Kitchen scales aren’t just for avid bakers. A game changer for the home chef, they’ll make cooking faster and cleaner (think of how many dirty measuring cups you won’t have to wash) as well as ensure your measurements are more precise. There are hundreds of models on the market, from high-tech digital scales to old-school analog ones, so it’s important to find the best kitchen scale that will be most useful to you.
Dee Steffen Chinn, corporate pastry chef at Boston’s Big Heart Hospitality, which includes popular restaurants Tiger Mama and Sweet Cheeks Q, says there are a few key things to consider when selecting a kitchen scale. Accuracy, especially in baking, is crucial, she says. “If you’re off by a little bit on certain ingredients, you’ll end up with a product that does not turn out the way it should,” says Chinn.
She suggests buying a scale with a weight capacity of more than ten pounds. “I don’t like to use a lot of extra bowls if I don’t have to, which is why my actual mixing vessel is what I measure my ingredients in,” she says. “A bowl can take up some of that weight on the scale so the more capacity the better.”
Take the guess factor and math equations out of converting pounds to ounces and invest in a scale that has multiple units of measurements, she says. And to make clean-up even easier, look for a scale that has a removable platform/ plate, she says. Here, Chinn and other cooking experts share their picks for the best kitchen scales.
Best Kitchen Scale Overall
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull Out Display
Both Chinn and Shawn Gawle, executive pastry chef at Houston-based Goodnight Hospitality, swear by this stainless steel OXO scale. “The best part is the pull out display,” says Gawle. “If there’s a bowl or something large on the scale, you can pull out the display and easily see the weight.”
Chinn is a fan of how flat and compact the scale is and the fact that the platform comes off and can be easily cleaned. The scale converts to pounds, ounces, kilograms and grams and at a price of less than $50, it’s a bargain, says Chinn.
Best Digital Kitchen Scale
The Escali Primo has been a top-ranked kitchen scale for years and it’s easy to see why. Fast and accurate, it has a user-friendly interface with just two buttons. Another plus: it remains on for about four minutes before automatically powering off. Tim Hollingsworth, chef and owner of Otium, CJ Boyd’s, and Free Play in Los Angeles, is also a fan. “The Escali is awesome,” he says. “It is very durable and minimalist so it fits nicely where you need to store it.” Available in a range of colors, it also fits in nicely no matter your kitchen decor.
Best Analog Kitchen Scale
Taylor TS32 Food Service Analog Portion Control Scale 32 oz
For an analog scale, Hollingsworth and Chinn both nominate the Taylor TS32 Food Service Analog Portion Control Scale. “The very large, colored font in grams and ounces on the face is a huge plus,” says Chinn. Unlike some analog scales, the platform does not drastically bounce back when a product like dough is taken off after weighing, she says. “The Taylor TS32 also has a dial so you can tare while weighing, which not all analog scales have the ability to do,” she notes.
Best Cheap Kitchen Scale
Greater Goods Digital Food Kitchen Scale
The Greater Goods Digital Food Kitchen Scale does exactly what you want a scale to do — tare, change units and zero out — and it costs less than $20. Plus, it has a pretty decent capacity at 11 pounds. “The biggest plus with this great scale is that all kitchen purchases from Greater Goods fund meals for children in the care of the Global Orphan Project,” says Chinn.
Best Kitchen Scale For Baking
MyWeigh Kitchen Scale- KD7000 Scale
This MyWeigh Kitchen Scale- KD7000 Scale does it all, says Chinn. “It even calculates baker’s percentages,” she says, referring to a system of measurement where the quantity of each ingredient is presented as a percentage of the amount of flour, which is always set at 100 percent. A removable plastic cover protects the LCD screen and the flat platform is also removable, making it a breeze to clean.
Best Utility Kitchen Scale
Rubbermaid Digital Receiving Scale 150 lbs
“This is a rugged scale for all the heavy weighing,” says Chinn. “It’s textured on the top, allowing containers to stay put.” And its square foot base can handle up to 150 pounds in capacity. When it comes to digital scales, Chinn’s moto is: the fewer buttons, the better. She likes how the display pad comes with simple buttons of zero, pounds/kilograms and on and off. The display pad can also be wall mounted and has a practical 9-foot cord, she says.
Best Kitchen Scale For Coffee Drinkers
Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale and Timer
Scales are indispensable to baristas and Hollingsworth notes that coffee snobs should have a scale at home to weigh both their water and coffee if they want consistently excellent brew. He uses the Hario V60 Drip Coffee Scale and Timer for drip coffee and the more expensive Acacia Pearl Laboratory Grade Digital Coffee Scale when pulling espresso shots. The latter has a dual display, showing both time and weight, and can be paired with Acacia’s mobile apps to track brew times and graph your pour.
Best Pocket Scale
Weigh-Gram Digital Pocket Scale
Lightweight and portable, the Weigh-Gram Digital Pocket Scale allows you to weigh a maximum capacity of a 100g and readabilities of 0.01g. It features four different weight measurements and the smooth stainless steel weighing surface makes clean-up easy. Hollingsworth likes to have it on hand when weighing out small portions of powders or spices.