A high-quality, heavy aluminum saucepan is the best choice for making candy. Aluminum pans conduct heat very evenly. Other types of metal pans, such as stainless steel, require careful watching because they may have hot spots and not heat evenly.
Using the correct size pan is equally important. A pan that's too small to hold the candy mixture can lead to messy and dangerous boil-overs. A pan that's too large can result in inaccurate thermometer readings, because the candy mixture will not cover the bulb of the candy thermometer. During our testing, we tried various pan sizes, and have recommended the best size for each recipe.
When melting dipping chocolate, temperature control is critical, so it's wise to use a double boiler. This keeps the chocolate away from the direct heat.
Continued on page 3: Beating Equipment