Bake Better: What to Look For in a Digital Kitchen Scale

Easily measure anything from flour to milk to proteins.

A kitchen scale is essential for all kinds of cooking and baking. It might seem a little finicky to measure ingredients down to the tenth of a gram, but these scales are surprisingly easy to use—and may end up replacing your measuring cups once you see how much better your breads, cakes and cookies come out.

This countertop model can switch between measuring ounces, grams, milliliters and pounds. The display is backlit for easy reading. Etekcity

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Baking is the most obvious and necessary use for a kitchen scale. And there’s a reason for that. Some ingredients, like liquids, can be measured very accurately with measuring cup. But others can be compressed in ways that make measuring cups wildly inaccurate—like flour. A densely packed cup of flour could contain a totally different amount than a loosely packed cup. The only way to ensure you’re following the recipe? Measure by weight, and for that you’ll need a scale.

This product has an 11-pound capacity and part of the purchase goes toward charity. GreaterGoods

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Another useful element of a kitchen scale is the tare button, which resets the weight measured to zero. Ordinarily, if you wanted to, say, measure some oil, then measure some flour, you’d have to wash out your measuring cup in between, or use multiple different measuring cups. No need with a kitchen scale: just plop your big mixing bowl on top of the scale and hit the tare button to bring the scale back to zero. Add in however much oil the recipe calls for. Hit the tare button again, and do the same for your flour.

A large weighing platform means big mixing bowls are easy to balance. Ozeri

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A kitchen scale is useful for far more than just elaborate baked goods. Perfect your morning coffee by measuring it out to the gram, ensuring that you get exactly the strength you want. If you’re following a food plan, measure out portions precisely. You’ll be surprised that a kitchen scale is not only more accurate than an array of measuring cups, spoons, and beakers—it’s easier, too.