There are lot of kitchen gadgets available that are fun to have, but not really necessary. Others are indispensable, and I highly recommend that you invest in a digital kitchen scale if you do not already have one. It is much easier, faster, and more accurate to weigh your ingredients, and once you start using a scale, you will wonder how you ever got by without one. The only time I use measuring cups or spoons is to find out how much an ingredient weighs, so I never have to measure it again!
A scale is essential for consistently good results when baking as flour is impossible to measure accurately. The same person measuring exactly the same way each time will still be off by up to 10%. That may not sound like a lot, but it is the reason why one batch of cookies runs all over the pan and another batch with the same recipe is dry and crumbly. Another reason for inconsistency is that measuring cups and spoons are not standardized. One set can hold different volumes than another set, and that can make the same recipe come out quite differently.
You will also get better results if you use a scale when cooking, but the real advantages here are saved time and dishes. This video on Why Use Scales shows how much faster it is to weigh your ingredients.
I have two scales that I use every day, one for most things, and the other for when I am weighing larger amounts or need to weigh ingredients into a heavy bowl or pot. This is the scale that I use the most:
There are several reasons why the American Weigh Scales LB-3000 is my favorite scale:
- It comes with an AC adapter, so you can plug it in. This saves the batteries and keeps the scale from turning off while you are adding an ingredient.
- It weights to 0.1 g, which means you can weigh spices and other low weight ingredients. This saves a lot of time!
- It is very user-friendly and has an easy to read display. Also, the button to switch between units is on top and simple to use.
- It is not too expensive. As of this writing, it is $22 at Amazon.
The other scale I use is the Ozeri Pro Digital Kitchen Food Scale. It is also inexpensive and was only $15 when I just checked the price. It is easy to use, has an accessible unit change button, and has a 12 lb weight capacity. This is what it looks like:
The one drawback to my favorite scale is that it only has a 3000 g (6.6 lb) capacity, but I really love being able to weigh spices and leavening when baking. The disadvantage to the Ozeri scale is that it is not accurate below 10 g, so you still have to measure the lightweight ingredients if it is your only scale. I use these scales several times a day, and really recommend getting both a 0.1 g scale and a high capacity gram scale if you can. It makes such a difference to weigh your ingredients, and you will love having a scale (or two)!