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March 9, 2009

Kitchen scales

As you may know, many recipes are being written to utilize a scale. Using a digital scale to measure each ingredient will allow for more precise measurements and will produce more consistent and flavorful results – guaranteed!

Here a couple of examples:

EXAMPLE #1: Shave four medium sized carrots vs. 200 grams of carrot shavings

How “long and wide” are medium carrots?

EXAMPLE #2: 3 rounded T. vs. 75 grams

Did you know that the abbreviation for tablespoon is T. in some cookbooks and tbsp. in other books? Would you have added 3 rounded teaspoons for the abbreviation T.? How much is in a “rounded” teaspoon anyways?

As you can see, not only will you achieve substantially more accurate recipes using the weight of each ingredient, you will also eliminate any confusion during measurement.

In order to make your kitchen scale selection FAST & Successful – we have provided you with the following “Kitchen Scale Checklist”:

  1. Design
  2. Digital or Manual
  3. Capacity vs. Accuracy
  4. AC/DC – Battery and/or 110V
  5. Spill Protection
  6. Weighing Units (lb, oz, kg, g)
  7. TARE Feature
  8. Removable Platform
  9. Manufacturers’ Warranty
  10. Price

Kitchen scales are available in a wide variety of styles, colors, and sizes to match your décor. Most kitchen scales are fairly small; however, they will vary a little in size. In addition, some more unique designs may have limited features/functions. Since scales are not a major kitchen appliance, you will discover that most designs are fairly simple and functional.

Since digital scales are extremely accurate and low cost, you will discover that most kitchen scales are digital. If accuracy is not important and STYLE is, you may find some manual scales will have unique design characteristics (i.e. balance, hanging, and spring scales). Of course, we highly recommend you purchase a digital kitchen scale for higher accuracy and better results!

Before you purchase any scale, you will need to answer the following two (2) questions:

  1. What is the maximum amount that you will ever need to weigh (i.e. 2lb, 5lb, or 10lb)?
  2. What is the minimum increment (i.e. smallest amount) you will measure (i.e. 1g or 0.5oz.)?

Once you have determined this information, you will simply need to select a scale that meets your capacity and accuracy requirements.

Digital scales are powered by either battery or 110V Power and some units offer both options. The battery operated scales will be more portable. However, the 110V scales will eliminate the use of batteries.

Since digital kitchen scales are usually small, you will find that most kitchen scales will operate via battery power. Since digital scales only use a small amount of power and most units have auto shut off, the batteries will keep going and going…

Unfortunately, in the kitchen your scale will probably become the victim of a liquid or powder spill. If you decide to purchase a digital scale, we recommend that you purchase a unit with a sealed LCD display and user buttons. This spill protection will prevent the scale from short circuiting and voiding most manufactures warranties. Please note your kitchen scale does not need to be waterproof.

WEIGHING UNITS (lb, oz, kg, g)
Many kitchen scales offer both weighing units – pounds/ounces and kilogram/grams. However, you need to make sure that the scale has the weighing units you need.

The tare feature allows you to measure the exact weight of a product in a container. This is a valuable feature if you need to weigh a liquid or powder ingredient. This feature is ONLY available on electronic digital kitchen scales.

Here is an example of how to use the TARE feature:

Example: Place the “container” that will hold the ingredient on the scale’s platform, then push the Tare button. Your scale’s display will reset to 0 by subtracting the weight of the container. Now, simply place the ingredient in the container and your scale will display its actual weight.

If you need to add more ingredients, just keep pressing the Tare button to clear the scale’s display and then add the next ingredient.

If you have ever spilled something when cooking, you may wish to purchase a scale with a removable platform. Some scales offer a removable Stainless Steel or glass platform, which also allows the user to place food items directly on the platform. Not only is it sanitary, but it allows for FAST & EASY clean-up.

You will discover most manufacturers offer at least a one (1) year warranty. In addition – you will find some who offer 2-5 year warranties.

SPECIAL NOTICE: We highly recommend you AVOID any scale manufacturer that offers a so-called “lifetime warranty”. We have discovered that most of these companies require a substantial fee for processing your warranty claims.

As you know, common sense says… “If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is”.

Use your checklist to determine what kitchen scale features are most important to YOU. The price of your kitchen scale will be directly related to the features you select. The GOOD NEWS is that you will find that most consumer kitchen scales will be priced under $99 (USD).

A kitchen scale also makes the perfect gift for any great cook – including YOU!

Now that you have completed your “Kitchen Scale Checklist”, you will be able to avoid making any mistakes when selecting the BEST scale for your special application!

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