Recommendation for good candy thermometer?
I'm not interested in making really elaborate, difficult desserts, but I do want to make custard-based ice cream right, and was thinking I should invest in a candy thermometer. I'd appreciate any tested recommendations.
Taylor makes the candy thermometer that I use. It's clip-on with a glass thermometer with a red "mercury". There are markings for C and F degrees and markings for all the sugar stages--hard crack, soft ball...I use it a lot and it still looks brand new, so it's easy to keep clean. I think it's a classic.
I have a couple of candy thermometers but I use these mostly for making jams and marmalades. For custards I prefer my instant-reading thermometer which isn't really instant, it takes about 15-20 seconds. I find it more accurate and it will respond to temperature changes faster which is important if you're making an egg-based custard. Haven't had a custard curdle or break yet.
I have one of the glass clip-on types mentioned above, but I abandoned it a few years ago in favor of a digital candy/oil thermometer that I got at William-Sonoma. No idea what brand it is, but it's on their website. I absolutely LOVE this one for candy, but I've never used it for custard.
I also like my "instant" read thermometers more than my glass one. Once I tested all 5 of my thermometers in the same cup of hot water, and the glass one was off by 2-3 degrees from the instant ones, which all read virtually the same.