Cups. Tablespoons. Teaspoons. We’re used to seeing these measurements in recipes. But once in a while, you’ll find recipes that list ingredients by weight. Don’t write them off; just purchase a kitchen scale. Here’s why.
A kitchen scale may not be the first tool you think of buying when stocking your kitchen, and you probably didn’t include one on your wedding registry or holiday wish list. But it can be a helpful tool in the kitchen.
Scales come in handy, not just for baking, but also for weighing coffee beans to make the perfect cup and dealing with recipes that call for odd measurements of canned goods.
Why measure by weight?
Simple: It’s more accurate. The way you scoop 1 cup of flour might vary from how I scoop 1 cup of flour. And I might pack a cup of brown sugar more intensely than you do. When your recipe requires precise measurements to produce specific results and textures, this can make all the difference for better or worse. Bonus: Kitchen scales are inexpensive and don’t take up a lot of room.
Who should get a kitchen scale?
While they’re traditionally used by professional chefs and serious bakers, it’s increasingly clear that they have a lot of perks for the at-home chef, too. Aside from being more accurate, it reduces how many measuring tools end up in the kitchen sink.
It can also help you monitor portions if you’re trying to balance your meals with the right ratio of carbs to protein. For example, if you’re adding chicken to your salad, a kitchen scale makes adding what your nutrition plan calls for much simpler than eyeballing it — not too much and not too little.
Care and maintenance
Some scales are waterproof, but if not, be careful not to spill liquids on or near your digital kitchen scale. To clean it after using, simply wipe a damp cloth. Don’t over handle kitchen scales or shake them around. Treat them with love and they’ll reward you with perfect proportions.
Ready to shop? What to look for in a scale
Digital scales are the most popular, as they’re known to be more accurate than analog scales. Some of them will store data for you and some switch from grams to ounces with the click of a button. A tare feature is also helpful, which allows you to set the weight of an empty container to zero so it’s automatically subtracted from the overall measurement.
Some cooks find that a large display screen is best. You’ll also want to take note of how much the scale can measure; some have capacities as low as 5 pounds, others as high as 30.
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