Old Fashioned Cooking Temperature Tips

Cooking foods at the temperature found to be most desirable for them will give most satisfactory results.  The Fahrenheit scale is used in all the recipes as indicated by the abbreviation F.

Temperatures for Candies:
Candy temperatures are most easily obtained by the use of a thermometer.  Cold water tests which compare favorably with the temperature tests are obtained by dropping ½ teaspoon boiling syrup into ½ cup cold water.  The following are examples of temperatures and corresponding water tests:

Item Temperature Cold Water Stage
Fudge, Fondant 234º  – 238º F. Soft Ball
Divinity, Caramels 245º  – 248º F. Firm Ball
Taffy 265º  – 270º F. Hard Ball
Buttter-Scotch 275º  – 280º F. Soft Crack
Brittle Candy 285º  – 290º F. Hard Crack
Caramelized Sugar 310º  – 320º F. Caramel Stage

Temperatures Used in Deep Fat Cooking:

Select a fat with a high smoking point, and one which will not absorb food flavors.  Fill a straight-sided, flat bottomed kettle with melted fat to the depth of 2 1/3″ to 3″.  Place the food in a wire basket.

After having been used, the fat, if dark, may be clarified by slowly cooking in it 6 to 8 thin slices of pared raw potatoes.  When the fat ceases to bubble and the potatoes are well browned, strain and store in a cool place.

Temperatures for deep fat frying may be determined by a thermometer or by browning a 1″ cube of bread in the hot fat.  The temperature of the fat should be kept uniform during the cooking process.  This may be accomplished by frying small quantities at one immersion.  The following are examples of temperatures and corresponding bread cube tests:

Item Thermometer Bread Cubes Brown in:
Doughnuts and Fritters 360º  – 365º F. 60 seconds
Croquettes 365º  – 380º F. 40 seconds
French Fried Potatoes 380º  – 390º F. 20 seconds

Oven Temperatures:

Temperatures for oven cooking may be determined with an oven thermometer, automatic oven temperature control, or by noting the time required for browning to a golden brown 1 teaspoon of flour which has been lightly dusted over the bottom of a pie pan.

Oven Type Temperature Flour Dusting Method
Very Slow Oven 250º  – 300º F. 5 minutes
Slow Oven 300º  – 350º F. 4 minutes
Moderate Oven 350º  – 400º F. 3 ½ minutes
Hot Oven 400º  – 450º F. 1 ¼ minutes
Very Hot Oven 450º  – 550º F. ½ minute

A Griddle or Waffle Iron is sufficiently hot for baking griddle cakes or waffles if the Griddle/Waffle Iron will snap when cold water is dropped on it.  Drop the water on the Griddle/Waffle Iron when it is smoking hot.

Information taken from the 1938 The Household Searchlight Recipe Book

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