A Guide to Buying a Kitchen Scale
In general, a kitchen scale can help you measure ingredients when precision is important. But today’s digital kitchen scales achieve the level of accuracy that you’d expect in a chemistry lab! And when you want to adhere to a special diet, like a keto diet, or if you’re cooking for a diabetic, it’s useful to be able to get precise amounts of the foods that you’re trying to limit. Also, you can find “smart scales” that will hook up with your cellphone and give exact nutritional information about the amount of food on the scale, as you’re weighing it!
We’ll examine some of the options in the Best Reviews Guide list of the best kitchen scales. Overall, they can make food preparation a lot easier.
How does a digital kitchen scale work?
A digital scale works by using sensors to detect strain when an object is placed on the scale. The sensors are able to convert the weight of the object into a digital readout.
How can a digital kitchen scale help me?
A digital food scale can help you by providing accurate measurements for portion control. This can be helpful if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Types of Kitchen Scales
Looking over the Best Reviews Guide of the best kitchen scales, we see that there are a number of designs.
Flat scale: There are flat kitchen scales, where you place food directly on the scale, or on a plate or bowl. An example is the Ticwell Food Scale. It has a “tare” function, where you can measure the weight of a plate or bowl, put the food inside, and then subtract the weight of the plate from that of the food.
Ticwell Food Scale
Bowl scale: There are kitchen scales that include a detachable bowl. This is convenient for allowing you to measure ingredients, as well as mix and pour them. An example is the Etekcity Food Kitchen Bowl Scale.
Etekcity Food Kitchen Bowl Scale
What reviewers say
Here are some of the impressions of customers regarding their choice of kitchen scale:
Alternative to measuring cups: One customer said that a digital scale this accurate is a great alternative to using measuring cups. You’ll know exactly how much of each ingredient to add by weighing it. Since some foods might have more air in them, measuring by volume doesn’t always give the correct picture. And some scales are so accurate that they can even measure the weight of a napkin!
Less to clean up: Once you get the hang of it, you can measure all of the ingredients in a single bowl when preparing food. This can spare you a lot of cleanup time. Just be careful when weighing raw meat, poultry, or fish. It’s advised to put a baking sheet on the scale first, so as not to transfer pathogens from the raw food to other foods.
Rechargeable batteries: There are kitchen scales that use a rechargeable battery that can be charged by means of a USB cable. An example is the Koios Food Scale. It can last up to 2-3 months on a single charge! (It's also waterproof, which is a unique feature among kitchen scales.)
Koios Food Scale
Here are some tips and important features to look for when selecting a kitchen scale:
Make sure that the scale is level: Scales in general have to be level to make accurate measurements. Some include adjustable feet, to compensate for surfaces that are not perfectly level.
Using the “tare” function: Many of these scales have a “tare” function, which deducts the weight of the bowl or plate. You simply put the empty bowl on the scale, hit the “tare” button to reset the scale to zero, and put food in the bowl. The result will be the weight of the food only.
Selecting the units: Many scales allow you to take measurements in different units so that you can easily alternate between recipes that are in metric (=grams, kilograms) units, and those that are in imperial (= ounces, pounds) units. The Roxy Epoxy Digital Mini Gram Weighing Scale measures in 6 different units: grams, ounces, troy ounces (= a unit of measure for precious metals, where 1 troy ounce = 31.3034768 grams), pennyweights, carats, and grains. Other scales use units that are more familiar, such as ounces, pounds-ounces, fluid ounces, grams, and milliliters. That’s the feature of the Etekcity Food Kitchen Scale.
Smart nutrition scales: Even though this might seem to be overkill, there are also “smart” scales, that hook up to your cellphone by means of an app. An example is the Etekcity Food Nutrition Kitchen Scale. It uses the VeSync app to let you take a picture of your food and get nutritional information about it. You can also scan the barcode of a product, and it will ring up the number of calories per gram, sugar content, and the like. That way, you can keep track of daily, weekly, and monthly calorie intake.
Weigh an item for mailing: People who want to mail a package or a bunch of documents would find a kitchen scale handy. It can help them measure the weight of what they want to mail, within 1-2 grams. That can help them know how much postage to affix.
Maximum weight, minimum weight, and sensitivity: You’ll notice that scales have a maximum weight that you can put on the scale without damaging it. The Ticwell Food Scale has a maximum weight capacity of 33 lb/15 kg. If you exceed the maximum, it will sound an alarm. It is accurate to within 2.86 grams of weight. But you can also find scales that are accurate to within a gram!
Automatic shutoff: Many battery-operated kitchen scales have an auto-shutoff function, so as not to waste the scale’s batteries. You can modify some of these scales to shut down after 30 seconds, or even as much as 300 seconds!
Remember to calibrate: Some scales come with special exact weights so that you can make sure that your scale is zeroed properly. You use the standard weight to make sure that the scale is calibrated to measure accurately. This calibration should be done regularly.
We examined the features of today’s digital kitchen scales. They’re not very expensive, and they can be an efficient substitute for your standard measuring cups. Some can measure up to the accuracy of a single gram, and provide measurements in a number of different units. Once you get the hang of measuring ingredients by weight rather than volume, you might find it hard to do without a good kitchen scale!