Thermometers types and their use
We will briefly go through each thermometer type so you can make an informative decision on which thermometer suits your needs.
The candy thermometer (on the left) is very useful when cooking sugar syrups. DISADVANTAGE: One thing, it needs to be calibrated to make sure that it is accurate; you must test your thermometer’s accuracy periodically or every time you use it. When water is boiling, the candy thermometer should measure 100deg. C (212deg. F). If it does not, you have to compensate for the difference when measuring a temperature. For example, if the reading of boiling water is 99 deg. C, then you know that your thermometer reading is off by 1 degree. So for every reading, you need to add 1 degree to give you the final reading. ADVANTAGE: All cooking stages of sugar syrups (eg; : thread, soft ball, firm ball, hard ball, etc can be found right on the thermometer with their temperature equivalent.
The digital thermometers (2nd from the left) are not very accurate and are dangerous to use when cooking sugar. You can use this type of thermometer on small tasks, for example, to measure dough temperature, to measure room temperature or water temperature that will be used to ferment yeast, etc.
Laser thermometers (2nd from the right) are extremely accurate but not accurate enough for cooking sugar syrups, because they only measure the surface temperature. When you are boiling sugar syrups, the pot is not evenly heated all throughout; it has hot spots. So if you are taking a reading in one spot using the laser thermometer it may different in another spot.
Temperature alarm digital thermometer
Today’s candy thermometers are digital (on the right). We recommend purchasing this type of thermometer because of its versatility and its accuracy. It can be used to cook sugar syrups, to temper chocolate, to keep an eye on temperatures of certain creams, dough temperatures, etc. ADVANTAGE: Another advantage when cooking sugar syrups, you don't have to be besides the pot waiting for the temperature to reach the desired temperature of the sugar syrup. You can simply set the alarm a couple of degrees lower to give you sufficient time to go to the pot and shut off the heat.