The 5 Best Pans for Making Candy
Candy making isn’t hard. You probably already have most of the ingredients and utensils necessary to make candy in your own kitchen.
You don’t need to buy any special equipment – if you’re making easy recipes you probably don’t even need a candy thermometer. But you will want to use the right pan.
Candy making requires precision control over the temperature. The sugar must be melted evenly and consistently unless you want to ruin it.
The best pans for making candy are made of stainless steel or copper, both excellent heat conductors. Non-stick pans should be avoided because they are not suitable for cooking at high temperatures often required while making candy.
If you don’t already have a pan for making candy at home check out our top picks below.
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Calphalon’s Classic Stainless Steel Sauce Pan is the perfect stainless steel saucepan for candy making.
The bottom of the pan is constructed of multiple layers of aluminum and steel, which provides even heat distribution.
Additionally, it has long ergonomic handles that are designed to provide comfort and stay cool, even at high temperatures required by candy making. It also comes with a shatterproof glass lid.
Finally, the pan has additional features that we were delighted to see. Specifically, we were excited to see that the pan has a convenient pour spout as well as measuring lines etched on the interior.
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Anolon’s Advanced Stainless Steel Tri-ply Sauce Pan is another excellent choice for candy making, but it lacks some of the versatility of our top pick.
The triple-ply construction features an aluminum core surrounded by layers of stainless steel. As a result, this candy making pot provides quick and even heat. It has high straight sides and a pour spout, which are perfect features for candy making.
The onyx silicone grip handles are extremely comfortable, and if you only plan on using this pan on the stovetop for candy making it’s a great choice. It also has a sturdy, shatterproof glass lid. Meaning if you drop the lid on the floor it won’t break.
Anolon’s pan has a built-in pour spout, which we totally love. However, it didn’t have the etched in measurement lines that the Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Sauce Pan has.
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Copper pots are great for candy making, but they can be prohibitively expensive. The Mauviel Made In France M’Passion 2194.14 Copper 1.2-Quart Sugar Saucepan is an exception to this rule, coming in at under $100 at the time of our review.
This candy making pot is constructed of 2 mm gauge copper with a flat base and straight sides – perfect attributes for candy making. The copper construction means that the pan offers superior conductivity and temperature control.
In addition to the high-quality copper construction, the pan has a built-in pour spout, which is one of our favorite features in pans for candy making.
The downside to this pan is that it is specifically designed for candy making and the copper handle gets hot when cooking.
We recommend this pan if you are only going to use it to make candy.
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The All-Clad 6203 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Saucepan isn’t cheap by any means, but it is an extremely high-quality pan designed for heating sauces, liquids, and candy that we strongly recommend for candy makers willing to spend some extra money.
While the other stainless steel pans we reviewed feature triple-ply construction, the All-Clad 6203 is constructed of five layers of material. Specifically, the pan has a copper core surrounded by layers of aluminum and stainless steel. This means you benefit from copper’s superior heat conductivity as well as the versatility of stainless steel.
This pan has a sturdy, riveted stainless steel handle that stays cool while you cook. It can also be easily used for activities beyond candy making because it is safe for use in the oven as well as induction cooking.
The price point is a little high, but this is definitely a buy-it-for-life pan that will last forever.
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AVACRAFT’s Stainless Steel Saucepan with Glass Strainer Lid is a great choice for novice candy makers who aren’t ready to invest in expensive pans for candy making.
The pan features a triple-ply stainless steel base, which ensures that it distributes heat quickly and easily. We would have preferred a flat base, but this pan is designed for novice candy makers and the curved base wasn’t a deal-breaker for us.
We liked the firm, balanced handle on the AVACRAFT saucepan. Not only is the handle comfortable, but it stays cool even at high temperatures.
The AVACRAFT also features some additional bells and whistles that we liked. Specifically, the built-in pour spout and internal measurement marks are cool extras that we don’t typically see at this price point. It also comes in several sizes, allowing you to choose the best size for the volume of candy you’re planning to make.
What to Look for in The Best Pans for Candy Making
Not all pans are created equal – and this goes double when buying pans for candy making.
There are four key factors that you need to consider before you make a purchase. These are all things we evaluated when recommending products and attributes that will help you choose the best pans for your candy making needs.
The Material of the Pan
Candy making is a delicate process that requires precise control over the heat of your pan. Copper pots are arguably the best candy making pots because of their superior heat conductivity. Copper pots reach temperature quicker than stainless steel and cool down more quickly as well.
Stainless steel pans are also excellent heat conductors that are more affordable than copper.
We do not recommend non-stick pans for candy making. Their coatings begin to degrade at the high temperatures that are often required by candy making. Candy making can also be messy, it’s easy to damage the non-stick coating while trying to scrub burnt candy off the pan.
The Size of the Pan
Have you ever tried to cook a sauce or liquid in a pan that was way too large? It can be a nightmare trying to make sure it cooked evenly. Candy making pans come in a variety of sizes, and are designed to melt down a specific amount of sugar.
If you choose a candy making pan that’s too large it will take longer for the sugar to heat up. Similarly, choose a candy pan that’s too small and there is a good chance you’ll end up burning the sugar at the bottom of the pan while the sugar above it cooks too slowly.
The ideal pans for candy making are between 2 and 4 quarts.
The Shape of the Pan
Making perfect candy largely depends on the sugar reaching the right temperature and texture at the right time. This is where the shape of the pan becomes crucial. Pans with a flat bottom offer ideal heat distribution.
It’s also recommended that you choose pans with straight sides instead of rounded for the same reason. Straight sides will provide superior heat conductivity to rounded.
While not crucial, there are some features that can make cooking up delicious candy less of a hassle.
A pour spout is our favorite addition to pans for candy making. Built-in pour spouts make it easy to pour your candy from the pan into other containers and candy molds without making a mess.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are copper pots good for candy making?
Copper conducts heat five times better than iron and up to 20 times better than stainless steel. The excellent heat conductivity of copper means that the heat spreads more evenly and it gives candy makers precision control of the temperature, which is important for candy making.
Why are non-stick pans bad for candy making?
Non-stick coatings begin to degrade at high temperatures, making them a poor choice for candy making since it often requires heating sugar to high temperatures.
How do I remove burnt sugar from a pan?
First, try soaking the pan in lukewarm water. If that doesn’t work, sprinkle some baking soda in the pan and add enough water to cover the burnt candy. Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for 15 to 30 minutes to loosen up the burnt candy.
Do I need a candy thermometer to make candy?
It depends. Simple candy recipes usually don’t require a candy thermometer but you’ll want to invest in one if you start trying more complicated ones.
Making candy at home can be a lot of fun, and it is also rewarding to make sugary treats for your family and friends. You really just need great ingredients, a fun recipe, and the perfect pan.
Now that you know the best pans for the job, it’s time to get started!
Make sure you tell us what candy you made in the comments below. 🙂