Recommend a Thermometer for making Maple Candy?

6
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Joined May 16, 2016
I dont do many cooking projects that require knowing precise temperatures, so I dont have a good cooking thermometer. But my last attempt at maple candy proved I need one.

Can you recommend a good cooking thermometer than can be used for making maple candy? (and ideally it should be versatile for other uses as well)
 
6
0
Joined May 16, 2016
Cool—I was actually looking at that exact thermometer.

The one misgiving I have about it is that theres no clip to keep it attached to the pot as the maple syrup heats and then cools to the desired temperatures. Is the Thermopen design still desirable for tasks like this compared with a probe style thermometer? (Like the Thermoworks Dot or ChefAlarm?)
 
5,467
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Taylor makes the red alcohol filled thermometers, which work well and are accurate, but with the caveat that the numbers on the body of the thermometer eventually wear off. Cheap though, and easy enough to get.

Electronic thermomters are not without caveats, they are:

1) needs stupid button-cell batteries, and guaranteed after replacing them, the next time you use it, they will be dead. Either you get the cheap dollar store button cells or the expensive drugstore ones, but no electronic probe thermometer will be intelligent enough to use rechargeable AA/AAA batteries, or gawd forbid, an internal battery that charges with a usb

2) Probes wear out.

3) Invariable, the body of the thermomter is made of plastic, you will be using this (plastic) device over a hot pot, on a stove, with lots of ambient heat. The plastic will melt, the battery cover will warp and batteries will fall out. About the same general stupidity and lack of customer and product knowledge as the Taylor alcohol one with the disappearing numbers.

4) And most important, the probes on electronic ones are tiny. This os not a bad thing if you want to shove it into a roast, but pretty stupid if you want a temperature of a 2liter( quart) pot.

If you had ten electronic thermometers and put them all in a pot of boiling sugar syrup, you'd get ten different readings--the ones at the bottom will read higher than those in the middle or top, the ones in the center will read higher than those around the perimeter. However, an alcohol thermometer has a large tip and will therefore sample a larger area, giving you a better general overall temperature of the liquid.

So you can guess my choice, alcohol thermometer any day. I find the accurate for syrups, caramel, Italian meringue, nougats, and even deep frying.
 
3,945
804
Joined Dec 18, 2010
Cool—I was actually looking at that exact thermometer.

The one misgiving I have about it is that theres no clip to keep it attached to the pot as the maple syrup heats and then cools to the desired temperatures. Is the Thermopen design still desirable for tasks like this compared with a probe style thermometer? (Like the Thermoworks Dot or ChefAlarm?)
Thermopen suggested for both your maple candy making and your flexibility requirement. That will be good for meat, candy and deep-fry. I stand over my candy when making so clip-on is nice but not necessary. Alarm only good if you intend to step away from the pot, which is not generally advised. Since the Taylor clip-on candy thermometer is so affordable... get one of each. That will be good for candy and deep-fry but not meat. You will not regret the investment!

https://www.taylorusa.com/products/candy-deep-fry-thermometer-3
 
227
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Joined Sep 21, 2010
Since we're talking about thermometers, here's an oldie. My grandfather (born in 1905) was a butcher and this was his meat thermometer.
It's an alcohol glass thermometer in a stainless steel steel case. I've never seen one like this, but maybe some of you pros have seen similar thermometers.

I also have some of his knives and a bone-handled sharpening steel. Glad to have them, too. meat-thermometer.jpg
 

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