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Old 01-10-2021, 09:59 AM   #1
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Thermometers??

Is there a difference between a candy thermometer and an in oven type thermometer with wire? I hated using a candy thermometer when making taffy. Not only because it wasn't digital and probably contained mercury, but because the display was perpetually being fogged over. Any reason to choose one over the other?

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Old 01-10-2021, 10:10 AM   #2
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As ,long as the digital thermometer is rated for the temperature, and it is calibrated properly, it will work.

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Old 01-10-2021, 10:19 AM   #3
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The chief is correct. However, a candy thermometer has those helpful markers for the different stages of candy.
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:24 PM   #4
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Another advantage of those old fashioned thermometers, besides the markings for the different levels for making candy, is that they hold the temperature sensor slightly off the bottom of the pan. If a sensor is sitting on the bottom of the pan you can get a higher temperature reading than you should. I found this with instant read thermometers, too - the sensor is about 1/2" from the tip on an old one I have, which is actually better when I'm using it in some relatively shallow oil (nam prik pao, and crispy shallots and garlic), as I can stir it and not worry about touching the bottom of the pan, while the Thermapen has a sensor very close to the tip, and will give me a reading of 20° or so higher, unless I'm careful to not get near the bottom of the pan.
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Old 01-10-2021, 03:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
Another advantage of those old fashioned thermometers, besides the markings for the different levels for making candy, is that they hold the temperature sensor slightly off the bottom of the pan. If a sensor is sitting on the bottom of the pan you can get a higher temperature reading than you should. I found this with instant read thermometers, too - the sensor is about 1/2" from the tip on an old one I have, which is actually better when I'm using it in some relatively shallow oil (nam prik pao, and crispy shallots and garlic), as I can stir it and not worry about touching the bottom of the pan, while the Thermapen has a sensor very close to the tip, and will give me a reading of 20° or so higher, unless I'm careful to not get near the bottom of the pan.
I have a ThermaPen, but I don't use it the way I would use a candy thermometer. For that I have this:

https://www.thermoworks.com/ChefAlarm

It comes with a clip for the temperature probe, so I can clip it to the pot the same way I would with a glass candy thermometer.
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Old 01-11-2021, 07:47 PM   #6
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My mom loves to make fudge during the holidays. She has always done it by eye with mixed results, always mad when it wasn't right. Last year she calls me to the kitchen and asks "does this look right?" I stuck a thermometer in it and said "when it hits 235 degrees, it's ready. 73 years old and I finally got her to use a thermometer for her fudge. Each batch came out perfectly this last Christmas. She texted me "what number am I looking for again?"
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Old 01-12-2021, 10:13 AM   #7
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Is there a difference between a candy thermometer and an in oven type thermometer with wire? I hated using a candy thermometer when making taffy. Not only because it wasn't digital and probably contained mercury, but because the display was perpetually being fogged over. Any reason to choose one over the other?
An "oven-type thermometer with wires" is inserted into the food. It has a thin probe for that.

A candy thermometer is not set up for that. Also, its unclear if the whole candy thermometer is oven safe.

You can buy wireless probe thermometers that are specific to roasting and grilling meats. You can also buy a digital thermometer like a Thermapen which is not inserted into something while it cooks in the oven -- you remove the food, temp it and put the food back in, if not done.

the value in something like a thermapen is that it goes from very low temps to very high so you can use it for pretty much any food -- for checking food safety temps; for water temp to dissolve yeast, etc.
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:54 PM   #8
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Got taffy up to about 270F. Looks like tip of candy thermometer is now a little misshapen. Definitely prefer metal sensors.
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Old 01-16-2021, 09:34 AM   #9
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Is there a difference between a candy thermometer and an in oven type thermometer with wire? I hated using a candy thermometer when making taffy. Not only because it wasn't digital and probably contained mercury, but because the display was perpetually being fogged over. Any reason to choose one over the other?
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Got taffy up to about 270F. Looks like tip of candy thermometer is now a little misshapen. Definitely prefer metal sensors.
I find the fogging curious. Those large round glass thermometers might get a bit but not enough to make reading the numbers difficult.

Why would it be mishappend? - it would have to have been touching the bottom of the pan to do so and even then - glass melts at around 1400 - 1600 F. Your stove can't do that.
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