When I moved to Berlin almost two years ago, American measuring cups were one of the first things I realized I forgot to bring with me. Germany uses the metric system which means it is not easy to find the measuring cups that I have been used to all my life. If I wanted to continue cooking or baking (which I knew I would), purchasing a kitchen scale would be my only real option.
At first I thought I made the biggest mistake in the world, but over time I realized it was a blessing in disguise. Using a scale taught me so much about cooking that I had never realized before. Instead of complicating my life in the kitchen, it ended up making it a lot easier. As soon as I started using it, all of my baked goods started to be better than ever. And suddenly I had a lot less dishes to clean. Not to mention the fact that it helped me assimilate into life in Germany in a way I didn’t expect: understanding the metric system made me feel like I really belonged to me.
Now I take my digital kitchen scale with me everywhere, even when I return to the United States. My measuring cups and spoons are just a distant memory, and those are all reasons I think you should trade in as well.
On the one hand, using a kitchen scale means less dirty dishes.
My favorite part about using a kitchen scale instead of measuring cups is that all I have to do is get a bowl dirty when cooking or baking. I simply tare the scale to zero after adding each ingredient. So, for example, if I make cookies, I will add my flour, then I will tar the scale to zero before adding my sugar. This way I know I used exactly the right amount of each ingredient without having to use several different measuring spoons or cups.
My baked goods turn out much better because baking by weight is more precise and reliable.
As any regular baker will tell you, it is extremely important to use the exact right amount of each ingredient during the process. If you use a tablespoon of baking powder instead of a teaspoon, everything you cook will practically be ruined. Measuring cups and spoons aren’t as accurate as kitchen scales, as many of them come in slightly different shapes or sizes, which may not sound like a big deal but may have a bigger effect on your food than you might think; it only takes a little more flour to turn your cake from light and chewy to hard and dense.
With a kitchen scale, you don’t have this problem because you are measuring by weight, making it impossible to use the wrong amount of an ingredient. The only problem is that you may need to convert a recipe’s measurements to grams. Fortunately, you can easily find conversions for everything online as well as recipes that measure in grams instead of cups or tablespoons (the New York Times has a lot of recipes like this). Alternatively, you can purchase a scale that allows you to change the unit of measure to pounds, ounces, liters, or whatever you prefer.
It’s also great for measuring things like products that would otherwise be too difficult to measure.
When a recipe calls for a pound of Brussels sprouts, you’re usually just looking, right? With a kitchen scale, this is not necessary. In fact, it’s perfect for any recipe that calls for a specific amount of fruit and veg, which can be nearly impossible to measure in any other way.
Now that I’ve convinced you to make the switch, here are some kitchen scales worth buying.
If you want to enjoy something fancy, this OXO stainless steel food scale Will set you back around $ 50, but it’s totally worth it. It can detect even the lightest ingredients (like baking soda and powder), it has long battery life and a sliding screen to keep the machine from getting dirty.
But for something that does the job just as well at half the price, go with the Escali Primo digital scale. It doesn’t have as many fancy features, but it will never fail you.