The Best Digital Kitchen Scale and 10 Ways You’ll Use It

I like to think I can get by with what I already have, which is why I never believed I needed a kitchen scale—and why I wrapped your birthday present in a paper grocery bag. I also re-wash Ziploc plastic bags and hang them to dry on the bar! I tear paper towels in half! I’m cheap as hell. I don’t want to fill my tiny kitchen with unnecessary junk.

Until I wanted to bake some bread. There are so many precise factors in bread-making. You need to measure with utmost certainty to achieve the perfect dough hydration yada yada yada. After intense deliberation with my bread guidance counselor Claire Saffitz, I ordered the Test Kitchen’s favorite, this $23 Escali. I didn’t even need to read the instruction manual to figure out how to use it.

Bread-baking, it turns out, is something you can’t buy on Amazon Prime and will take me years to ultimately figure out. So while I work on that, I’ve discovered many other uses for the kitchen scale. If you think you don’t need one because you don’t cook that much, will definitely never bake bread, or only make pancakes once a month, stay with me. You want this electronic plastic wonder—and it can easily hide in the cupboard in between boxes of cereal when not in use.

Coffee, But Not in a Snobby Way

I am not a coffee snob. I don’t kiss each individual bean before I toss them in the grinder for certain death. I dump beans into a filter into a DRIP MACHINE (DEAL WITH IT) and press go. Turns out, I’m depriving myself of maximum caffeine. Because depending on the grind of the coffee (coarse coffee pebbles vs fine coffee dust), you might be off by like, 80 grams. I don’t like the idea of not getting the amount of coffee I deserve. By measuring out the coffee in ounces or grams on your shiny new electronic scale, whether it’s whole beans or already ground, guarantees that you make a perfect cup. Unless you’re using crappy beans. And how convenient if you store your scale in between the cereal boxes! Everything you need for a complete breakfast. Measure your Lucky Charms while you’re at it; it couldn’t hurt.

Meat / Meatballs / Burgers

You like meat? You ever notice how recipes will ask for a pound, or 11 ounces, or these specific numbers that don’t match the numbers on the package you got at the grocery store. Usually I assume I’m a half pound off and then complain if the recipe sucks. Maybe I should actually measure meats! Make the most synchronized burgers of your life by measuring out the patties on the scale. Make meatballs so consistent you could balance your checkbook on them. Consider eating a doctor recommended serving of meat instead of an amount that induces meat sweats! So many options with a kitchen scale in your corner.

Sweet Potatoes and Other Lumpy Things

Recipes always call for produce in pounds, but I absolutely never use the scales in the grocery store produce department. Those things are not designed for short people. It’s humiliating. Instead, I buy too many sweet potatoes, go home, and hold my cat in one hand and the potatoes in the other until I’ve decided I’m not measuring anything tonight. When the kitchen scale came into my life, I did measure my cat on it—he’s 4084.74 grams–but now I can easily measure potatoes and other lumpy produce that comes in random sizes.

Weird 15.5 oz Cans

I have a stash of canned chickpeas stacked in my pantry because when things go on sale for $5 for 5 cans I’ll get 11. Have you seen the 13.4 ounce boxes? That’s a confusing number! Then a recipe will call for a Very Specific amount of chickpeas or beans and I’ll make do with whatever I have. The kitchen scale is here for this! It turns out measurements in recipes are specific for a reason, so follow them.


Once someone told me a dirty-joke way of measuring spaghetti, but I’ll tell you that outside of school hours. Did you know a portion of pasta is 100 grams! Well it is!! Measure that shit!

Legit Baking

Have you ever found an incredible-sounding recipe and all of the measurements were metric so you moved to France and stopped answering all non-essential emails? What was once an annoying math equation is now a better scone, or biscuit, or almond cake, or whatever, because you’ll have the most precise measurements of baking soda that even an ant’s sneeze couldn’t throw it off. For me, this mostly applies to pancakes. Make the Smitten Kitchen’s fluffiest pancakes by measuring in grams.

Nuts and Dates and Chopped Things

When a recipe calls for a measurement in both cups and grams of chopped dates, chocolate, shredded cheese, or peanuts, or whatever choppy things, you’ll get a more accurate amount if you weigh instead of smash all of the dates into a measuring cup, where there might be pockets of air. You might be able to squeeze 30 cashews into a cup one afternoon, but only 20 the next because of their crazy comma shapes. Don’t you want accuracy in your life? Don’t you want ORDER?

Just Sayin’: For Weed Butters and Oils and Baking

This is a scenario when accuracy matters more than getting a little too much chocolate in a cookie. To control the dosage of THC in your other brownies, you MUST weigh the important ingredients out.

Rise and Brine

Brad “It’s Alive” Leone weighs everything he’s fermenting because it’s science, which is why I wear goggles around Brad. But for all brines, not just month-old pickles, especially Thanksgiving turkey, you can scale up (big turkey) a lot easier by measuring the percentage of salt:water in liquid volume.

For When You Don’t Want to Wash 1,000 Dishes

Speaking of those pancakes—and any cooking where you mix a ton of stuff in a bowl—the kitchen scale saves you the stack of dirty dishes that happens when you need 14 different measuring cups and spoons. Once you toss the flour in the bowl on the scale, you can reset the scale to keep adding ingredients on top. I thought it wouldn’t detect an angel’s eyelash of baking soda, but it did! Technology is amazing.

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