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Ok, my tempering skills are not sharp. They are getting better but not there yet. I bought one of those paddle type of thermometers, but I am not happy with it. Is there any thermometer that is better than others? Digital over glass? Glass over digital? Brand or generic?


As Vinny Barbarino would say... I am sooooo confused!



Steve K.

Tags: tempering, thermometer

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You absolutely need to get yourself an infrared thermometer! No fuss, no mess. They're a perfect tempering companion. The only caveat is that you need to stir the chocolate to get an accurate reading rather than just pointing at the surface. As you get better at tempering you'll use a thermometer as a tool to see where you're at - but at the learning stage they are invaluable.
Good luck! You'll be a pro temperer (is that a word?) in no time.
Yup, infrared for me too. I've got a couple of Coopers - some bigger ones and some little ones without the laser. They all work well.

Barring that I use a Pyrex brand digital probe thermometer like this one.
Infrared here too. Stir, stir stir.
Thanks for all of the quick replies! I guess I get to go shopping....electronically speaking, that is.
When I first started learning to temper, I bought one of the glass chocolate thermometers, and it helped me greatly. Other people were using a regular metal thermometer, and I could never catch it before it got to hot. With the one specifically made for chocolate, I could see exactly where the temperature was, and wouldn't over heat it. I had to temper 30# at a time back then, and and it made a huge difference. Never used the infrared. I just use my machine now :)

I know that this thread is a year old, but what a difference a year makes! I took your advice and purchased a quaity glass thermometer. I monitored the temperature faithfully. The bunnies came out fantastic! Each and every one of them!

Thanks for the tip, well worth the advice!

Steve -

Thanks for following up and letting know everyone how things are going. Glad to know that the community was able to help you out.

:: Clay

I have learned that tempering is not proper term. the right term would be pre-crystallisation, because the stable beeta crystals what we need to have in our chocolate, don't form and line up correctly because of temperature. temperature is not the guarantee of good crystallisation. that is why you don't need to have or watch the thermometer constantly and worry about it. I bet all of you have been in the situation where you have done 'everything right' but the result is not what you wanted. the substance that makes those crystals is cocoa butter and if you just let it cool down on the table or pot, it will be still liquid but when you give it a movement, then it starts to crystallise. there is 3 main things for the proper pre-crystallisation, Time, Temperature, Movement...TTM. that is why the marble is used when doing the pre-crystallisation by hand. it is essential that in short Time you need to lower the Temperature of chocolate while constantly giving the Movement, because this is what gives and lines up the right crystals to the chocolate and when chocolate sample on your knife hardens in 3-5 minutes and has nice sheen, then it is ready. when not enough crystals it will not harden and when too much crystals it will have no sheen. so actually it is not a woo-doo and is more than easy to do pre-crystallisation without any thermometers, when you know and stick to the basic facts. thermometers with the big 'theory' about 'tempering' often just confuses people. try's simple! good luck! 

I'm also an advocat of the infrared thermometer! After fiddling with a slow probe thermometer for a couple months i got so frustrated that infrared was the only way to go! I purchased a Fluke Mini 62 for just under 90$cnd on eBay it was some of the best money I've spent so far!


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