometer can be used indoors or outdoors.

The assembly is rust-proof stainless steel, and entirely waterproof. This makes long-term care and washing between uses very easy. It comes backed with a lifetime warranty and offers a free replacement guarantee.

The face has 5 buttons on it – one for power, changing between Fahrenheit and Celsius, calibration, a maximum recall and a hold button for complete temperature control. It comes with an easy-to-understand manual and videos to help walk through how each button works if there’s any confusion.

Highlighted Features:

  • Large digital readout, very readable
  • 5-inch probe
  • Waterproof, rust-proof stainless steel
  • Accurate between -40 and 450-degrees F
  • Readout in less than 6 seconds
  • Lightweight and ergonomic
  • Adjustable clip and protective sleeve
  • Lifetime free replacement guarantee
  • 5 buttons for absolute temperature control

No products found.

7. Gourmia GTH9185 Digital Spatula Candy Thermometer

Gourmia GTH9185 Digital Spatula Candy Thermometer
  • MULTIPURPOSE COOKING GADGET – 2-in-1 Kitchen & BBQ Grill Tool Reads Internal Temperature of...
  • HANDY SILICONE SPATULA – Removable Spatula Spoon is Protective Sleeve for Long Temperature...
  • INSTANT READ FOOD THERMOMETER – Precision Probe Delivers Fast, Accurate High Temp Readings...

This Gourmia candy thermometer is more than that, it is a 2-in-1 convenient kitchen tool. This tool is a fully functioning spatula with a thermometer probe sticking out of a recess towards the bottom of the spatula. You can get temperatures of your candy while mixing or stirring the pot.

The spatula and probe are about 12.5 inches end to end. It gives constant readout for temperatures between -58 and 572 degrees F. This means the tool is long enough for it to be viable as a spatula, and you can always know the temperature of your mixture.

The main feature is a BPA-Free spatula. It can be removed from the probe for quick cleaning of both instruments. The spatula is made of a non-stick Silicone and is a soft, flexible material. The combination of the two tools removes one of the headaches while making candy.

The face is large and easy to read. It has a very simple design; just one button on the face to turn the unit on or off. It has an auto-off feature that will preserve battery life.

The material composition will not be affected by the high temperatures of candy making.

Highlighted Features:

  • Integrated spatula
  • Digital thermometer with constant temperature reading
  • 5-inch length
  • -58 to 572-degree F range
  • BPA-Free, non-stick silicone composition
  • Large readable face
  • Simple design, face has a single on/off button
  • Auto-off

Buy on Amazon

8. PBKay MT100 Digital Candy Thermometer

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PBKay MT100 Digital Candy Thermometer
  • Pocket-sized quick-read thermometer that's great for measuring temp in thin cuts of meat, fish...
  • 5-inch stainless steel stem can get a reading in 6-8 seconds
  • Includes stainless steel pot clip for making candy and other liquids

This pocket-sized thermometer is ideal for quick temperature readings. It has a lifetime warranty and has batteries included with the purchase. Its large digital face is easy to read.

The probe is 5-inches long and reads from -58 to 572 degrees F, a huge range. The stem is stainless steel so it will last a while.

It is good for taking temperature readings in a hurry – it only takes about 6 to 8 seconds before the digital face shows the temperature. It is perfect for making candy because of the adjustable height clip that comes with the thermometer.

The face is simple and easy to use. There is a button for on/off, one to change between degrees C and F, and another button to hold temperature. There is an auto-off feature that will save battery life.

Due to its small overall size, it won’t clutter up your drawers and can be easily taken with you. There is a protective sleeve that the probe will slide into to ensure it’s not damaged during transporting or storing.

Its stainless steel assembly is corrosion resistant and waterproof. When it comes to selling rank on Amazon, the PBKay is one of the best digital candy thermometers.

Highlighted Features:

  • Pocket-sized 5-inch probe
  • Measures -58 to 572 degrees F
  • Corrosion-resistant stainless steel, waterproof
  • One of the top sellers
  • Adjustable height clip
  • Quick temperature reading
  • Large legible digital face
  • Simple design
  • Auto-off

Buy on Amazon

9. Wilton Candy Thermometer

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Wilton Candy Thermometer
  • DELICIOUS CANDY AND MUCH MORE: Use this candy thermometer to make hard candy, nougats, fudge...
  • MAKING CANDY IS EVEN EASIER: Just clip this handy thermometer onto the side of your melter,...
  • VERSATILE AND WELL-MADE: This 14.7" (37.3 cm) long metal thermometer measures temperatures from...

This Wilton analog thermometer measures in at 14.7 inches long. It features a legible red liquid against a metal background for high readability.

The lettering and numbering along the thermometer are very clear and readable. There are 6 designations along with the gauge that shows ideal temperatures for thread, soft ball, hard ball, soft crack, hard crack, and deep fry.

This candy thermometer will read between a range of 60- and 400-degrees F. Its versatile design allows it to be clipped to the side of a pot or hung from its hook at the top. It provides constant temperature feedback while you’re making your candy.

The assembly is waterproof and can be washed with soapy water between uses to ensure it’s clean.

Wilton has been making kitchen products for over 90 years and they have a trusted history. It creates products used for hobbyist, professions, and start-ups the same.

There is no need to worry about replacing batteries or electronics dying on this thermometer. It is reliable and will last a long time. This should be a go-to instrument when you think about making candy in your kitchen.

Highlighted Features:

  • 7-inch long probe
  • High readability
  • Designated temperature zones
  • 60 to 400-degree F
  • Adjustable clip and hanging hook
  • Constant temperature
  • Waterproof stainless-steel composition
  • Fabricated by a trusted brand

Buy on Amazon

10. CIA Masters Collection Candy Thermometer

CIA Masters Collection Candy Thermometer
  • Large easy-read dial and 5 1/2-inch stainless steel probe
  • NSF Certified
  • Pot clip attaches thermometer to side of pot and positions probe to avoid touching the pot

This neat little candy thermometer from CIA Masters doesn’t look like the others on this list. Its low profile 5.5 stainless steel probe juts out from an analog dial face. It is NSF Certified, and very cost-effective.

This candy thermometer has the ability to calibrate the temperature. There is a pot clip on the side so you can hook on the probe while you’re making candy and get constant temperature feedback. It reads temperatures between 100 and 400 F.

There is a lifetime warranty on this unit. It has a protective sleeve to store the probe in while transporting or storing it. The sleeve has temperature suggestions for soft ball, firm ball, hard ball, soft crack, and hard crack – everything you need to know for making your candy.

Since the dial is vertically mounted, it can easily be read standing above your pot – there’s no need to squat to read the dial. The gauge-dial has a bright red hand and a white and green background with black lettering. This results in readability at-a-glance.

The waterproof stainless-steel assembly makes washing it a breeze. Soapy water and a cloth to rinse off the thermometer between batches of candy is always the best practice to follow.

Highlighted Features:

  • 5-inch probe
  • Analog dial-gauge
  • Ability to calibrate
  • Adjustable clip
  • 100 to 400 degree F range, constant temperature reading
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Protective sleeve
  • 6 suggested candy temperature ranges
  • Red hands on a white/green background
  • Waterproof stainless-steel assembly

Buy on Amazon

Buying Guide: What to Consider When Select Candy Thermometer

There are so many things to consider when buying a candy thermometer, and with all of the available options, it might seem like a daunting task. Luckily there are only a few things you need to think about before making sure you buy the best candy thermometer. You don’t always want to just buy the best rated candy thermometer, because it might not meet your needs.

It Needs to Give Your Temperature Quickly

When you’re making candy, there is a very specific temperature range you need to stay in, for a very specific amount of time. You can’t afford to wait 10+ seconds to get a temperature read-out. The best option would be a constant-temperature readout so you can always keep an eye on how hot your mixture is. If you don’t have a constant readout, you need a thermometer that can provide the temperature in a few seconds.

It Should be Hands-Free

When your candy mixture is not being stirred, it is caramelizing and burning the bottom. A candy thermometer that has a clip or hanging hook will make sure you have both hands to continue stirring the mixture. If the thermometer does require you to hold the probe to get the readout, it is preferable that it can be done with one hand. This allows your other hand to keep mixing the candy.

It Needs to Withstand High Heat

As you might know, making candy required excessive heat. You are heating your mixture on a stovetop up to temperatures potentially exceeding 300-degrees F. If your thermometer is not comfortable operating at those temperatures, or the quality is not good enough, it could break. If your thermometer breaks in your mixture, you have to throw everything out and start over again. Not to mention, now you need a new thermometer. Using a candy thermometer while making candy will expose the thermometer to continued high temperatures. If any parts are cheap plastic or questionable metal, your probe will fail over time. Once you start getting improper temperature readings, your candy mixture will rarely be good.

It Needs a Long Lifespan

If you are a hobbyist candy maker, it might be weeks or months between making batches. If your thermometer doesn’t have a long enough lifespan, you might find yourself scrambling looking for a new thermometer right before making candy.

Likewise, if you’re more of a professional candy maker, you will need a reliable tool that will work every time you want it to. This is an imperative tool where it pays to get a higher quality product.

It Needs to be Cleanable

When making candy, your thermometer will dirty quickly and harden on the thermometer. The more times you make candy without cleaning the thermometer, the less reliable the temperature readout will be. If you want a perfect candy mixture each time, you need to clean your thermometer between uses.

Splurging for a waterproof thermometer makes clean-up easy. You can douse it with soapy water, scrub, and then dry it. With the more sensitive probes that aren’t waterproof, you have to be very careful when washing the thermometer. You might wind up breaking your thermometer just by cleaning it between uses.

Readability

You want to make sure that you can read the temperature at-a-glance. Again, since making candy will take all of your attention, you can’t afford to take time to try to interpret your thermometer. You need a thermometer with a big, readable face. If it’s an analog thermometer, make sure the background and the liquid indicator are contrasting so you can quickly read the gauge. Check the digital candy thermometer reviews to see if the product is as readable as the pictures indicate.

Warranty Options

The last thing to think about is what kind of warranty is included with your thermometer. Sometimes there are problems with the manufacturing or workmanship that leads to the thermometer to stop working. If this happens, you want a decent warranty so you can get a quick replacement. Accidents happen, and you don’t want an accident to ruin your candy-making experience.

FAQ’s: Frequent Ask Question About Candy Thermometer:

Can you use a Digital Thermometer for Candy?

Yes, you can. As long as your thermometer can reach the desired temperatures – up to 350 degrees F for dark caramel. You need to make sure your digital thermometer can withstand long exposure to high heat. If the best candy thermometer happens to be digital, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Is a Candy and a Meat Thermometer the Same Thing?

From a technical standpoint, they are. Both candy and meat thermometer operate the same way – they have a tip that reads temperature. Though meat thermometers will typically give you a higher temperature readout.

Additionally, meat thermometers are used for instantaneous temperature, not a continuous readout typically. Meat thermometers have a sharp point that can be used to pierce the meat to get internal temperatures. That being said, any probe thermometer without a sharp point cannot be used as a meat thermometer.

Candy thermometers are used to read the continuous temperature inside a slurry or liquid, so if the probe is not waterproof it cannot be used as a candy thermometer. If the thermometer can’t be exposed to high temperatures for a long time, it can’t be used as a candy thermometer either.

What is the Best Digital Candy Thermometer?

That is up to the user. All of the digital candy thermometers on this list are excellent, but they each satisfy a certain aspect of making candy. Regardless, you need to pick a digital candy thermometer that’s easy to read, gives you temperature quickly, and preferably gives continuous temperature readout.

How Can I Check My Candy Without a Thermometer?

There’s no way to check the temperature of the mixture without a thermometer, but there is a workaround to see if the candy is ready. You can scoop some of the hot candy and put it in a cold bowl of water. This will cool the mixture quickly. When it’s cool, take it out of the water and check the consistency.

If it’s sticky, it’s currently at “soft ball”. If it’s firm, it’s at “hard ball”. Finally, if the mixture is hard and cracks, it’s at the “hard crack” stage.

How Long Does It Take to Boil Candy to 300 degrees F?

300 degrees F is the temperature required for hard crack candy. It will typically take between 9 and 12 minutes for your candy to reach 300 degrees F.

How long it takes depends on two important factors. First of all, how much candy are you making? The more candy mixture in the pot, the longer it will take to reach 300 degrees F.

Additionally, how hot is your stovetop when you start? It’s advised to always have the stovetop up to temperature before putting your candy on – otherwise, the non-uniform heating could ruin your mixture!

Final Verdict

A lot of work goes into finding the best candy thermometer. You need to consider what you’re looking for in a thermometer. You usually want a thermometer with a good warranty, one that gives you temperature quickly and preferable a constant temperature readout. You would probably like one that is hands-free, easy to wash, and waterproof. Consider the length of the probe of your thermometer, and make sure the temperature range is ideal for the type of candy you’re making.

Any of the thermometers reviewed here are very good, but it’s up to you to decide which is the best candy thermometer.

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