Candy and chocolate thermometers come in many shapes, price points, and styles (including an incredibly cool laser version). For the beginning candy maker, I recommend the old-school inexpensive clip-on candy thermometer. Make sure it has gradations of 2 to 5 degrees and a range of 100 to 400 degrees F. Also, many basic candy thermometers mark all the stages of candy making (hard-ball, soft-ball, etc.)—this makes things all the easier for you. This type of thermometer should cost no more than fifteen dollars.