What distinguishes an infrared thermometer (pyrometer) from a candy thermometer, and which one to choose for your recipe?"
In this article, we will explain what these tools are and why they are essential for any cake maker, especially beginners.

A candy thermometer (or a probe thermometer) and an infrared thermometer (pyrometer) are actively used in the kitchens of chefs and pastry makers, but their necessity arises in different situations.

A candy thermometer, also known as a probe thermometer, is a needle with an electronic display. It is particularly useful for measuring the temperature of caramel, hot syrups, and sauces.
A candy thermometer (or a probe thermometer).
Important life hack! To check the accuracy of your probe thermometer, there's a simple calibration method.

At times, probe thermometers can be off by a couple of degrees. When working with high temperatures, like boiling sugar syrup, precision is crucial.

Bring water to a boil. As we know, the boiling point of water is 100 degrees Celsius (212°F). If your thermometer reads 100 - bingo! It's accurate and error-free. If it's slightly off, always keep this temperature difference in mind.

If the probe thermometer measures temperature by immersion, a pyrometer does it contactlessly. Simply point the device and press a button. The pyrometer measures the intensity of infrared rays, invisible to the human eye. The hotter the object, the more powerful the infrared radiation.
You can buy a pyrometer at any hardware store.
By the way, there's a common misconception that a pyrometer measures temperature using a laser beam. This is a myth! The laser is simply an indicator or target.

A pyrometer measures the temperature at the point of the target, on the surface, unlike a probe that measures internally. It is invaluable for working with chocolate. Measuring the temperature of a thin layer of chocolate when tempering on the table with a probe can be inconvenient and difficult. Using a pyrometer is also convenient for frostings, dough for cakes, brioche, or eclairs. To ensure accuracy, just give the mixture a quick stir and instantly see the desired numbers on the device's screen.

There are situations where a recipe requires all ingredients to be at roughly the same temperature, such as for our signature delicate cupcake frosting. Here, too, the pyrometer comes to the rescue. It's quick and convenient!

The drawback of the pyrometer is that it cannot accurately measure very high temperatures, such as boiling sugar syrup. It measures the temperature of the nearest "surface." When the syrup boils and bubbles, releasing steam, the pyrometer can calmly measure the temperature of the steam or bubbles. However, for measuring the accurate temperature inside the syrup, only a probe thermometer is suitable.

Let's summarize the pros and cons of each device.

Pros of the probe thermometer:
- More affordable price
- Slightly more versatile

Cons of the probe thermometer:
- Cannot be used for tempering chocolate
- More prone to breakage and malfunctions

Pros of the pyrometer:
- Instant results, temperature is immediately visible on the display
- Convenient to use, no need to clean

Cons of the pyrometer:
- Higher price
- Cannot reliably measure temperatures above 90-95°C (212°F) due to steam on the surface

Here are my final recommendations for purchase. You can buy a pyrometer at any hardware store. It's convenient to purchase a probe thermometer with a display and timer, as shown in the photo below.

Make sure to use both the probe thermometer and pyrometer in your work, and your cakes and sweets will turn out perfect! Pastry making does not tolerate 'eyeballing'; it's a precise science.

Using a probe thermometer is especially important when working with caramel. Then even a beginner can achieve success.

I hope this article was helpful for you! May the probe thermometer and pyrometer become indispensable helpers in your kitchen!"
Very convenient probe thermometer.