Kitchen Scales

The kitchen scale, simple and unnecessary it may seem, is a tool with the potential to radically improve your cooking and baking. Measuring spoons and cups have their place in the kitchen, but are inherently inaccurate due to the variety of ingredients and technique. One-hundred grams of flour always weighs one-hundred grams, but can measure anywhere from 3/4 of a cup to one cup, depending on how it is scooped, whether it is sifted, humidity, and any number of other factors. This applies equally to sugar, rice, or any other dry ingredient. Especially when baking, this can lead to major differences in measurements from scoop to scoop, and makes it very difficult to achieve consistent results. Using a scale makes getting consistent, predictable measurements fast and easy.

There are a couple of important features to look for in a kitchen scale. First of all, it should be digital. Many people are attracted to the retro good-looks of analog spring scales, or the low price, but spring scales are generally imprecise, difficult to read and adjust, and low in weight capacity. A good digital scale will have an easy to read screen, with an accuracy of one gram, a taring capability, and a capacity of at least 2.5 kilograms.

Single-gram accuracy allows you to measure small amounts of ingredients, such as when adding salt to a bread recipe. A high weight capacity not only allows you to weigh out large amounts of ingredients, but lets you place a container on top of the scale, and have capacity to spare for your ingredients. Taring, or zeroing, allows you to zero-out the weight of whatever is on the scale, and add ingredients without having to remove previously measured ingredients or containers. This is very useful when measuring out complex recipes, and saves you from using (and washing) multiple measuring cups, spoons, or containers.

To measure out tea for brewing, I put my tea strainer on the scale and press the zero button to remove its weight from the display. Then I can measure my tea directly into the strainer.

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