The Temperature Stages of Sugar for Candy Making
These temperatures are appropriate for determining the sugar stage for a cold water test at sea level.
Note: Some recipes may call for candy to be cooked to a different stage depending on the desired taste and texture of the final product.
|223°F - 234°F
|Thread: The sugar drips from a spoon and stretches into thin threads in cold water.
|Used for sugar syrups
|235°F - 240°F
|Soft ball: The sugar forms into a ball in cold water but loses its shape when removed.
|Fudge, fondant, butter creams, caramels
|245°F - 250°F
|Firm ball: The sugar forms into a ball in cold water and remains a ball when removed, but loses its shape when compressed.
|Caramels, marshmallows, toffees
|250°F - 264°F
|Hard ball: The sugar forms into a ball in cold water and remains a ball when removed. Keeps its shape when compressed, but feels sticky.
|Caramels, nougats, divinity
|270°F - 290°F
|Soft Crack: The sugar forms into long threads in cold water. The threads are stretchy and slightly sticky when removed.
|298°F - 310°F
|Hard Crack: The sugar forms into long threads in cold water. The threads are brittle and easily snap when removed.
|Hard candy, brittles, toffees, glazed fruit
|320°F and above
|Caramel: The sugar turns golden yellow to dark amber. Nearly all water has been boiled out of the syrup. If sugar continues to cook, it will burn and turn black
|Pralines and brittles