Candy Thermometer Guide: 12 Best Types and Tips for Buying

Avatar Author's default profile picture
Kaye Published: June 9, 2021 Modified: October 1, 2021

We all know that a regular meat thermometer is useful for making sure that we don’t end up eating raw steak or chicken. But a candy thermometer isn’t your regular temperature probe. This handy tool is primarily used for monitoring food such as sweet isomalt or sugar solutions in jam and jelly, as well as candy-making and even deep-frying as it can read very high temperatures.

These thermometers come in all shapes and sizes, so it can be difficult to choose if you don’t know where to start. In this article, we compiled 12 of the best temperature probes you can get this year. Continue reading to find out more about the products we featured, as well as some buying tips to help you find the best candy thermometer for your personal cooking needs!

Our Favorite Candy Thermometers at a Glance

Digital thermometer, alongside brownies and a jar of caramel

Best Overall: Escali AHC1 NSF Certified Candy/Deep Fry/Confection Thermometer

A dial-type stainless steel thermometer with convenient dual-unit candy temperature labels.

Best Popular: Polder Candy/Jelly/Deep Fry Thermometer Stainless Steel with Pot Clip

A top-selling, food-safe analog cooking thermometer with a rust-proof base and a mercury-free gauge.

Best Digital: CDN DTC450 Digital Candy/Deep Fry/Pre-Programmed & Programmable Thermometer

A probe-type digital thermometer with an alarm system that you can set to your ideal temperature.

Best Instant Read: ThermoPro TP03 Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer 

A best-selling and magnetic cooking thermometer that can read temperatures in under five seconds.

Best Easy-Read: Taylor 9839-15 Adjustable Head Digital Candy Thermometer

A digital thermometer with a nine-inch steel probe and a large display that you can tilt for easy viewing.

Best Deep-Fry: GoodCook Classic Candy / Deep Fry Thermometer

A glass analog thermometer with a protective cover containing recommended deep-frying temperatures. 

Best Long Probe: Habor 022 Digital Instant-Read Thermometer

A long-probe digital thermometer with a non-stick paddle attachment that you can use to stir your pot.

Most Versatile: Gourmia GTH9185 Digital Spatula Thermometer 

An instant-read digital thermometer that you can use for thick cuts of meat and candy-making.

Best Clip-on: KT THERMO Deep Fry Thermometer With Instant Read

A dial-type thermometer with a built-in stainless steel clip that you can also use for candy-making.

Best Magnetic: Simple Goods Digital Instant Meat Food Thermometer 

A waterproof instant-read thermometer that you can stick to magnetic strips or your refrigerator.

Best Bluetooth: Govee Bluetooth Meat Thermometer

A digital thermometer that you can monitor through its accompanying application on your phone.

Best Budget-Friendly: Taylor Precision Products Classic Line Candy/Deep Fry Thermometer

An analog candy and deep-frying thermometer made of glass that won’t break your budget.

12 Candy Thermometers to Get This 2021

Out of all the confectionery and deep-frying probes available online, we’ve narrowed down the list to 12 of the best types you can get for your kitchen. We carefully hand-picked each one by taking into consideration a few key factors including brand reputation, product specs, overall customer reviews, and special features. See our in-depth description of the individual featured products below.

Best Overall

Escali AHC1 NSF Certified Candy/Deep Fry/Confection Thermometer

Escali AHC1 NSF Certified Candy/Deep Fry/Confection Thermometer, with stainless steel probe, dial, and clip

This dial-type model by the Escali brand is the best that you’ll find among all the candy thermometers on Amazon today. Not only is it a top performer, but it’s also extremely durable, too! This product is made with heavy-duty stainless steel, which is guaranteed to withstand high heat. It’s oven and grill safe, and also dishwasher safe which is practical and a testament to its top-grade quality. 

You can use this product as a professional candy thermometer, as it can accurately measure temperatures that range from 100 to 500 degrees F. Furthermore, the 2.5-inch shatterproof dial on this tool is marked with both Fahrenheit and Celsius units, with convenient labels for common confectionary temperature zones such as “jelly,” “soft ball,” “hard crack,” and even “caramel” for making your salted whiskey caramel recipe. Aside from your usual candy thermometer uses, this Escali model can also be used for deep-frying. With a probe length of 5.5 inches, it’s on the shorter side which is the only caveat. However, this length is definitely just right for standard cooking usage.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Sugar-Free Dessert Recipes

What We Like:

  • Durable
  • Built-in clip
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Short probe

Buy the Escali AHC1 NSF Certified Candy/Deep Fry/Confection Thermometer on Amazon.

Best Popular

Polder Candy/Jelly/Deep Fry Thermometer

Polder Candy/Jelly/Deep Fry Thermometer

This top-rated candy thermometer on Amazon has more than 12,000 ratings, securing its spot as number one in the shopping platform’s Candy Thermometers and Timers category. This Polder candy thermometer has an analog design, with a mercury-free gauge and a rust-proof stainless steel base. So, you can safely submerge this device into your pot of boiling syrup or oil. Also, it has an integrated steel clip behind the thermometer, meaning you can conveniently leave it in your vat without having to worry about the thermometer falling in.

Aside from being made of top-grade and food-safe materials, this product is also easy to use. With its dual-unit marking, anybody would be able to safely read and maneuver this tool. It also has convenient candy-zone markings, that range from “thread,” to “hard crack,” and even “deep fry.” You’ll have no problem achieving the perfect temperature for your hard candy recipe with this tool.

What We Like:

  • Insulated handle
  • Built-in clip
  • Dishwasher safe

What We Don’t Like:

  • No warranty

Purchase the Polder Candy/Jelly/Deep Fry Thermometer Stainless Steel with Pot Clip-on Amazon.

Best Digital

CDN DTC450 Digital Candy/Deep Fry/Pre-Programmed & Programmable Thermometer

CDN DTC450 Digital Candy/Deep Fry/Pre-Programmed & Programmable Thermometer

If you don’t really know how to read a candy thermometer with an analog or dial interface, it won’t be a problem with a digital gadget such as this one. This CDN digital candy thermometer comes with a large and easy-to-read display that shows the current temperature of your food, as well as your target. This product is the best-rated digital candy thermometer on Amazon, and the reason behind that is pretty obvious. 

This device is pre-programmed with seven candy stages, ranging from 40 to 450 degrees F. This means that you can easily set your desired temperature on the device, and the CDN candy thermometer will sound an alarm right before and when you are at your target. With this feat and the adjustable stainless steel clip that it comes with, you can safely leave the thermometer in your piece of cookware while your food is cooking. It’s also programmable, meaning you can set a specific temperature if it’s not on the device’s default setting. This way, you’ll get the right temperature for your fun pumpkin fudge every time.

What We Like:

  • Current and target temperature display
  • Built-in alarm system
  • Adjustable clip
  • Battery included

What We Don’t Like:

  • Pricy

Get the CDN DTC450 Digital Candy/Deep Fry/Pre-Programmed & Programmable Thermometer on Amazon.

Best Instant Read

ThermoPro TP03 Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer

ThermoPro TP03 Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer, with metal probe and digital interface

Although this classic instant-read thermometer by Thermopro is most used for checking the temperature of a juicy slab of ribeye steak and all kinds of meat, it’s a known fact that it’s also safe to use for candy-making because of its expansive temperature range. So if you’re wondering if you can use a candy thermometer for meat, then the answer is yes. It also goes the other way around. With its various positive reviews, there’s no denying that this Thermopro unit is the best cooking thermometer for both of those tasks.

This Thermopro digital thermometer can also accurately and safely read temperatures that range from 58 to 572 degrees F within three to five seconds. It has an overall length of a little over six inches, and its stainless steel probe accounts for almost four inches of that. This may be a bit too short for some candy experts, but if you’re gunning for a portable model, then this length is ideal. Oh, and did we mention that this tool is magnetic, too? There will be no problems sticking it onto your fridge when it’s not in use, or folding it neatly to store in your drawer.

What We Like:

  • Versatile
  • Portable
  • Magnetic back
  • Battery included

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Short probe

Buy the ThermoPro TP03 Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer on Amazon.

Best Easy-Read

Taylor 9839-15 Adjustable Head Digital Candy Thermometer

Taylor 9839-15 Adjustable Head Digital Candy Thermometer, with stainless steel probe and clip

If you dislike the thought of leaning into a pot of boiling liquid just to read the temperature from your thermometer, then you might appreciate this Taylor Precision digital model. If you didn’t already know, this brand is well-regarded for producing top-quality measuring tools, such as some of the best thermometers in the scene. 

This particular Taylor Precision model has a large one-inch digital display that flashes the current temperature of your food. In addition to that, it has a nine-inch stainless steel probe. It can precisely measure anywhere from 40 to 500 degrees F, so you can safely use this tool for making some sweet cantaloupe jelly or for deep-frying a batch of crispy chicken. Monitor your food from a safe distance by clipping the device onto the side of your pot or best saucepan, and tilt the head toward your direction for better viewing.  

What We Like: 

  • Adjustable head
  • Built-in clip
  • Battery included

What We Don’t Like:

  • Top-heavy

Purchase the Taylor 9839-15 Adjustable Head Digital Candy Thermometer on Amazon.

Best Deep-Fry

GoodCook Classic Candy / Deep Fry Thermometer

GoodCook Classic Candy / Deep Fry Thermometer, with protective cover

This Good Cook candy thermometer is a good model to get for deep-frying. Essentially, most temperature tools that you can use for confectionery purposes can work as both an oil and candy thermometer because they are built to withstand very high temperatures. This specific model can measure anywhere between 100 to 400 degrees F, so it’s just right for an average deep-frying zone of 350 to 375 degrees F. 

If you like the classic feel of a glass deep-fry/candy thermometer, then this might just be the right fit for you. It has an integrated temperature guide, which not only indicates the target temperatures for candy but also for frying different types of food like some Bojangles-inspired crispy french fries. Also, glass thermometers like this one are way cheaper than their metal-probed and digital counterparts.

So, this is a good choice if you’re looking for a reliable oil thermometer that can also be used for making candies, and won’t break the bank. It may be more fragile than the others, so it comes with a protective sheath for better storage.

READ ALSO: How To Dispose Of Cooking Oil Properly

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Integrated temperature guide
  • Built-in clip

What We Don’t Like:  

  • Quite fragile

Buy the GoodCook Classic Candy / Deep Fry Thermometer on Amazon. 

Best Long Probe

Gourmia GTH9185 Digital Spatula Thermometer

Gourmia GTH9185 Digital Spatula Thermometer, with a silicone paddle attachment

This digital thermometer by Gourmia is uniquely designed to double as a spatula that you can use for stirring jellies, caramels for your festive candy apples, and other types of fun syrup recipes. With an overall length of 15 inches, you can definitely use this probe to reach and scrape the bottom of your cooking pot for avoiding burnt spots. 

The paddle attachment on this device is made of BPA-Free and nonstick silicone, which means that it’s food safe and easy to clean. It’s also completely detachable so that you can just use the metal instant-read probe for checking the temperature of steak or turkey dishes. It can measure temperatures that range from negative 58 to 572 degrees F, which flashes on its large LCD screen. One downside to this model is that it doesn’t come with a built-in clip.

What We Like:

  • BPA-free
  • Nonstick material
  • Ergonomic handle

What We Don’t Like:

  • No built-in clip

Get the Gourmia GTH9185 Digital Spatula Thermometer on Amazon.

Most Versatile

Habor 022 Digital Instant-Read Thermometer

Habor 022 Digital Instant-Read Thermometer, with protective sheath

This Harbor candy thermometer is our top pick for the most versatile device. Compared to other instant-read thermometers, you can also use this tool to measure the temperature of large turkeys and other meat recipes, thanks to its 4.7-inch metal probe. It’s portable enough to carry around and be used to check the temperature of bathwater, too! Although, you have to be careful because this device is strictly hand-held and you can’t leave it in your vat of hot liquid for an extended period of time.

This candy thermometer boasts lightning-speed accuracy with its instant-read interface, reading temperatures that range from -58 to 572 degrees F in an average of four to six seconds. It also comes with an auto-shut-off function which is convenient for preserving battery life. For storage and safety, you can simply slide the probe into its accompanying protective sheath before keeping it in your drawer.

What We Like:

  • Affordable
  • Available in different colors
  • Celsius-Fahrenheit switch
  • Battery included

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Not very durable

Purchase the Habor 022 Digital Instant-Read Thermometer on Amazon.

Best Clip-on

KT THERMO Deep Fry Thermometer With Instant Read

KT THERMO Deep Fry Thermometer With Instant Read

A built-in clip will be very useful for you, especially if you like to leave the probe in your pot of liquid for constant temperature monitoring. For this category, we selected this dial-type model by KT Thermo from Amazon. The probe itself and the adjustable clip are made with sturdy and corrosion-resistant stainless steel, so it’s guaranteed to last a long time. 

Although this is primarily marketed as a meat probe, it can also be used as a deep-fry and sugar thermometer because of its 12-inch length and capacity for reading temperatures that range from 50 to 550 degrees F. Other than that, this model has a large two-inch diameter dial display with convenient temperature markings of both Celcius and Fahrenheit units.

What We Like:

  • Durable
  • Built-in clip
  • Long probe
  • 1-Year Warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • No temperature guide

Get the KT THERMO Deep Fry Thermometer With Instant Read on Amazon.

Best Magnetic

Simple Goods Digital Instant Meat Food Thermometer 

Simple Goods Digital Instant Meat Food Thermometer, with box 

This digital thermometer by the Simple Goods brand bags our top spot for the best magnetic probe to get this year. This special feature, along with its portable 6.97-inch size, makes it convenient for storage. It’s a plus that its probe is 180 degrees foldable, too! This is the perfect space-saving piece of equipment since it won’t take up much space in your kitchen drawer and you can also hang it on your fridge or magnetic strip when it’s not in use.

READ ALSO: 10 Magnetic Knife Holders That Do Not Damage Your Knives

This Simple Goods thermometer works using the instant-read technology, hence it flashes the temperature reading (-58 to 572 degrees F) in an average of two to three seconds. Since it’s primarily a thermometer for meat (you can use it for beef, chicken, and lamb recipes), it has a relatively shorter probe. When you’re done for the day, it will be easy to clean this thermometer thanks to its waterproof feature.

What We Like:

  • Waterproof
  • Portable
  • Battery included
  • Lifetime Warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Short probe

Purchase the Simple Goods Digital Instant Meat Food Thermometer on Amazon.

Best Bluetooth

Govee Bluetooth Meat Thermometer

Govee Bluetooth Meat Thermometer, with wire accessories 

Did you know that you can check the temperature of the food you’re cooking from your phone? This Govee cooking thermometer is Bluetooth-ready, which means that you can set up the device on your stovetop and it will notify you on your phone once your food reaches the ideal temperature. It’s quite convenient because you‘ll be able to run errands around the house while your food is cooking, as long as you stay within the thermometer’s 196-feet Bluetooth range. 

The working temperature range of this device is 32 to 527 degrees F, and it comes with six pre-set temperature targets for cooking meat, particularly: beef, veal, lamb, chicken, pork, fish, and turkey. It’s easy to navigate, too! All you have to do is install its accompanying application, the Govee Home App, and connect your device. This Bluetooth thermometer is the most expensive out of all the products on this list, but the extra-functionality is definitely worth the extra buck.

What We Like:

  • User-friendly
  • Batteries included
  • Built-in alarm system

What We Don’t Like:

  • Pricy

Buy the Govee Bluetooth Meat Thermometer on Amazon.

Best Budget-Friendly

Taylor Precision Products Classic Line Candy/Deep Fry Thermometer

Taylor Precision Products Classic Line Candy/Deep Fry Thermometer, with accompanying sleeve

It’s completely understandable if you don’t want to splurge for an extra kitchen tool. For a straightforward instrument that’s easy on the wallet, this Taylor candy thermometer is our top pick. This model has all the basic and necessary functions that you’d want from a regular probe, but it’s cheaper because it’s a glass-type thermometer. 

The tube contains the necessary temperature markings from 100 to 400 degrees F (also in Celcius), and it comes with an adjustable clip, too. This Taylor Precision product also comes with a storage sleeve that contains the temperature guide for making the perfect sweets and deep-fried dishes like these Korean fried chicken

What We Like:

  • Protective sleeve
  • Adjustable clip
  • Lifetime Warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Probe isn’t very long

Get the Taylor Precision Products Classic Line Candy/Deep Fry Thermometer on Amazon.

How to Choose the Right Candy Thermometer

Candy thermometer with pastries

Not sure which thermometer to go for? We won’t blame you because there are a lot of good products available in the market, and the wide range of options can be quite confusing especially for someone new to the confectionery scene. We’ve listed below some key factors that you can consider when choosing the best candy thermometer for your needs. 

Display Type

What does a candy thermometer look like, and how can it possibly have different display types? Well, the answer to that question is simple. Some manufacturers produce confectionery probes with a modern digital interface, while others still produce analog and dial-type models. We’ll be breaking down these kinds below:


This is the most traditional out of all the display types. You’ll instantly distinguish an analog thermometer from the rest because it usually comes in a vertical form, with a thin glass tube that can either be attached to a rectangular stainless steel base. The glass vessel contains a substance that contracts and expands when exposed to different heat levels. The substance used in traditional thermometers used to be mercury, but it has since been replaced with a safer chemical. They are straightforward and they don’t need batteries to work.

Analog candy thermometers are meant to be suspended from the sides of a pot or saucepan, for constant temperature monitoring. The temperature range of an analog tool can either be printed on the tube of the thermometer itself, or the metal base. The markings tend to be small, and you’d have to be close to it to accurately see the reading, which can be quite difficult especially if you don’t have the best eyesight.


Dial candy thermometers tend to have a metal probe and a circular head containing the tool’s temperature range. The display on this type is arguably easier to read than traditional analog ones because the head is positioned above the pot, so you won’t have to lean so near to the boiling liquid for an accurate reading. Some models even have adjustable heads, so that you can tilt the part towards your direction for easier viewing. Similar to the analog type, dial probes can be clipped on the sides of the pot. 


Over the years, digital thermometers have exponentially improved to be at par and even surpass the measuring capacity of traditional temperature probes. The overwhelmingly positive digital candy thermometer reviews on Amazon back this up. Off the bat, there’s no denying that out of all the types, the digital display is the easiest to read. It can either flash the current temperature reading alone, or it may also show the target on the display. Some may also include alarm systems that signal you if your food has reached the ideal temperature. 

For speedy and instantaneous readings, you may opt for an instant-read candy thermometer. Digital thermometers also have probes, but they mostly tend to be shorter than that of the dial. The caveat to this type is that they require specific batteries in order to work, and most models are only hand-held and can’t be left in the vat of hot liquid for a long time.

Material Used

Aside from taking into consideration which display type you prefer, you also have to decide the base material that you’d want for your cooking tool. Usually, thermometers can either have metal probes, glass tubes, and modern wireless technology such as infrared or Bluetooth. Discover their pros and cons below.


Most digital or dial-type thermometers have metal probes of varying lengths. These prongs can be sharp so that you can use them for both solid and liquid applications like checking the temperature of meat and caramel. This part must be made of a food-safe and non-corrosive material, especially if you’ll be using it for syrups and candy-making. Stainless steel is a good option for this as it ticks all of the boxes and it’s also non-reactive, meaning that it won’t affect the taste or color of your food. We highly recommend getting a metal probe deep-fry candy thermometer with a tapered or etched label that indicates how deep into what you’re making the tool should go.


This is the most common material in analog thermometers. As mentioned in the “Display Type” section of this article, a glass thermometer is often tube-shaped and filled with a liquid that contracts or expands indicative of a temperature change. The substance used in this type used to be mercury, but it has since been replaced with alcohol (which is a safer substance). A glass candy thermometer is a great option for measuring liquids’ temperatures, especially if you don’t want to spend much on a kitchen tool, as this material is relatively inexpensive. However, before you make your purchase, we encourage checking first if the materials used in the product are food-safe and most importantly non-toxic. 

Infrared or Bluetooth

Technology has made it so that you can measure the temperature of your food without coming into contact with it. The first option is to use a thermometer that employs infrared (IR), a type of electromagnetic radiation that can only be detected by certain devices called thermophiles. In essence, the molecules in the food you’re cooking move at a rapid speed, producing IR and heat in the process. Infrared thermometers are equipped with a special lens that detects this so that it can tell how hot your food is. This method is mess-free, but it comes with a caveat. IR probes can only measure surface temperatures, so you’d have to stir your pot of liquid first to get a more accurate reading. 

On the other end, you can also opt for a Bluetooth-ready candy thermometer. This type isn’t entirely contactless, as some models come with several prongs that you have to stick into your meat or pot of liquid. Usually, you’ll have to leave the probe connected to your food, and you connect the device to your phone so that you can monitor it at a safer distance, as long as you’re within range. That said, infrared and Bluetooth models tend to be more expensive than the other types but in our opinion, the additional features are well worth the splurge.

Handheld vs. Clip-on

In your quest to answer the question of what is the best candy thermometer, you should also consider if you’d rather have a handheld or clip-on model. Some temperature probes come with accompanying clips that you can attach to your pot, while others are handheld. It’s best to use clip-on models for recipes that require constant and gradual monitor checking, like in making a serving of delectable chocolate fudge. The best built-in clips aren’t loose and are rather adjustable and snug-fitting so that you don’t accidentally drop your tool into your vat of sticky syrup or caramel. Also, you should check if it’s made of heat-resistant material so that it doesn’t burn or melt on your food. 

As for handheld models, they are ideal for quick temperature checks. These are also convenient for recipes that require constant stirring. You won’t be leaving a handheld thermometer in your pot, so it won’t obstruct your range of motion. Aside from that, these probes are mostly equipped with instant-read technology, so you won’t have to worry about strains as you can get your reading in as fast as seconds.

Temperature Range

You might be asking, what is special about a candy thermometer? The main difference between a candy thermometer and a regular meat thermometer lies in the temperature range. Candy-making and deep-frying both require very high heat. For instance, the standard hard crack temperature ranges between 295 to 310 degrees F. Even the lower-temperature candy zones like soft crack (270 to 290 degrees F), and softball temperature (234 to 240 degrees F) are relatively higher than the boiling point of water (212 degrees F). So, the best cooking probe for confectionery use should be good for measuring temperature that ranges between 100 to 400 degrees F. Although, you may also opt for models that can read temperatures of more than 500 degrees F. It may also be helpful to get a model with both degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit labels. A meat thermometer with this capability is a good candy thermometer substitute. 

Probe Length and Size

A standard cooking thermometer has a probe length of three to five inches. If you’ll be using your probe to read the temperature of large amounts of liquid and deep-frying in a large pot, you’d benefit from getting a longer one. If you want to have more distance between you and the food you’re cooking, you can also opt for digital models with extra wires or a wireless Bluetooth connection. 

READ ALSO: 28 Easy Dessert Recipes You Can Bake Without Visiting A Bakery

Price and Warranty

How much is a candy thermometer? This cooking tool is relatively inexpensive, so you’ll definitely be able to purchase a good model at a reasonable price. Analog thermometers made of glass are usually the cheapest. If you have the means to splurge, you can also pay for a temperature probe with a sleeker look. You can also give those with extra features such as Bluetooth connectivity and an alarm system a try. It’s also good to go for products secured with a warranty.


Most candy thermometers are only built for handwashing due to their fragile nature. It’s best to clean them quickly, and not soak them in water (regardless if the model is waterproof). However, sturdier dial-type models can also withstand dishwashing. It’s also important to know how to use, test, and calibrate a candy thermometer. Brand new dial-type models have to be submerged in either iced or boiling water to recalibrate. 


Aside from confectionery, cooking meat is also one of the many uses of a dial or electronic candy thermometer. Hence, they may have sharp prongs that aren’t very safe to have around kids. For these types of metal-probe thermometers, it’s good to get one with a protective cover. This feat is also useful for more fragile glass probes.



Kaye is a writer and a recent oat milk convert. With a background in Language Studies, she has founded a deep appreciation of cultures, traditions, and the power of words. In her spare time, she enjoys testing some of the trendiest and most accessible recipes on the internet.

Related Articles