Comments

  1. Ken says

    I bought the Chef Alarm for roasting, but it has led me into candy making, including allowing me to revive some treasured family recipes that had been gathering dust. My neighbor now calls me the caramel meister.

    • Martin says

      Johanna,

      It is best to get both, but you can certainly use the ChefAlarm for both if you have it already. There are slight problems with the ChefAlarm for candy making, but it can certainly work…it’s just not the BEST.

  2. Pamela Grove says

    Talking candy thermometers here. Most information shows someone standing at the stove holding a Thermopen in the sugar mixture or some sort of candy mixture. While the old style may not be perfect, at least it can be clipped on the pan. I REALLY do not want to be standing at a pan of scalding hot sugar holding something mere inches away for the entire time watching the temperature rise. Can’t you make the Thermapens with clips?

    • Martin says

      Pamela,
      Good question! I understand your point here. It can be uncomfortable holding a Thermapen over high heat for a long time, but you don’t really need to be holding it there the whole time. Spot check it, then get out of the heat! I check more frequently the closer I get to done, and I will often also be lowering the heat as I approach that point so that I don’t risk overshooting.
      We don’t make a pot clip for the Thermapen for the exact reason you have already noted: it gets hot over the sides of the pan! While the sensor of the Thermapen has a very high operating range, the internal electronics and the case itself can get ruined by very high heat. If you feel like something that clips to the side of the pan is necessary, I recommend the ChefAlarm, which comes with a pot clip for its probe. It’s the very best second-best option!

    • Martin says

      The ChefAlarm is best for chocolate making. The high-and plow-temp alarms help keep you in the tempering window, and leaving a probe in your food isn’t a problem for chocolate making like it can be for candy making.

  3. Steve says

    Hi, this article is wildly misleading and should be edited. I understand you are trying sell product but lying about it to folks who don’t have a solid cooking background is not cool.

    +-2 degrees while working with chocolate is unacceptable. Any apprentice chocolatier who can tie their shoes knows that 2 degrees over the max working temps (90,88,86 – dark, milk, white respectively) can loose the temper. Pastry Chefs who work with chocolate need +-0.2 degrees of accuracy (some of the really good Chefs can deal with 0.5 F).

    The REAL old style candy thermometers are mercury (grey liquid) and the absolute most accurate and reliable (but obvious dangers are involved and good luck finding one). The “old style” thermometers you are referring to are most likely alcohol filled (blue liquid) and thus “not as accurate” but are absolutely in the “acceptable range” for sugar work. The exterior design of these types of thermometers is also nearly perfect. Any uneven crystallization during the cooking process has to be handled by periodically “washing” the pot and probe with a brush of water until the boiling slows (total evaporation of water or +212 F) regardless of what type of probe used. ANY foreign object in a pot of sugar will start a seed. The thermopen does not prevent uneven crystallization, careful cooking does. Also, it is CRITICAL when cooking sugar to be able to know how fast the temp is rising (think carryover cooking). Leaving a probe in the pot is the only way to do this.

    Also, sugar LOVES to heat evenly. Any uneven temps in the sugar during cooking are due to cheap pots and pans. THICK aluminum pots will help a little with this, quality stainless will almost eliminate this, copper will completely eliminate this. It is not effective or advised to stir sugar to even out temp variation.

    I LOVE Thermopens for culinary work (especially Smoking, BBQ and other long term cooks), but to even pretend that they are slightly useable in the pastry world is an absolute joke. Especially when there are $40 digital thermometers out there that do the job just fine.

    source – I have a B.S. in Baking and Pastry Arts, 12 years in the field, 5 years of dedicated chocolate work and not one of my thermometers cost more than $50 (save for my thermopen).

    • Martin says

      Steve,
      We’re glad to hear that the Thermapen serves you well in your other culinary pursuits but sorry to hear that you find it unsuitable for your pastry work. Some of the top pastry chefs in the country (including both founders of the French Pastry School in Chicago) have told us they find the Thermapen absolutely essential to their pastry work. Thermapen ONE does have an accuracy of ±0.5°F and takes a full reading in less than a second. A Thermapen is also less likely to prevent seed crystals than a leave-in probe because it can be used to spot-check temperatures and then be removed from the chocolate or sugar mixture. That said, it sounds like you have a process that works for you using other tools and we wish you all the best in your work. Let us know if we can interest in you in any of our top-rated leave-in probe thermometers, including the Square DOT that is the first leave-in probe thermometer to provide a running average of your oven temperatures for more precise baking temperature control.

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