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What Should I Consider When Buying a Kitchen Scale?

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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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Owning a kitchen scale isn't just a good idea these days, but it may be essential for "weights only" recipes often found in advanced cookbooks. A modern recipe may call for two pounds or kilograms of sugar, for example, rather than the traditional dry cup measurements. A kitchen scale is also helpful when the goal is uniformity, such as weighing out portions of ground beef for consistent hamburgers or the meats and cheeses for deli-style sandwiches. But what should you consider when shopping around for a quality kitchen scale?

One consideration when buying a kitchen scale is capacity. Sometimes it becomes necessary to weigh several pounds or kilograms of ingredients, especially when cooking in bulk or doubling recipes. A good kitchen scale should be able to handle a large mixing bowl with several pounds or kilograms of raw ingredients. A flat electronic kitchen scale would be an ideal choice if the scale's surface can safely support the weight and size of a standard mixing bowl. If you prefer a manual kitchen scale or a balancing scale, make sure it has a suitably high weight capacity.

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Readability and functionality are also important consideration when buying a kitchen scale. A manual or balancing kitchen scale may use a rudimentary mechanical display consisting of a pointer and graded measurements. This may be a perfectly workable solution for some home cooks, but others may find the dials or pointers to be difficult to read and somewhat imprecise. A digital kitchen scale can provide a more readable display, but it isn't necessarily any more accurate than a manual kitchen scale. A good kitchen scale may also be able to zero out the additional tare weight of a container or bowl, making it easier to get an accurate reading of the ingredient weight alone.

Style can also become an issue with certain kitchen scale models. A good kitchen scale may be exceptionally accurate, easy to read and sturdily constructed, but it may also look like the functional kitchen tool that it is. A kitchen scale doesn't always perform well if the owner feels the need to put it away and pull it back out constantly. A quality kitchen scale can still have some design elements which would help it blend in with the rest of the kitchen's style or color scheme. It may not be advisable to select a new kitchen scale based solely on its style elements, however, since it still needs to be functional, durable and accurate.

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ZsaZsa56
Post 3

How can I be sure that I have an accurate kitchen scale? Is it necessary to recalibrate them after years and years of use? When I bought it the clerk assure me that it was the best kitchen scale on the market so I really hope that it still works as well as claimed.

whiteplane
Post 2

In my experience it really helps to have a kitchen scale that is solidly built and can stand up to wear and tear. Kitchen utensils and appliances always get dirty but they also get dropped, knocked around in the sink and crammed into drawers.

I have a small kitchen so when I am making a lot of food I have a big problem with knocking things on to the floor. I used to have a cheap kitchen scale that I bought from a big chain store and the first time it fell on the ground it broke into a dozen pieces. No more scale. It's worth it to spend the money on something that will last.

tigers88
Post 1

One important consideration when buying a home kitchen scale is that it has a large enough base to accommodate containers of different sizes. If you only need to measure out a few grams of something you can get by with a small scale that has a tiny measuring platform.

But if you are going to be doing some serious cooking, particularly baking where you might be using large measuring containers to divide out your ingredients, you will want to make sure that your scale can accommodate this need. Better to have it be too big than too little.

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