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Feb 21, 2012 07:58 AM

Multipurpose kitchen thermometer

I realize the topic of thermometers has been discussed ad nauseum, however, after reading through two dozen threads, I have not found a good answer to my question.

I make candy, I make homemade ricotta, and I roast meat. I am looking to replace my two older and inaccurate thermometers with a single kitchen thermometer that works for different uses. This requires that it can be used as a meat probe, is accurate at all temperatures, can go up to 400 or so degrees, reads fairly quickly, and also has a clip to be used as a candy thermometer. Ideally it will have an on off switch for when I use it as a meat probe.

Is this too much to ask from one thermometer?

Is there a specific reason why as far as I can tell thermometers are not explicit marketed as both candy and meat thermometers.

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  1. Go Thermopen!

    Pricey, but with a fast and accurate super thin probe: -50F to 572F.
    I've had mine for more than 10 years.


    1. I work quite a bit with temperature sensing devices and for the most part what you want is a pyrometer with different thermocouples for the different applications you have. The trick is going to be to find one with a clip so it can be used as a candy thermometer. Something along the lines of this: Something along these lines will give you quick, accurate, meat probe, oven temperatue and surface temperature with different thermocouples. I don't know if someone makes one with a clip for a candy thermometer. This is a fairly expensive way to go, but you didn't ask for cheap in your post. A thermapen would do all but oven thermometer, but it too lacks a clip.

      1. I have 4 thermometers... a basic thermometer - Taylor 501 Connoisseur Line Instant Read Thermometer. It served it's purpose. As I got into making complex things like buttercream which is really finicky with temperature, I decided a digital one was needed and got a Taylor 9842 .

        Maybe I forgot how long it took to make buttercream, but I felt that thermometer was not cutting it. I was not sure how accurate it was and switched to the manual one. During the holiday season, I decided it was time to spring for the granddaddy and got myself a thermapen.

        After checking out David Lebowitz' site, I decided I was going to make salted caramels. Being the product-junkie that I am, I should get a candy thermometer. I figured it could be used as a deep-fry thermometer - even though I already have a deep-fryer - so I purchased this. Taylor Classic Candy and Deep-Fry Analog Thermometer. Have not use it.

        I also see Alton Brown use a 2-part thermometer that goes in the oven while the other part remains outside.

        So back to your question....
        I think some thermometers function better depending on the application. I don't see using probe thermometers for candy or deep-frying - maybe you can, not sure but you certainly can't use large candy thermometer for buttercream - would be a bit messy.

        For roasts or other applications where the thermometer remains in the oven, u need a 2-part thermometer.

        I think at the very minimum, you'll need 2 thermometers. LOL

        1. I've been a bit surprised that the Thermoworks people don't provide an add-on clip that makes their excellent thermometer easier to use for candy making and deep frying. The absence of something like that hints that they're not eager for the Thermapen probe to spend prolonged periods in a high-temperature substance -- or maybe (and more likely), for the plastic casing to be in very close proximity to 375-degree fat or sugar for long.

          For deep frying, it's worked fine for me to just keep the Thermapen at hand and use it to repeatedly check the oil temp. But for candy, you really need the probe continuously in the mixture, so I don't see a way around adding a good old clip-on to the utensil drawer.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ellabee

            I wonder if you couldn't just purchase a clip seperately and then add it to the thermapen or a probe type thermocouple?