While manufacturers and surveys rate products, it is always a good idea to read customer reviews to find out what other home users thought, as well. There are many types of each thermometer, and you must find the one that best suits your needs and fits in your price range. There are many special features and options you can choose from, so what is rated as best for a particular function may not necessarily have the features you want.
Meat and sugar thermometers are categorised differently. Sugar thermometers measure from -17.8 to 204 degrees Celsius (0 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit), while meat thermometers only measure up to 104 degrees C (220 degrees Fahrenheit). Sugar thermometers also feature specific notations that are useful when heating sugar to high temperatures.
Digitalcandythermometer.org rates the Taylor 9842 as the best sugar thermometer. Waterproof, with a digital readout, the Taylor 9842 comes with a sleeve and carrying case and has a temperature range from -40 to 232 degrees C (-40 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit).
Taylor's Professional Confectionery thermometer is listed as the best according to baking911.com for its accuracy, and according to cooking.com, the Maverick Digital Candy Thermometer received 4.4 out of 5 stars from customer reviews. Maverick's thermometer measures the temperature of the sugar through its sensory tip and electronically sends the reading to the Liquid Crystal Display. It also protects the heat from rising up the side.
Taylor's Professional 9306 Duel Temp IR/Thermocouple Thermometer has a customer rating of 5 stars on Amazon.com. The face displays proper meat, poultry and yeast temperatures to assist in achieving properly cooked meats.
Taylor's Weekend Warrior is a less expensive meat thermometer that has very good reviews given its inexpensive price. It is durable and works quickly.
The Polder THM-360 Dual Probe Cooking Thermometer allows you to take the temperature of two different pieces of meet at the same time because it has two heat-resistant silicon coated probes. This is perfect for celebratory parties or any other time you need to keep track of the temperature of two pieces of meat at once.
The Thermoworks Original Cooking Thermometer/Timer is a basic cooking thermometer that has an accurate digital readout and has received great reviews from websites such as cooking.com.
There are other types of meat thermometers, such as leave-in, instant read and remote. Some thermometers top the charts in more than one category, or there is not enough variety to provide an accurate estimation of what is "best."
Digital vs. conventional
Digital thermometers are very useful if used properly. In confectionery making, many liquids, such as chocolate, must be constantly monitored to avoid burning. If the digital thermometer cannot stay in the liquid (like instant read thermometers) it is impossible to constantly monitor the temperature. Some digital thermometers do have this option. It is also useful to use a conventional thermometer when heating sugar to a particular point. A variation of just a few degrees can be detrimental when making a brittle, toffee or even a soft sweets, like fudge, and less expensive digital thermometers have reviews that indicate they are less accurate.