3 Ways to Melt Sugar

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3 Ways to Melt Sugar
3 Ways to Melt Sugar

Melting breaks the bonds in the sugar so you can re-crystal it and work it into any shape you want using molds and other tools. Melting sugar is also the first step in caramel and candy making. The melting temperature will determine what kind of food can be made. It's not difficult to do this, but you have to keep an eye on it so the sugar doesn't burn. See Step 1 to find out how to get started.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. water


Method 1 of 3: Melting Sugar

Melt Sugar Step 1
Melt Sugar Step 1

Step 1. Measure out the sugar

Set the amount of sugar you want to melt. Sugar is very difficult to melt evenly without burning, so it's best not to melt more than 2 cups of sugar at a time. If the recipe calls for more than that, melt the sugar separately.

  • Use white granulated sugar, also known as table sugar.
  • A good simple rule when it comes to melting sugar is this: 2 cups of sugar will produce liquid sugar that can be used to make 1 cup of caramel.

Step 2. Pour the sugar and cold water into a saucepan with a thick bottom

A pan like this will distribute the heat evenly. A medium-sized saucepan is ideal for melting sugar, and steel or aluminum pans are best suited.

  • The amount of cold water needed is half the sugar.
  • Make sure the pan is completely clean. If there is still sediment at the bottom of the pan, sugar crystals may form there.

Step 3. Place the pot on the stove that has been turned on in low-medium heat

Over low heat, the sugar will melt for a long time. Don't raise the fire. Sugar will burn quickly when cooked over high heat. A low heat will allow you to better control the sugar.


Step 4. Keep stirring the two ingredients until the sugar is dissolved

Stirring early in the process will break up the lumps and allow the sugar to heat evenly. The ideal tool for stirring is a wooden spoon. Keep stirring the solution until the mixture becomes clear and begins to boil. At that point, you can make candy based on the final temperature of the sugar.

  • Remove the sugar sticking to the sides of the pan using a pastry brush.
  • If there are crystals on the sides of the pan, crystal formation will form throughout the mixture and the sugar will be absorbed. This can be prevented by sweeping the sides of the pan with a brush and warm water.

Method 2 of 3: Cooking Sugar Into Caramel


Step 1. Cook the sugar for another 8-10 minutes without stirring

When the sugar has melted and is starting to boil, continue to cook the sugar solution until it caramelizes.

  • If you stir it, the sugar will turn into crystals. So, from now on you should not stir it.
  • You can gently shake the pan to make the heating process more even.
  • The resulting caramel will have a slight golden brown color that forms around the edges of the pan.

Step 2. Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the sugar

  • If you want the sugar to remain liquid, your job is done when the sugar has reached 170-180 °C. At this temperature, the sugar will be golden brown.
  • You can see the caramel's true color by placing a small amount of the mixture on a white plate.

Method 3 of 3: Using Melted Sugar

Choose a Candy Thermometer Step 3
Choose a Candy Thermometer Step 3

Step 1. Get the desired level of doneness

Each recipe calls for a different temperature of sugar. If the sugar has reached the desired temperature for the recipe you are making, the sugar is finished cooking. You should use it immediately.

  • Thread stage: temperature 106-112 °C. One tsp. The sugar will form a thin thread when dipped and removed from the cold water. This type of sugar is perfect for use in candied nuts and fruits.
  • Soft-ball stage: temperature 113-116 °C. One tsp. Sugar will form balls when dipped in cold water. The ball will become flat if it is removed from the water. This is perfect for fudge (a type of candy) and fondant.
  • Firm-ball stage: temperature 118-120 °C. One tsp. Sugar will form balls when dipped in cold water. When removed from the water, the ball stays in shape, but will deform when it reaches room temperature or when pressed. This is perfect for caramel candy.
  • Hard-ball stage: temperature 121-130 °C. One tsp. Sugar will form balls when dipped in cold water. The ball will shrink slightly when pressed, or harden and stick when removed from the water. This is perfect for making divinity (light crystal candy) or marshmallows (chewy candy).
  • Soft-crack stage: temperature 132-143 °C. One tsp. The sugar will break up into pliable threads when dipped in cold water.
  • Hard-crack stage: temperature 146-154 °C. One tsp. Sugar will break up into brittle threads when dipped in cold water.
  • Caramel stage (caramel stage): temperature 160-177 °C. The sugar in the pan will turn brown and begin to give off a caramel aroma.

Step 2. Make the flan (caramel custard)

This Mexican dessert is made by pouring melted and caramelized sugar onto a baking sheet, then topping it with the egg mixture and baking it until it hardens. The pan is turned over on a plate so that the warm, brown caramel is on top.


Step 3. Make the caramel

Make a creamy caramel sauce by adding cream and butter to the melted sugar. Next, use this mixture as a delicious topping on ice cream, chocolate cake, and other tasty treats.


Step 4. Make cotton candy (spun sugar)

Cotton candy is made by cooking liquid sugar until it reaches a hard ball stage (hardens when cooled at room rate). It can be used as a nice garnish on all kinds of desserts.


Step 5. Make the caramel candy

This buttery, flavorful candy is made by mixing butter and cream in melted sugar and then cooking it until it reaches the hard ball stage. At this point, the caramel obtained must be poured into molds and cooled at room temperature until hardened.


  • If you don't have a cookie brush, just cover the pan. The hot steam in the pan will melt the sugar that's stuck to the edges of the pan. Position the lid so that there is a small opening to let some of the steam out of the pan, and watch the sugar solution carefully. This method doesn't always work (as compared to using a brush). So, there may still be sugar stuck to the edges of the pan.
  • Make sure all equipment used is really clean. A little dirt in the pan can cause the sugar to form crystals and thwart the process. The process fails if the sugar forms crystals and has a rough texture. If this is the case, the only solution is to throw it away and start over.
  • While high humidity can soften solid sugar and cotton candy (both of which are made from liquid sugar), the process for melting sugar is not affected by humidity levels.
  • Candy thermometers can read temperatures in higher heat than kitchen thermometers, which are above 100°C.


  • Liquid sugar is very hot and very sticky. These ingredients can make your skin blister.
  • Be alert at all times to avoid accidents and prevent the sugar from burning.
  • Don't wear loose jewelry or clothing. This can get caught and result in injury.
  • If you have long hair, tie it back. Long, loose hair can: obscure the view, distract, or get caught.

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