What Should You Look for in a Candy Making Pot?
Whether you’re new to candy making, or an old pro at it, you’ll find a lot of advice (and maybe some controversy) about just which tools to use for making your sweet treats. The most essential candy making tool you’ll need is the pot you use to melt sugars and chocolates.
If you’re just starting out in candy making and are looking for an inexpensive pot that will allow you to experiment with melting chocolates and pre-made candy melts, check out Wilton’s Chocolate & Candy Melts Pot.
If you’re ready to try your hand at a full-blown candy making, you’ll want to keep reading to find out what you should look for in a candy making pot. I’ve broken it down to a few key features you should consider and why each one is important for successful candy-making.
Size Matters When It Comes to Candy Making Pots
Candy makers agree that one of the most important features to consider when choosing a candy making pot is the size of the pot, which should correspond to the amount of sugar you’re planning to melt.
Sugars are sensitive and unforgiving if heated incorrectly. If you heat a large amount of sugar in a small pot, the sugar at the bottom will burn before the sugars on top can melt.
Similarly, cooking a small amount of sugar in a large pot takes too long to come to temperature.
Consult your candy recipe for the amount of ingredients that you’ll be cooking, and aim to use a pot that can hold 3 to 4 times the total amount of ingredients. CraftyBaking.com says that a 2- to 3-quart pot is usually right for making sugar candy.
Flat Bottoms and Straight Sides
Candy making relies on achieving specific temperatures and textures with sugar. The shape of the pot you use can work against you if you’re not careful.
Flat-bottom pots allow for better heat conduction, so your ingredients will melt evenly. This is especially true if you’re using a glass cooktop, which requires direct contact with the bottom of your cookware to heat it up.
Using a pot with straight sides (as opposed to a round, bowl-shape design) is beneficial for two reasons. First, like a flat bottom, straight sides help to evenly distribute heat to the contents of the pot.
Second, straight sides can help your candy thermometer get anaccurate reading. Candy thermometers (like this one) are probably the second-most important tool in candy making, since they tell you when your sugars are up to the proper temperature for a specific recipe.
Think about putting a ruler against the inside of a bowl. If you use a pot with rounded or angled sides, your straight-edged candy thermometer might not be able to stay securely clipped to the side, or (more importantly) reach enough of the melted sugar to get an accurate reading.
Copper For The Win
Copper sugar pots are highlyrecommended for candy making because copper heats up quickly, disperses heat evenly, and cools down quickly. The cooling down part is a real benefit, since sugar can burn easily.
Another reason that copper pots are often recommended for candy making is because copper cookware is what the French use to make candy (and just about everything else.) Since the French are known for delicious sweets, why wouldn’t we follow their lead?
This copper sugar pot by MauvilM’passion is made in France and guaranteed for life. The 3.7-quart size should be plenty for making a basic candy recipe. MauvilM’passion also makes the same pot in smaller 1.9-quart and 1.2-quart sizes.
Tip: Avoid Non-Stick Pots
Not everyone swears by copper. You’ll find plenty of people around the web who stand by their ceramic titanium sauce pans or all-clad stainless steel cookware for candy making. Avoid non-stick pots, as the coating on the pans cannot withstand the high temperatures of candy making.
Remember, a pot that is good for making candy can also be your go-to pot for making sauces and other dishes in your kitchen. I love anything that serves a dual purpose and saves on precious storage space.
Get That Sugar Melting!
As you can see, picking a candy making pot isn’t rocket science, but knowing a few things in advance can help you in the long-run. Before you get started on your candy making adventure, follow these easy steps:
- Check your cabinets to see if any of your own saucepans have flat bottoms, straight sides, and are the right size for your candy recipe
- If you don’t already have something that fits the specs above, follow my advice to purchase a new pot
- Watch a couple of how-to recipes on candy making, like this lollipop tutorial
- Get yourself a clip-on candy thermometer
For more candy making tips, tricks, and recipes, grab yourself a copy of The Sweet Book of Candy Making; it’s available in hardcopy and e-reader version.
I hope you found theseto be useful tips for choosing a candy making pot! Leave a comment below and tell me what kind of pot you use.