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Firm-Ball Stage

Firm-Ball Stage

Firm-Ball Stage
© Randal Oulton

Firm-Ball Stage is a cooking term meaning that a sugar syrup being heated has reached 118 – 121 C (245 – 250 F.)

It is a test of how hot a sugar syrup is, and of how much water is left in it. At this point of heating, the sugar concentration in the syrup is 87%.

You test by drizzling a small amount of the sugar syrup from a spoon into a cup of cold water. If the stage has been reached, the syrup will form a firm ball (i.e. a firm clump -- don't expect an exact, round ball shape.)

If you take the ball out of the water, it will hold its shape, but it is very pliable.

The Firm-Ball Stage is called for in recipes for caramels, nougats, taffy, etc.

The stages of cooking sugar syrup are:

1. Thread Stage (106 - 112 C)
2. Soft-Ball Stage (112 - 116 C)
3. Firm-Ball Stage (118 – 121 C)
4. Hard-Ball Stage (121 - 130 C)
5. Soft-Crack Stage (132 - 143 C)
6. Hard-Crack Stage (149 - 154 C)

Cooking Tips

High altitude: For every 300 metres (1,000 feet) that you are above sea level, subtract 1 degree C (2 degrees F) from the temperatures given in your candy recipe.

Firm-Ball Stage by thermometer

Firm-Ball Stage by thermometer
© Randal Oulton

See also:

Candy Terms

Firm-Ball Stage; Hard-Ball Stage; Hard-Crack Stage; Ribbon Stage; Rock Candy Syrup; Soft-Ball Stage; Soft-Crack Stage; Stages of Cooked Sugar Syrups for Candy - Temperature Guide; Sugar Syrup; Thread Stage

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Oulton, Randal. "Firm-Ball Stage." CooksInfo.com. Published 11 October 2006; revised 12 March 2010. Web. Accessed 05/26/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/firm-ball-stage>.

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