Monday, March 9, 2015

Digital Thermometers: A MUST-HAVE when learning to work with chocolate

Are you working with chocolate? If you are learning to make professional-looking chocolate treats, or if you simply like to bake with chocolate, you need to invest in a thermometer for chocolate. And the best type to get you started is a digital thermometer. I have about 4 or 5 digital thermometers that I use nearly every day, which enable me to temper chocolate properly and make smooth truffle centres and fudgy chocolate treats.

*See below for tips about using digital thermometers for chocolate, different brands and types to try, and more advanced thermometers for chocolate use.*

So why do I use a digital thermometer? Well, for starters, I have found that the non-digital thermometers (liquid/mercury-in-glass) are slow to get to the measured temperature and often inaccurate. What's more, it is difficult to get a precise temperature reading, which is essential for tempering chocolate. The thermometer at this link on Amazon, is an example of the liquid type that I have given up on using. Although it is better than most (such as this one) because it shows the temperature in single-degree increments, so you can get a more accurate reading. However, it only reads in Fahrenheit, with no Celsius measurement. Digital thermometers, on the other hand, will often convert.

So why is it important that I can easily convert from Fahrenheit to Celsius? For starters, it is much easier when following recipes published in different countries. With this online world that we live in, I might be inspired on any given day to make a recipe from Canada, the U.S., the U.K. or possibly New Zealand. If the thermometer allows me to toggle between both temperature measurements, then I do not have to take the extra step of looking up measurements online.

In addition, I live in Canada where we always seem to work under two systems. Naturally, we own some thermometers that read in Fahrenheit because many of our kitchen tools and cook books, as well as our much of our television cooking shows, come from our American neighbours. Yet we are supposed to be using Celsius for everything. So we tend to follow both Canadian and American recipes and it can get confusing sometimes. 

For instance, I prefer to temper my chocolate in Fahrenheit, but when I am making meltaways or any kind of chocolate mixed with an oil (i.e. coconut oil), I need to cool the mixture over ice until it reaches room temperature. The room thermometer in my kitchen reads in Celsius only, so if my chocolate thermometer reads in Fahrenheit, I have to take the extra step of converting the room temperature to Fahrenheit. But if I use a thermometer that allows me to toggle between the measurement types, I can simply press a button and see what the chocolate temperature is in Celsius, so I know when to stop stirring. Click here and here for examples of recipes that would rely on room temperature.

So when you buy a digital thermometer, the least expensive kind will only read in Fahrenheit or Celsius, but it is best to dish out the extra $5 or $10 and buy one that can convert from one measurement to the other.

So how much does a digital thermometer cost?

President's Choice (a Canadian brand found at Loblaws, Superstore, Valu-Mart, Independent Grocer, etc.) sells them now for only $14.99! Or you can shop at your local hardware store, Walmart or kitchen supply store, where another brand may cost about $20.  I keep about 4 or 5 on hand at all times (when I need to melt several types of chocolate in one day, or in case a battery dies at an inconvenient moment!), but that is because I run a chocolate business. You will likely only need one or two to get started.

I recently discovered a great digital thermometer with a spatula available on the Chocolat-Chocolat website (click here to view). It looks amazing and you won't have to hold both a spatula and a thermometer!

Tips for Using a Digital Thermometer with Chocolate:
  • Do not touch the bottom of the bowl! When using a digital thermometer in chocolate, it is best to hover the bottom tip in the middle of the bowl.  Do not let it touch the bottom or the sides, especially when using it over a double boiler, or you will have an inaccurate reading.
  • Never get your thermometer wet when working with chocolate! This is difficult when working over a double boiler to temper chocolate. Plan ahead and keep a dry piece of waxed paper beside your workstation.  When you want to put the thermometer down, you will have somewhere to put it.  It is best to keep it out of the way of water from the double boiler (remember, even one drop of water in a bowl of melted chocolate will ruin your entire batch!)
  • Cleaning your thermometer: If the top of the thermometer gets covered in chocolate, wipe it immediately with a dry paper towel.  But if you forget, let the chocolate harden and scrape or chip it off with a hard plastic scraper, then rub the rest off gently with a paper towel. Wash only the metal section with water to protect the screen.

The Next Step: Non-Contact Thermometer

For me, it is time to invest in a more advanced digital thermometer - a non-contact thermometer, which I could not find online in Canada when I started working with chocolate. If you want to jump to the next stage now, check out the video at this link for Chocoley's recommendations. This infrared thermometer (click here to see it) is more costly at $49.95 U.S., but the price is worth it if you never have to clean a thermometer again!  And it gives you an instant read, making your work a lot quicker and easier.


  1. Thermometer is very important. it helps peoples/workers in garage to know the temperature of instruments while using in servicing autos.
    Importance of Digital Thermometer In Garage Workshop

  2. When working with ingredients such as caramel, yogurt and melted chocolate where relatively precise measurements are required. By using an digital thermometer you can instantly check the temperatures.

  3. I have read whole post & found that it is very interesting for Digital Thermostat.Very great blog & I hope that you will be posting more lots of information about this topic. Thanks for sharing this information.Digital Thermometer

  4. It is very important to use food thermometer in Kitchen because color is not a reliable indicator of food is cooked to a desired state.
    It prevent undercooking like meat,poultry and egg products and also
    verify that food has reached a safe minimum temperature and food is ready to serve.
    Food Thermometer

  5. Nice Post.Bbq meat thermometer is one of the latest option to find your food safety level and also color of the food.

  6. I love your work and I want to read more about it. Visit my site if you want to know more about Food Thermometer. Thank you.

  7. Very Nice Post!!

    Individuals can buy Instant Read Digital Meat Thermometer at best price @

  8. I used a meat thermometer and chicken was still raw...?
    Meat thermometer

  9. There's a chance you are qualified for a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  10. People who are looking to buy a Best Instant Read Thermometer for a relaxed cooking,they can go amazon and pick a good Cooktop after analyzing the review.

  11. 3 Researches SHOW How Coconut Oil Kills Fat.

    This means that you literally burn fat by consuming Coconut Fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medicinal magazines are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world upside down!

  12. If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (even if they're dating somebody else now) you need to watch this video
    right away...

    (VIDEO) Why your ex will NEVER come back...

  13. Nice, let me try this ways this is good for my menu making chocolate.

  14. There's a chance you're eligible for a complimentary $350 WALMART Gift Card.

  15. Get this Non-Contact #infraredthermometer that delivers quick, easy, and accurate readings. Just point and shoot this Smart Sensor device for temperature readings.
    2 in 1 Professional Infrared Thermometer

  16. The SantaMedical RY-230 Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer is designed to take accurate temperature readings of areas such as the forehead or tear ducts. It reads forehead temperature from 1” to 4” away, and has a large LCD screen and backlight for easy night time usage. Buy Now at
    2 in 1 Professional Clinical Infrared Thermometer

  17. Kitchen thermometer was so helpful for us now, and this post ? This so nice and perfect! This is very useful!. It encourages me to do another post about kitchen digital thermometer, you cna check it at my website

  18. In a world where technology keeps improving day by day, every aspect of human life is changing. Health is an important part of life. Thermometers fall in this aspect. The same way other products are becoming digital is the same way there exist digital thermometer. best digital thermometer

  19. I have been playing with SantaMedical's IR thermometer. It's useful and fun too. SantaMedical

  20. Get this no-contact infrared thermometer that delivers quick, easy, and accurate readings. Just point and shoot this Smart Sensor device for temperature readings within two degrees.