• Candy Thermometer Accuracy

    Homemade candy can be finicky . . . a couple degrees in one direction or the other can mean the difference between melt in the mouth perfection or a flub you can't scrape out of the pan- which, incidentally, is exactly how "Fudge" came into existence! Here's a simple, dirt cheap tip for ensuring that your candy comes out every time . . .
    Last year a member wrote in frustrated because she couldn't get her candy over 240° no matter what she tried, it turns out that her candy thermometer was bad and she was actually cooking at almost 300°!

    Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil with your candy thermometer clipped to the side. Be sure that the thermometer tip is NOT touching the sides or bottom of the pan, but is fully submersed in water. Water will boil at 212° - but will not get any "hotter".

    • Hard water boils at a slightly higher temperature (usually 1 or 2° due to the mineral content)
    • Use of a Tall Narrow pot, rather than a saucepan will result in a boiling point of 213°

    If your candy thermometer reaches 212° and does not increase, it's working fine and is safe to use on your favorite candy recipes. If it fails to reach 212° or doesn't maintain that temperature, you might want to reconsider using it for your candy-making!

    Altitude can have an affect on boiling point as well:

    Sea Level 212.0 / 100.0
    500 211.1 / 99.50
    1000 210.2 / 99.01
    1500 209.3 / 98.52
    2000 208.5 / 98.03
    2500 207.6 / 97.54
    3000 206.7 / 97.05
    3500 205.8 / 96.57
    4000 204.9 / 96.08
    4500 204.1 / 95.60
    5000 203.2 / 95.12
    202.4 / 94.64
    6000 201.5 / 94.16
    6500 200.6 / 93.69
    7000 199.8 / 93.21
    7500 198.9 / 92.74
    8000 198.1 / 92.26
    8500 197.2 / 91.79
    9000 196.4 / 91.32
    9500 195.5 / 90.86
    10000 194.7 / 90.39
    Source: Boiling Point of Water vs. Altitude, K. Loomis, New Mexico State University Apache Point Observatory

    Thermometers don't maintain accuracy forever, so be sure to check yours routinely!

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. indigomoss's Avatar
      indigomoss -
      It is good to know that they do wear out, so easy to test before you use it.
    1. torriesmom's Avatar
      torriesmom -
      Needed this information. Thanks

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