Candy Making Temperatures

Before making candy, check your candy thermometer for accuracy by placing it in water and bringing the water to a boil. The thermometer should register 212 degrees F (100 degrees C). If the reading is higher or lower, take the difference into account when testing the temperature of a syrup.

Thread Stage - Binding agent for fruit pastes


A spoonful of sugar drizzled over a plate forms a fine, thin thread.
223-234 degrees F (106-112 degrees C)

Soft-ball Stage - Fondant, Fudge

A spoonful of sugar dropped into ice water forms a ball that flattens immediately when you press it between your fingers.
234-240 degrees F (112-116 degrees C)

Firm-ball Stage - Caramel candy

A spoonful dropped into ice water forms a ball that stays firm and pliable but is still sticky between your fingers.
244-248 degrees F (118-120 degrees C)

Hard-ball Stage - Marshmallow

A spoonful dropped into ice water forms a ball that is sticky but not pliable.
250-266 degrees F (121-130 degrees C)

Soft-crack Stage - Taffy

Dropped into ice water, the syrup can then be stretched between your fingers and separated into elastic strands.
270-290 degrees F (132-143 degrees C)

Hard-crack Stage - Barley sugar

Dropped into water, the syrup will solidify.
300-310 degrees F (149-154 degrees C)

Light Caramel Stage - Glazes, Coating Agent

Poured onto a white plate the syrup will be honey-golden in color.
320-335 degrees F (160-170 degrees C)

Dark Caramel Stage - Glazes, Coating Agent

Poured onto a white plate the syrup will be deep reddish amber in color.
Up to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C)