Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Kitchen Scale

I had a $50 gift card to Williams-Sonoma and for a few weeks I agonized over what to purchase with it (okay, I'm exaggerating a little ... I didn't really agonize over it). Well, this past weekend it occurred to me that something I could use is a kitchen scale.

Sometimes when I'm baking I find that a scale would be a handy tool. For example, I made warm chocolate puddings for Valentine's Day and needed 4 ounces of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate. I had a bag of bittersweet chocolate chips, partially used. Do you know how it can be hard to measure things like chocolate chips in ounces using a measuring cup? Well, now it's easy and accurate with my new scale!

The one I chose is this electronic model by Salter for Williams-Sonoma. I like it for its small size (easy to store) and touchless tare feature. Simply place a bowl on the scale, wave your hand over the right side of the scale to zero it out, then add the ingredient you want to measure until it reaches the correct weight. You can also use this feature to add more ingredients to the same bowl and weigh up each ingredient's precise amount.

My husband made me laugh ... he said now he won't be able to steal a few chips from the bowl and go undetected. Very true! 

So tell me, do you use a kitchen scale when cooking?


  1. I just saw Ina Garten using that scale last week. Ours was lost in the move, I need to replace as I needed a scale over the holidays. I think yours may be the best one out there. Happy baking!

  2. An awesome buy! I've been baking with a scale since the dawn of time, having grown up in a German household. Everything that is not liquid gets weighed, so there is no guess work about how firmly packed brown sugar should be, for instance.

    I admit to using a mish-mash of both imperial and metric measures, such as weighing in grams and measuring by cups, because most North American recipes are still written in imperial measures.

    I went and checked your Martha recipe, and had I come across it, I would have scratched my head at the 4 oz. measure, wondering if it's a wet or dry measure? That's what drives me nuts about ounces! Had it said 113 grams, we wouldn't have this issue. It's not a question of imperial versus metric, but one of standardization (and in baking, the ever important repeatability!) We have a long way to go in North America.

    When baking, I always (always!) use my scale to measure butter in grams, because I find this to be the most precise unit of measure. I'm not as picky about my dry measures, and tend to simply use my measuring cups out of force of habit, unless I'm baking a European recipe that calls for grams. Then solids get weighed in grams and liquids get measured in mL. I cannot stress how much simpler it is!

    The Joy of Baking channel on YouTube has an awesome video explaining weight versus volume and why we should be using our kitchen scale more often:

    Enjoy your new scale. I have a feeling you're going to be using it more and more!

  3. Thanks for your comments, ladies! I'll check out that YouTube video, Ann.

    I have to tell you that the warm chocolate puddings didn't turn out very well. Not sure why. They were some better the second night after heating in the microwave and topping with some vanilla ice cream, though.

  4. I've been meaning to pick one of these up forever! I am an avid bread baker and most of the bread people share recipes by weight

  5. I love my kitchen scale. Use it lots, especially for English recipes which are all in grams. And also great for calorie tracking which I'm doing now, in a fruitless effort to lose a pound or two. Xo Terri


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