Tempering Tips Tuesday – Infrared Thermometer
I knew I had to have one the minute I saw it. I was taking a chocolate class from Belgian Chocolate master Ryan Stevenson. While he was stirring a bowl of melted chocolate he took what looked like a square plastic gun from a holster on his waist and shot a red beam into the chocolate. “Almost ready,” he said. He had just taken the temperature of the chocolate without inserted anything. Fast. Clean. Efficient. I needed one. I asked Ryan the price and he said his professional quality infrared thermometer with holster cost about 80 Euros.
For the rest of the class I keep coming up with reasons to try the thermometer. I took the temperature of the room, the molds, even my scraper. Now I could find out the exact temperature of the room; it is best to work in a room around 68 degrees. Room temperature impacts how quickly chocolate cools during the tempering process. I could also find out the temperature of my molds. You don’t want to put chocolate in a really cold mold. It is best to use molds at room temperature (no colder than 68 degrees). When I first saw Ryan take the temperature of the chocolate using the infrared gun I was intrigued. After playing around with it I knew I had to have one.
That night I went on Amazon to see my options. I found dozens of infrared thermometers ranging in price from $16 to $75 dollars. I then started to read the reviews and found that some of the less expensive ones received outstanding reviews. These less expensive options didn’t come with holsters, but I thought I could live without it.
Sometimes a kitchen gadget really does make a task easier. I bought my first infrared thermometer about a year ago. Now I can’t image tempering chocolate without one.
I should mention one drawback to purchasing the inexpensive thermometers. I had to retired my first one after a year of hard use because it no longer was giving me accurate readings. It may be retired from the chocolate business but it’s still going entertaining my cats.
Order one on Amazon