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How to Use a Candy Thermometer

Lisa 6 months ago 0 6

Candy thermometers are indispensable tools for those who love making chocolate, caramel and candy at home. By helping to ensure the sugar mixture reaches the optimal stage without burning out or overcooking, they help ensure a delicious final result.

Test your candy thermometer frequently by submerging it in boiling water to check its accuracy. If its reading deviates from 212 degrees, adjustments must be made while cooking.

Thermometer Set-Up

Candy thermometers are essential tools when it comes to crafting candy. Not only can they ensure that you follow a recipe precisely and get results you anticipate, they can also save time by notifying you when your confectionery is done heating. Regular usage requires that it remains clean and calibrated so as to achieve accurate results and prevent burnt batches of treats from appearing in your treats!

To calibrate a glass candy thermometer, first bring a pot of water to boil. When your thermometer reaches boiling point, leave it alone for 10 minutes before reading off its temperature compared to 212deg Fahrenheit as an industry standard for boiling water – any differences will indicate where your thermometer needs calibration.

If your thermometer is off by more than expected, it may no longer be accurate and you must recalibrate it to achieve accuracy again. There are various methods you can employ; immersion into boiling water may be most efficient as this allows for testing accuracy – an accurate candy thermometer should come within 3 degrees of its actual boiling point.

After calibrating your candy thermometer, it’s essential that you use it appropriately. Never touch the tip of your thermometer with any part of your pan or pot as this could give an inaccurate reading, especially if metal temperatures rise during cooking. One way to prevent this error from happening is using one with an extended rod such as ChefWorks’ 9″ long rod which features a rounded tip to avoid scraping away at your surface when measuring temperatures.

Once your thermometer has finished its duties, remove it from the pan and wipe it down with a damp towel before waiting for it to cool before placing it away safely in its designated spot. Never store a thermometer alongside other kitchen tools as this may crack or shatter its glass.

Keep an extra candy thermometer handy just in case yours breaks or goes missing; most chefs can’t go more than a few hours without one! Keeping one as a backup can prevent further complications down the line.

Thermometer Calibration

When making candy, temperature is of paramount importance – just a few degrees can make all the difference in its final texture and appearance. To calibrate your candy thermometer accurately, place it in boiling water and test its accuracy; usually this process will reveal that your thermometer reads higher than 212 degrees (at sea level, water boils at this temperature). In such an instance, your reading must be adjusted during sugar syrup preparation to bring your final hard candy product within range.

When using a candy thermometer, it is crucial that it remains away from the bottom of the pan or pot as direct contact can cause its glass components to shatter. Digital candy thermometers tend to be more reliable and durable than their analog counterparts – they also allow users to program alarms so they will alert when sugar reaches specific temperatures.

No matter if it’s an analog candy thermometer, digital one with metal prongs, or infrared type thermometer, its tip should never touch the hot bottom of a pan or pot as this can damage it and lead to inaccurate results. A metal rim or pot holder are ideal ways to safely protect your candy thermometer.

Once your thermometer has been tested for accuracy, it’s ready for use in your kitchen. Before placing it into a pot of simmering sugar syrup, take care to wipe down its surface using a cloth or paper towel in order to eliminate any residue that might affect its accuracy.

Keep a spare candy thermometer handy just in case the one you currently use breaks; having one handy can prevent having to start all over with new batches due to having no spare.

Candy thermometers typically last a long time; however, they will eventually wear out or break. Therefore, it’s wise to have a spare on hand so that if yours breaks unexpectedly you have one ready and working.

Thermometer Cleaning

Poorly cleaned thermometers can harbor germs that spread from person to person and create foodborne illness, so it’s vitally important that after each use and using the appropriate cleaning method for your specific thermometer model you clean and disinfect regularly using appropriate methods.

Digital thermometers can be cleaned using alcohol wipes, while an old-fashioned glass one should be washed by hand in cool water (never hot as this could shatter it). A quality digital thermometer may even come equipped with its own waterproof case for storage and protection from damage.

Before beginning, always refer to your thermometer’s manufacturer for cleaning instructions. If there are no instructions available, generally it is safest to assume you can wash the thermometer in warm soapy water and leave to dry before use. Wear plastic or latex gloves when handling commercial cleaners for added protection from chemicals in them.

Next, use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol soaked cotton balls or pads to rub over the entire thermometer with special care taken to clean its tip. Rinse in cool water, allow to dry completely before returning it back into its case or reusing. Alternatively, alcohol swabs may be used to sanitize and rinse as necessary.

Mundkur suggests regularly wiping down your storage case with a cloth dampened in alcohol to clean it, in addition to washing the screen as water and electronic components don’t mix well together.

As with other items in your kitchen, storing your thermometer in a cool and dark environment such as a drawer or cabinet when not in use will help preserve its accuracy and avoid being damaged or losing calibration. If you use your thermometer often consider investing in a storage case or using tape to wrap it to protect from bumps and drops. A high quality and accurate thermometer is key when it comes to cooking with confidence – whether checking rare steak, doneness of Thanksgiving turkey, sugar syrup temperatures, etc a clean functioning thermometer is indispensable!

Thermometer Care

Candy thermometers are indispensable tools in the arsenal of any home cook, exuding authority whenever they enter the kitchen and signalling that science equipment has arrived. Although widely accessible – available at houseware stores and supermarkets alike – thermometers often go underutilized due to either believing cooking is too simple for them, or not understanding their proper usage.

As it’s not intended for submersion in boiling liquids like meat and fish, using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure that a piece of poultry, roast meat or steak has reached an appropriate internal temperature before consumption.

Candy thermometers don’t feature sharp points like meat thermometers do and must be treated accordingly. Keep them away from hot surfaces, calibrate and clean regularly so they continue to perform as intended.

Thermometers come in both analog and digital models to suit whatever your cooking project requires. Analog models feature long, narrow tubes ideal for deep frying or making hard candies; digital ones feature LCD displays with precise measurements of liquid temperatures; both can also come equipped with clips to securely keep their place while monitoring progress.

Remembering not to touch the bottom of a pot when taking temperature readings is essential as this could give an inaccurate reading or even break the glass thermometer. Place it in a large enough pan for it not to boil over or burn away!

When not being used, thermometers should be stored in a cool and dry location and frequently washed with hot soapy water to reduce bacterial growth. Be sure to follow manufacturer-recommended cleaning instructions, as some thermometers are not dishwasher-safe.

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