Can A Meat Thermometer Be Used For Making Fudge?

Can A Meat Thermometer Be Used For Making Fudge?

A traditional meat thermometer can not be used for making fudge, because the probe length and temperature range is insufficient. Meat thermometers are designed to measure higher temperatures typically used in cooking meats, while fudge requires a more precise temperature range and delicate handling.

Making fudge is about more than just mixing the ingredients…

You need to get the ingredients to a particular temperature in order to not only dissolve the sugar crystals but also to evaporate part of the water in the cream, to achieve the thickness and texture desired.

But if you want to get it perfect, you do not simply heat it for a set period of time and just expect it to be ready after that period.

Fudge has to be cooked in a very specific temperature range, and the only way to truly gauge that temperature is through the use of a candy thermometer.

In this article, we’ll be discussing different types of thermometers, and how they can (or cannot) be used in the making of fudge. Then we’ll throw in some recommendations of thermometers you can use.

But first let’s start with the basics. (Feel free to scroll ahead if you so wish.)

At What Temperature Is Fudge Ready?

Some people like to use fahrenheit to measure temperature, while others prefer to use centigrade or celsius thermometers. Either way is fine, so long as you know what temperature range you should be aiming for.

That said, fahrenheit thermometers do tend to be a little more sensitive to temperature than their counterparts.

If you are using centigrade, your fudge will be ready between 112 and 114 degrees centigrade.

Fahrenheit thermometers, however, should read between 234 and 237 degrees fahrenheit.

There are alternative methods to check whether your fudge is ready, but if you don’t like to touch hot food with your fingers, then using a thermometer is the best option.

What Is The Difference Between A Meat Thermometer And A Candy Thermometer?

There are several different kinds of thermometer you can use when it comes to cooking food. Let me walk you through…

Meat Thermometers

An old-fashioned meat thermometer is basically a metallic stick, usually made of stainless steel, to be probed into the meat, while there’s a dial on the other end which indicates the temperature. Such thermometers are oven safe.

The temperature may be displayed in either centigrade, fahrenheit or both, or it may even have special markings for certain types of meats or certain stages of doneness.

Then there are digital thermometers, and they too can give readings in either centigrade or fahrenheit.

They consist of a metal probe to be pushed into the middle of the thickest part of the meat, while the other end of the thermometer will give you a clear temperature reading on an LED display.

And you can even get meat thermometers that pair with your smartphone, so you don’t even have to get up out of your seat to check the temperature.

Their temperature range is typically between about 40 and 110 degrees centigrade, or between 100 and 140 degrees fahrenheit.

Can A Meat Thermometer Be Used For Making Fudge?

Candy Thermometers

Meanwhile, candy thermometers may look very similar to meat thermometers at first, but there are usually distinct differences. 

For instance, there are stainless steel versions that have a probe that’s usually much longer than one of a typical meat probe.

And this is important, given how much higher you need the temperature to be. You don’t want to risk scalding yourself. Incidentally, these thermometers can also be used for deep-frying food as well.

You can also get digital candy thermometers.

What Is The Difference Between A Meat Thermometer And A Candy Thermometer?

If you’ve been paying close attention, you will have noticed that candy thermometers tend to have a longer probe than meat thermometers.

And this is because candy tends to be cooked at higher temperatures than meat.

And another thing you may have noticed if you’ve been paying attention is that meat thermometers tend to have a temperature range that doesn’t go far beyond 100 degrees centigrade or 150 degrees fahrenheit, whereas fudge needs to get to a temperature of at least 112 centigrade or 234 degrees fahrenheit.

So, you’ve guessed it, candy thermometers have a temperature range that’s perfect for cooking candy, whereas meat thermometers fall decidedly short.

Can A Meat Thermometer Be Used For Making Fudge?

So, in conclusion, you cannot use a traditional meat thermometer as a candy thermometer for making fudge.

That said however, a deep-frying thermometer on the other hand can often be used as a candy thermometer for making fudge, since it has a sufficiently long probe for safety, and it has the much higher temperature range that you need for making candy such as fudge.

Benefits Of Candy Thermometers

In addition to having a longer probe and a better temperature range, candy thermometers also come with handy extras such as a container to place the probe into after use when it’s scalding hot, and/or a clip for holding the thermometer in place into the pot.

Recommendations For Candy Thermometers

Well, I guess now that I’ve told you that you basically have to use a candy thermometer for making your fudge (unless you happen to have a deep-frying thermometer), it’s only fair to leave you with our top recommendation.

Here you go…

ThermoPro TP511 Digital Candy Thermometer With Pot Clip

This is a great thermometer for making fudge with. It’s a prominent bestseller with excellent customer ratings and comes highly recommended.

It’s waterproof, digital, and has a super long probe, coming in at 8 inches.

It also has an excellent temperature range, and provides constant temperature measurement to a high degree of accuracy. It comes with a handy pot clip, and has an adjustable head for easy viewing.

Incidentally, it can also double as a meat thermometer. 

For more of our top picks for the best thermometers to use while making fudge, check out our review guide.

Final Thoughts

So, to sum up, you cannot usually use a traditional meat thermometer for making fudge because the probe length and temperature range is insufficient.

But you can get away with using a thermometer for deep-frying.

Not sure if your thermometer is working correctly? Check out our guide on calibrating your candy thermometer now.


Hi, I'm Sarah and welcome to Call Me Fudge! From a younger age I've always pottered about in the kitchen and even selling my fudge in the high school grounds. Cooking and baking to me is like second nature and I want to share this passion with you.

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