Candy Thermometer Broke! Is There Another Way???

Sugar Work By JCE62108 Updated 17 Apr 2010 , 6:34am by indydebi

JCE62108 Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 8:43pm
post #1 of 13

Im in the middle of my orders and rushing around trying to get things done and in the process dropped my glass candy themometer and it broke. I need to make caramel. It says I need to heat it to 238 (soft ball stage) and the only themometer I have now is my meat themometer and it only goes to 220.

Is there another way I can guess at what temperature the caramel is at by the way it looks or acts? Ive only made caramel one other time and from what I remember it took a loooong time at medium heat to get it to the correct temperature. But I didnt time it, unfortunatly.

Anyone have any advice for me right now? If not I guess Im running to the store to buy a new one. I hate living in the middle of nowhere. It's over an hour round trip to go to the store and that will really set me back.

Help?

12 replies
JCE62108 Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 9:55pm
post #2 of 13

Ok this is getting serious guys. It's nearly 6pm and this is for tomorrow at 12pm. Any suggestions at all? Im going to have to stop what Im doing soon and run to the store if there is no other way.

Im having all sorts of emergencies on this order. :'( Not good.

cheatize Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 9:57pm
post #3 of 13

Get a glass of cold water.
Drop a little of it into the glass.
The mixture will change when it hits the cold water. If it forms a soft ball (nice and squishy), that's soft ball. If it forms a hard ball (firm, but not solid), that's hard ball. If it turns into shards/threads, that's hard crack.

I hope this info isn't too late for you!

Doug Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 9:57pm
post #4 of 13

the only one i know is the old fashioned one.

do exactly like it says ---

get a glass of cold water and drop some melted sugar in it.

see what forms

if it's a soft ball -- then you have soft ball stage.

hotter yet gives hard ball..... etc.

this is how I first learned to tell the temp of melted sugar.

not terribly accurate, but then it does work.

see this for full explanation

http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/sugar-stages.html

JCE62108 Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 9:59pm
post #5 of 13

Oh wow. Thank you! I guess Ill have to try it out. How do I know if it's TOO soft and not yet ready? Will it just dissolve or something?

JCE62108 Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 10:02pm
post #6 of 13

Thanks for the link Doug, Im going to check that out now.

JCE62108 Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 10:06pm
post #7 of 13

That link explains it well! I am so greatful for your replies. Im going to clean up a bit and try it out. THank you!

jennywenny Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 10:34pm
post #8 of 13

When you do get another one, the digital ones are so much more accurate and easier to use!

motherofgrace Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 10:43pm
post #9 of 13

hwo do you know if a digital one can my for candy? Is any frying one ok??

JCE62108 Posted 16 Apr 2010 , 11:38pm
post #10 of 13

Yeah Ill have to see where I can find one. The last one I just happened to pick up at the grocery store. I didnt even need it at the time but bought it anyway because I thought I might one day. icon_smile.gif I only used the thing once. Im going to try this out in a bit. I have to make brownies right now. I hope this water test is as easy as it sounds. icon_smile.gif

cheatize Posted 17 Apr 2010 , 3:49am
post #11 of 13

It is as easy as it sounds. Okay, it can be a little tough to get the ball out of the glass of water sometimes. LOL I always seems to use a really tall glass.

I used this method for years and years before I bought a thermometer. Let us know how it goes for you, please.

JCE62108 Posted 17 Apr 2010 , 4:05am
post #12 of 13

It worked! Yay! Something went right tonight! I used my meat themometer until it got to 220, then I just kept dropping it in the water and checking it out. I think I did it perfect. It is cooling now but it tastes fantastic and I think its pretty much the same consistency it was the first time I made it.

To get the caramel out of the glass, I just poured the water out and scooped it up. Rolled it a bit to get it in a ball and check it out. I tried reaching in the glass with the water still in it...didnt really work too well. lol. icon_smile.gif If the glass it tall a spoon would probably work. Ahhhh it's nice to learn something new! THank you so much for your help tonight, guys!

It's just been one emergency after another with this order and I am very greatful for your prompt help.

indydebi Posted 17 Apr 2010 , 6:34am
post #13 of 13

use a coffee cup instead of a glass. MUCH easier.

I've never used a candy thermometer in my life. I grew up learning the soft ball/hard ball method.

Just part of the "until it looks right" style of cooking! thumbs_up.gif

You should judge the ball when you remove it from the water, not while you're forming it into a ball in the cup. It may be in a ball while in the cup of water, but when you take it out of the water and if it just dissolves into a blobby mess, then it's not done.

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