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This is a must for any candy maker and entirely necessary for being able to cook candy successfully. Thermometers are sold at most grocery stores for very low prices, higher priced ones are available but not necessary. The thermometer should not touch the bottom of the pan, but should be clipped on an inch or so from the bottom. If it breaks discard the entire thing and the candy. Be careful when you wash it, let it cool first even if it means you may have to soak it for a few hours. It is a glass bulb and will react as such and explode. Be careful. The sugar is like lava at high temps, never touch it with your fingers until it has been cooled properly..

230 to 234 F Thread Stage:

A soft thread like strand forms and can dissolve quickly. (Additional ingredients are sometimes added at this stage) The finished product would be syrup.

234 to 240F Soft Ball:

A soft ball forms but does not hold its shape when touched. (Fudge, Fonduant, Creams) The finished product would not harden without additional ingredients.

244 to 248F Firm Ball:

A firm ball that holds its shape when touched. (Divinity and Caramel) The finished product will hold its shape but will probably contain other ingredients (raisins or nuts) to hold it together.

250 to 265F Hard Ball:

A pliable ball which does not lose its shape when touched. (Taffies) The finished product may be pulled for better consistency. See Taffy.

270 t 290F Soft Crack:

Forms a thread from the surface of the water to the bottom, the threads are pliable. (Butter Scotch, Toffee, Some hard candies) The finished product would hold together on it's own and would be too hard to chew.

300 to 310F Hard Crack:

Forms a thread from the surface of the water to the bottom, the threads will break when handled. (Peanut Brittle, Hard Candies) Too hard to be chewed but will dissolve in your mouth.

310 to 340F:

Caramel sugar is formed, beyond this the sugar will burn. This is mostly used as a garnish. Do not go near this stuff without a lot of experience elsewhere first. It is very very dangerous.

I am afraid this might be noded somewhere else, but I couldn't find it. I will gladly move this or have it deleted if someone could direct me to where else it might be. Thank you.

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