Difference Between Meat Thermometer and Candy Thermometer (With Table)

Food is all about finding the right balance, which you can achieve by cooking at the right temperature. You can use a kitchen thermometer to measure for this purpose. But, remember, not all kitchen thermometers are the same. So, if you cook often, it is best to keep both types of thermometers, meat and candy, handy. 

Meat Thermometer vs Candy Thermometer

The difference between a meat thermometer and a candy thermometer is that the former measures the temperature of the meat. The latter, that is, a candy thermometer is convenient for when you are making sweet treats.

Getting the temperature right when cooking meat is essential, especially when you are working with sizeable portions. Using a meat thermometer, you can determine this value, ensuring it falls in the safe range. That prevents your choice of protein from being too rare, bordering on raw or too cooked, becoming chewy.

Making candy at home can be difficult because its main ingredient, sugar, is highly heat-sensitive. So, you need to control the temperature at which you cook your sugar. For this, you need a candy thermometer. That will make sure you get your candy right on the first try.

Comparison Between Meat Thermometer and Candy Thermometer

Parameter of ComparisonMeat ThermometerCandy Thermometer
DefinitionA meat thermometer measures the temperature of meat, ensuring your cut of meat is tasty and safe for ingestion.A candy thermometer is an instrument that determines the temperature of sugar when making candy.
UsageA meat thermometer is used to determine the temperatures of various cuts of meat, including chicken, fish, etc.A candy thermometer is primarily used to monitor the temperature of sugar while preparing candy, sweet sauces, syrups, and fried foods.
StructureA meat thermometer is a short tool. It has a pointed end that pokes into the meat and a dial.A candy thermometer is usually long and narrow, making it easy to dip into the hot sugar.
Temperature rangeA meat thermometer can measure a short range of temperatures, typically going up to 200°F.A candy thermometer can work at high temperatures, going up to around 400°F.

What is A Meat Thermometer?

When you prepare your meat based on an estimated cooking time, it can be hard to get it right. Sometimes, it remains far too undercooked, bordering on raw and unsafe for ingestion. Other times, it gets too overcooked, becoming chewy and tasteless. Hitting that perfect spot is only possible through a precise parameter, which is temperature.

A meat thermometer is a kitchen instrument that helps you measure how hot a piece of meat is. It is short, but it has a sharp end. You can poke this through the food to determine its internal temperature. A typical meat thermometer can measure a maximum temperature of 200°F. It shows this value through the digital or analogue dial present on its other end.

Attaining that perfect cooking temperature ensures the meat is not only safe for consumption but also tasty. Although it is most useful for large slabs of meat, you can use a meat thermometer to find the temperature of any piece. Fish, chicken, beef, turkey, etc., turn out delicious when cooked at the correct heat. 

A standard meat thermometer lasts for quite a while if you handle it carefully. But you might have to calibrate it from time to time. That will make sure you get an accurate reading every time you use it.

What is A Candy Thermometer?

Sugar is not simple to work with since it can burn in the blink of an eye. But if it does not get enough heat, it also cannot turn into candy. Measuring its temperature solves this issue since you have more control over how hot it gets. 

Monitoring the temperature of your candy mix, which contains sugar, is thus crucial. You can get both hard and soft candy in different textures or consistencies simply by varying the heat. Hence, to check the temperature of the sugar, you have to use a candy thermometer. It is also helpful when you are frying foods to get the perfect mix of crispy and chewy. 

A candy thermometer is a device that can determine how hot a candy mixture, sweet sauce or syrup is. It resembles a long thin stick that you can dip into the pot without burning yourself. You can also attach it to the side of the container to take better and safer readings. It can measure much higher temperatures compared to meat thermometers, maxing out at 400°F.

Main Differences Between A Meat Thermometer and A Candy Thermometer

  1. A meat thermometer is used to find the temperature of the meat, while a candy thermometer reads the temperature of sugar, candy, and other sweet treats.
  2. A meat thermometer is short, while a candy thermometer is long and narrow.
  3. You can pierce a meat thermometer directly through the meat and take a close look. When using a candy thermometer, you have to dip it in and take the reading from afar to be safe.
  4. Meat thermometers are not attachable to the pot or pan, while candy thermometers are.
  5. Meat thermometers can measure temperatures up to 200°F. This value goes up to 400°F for candy thermometers.


The purpose of any thermometer is to measure the temperature of a substance. But not all thermometers are appropriate for all items, including foodstuff. So, when handling meat, you have to use a meat thermometer, and when making candy, you have to use a candy thermometer.

A meat thermometer, which goes up to 200°F, fails to measure the high temperature of candy. Besides, it is small in size, making you susceptible to burns. A candy thermometer is nearly not sharp enough to poke into the meat to determine its temperature. So, it is best to stick to the correct type of thermometer. 


  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jchemed.7b00739
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0956713519302737 
2D vs 3D