BEST CANDY THERMOMETERS | MAY 2018

Candy making is an art that requires precision, especially when it comes to temperature. A candy thermometer prevents undercooking, burning or scorching, allowing perfect creations every time. With extensive research, we've discovered the top models in several categories, including multi-purpose, analog and wireless candy thermometers. Our team evaluated features that impact your purchasing decisions, such as probe size, temperature range, and display type. Read more about our methodology.

Best Overall

95

When you're looking for that perfect gadget for your candy making needs, the CookNStuff DiGi thermometer comes with the features you need. Designed with versatility in mind, it tops our list for your candy-making needs.

Read full review.

Best Value

92

Value and functionality combine in the Habor digital cooking thermometer. Its long probe makes it easy to test thicker batches and it comes in handy for meats as well as candy.

Read full review.

Best by Category

Best Analog Candy Thermometer

89

Consistently monitor temperatures with the clip-on Polder stainless steel candy thermometer. It's easy to read with clearly marked temperature zones that simplify the cooking process.

Read full review.
85

Go back to basics with the CIA Masters Collection candy thermometer. The analog dial displays temperatures clearly. With its large dial and long probe, it comes in handy for all types of candy making.

Read full review.

Best Long-Probed Candy Thermometer

96

Thicker, larger candy batches require a thermometer that reaches deeper into the pot, and this Habor digital meat and candy thermometer delivers. Benefit from the longer probe and expansive temperature range to create delectable candies.

Read full review.

Best Multi-Purpose Candy Thermometer

86

Stir your batches and consistently monitor the temperature while you cook with the Gourmia GTH9185 Digital Spatula Thermometer. It reads and displays temperatures instantly while you stir.

Read full review.

Best Wireless Candy Thermometer

86

Always know the temperature of your candy batches, even if you step away with this KONA Wireless Thermometer. Audible alarms and a clear display keep you notified even when you're not nearby.

Read full review.

Candy Thermometers BUYING GUIDE

  • KEY CONSIDERATIONS

    Analog or Digital

    Candy thermometers come with either an analog or digital display. Analog models use mercury to measure the temperature using either a round dial with a hand, or a ruler-like bar to display the reading. Digital candy thermometers use electronic sensors to measure the heat and display the output on an LCD or LED screen in easy-to-read digits. Digital models have one significant advantage over analog thermometers in that many offer quick-read capability that displays the temperature in just a few seconds.

    Temperature Range

    Having a wide temperature range adds to the versatility of this kitchen gadget. Most candy thermometers go up to at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit, while some go as high as 572 degrees Fahrenheit, adding more versatility for recipes that call for higher temperatures.

    Probe Size

    The longer the probe size, the deeper you can reach, which comes in useful if you're consistently making large batches of candy or fudge. Probes range from under 4 inches to more than 7 inches, though some may be longer depending on the model.

    Automatic vs Manual Calibration

    Calibration is an important function of each thermometer. Without it, readings can be off by several degrees, resulting in food being under- or overcooked. It's important to calibrate your thermometer regularly, to ensure a proper reading. Automatic calibration is easy to do, requiring only the push of a button to set the temperature. Manual calibration, on the other hand, involves small tools, most of which come with these specific thermometers.  

  • PRICE BREAKDOWN

    The price ranges on candy thermometers vary widely depending on the type of thermometer and the features offered. Most analog models with a simple temperature dial tend to range between $5 and $10, while digital models with LED or LCD displays can cost up to $25. Those designed for multi-use, such as thermometers that gauge multiple foods or those combined with tools, can cost on the upwards of $30 to $40. If you're looking for a wireless candy thermometer that you can take with you into another room, or one with Bluetooth compatibility, you can expect to spend $50 or more.

FULL product reviews

We research hundreds of products in order to bring you a final, unbiased list of the very best. We also use a proprietary algorithm to score each product in terms of quality, value, and brand reputation. These subscores are then weighted to calculate our overall scores. Read more about how we calculate our scores.

706 products
considered
98K RATINGS
ANALYZED
26 research
hours

Best Overall

TOP PICK

CookNStuff DiGi

This DiGi candy thermometer gives you the features you need to create caramels, chocolate and more. Temperatures display within 6 to 8 seconds, with a wide range of -40 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only is it versatile, it's hardy standing up to high temperatures and it's dishwasher-safe for added convenience. With its easy-to-read LED display and candy temperature guide, you can churn out perfect batch after batch. A protective cover protects this thermometer when it's not in use.

  • 95overall
  • 96quality
  • 83value
  • 93brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Large LED digital display. The large display shows the temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius, taking up the majority of the dial for clear readings.
  • Two ways to use. Many users like that this candy thermometer can be used two ways—by inserting it directly into the mixture for a quick read or by clipping it onto the side for continuous reading.
  • Comes with temperature guide. An included temperature guide is easy to reference at a glance to avoid undercooking and burning or scorching candy. This guide attaches directly to the cover for quick, convenient access.
  • Simple to clean. The probe can be rinsed off under running water or, as this candy thermometer is dishwasher safe, it can be placed in the dishwasher after use for no-fuss cleanup.

Other Considerations

  • Battery cover comes loose. Some buyers say that the battery cover comes off easily but with a little bit of adjusting, they were able to fix it.

Best Value

TOP PICK

Habor Digital Cooking Thermometer

The Habor Digital Cooking Thermometer’s performance makes it a dynamic addition to your kitchen. A long probe and stainless steel construction make it suitable for candy and more. Its flexibility allows you to view it from nearly any angle, and with its quick-read capability, you'll know the temperature of your candy in mere seconds. The Habor thermometer comes with a protective cover that safeguards the sensor for long-lasting use.

  • 92overall
  • 91quality
  • 97value
  • 91brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Rotates 180 degrees. With a 180-degree rotation, you can move this candy thermometer so that you get the best view
  • Quick-read capability. Many users comment on how quick the temperature displays—in as little as 5 seconds.
  • Protective cover. The cover on this candy thermometer not only keeps the unit protected when it’s not in use, it also helps preserve the sensor-reading capability, prolonging its use.

Other Considerations

  • Battery life not the best. According to some consumers, the battery on the Habor thermometer dies quickly, even with the auto shut-off function

BEST BY CATEGORY

Best Analog Candy Thermometer

why buy?

Analog candy thermometers provide readings on a dial or bar, with clear markings that indicate temperatures. They're widely used because of their reliability and because they don't require as much calibration as a digital model. Because they use mercury to determine the temperature, there's no need for batteries or electronics. They come in a wide range of sizes and many also work equally well with oil and various meats to provide flexibility in the kitchen.

Top Pick

Polder THM-515

When you need to constantly monitor temperatures, opt for the Polder THM-515 stainless steel candy thermometer. It's suitable for personal and professional kitchens, whether you're a hobbyist or run a business. The Polder thermometer is rustproof and has an insulated handle that resists heat for safe handling. It clips directly onto the pot, using mercury to provide accurate readings whether you're tempering chocolate or caramelizing sugar for rock candy. When you're finished, it's dishwasher-safe for simple cleanup.

  • 89overall
  • 90quality
  • 88value
  • 79brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Insulated handle. Whether you dip it in the pot or clip it to the side, the insulated handle prevents the thermometer from retaining heat, so it’s always comfortable to the touch.
  • Wide range of temperatures. The temperature ranges between 90 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit, with clear markings that indicate doneness levels.
  • Dishwasher safe. When you’re done cooking, simply place this thermometer in the top dish rack or utility basket to get a thorough cleaning between uses.
  • Easy-to-read temperature zones. The numbers on both sides of the thermometer are large, making them easy to read when you’re cooking, so you can eliminate the guesswork.
  • Pot clip. If you need to consistently monitor temperature, such as when making caramels, use the clip to attach it to the side of the pot.

Other Considerations

  • Mercury may separate. Some users say that the mercury may separate in the thermometer, providing an inaccurate reading.
  • Clip may come loose. According to some consumers, the clip may not work on all types of pots and as a result, the thermometer tends to slip when attached.
RUNNER-UP

CIA Masters Collection Thermometer

The CIA Masters Collection candy thermometer is a must-have for all kitchens. It has a large dial that's easy to read and a durable stainless steel probe which measures 5.5 inches. The CIA Masters thermometer clips directly on the pot, keeping the probe from touching the sides for accurate readings. It offers both Celsius and Fahrenheit temperatures. Calibration is simple with the included tools to ensure accurate readings every time.

  • 85overall
  • 85quality
  • 85value
  • 81brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Clip prevents touching pot. The clip on this candy thermometer is designed to keep the probe from touching the pot itself. This helps avoid inaccurate, elevated readings.
  • Comes with calibration tools. This CIA Masters Collection thermometer comes with a nut and a wrench to help with calibration.
  • Large dial. The large dial makes the temperature easy to read and displays both Fahrenheit and Celsius. Fahrenheit is displayed on the outside of the dial while Celsius is on the inside.
  • Long probe. The probe on this candy thermometer measures 5.5 inches, making it ideal for thicker batches and taller pots.

Other Considerations

  • Hand-wash only. This unit is not dishwasher-safe; it must be hand washed to preserve its condition.

Best Long-Probed Candy Thermometer

why buy?

When cooking large batches of candy or working with deeper pots, having a longer probe is beneficial. Although these models have probes that exceed 4.5 inches in length, they function the same as those with shorter probes, with the added reach that you need for thick concoctions and multiple batches.

Top Pick

Habor Digital Candy Thermometer

When you need added reach, the Habor digital meat and candy thermometer fits the bill. It has a 4.7-inch probe and provides accurate readings in just 4 seconds. The temperature range is expansive, reading from -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, or it can be switched to Celsius if you prefer, so you can make all types of candies with a single thermometer. Store it in the draw between uses or use of the hook to keep it in hand's reach between sessions.

  • 96overall
  • 96quality
  • 99value
  • 91brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Quick reading time. Many consumers say they like the quick response time of the Habor digital meat thermometer, which provides a reading in as little as 4 seconds.
  • Wide temperature range. The wide range on this candy thermometer reads and displays temperatures from -58 to 572 degrees Fahrenheit, making it useful for many different types of candy.
  • Kitchen hook for easy hanging. When it’s not in use, the Habor thermometer easily stores on a hook inside a cabinet or above the stove. A protective sheath safeguards the sensor at the probe tip.

Other Considerations

  • Display is dim. Some users report that they’d like it if the display were illuminated so they could read it in low-lighting conditions.

Best Multi-Purpose Candy Thermometer

why buy?

Combination tools add efficiency to candy making; a multi-purpose thermometer gives you the convenience of multiple functions in a single gadget. Some models combine a spatula or spoon with a built-in thermometer, making it possible to stir your mixture while maintaining constant watch over the temperature and helping to make cleanup easier with fewer tools to clean. Others work on several different types of foods in addition to candy, providing flexibility in the kitchen.

Top Pick

Gourmia GTH9185

The Gourmia GTH9185 digital spatula thermometer combines two necessary tools into one efficient utensil. The spatula keeps your mixture smooth as you stir, and the long probe, which reaches to the tip, lets you monitor the heat level so you can make adjustments quickly. It detects temperatures between -58 and 572 degrees Fahrenheit, displaying it on the handle for quick, easy notifications. When it's time to cleanup, the probe pops out so you can wash the spatula for your next candy-making session.

  • 86overall
  • 89quality
  • 68value
  • 79brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Cook and read temperatures simultaneously. With the Gourmia digital spatula thermometer, you have the benefit of stirring batches of candy while continuously monitoring the temperature. The spatula is made of flexible silicone and stands up to high temperatures.
  • Removable probe. The probe comes out of the end of the spatula so you can wash the spatula without getting the thermometer wet. You can also use the probe by itself to test the doneness level of meats or liquids without using the spatula.
  • One-button operation. Users like that they can push a single button to turn the thermometer on while cooking for quick, seamless operation.

Other Considerations

  • ???????????Handle is on the short side. Some users expressed that they'd like to see a longer handle for stirring larger batches.

Best Wireless Candy Thermometer

why buy?

Wireless candy thermometers let you monitor the temperature of your mixture without having to stand over the pot. They have a separate probe that sends the information to a portable remote that works up to several hundred feet away, depending on the model. Some of the reading displays on handheld devices have an audible alarm that alerts you when your food reaches a specific temperature allowing you the flexibility to walk away for a moment without losing sight of temperatures, so you can create one perfect batch of candy after another.

Top Pick

Wireless Thermometer by KONA

If you work in a busy kitchen or like to multi-task, this wireless thermometer by KONA is a necessity. The probe inserts into your food or mixture, and delivers consistent temperature updates to the remote, which works up to 150 feet away. It lets you know when you're out of range and lights up so you can use it in the dark or dim lighting situations. The base comes with a magnet, keeping it firmly in place and the remote easily fits in your pocket for on-the-go alertness.

  • 86overall
  • 90quality
  • 57value
  • 81brand

Why We Recommend It

  • Freedom of movement. Since the display is separate from the probe, you can move up to 150 feet away from the probe and still get accurate readings on the remote.
  • Built-in light for clear display. The screen lights up so that you can see the temperature in low-light rooms, or while outdoors. Many users say they appreciate the backlight when they're grilling outdoors at night.
  • Audible alerts. An audible alert lets you know when the thermometer has reached the desired temperature settings, so you can feel free to step away rather than stand over the stove.
  • Magnets keep base in place. The bottom of the remote holder has small magnets that help keep the base in place on compatible surfaces.

Other Considerations

  • Difficulty operating. Some consumers report they experienced difficulty understanding the operating instructions for the first use.