A kitchen scale may seem like an unnecessary kitchen gadget, but it is actually one of the most useful things you could have in your kitchen. (Even Alton Brown from Food Network, who is strongly against what he calls "unitaskers" - things in the kitchen that only serve one purpose - is an advocate for the kitchen scale.)
In this article we'll take a look at a few reasons why you definitely NEED a kitchen scale, and we'll go over what we think are the best kitchen scales.
Why You Should Get a Kitchen Scale:
The first reason you need a kitchen scale is for baking. Using a measurement cup to measure how much flour you need may seem like an accurate way to achieve the correct amount of flour, but each time you scoop out a cup it is a little bit different.
When measuring a cup of flour with a measuring cup, the amount of flour you wind up using can be anywhere from 4 ounces to 7 ounces, depending on a few different factors that can change each time you measure something (how you scoop it, how tightly you pack it, etc.).
That's right, even using the same measuring cup you can end up having completely different measurements from someone else - and that includes the recipe's author.
For cakes too much flour can lead to a hard hockey-puck like dessert. If you are baking bread a kitchen scale is extremely important, because there are calculations in bread making, and it becomes much easier to deal with them if you have a scale.
Also, most recipes for bread have ingredients listed in units of measurement, not in cups or spoons. When baking cookies, brown sugar is always tricky when it comes to measuring - how tightly should you pack it? With a scale you get the exact right amount of brown sugar every time. When it comes to chopping nuts, you can get an exact measurement as to how many to chop.
When baking, weighing means never having to sift. It also means easier clean up. Instead of using multiple measuring cups for multiple ingredients, you use the bowl on the scale and no other vessels. Then that's just one bowl to clean up instead of five measuring cups and spoons.
If you are dividing batter or dough you can use a scale to divide it perfectly evenly. For example, if you are baking a cake with two tiers, you won't have to guess how much batter to use in each pan. They will both have the same amount of batter, use the same amount of cooking time, and come out perfectly even with each other.
When measuring anything - chopped up vegetables, grated cheese, butter, flour - you are not always going to get the same amount. It depends on how small or large you chopped your vegetables, what type of grater you used for your cheese, how tightly you pack ingredients into the cup, and surprisingly, how you physically scoop the ingredient into the bowl.
Then there is the issue of some of your ingredient sticking to the cup or spoon. With a kitchen scale you get the exact right measurement, and all of the ingredients go into the bowl on top of the scale so there aren't any ingredients that get stuck and aren't making it into a batter or dough.
Dieting & Portioned Food
Another reason to use a kitchen scale is for dieting.
Counting calories can be difficult and tedious. When using a kitchen scale, it's much easier to portion out exactly how much protein, grains, and vegetables you should be consuming. Many diet plans use ounces to measure how much of each type of food you should be eating, and using a kitchen scale is the most accurate way to make sure you're eating the right amount of everything you are supposed to be consuming.
Using a food scale at home can also help you get accustomed to what size one portion looks like, so if you go out to eat you can more easily estimate how much of the dish you should eat. Even if you are not on a diet you can use a scale for measuring meat. For example, when making burgers it's important to make sure they are all the same weight so they will all cook the same.
The issue of halving or doubling recipes, whether baking or cooking, becomes much easier with a kitchen scale as well.
There are a few options when looking for a kitchen scale.
- The issue of halving or doubling recipes, whether baking or cooking, becomes much easier with a kitchen scale as well.
- I would suggest digital scale. With digital scales, there are digital displays that mean the measurements are the easiest to read and everything you are measuring is accurate. You also want to find a kitchen scale that has a "tare" option.
- This means that once you've put an ingredient in the bowl on top of the scale and measured it, you can reset the scale to 0 so that you can add another ingredient and measure it without having to subtract it from the total number that is being displayed.
- Digital scales do require batteries, but good scales will display when the battery is low. Digital scales are also more compact so they fit on your kitchen counter more easily than mechanical scales or balance scales, but they can still hold a large amount.
- Digital scales can also measure very small amounts, whereas mechanical scales and balance scales are not able to do that.
- Mechanical scales are more old-fashioned and can look like the scales that hang in the produce section of the grocery store, although they are also available as a platform. They are able to weigh heavier items than a digital scale, and they do not need batteries. A tare option is sometimes available but not always.
- A balance scale is easy to use, but it's much less accurate than digital and mechanical scales. It does not have a tare function and it cannot measure small amounts. Like the mechanical scale, though, it does not require batteries.
- We're going to talk about Digital Scales, because those are the most common, cheapest, easiest to use, and have the most capabilities.
Let's take a look at the BEST KITCHEN SCALES:
The Ozeri Touch II Scale is known to be extremely accurate and can hold up to 18 pounds, which is much more than most kitchen scales are able to hold. It has a display that is very easy to read and it has a tare button.
This scale is very modern and actually looks like an iPad. It has two touch buttons that help you switch between ounces, grams, kilograms, fluid ounces, and milliliters. There is an automatic shut-off feature after two minutes so that the battery does not get wasted. It has an overload indicator in case the ingredients you place on top of the scale surpass the weight limit of the scale. It comes in multiple colors.
It requires two lithium batteries, is reasonably priced, and is sleek, stylish, and extremely functional.
Read Our Full Review of Ozeri Kitchen Scales
The Escali Primo Scale has been rated very highly among users. It is compact and spill-proof and has a large LED display screen. It has a tare button and also has the ability to calculate negative numbers, which many scales do not.
For example, if you are looking to measure 8 ounces of flour you can place your entire container of flour on top of the scale and scoop flour out of the container until the scale reads -8. It is sensitive enough to register even small amounts of ingredients.
It is reasonably priced, only requires 2 AA batteries, and comes in a variety of colors. The batteries will last for a very long time thanks to the auto shut-off feature. It comes in multiple colors. This is a great scale for basic usage, and it is very easy to use so if you have never used a kitchen scale before, this would be a great one to try.
The Eat Smart Precision Elite Scale, although compact, can hold up to 15 pounds. This scale was made specifically for eating healthy and it comes with a booklet on portion control, but it can also be used for baking.
There is a tare feature and a 3 minute automatic shut-off feature so your battery is not wasted. The measurements are very accurate and can measure in ounces, pounds, grams, and kilograms. It has a lighted display and only comes in one color. It requires 4 AAA batteries.
The OXO Good Grips Food Scale can measure up to 11 pounds. There is an LCD screen with an optional backlight and the screen pulls out so that the bowl on the scale does not cover the screen, nor does a shadow from the bowl. There is a tare option, and you can switch between metric units and standard units. This scale is not as good with smaller quantities as the other scales. This scale only comes in one color.
The Taylor Precision Scale can measure up to 11 pounds in increments of .1 ounce to .1 gram. There is a tare feature and it has an automatic shut-off feature to preserve battery power. This scale takes 2 AAA batteries. It has a big LCD screen, but it is not back-lit. It is promoted for providing a healthy lifestyle, so it specifically for measuring food for meals, but it can still measure ingredients for baked goods. It is only available in one color. The display can also be hard to see if you use a large bowl on top of the scale.
Read our full review of Taylor food scales.
Overall, any of these kitchen scales would be good for a first-time user or a seasoned pro. The tare button is extremely important, so you can keep going back to zero as you add in more ingredients, and it is important that your scale can convert to different types of measurements.
The best kitchen scales are not expensive and they will help you prepare perfection in your kitchen!
From portion control to baking a fluffy cake to cooking meat evenly to baking a perfect loaf of bread, a kitchen scale is a must-have for any foodie, chef, baker, or nutritionist.