The Kitchen Scale – One of my favorite kitchen tools

Now I know what all you creative kitchen artists are thinking….a scale? As in making my food all uniform and precise? Not for me you say? Well, hopefully, I can convince you that the scale is your friend.

I have done a ton of baking in my career. And often I am asked to test and write recipes. For this type of work, the scale is a life saver. I need to be right on in my portion sizes and yields. The scale is perfect for documenting ingredients too. For a baker, recipe writer and recipe tester there is no better tool than the scale. Here are my top reasons why:

1. You can get a precise yield from weighing all your cookie dough and dividing it by the size you want each cookie to be.
2. You can make sure all cookies are uniform in size. This helps not only with getting a perfect yield but with making sure each cookie on the cookie sheet bakes at the same rate.
3. You can make sure all your baking ingredients weigh out at the appropriate weight rather than going by a measuring cup which can vary so much depending on how you fill it.
4. You can weigh out burgers or meatballs and get all the same size for ease of cooking times. No guess work.
5. You can weigh out nuts which can be hard to measure in a metal measuring cup.
6. When splitting a dough into parts, for dinner rolls for instance, you will know how much each piece should weigh and thus divide evenly.
7. When making a two crust pie (top and bottom) it is helpful to know that each crust is the same weight.
8. Are my portions even? I love using my scale when freezing food in portion sizes.
9. Does your recipe call for a medium onion? That is very vague! Follow a weight chart for these and test or write your recipe with more confidence. Here is a chart in case you are curious:

Onion Size Approx. Size Weight Amount Chopped
Small Lemon 4 oz (0.25lbs) 1/2 cup
Medium Navel Orange 8 oz (0.5lbs) 1 cup
Large Small Grapefruit 16 oz (1lbs) 2 cups

(Chart Source:Culinarylore.com)

It’s important to get a scale that fits your needs. I love the digital scales for their preciseness as well as one that weighs in grams and ounces. Grams are so much more precise for baking than ounces. I also love a scale that has a flat surface that any sized bowl will fit on and one that will weigh at least 5 pounds. Below is my suggestion for a heavy duty built to last scale. It measures up to 17 lbs. which would be great for large scale projects. It also calculates percentages for you.