Although measuring cups and spoons are often all that`s needed, experienced chefs know that a kitchen scale can be absolutely indispensable. Some recipes measure ingredients by weight instead of by volume. Furthermore, measuring ingredients with measuring cups and spoons isn`t always very accurate. That`s especially true with ingredients like flour that can settle or shift while they are being measured. In addition to offering superior accuracy, kitchen scales
are frequently used by dieters to keep portion sizes under control. A wide variety of kitchen scales are available online at sites such as Amazon. Learn more about buying kitchen scales in this guide.
Types of Kitchen Scales
There are three main types of kitchen scales: balance scales, mechanical scales, and digital scales.
This scale closely resembles a seesaw. Weights are positioned on one end of the arm, and ingredients are placed on the other. Weights are added or removed until the arms are balanced. For all intents and purposes, this type of scale is obsolete.
Mechanical scales, which are also known as spring scales, aren`t quite as popular as they used to be. However, they still come in handy in certain situations. These scales rely on springs to move dials, which then reflect the weight of the ingredients that are being weighed. There are two main styles: platform scales and hanging scales. The latter is commonly found in the produce sections of grocery stores.
As inexpensive as they have become, digital scales are the most popular kind of kitchen scale on the market today. They have LCD displays and wide, sturdy platforms. A wide range of features is available, and prices vary a great deal.
Top Features of Digital Kitchen Scales
Digital kitchen scales are the most popular options available today. Considering all of the features that are available, it`s easy to see why that is. Wading through the various options can be confusing though. A breakdown of the most common features and considerations to make about each one is highlighted in this section.
Design and Appearance
The design and appearance of a digital kitchen scale is usually ranked near the bottom in terms of importance. However, if a scale is going to be left out on the counter, it`s nice to choose one that coordinates with the rest of a kitchen`s design. Digital scales are sleeker and more contemporary looking than their mechanical counterparts. A wide range of colors and finishes is available. Popular options include white, red, black, and stainless steel.
For the most part, digital kitchen scales are compact in size. They are certainly much smaller than mechanical scales and balance scales. However, some models are more compact than others. If space is limited, it pays to consider the size of a digital kitchen scale carefully. These scales usually weigh very little, so they aren`t difficult to move from place to place.
People who would like to store their kitchen scales when they`re not in use should look for models that are designed for small spaces. For example, many digital scales have displays that fold away. In some cases, the display may also slide out from inside the scale. Some scales have removable bowls; others have removable trays. As long as the bowl or tray can be removed, storing a digital scale shouldn`t be difficult.
Digital scales, which are also known as electronic scales, have digital displays. They are usually LCD displays. However, different designs are available. Some displays are quite large, and the information that is displayed is large and easy to read too. Others have displays that are much smaller. Some displays are just gray-scale while others are blue, red, or another color. Those who have difficulty reading small displays or certain colors should keep this point in mind.
Platforms and Bowls
The simplest digital scales don`t come with trays or bowls. Instead, people can use their own bowls or trays and take advantage of the tare function to perform cumulative measurements. Digital kitchen scales with trays are nice because ingredients are contained by the edges around the tray. Many people prefer scales that have bowls though because ingredients can be combined and mixed more easily. In either case, the tray or bowl should be removable and washable.
Strength and Durability
Digital kitchen scales are sure to get a lot of use, so they should be designed to withstand a lot of abuse. The best models are made out of high-impact plastics. Some models are even made out of stainless steel. Flimsy scales are sure to be damaged quickly, so it is generally worth it to spend a little more for a more durable model.
It`s important to keep cleanliness in mind while using digital kitchen scales. Some digital models need to be kept as dry as possible, which makes them a lot trickier to clean. Some models are completely sealed, though, which makes them largely resistant to water. Although water-resistant models can`t usually be completely submerged in water, they can be wiped down safely. This is also important when measuring wet ingredients. If a spill occurs, a water-resistant digital scale should emerge unscathed.
There are few drawbacks to using a digital kitchen scale. Batteries tend to last a long time. The best models have low-battery indicators that allow people to keep working without interruption. When the indicator lights up, the batteries can be replaced right away. Models that don`t have this feature may suddenly stop working, and that can happen at the most inopportune times.
One of the most indispensable features of any digital kitchen scale is the tare function. This function allows people to reset the weight as ingredients are added, which allows them to measure one ingredient after another without having to remove the previous ingredients. It`s a lot more efficient, and it tends to be more accurate as well. This feature also allows people to use different bowls and containers while weighing ingredients. The bowl or container can be placed on the scale first, and the weight can be zeroed out with the tare function. From there, ingredients can be added and weighed as usual.
If a digital kitchen scale is going to be left out on the counter most of the time, this feature is priceless. Without it, it`s easy to waste a lot of batteries. Most digital scales will turn off automatically after a few minutes of non-use, but shoppers should still confirm that the feature is available before buying a digital kitchen scale.
For a long time, digital scales were fairly limited in terms of weight capacity. That`s no longer the case. In fact, many models can handle surprisingly large loads. The most popular digital kitchen scales can accommodate up to 11 pounds. Some models can handle weights that are even higher than that. Consider the types of ingredients that need to be weighed before buying a digital scale to get the most use of it as possible.
Although different types of measurements can be converted manually, it`s nice to buy a digital kitchen scale that does it automatically. Whether a recipe measures ingredients in ounces, grams, pounds, or kilograms, it`s a lot easier to just push a button until the right type of measurement is displayed. This is a very common feature, and it`s one that most cooks take advantage of on a regular basis.
There`s no point in buying a digital kitchen scale if it`s not accurate. With kitchen scales, accuracy is generally reflected by the degree of graduation that is used. Optimally, a kitchen scale should have a graduation of .05 ounces or one gram. If the increments are larger than that, accuracy will suffer. Without exceptional accuracy, the weighed ingredients could produce disappointing results.
The right kitchen scale can make cooking and baking more accurate and more enjoyable. It definitely pays to consider the many different features carefully. Most people prefer digital kitchen scales for their accuracy and their ability to measure small amounts of ingredients. However, heavy-duty mechanical scales are sometimes better options. No matter which type of kitchen scale is needed, finding one is easy on Amazon!
I have become a huge fan of digital kitchen scales, such as the Gurin Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale
because I don`t only use it in my kitchen, but for shipping purposes as well. The buttons on this scale are touch sensitive for easy use so I`m not beating the scale to operate it. It has a large easy to read display screen as well. I love the sleek yet simple design of the scale as well. Not only does it look good, but because it`s thin it`s easy to store in the kitchen drawer when not in use as it measures just 9-1/2 x 6-5/8 x 1/2 inches in size. In uses 2 lithium batteries, which are included, and the backing to access the batteries is easy to remove - no screwdriver needed! The tare button quickly calculates the net weight of your ingredients, minus the container. It even measures weight from .05 ounces to 12 pounds, in grams, pounds & ounces, ounces, and fluid ounces. I found the scale to be accurate as well as durable. Definitely a great addition to my home and kitchen!