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Jul 19, 2006 06:09 PM

Candy Thermometers??

Hello all,

I have a question about candy/dep fryer thermometers.

I usually just use the drop of candy in the water bowl trick to decide what stage of carmelization the sugar is at but today I have tried my hand at ricotta cheese making and needed a thermometer.

I bought one but I am wondering if this needs to be calibrated?


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  1. It's worth doing especially as the only calibration point is 212 F, the boiling point of water. Personally I've found every thermometer I've used to read this pretty accurately.

    1. Yes, I ALWAYS calibrate my thermometers, usually once a week as a professional pastry cook. It is super easy to do. Either stick it in a small pan of boiling water, making sure not to touch the side or bottom of the pan. Or fill a large glass with ice and fill with cold water, then stick in the thermometer. You can manually adjust almost all thermometers except for some digital ones. If you can't manually adjust it you need to just add or subtract for the difference in temp.

      Good luck with making the cheese. BTW, how do you make ricotta cheese?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Non Cognomina


        Ricotta is really easy to make! It worked out great.

        Here are the directions:

        Place one gallon (about 3.7 liters) whole milk plus 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste) in a pot on the stovetop. Scald slowly on the stove top until you notice small bubbles forming but before boiling point. The milk will reach about 180 to 185 degrees. At this temp take the pot off heat and add 1/3 cup plus one teaspoon to the milk and stir gently. Curd will form right away. Cover the pot with a clean cloth and let sit for at least two hours. Spoon all curd into several layers of cheese cloth in a colander to drain. Voila...Ricotta!


        1. re: j2brady

          1/3 C +1 tsp what? lemon juice? Am I just not seeing it?

          1. re: Candy

            See below...someone else picked up on my mistake.

            It is vinegar.


      2. This is a related question. Instead of a candy thermometers, can a digital one be just as good?

        2 Replies
        1. re: OnceUponABite

          Yes, a digital thermometer can be used, but I find them impossible to calibrate. Maybe I just don't know how to do it, but when it is off, I have to do the add/subtract in my head. If there is a way to adjust a digital one, I'd love to know how!

          1. re: Non Cognomina

            oops, I assume you don't have to calibrate digital thermometer. Am I way off?

        2. "At this temp take the pot off heat and add 1/3 cup plus one teaspoon to the milk and stir gently"

          Add what??


          1 Reply
          1. re: Davwud

            Oooops! Sorry I wrote that pretty early this mornng.

            Add white distilled vinegar. In a pinch you can use lemon juice but I think the vinegar works better.

            Also, if you are planning on using the Ricotta for a sweet dish, say with fruit or something, you can omit the salt or just add a little less.