Food scales are used for weighing ingredients during cooking and baking. They also are used for measuring out food portions for special diets. Analog scales are more traditional and look surprisingly beautiful. However, digital scales, offer nearly unbeatable accuracy and boast sleek, easy-to-read displays. Over the years we've tested food scales for accuracy. Here are the food scales we've found to be the best.
OXO Good Grips Food Scale (opens in new tab)
The OXO Good Grips Food Scale earned a perfect score for accuracy in our tests, plus it consistently displayed the same weight no matter where the food was placed on the weighing platform. Its standout feature is the pullout display. If you’re using a large bowl and it’s obstructing your view, you can pull the display out on its cord to see.
- Pullout display
- large measuring platform
- Weight displays in fractions, not decimals
- 11 lbs maximum weight capacity
The scale also has a large, roughly 64-square-inch weighing platform, so it fits just about any ingredient. One of this kitchen scale’s drawbacks is it displays weight in fractions rather than decimals. Also, its maximum weight is only 11 pounds – that's enough for most recipes, but some competing units can weigh items up to 18 lbs.
EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale (opens in new tab)
The EatSmart Precision Pro food scale is accurate and displays the correct weight no matter where food is placed on its platform. It displays weight in several units of measurement while the large, backlit display is easy to read.
- Several measurement displays
- Small weighing platform
- Display fades
During testing, the display gradually faded, and putting in fresh batteries didn’t fix the problem. Since the scale is small, there are limits to what you can weigh – it only goes up to 11 lbs. At less than 20 square inches, its total weighing area is also small compared to most. More substantial food scales have platforms of more than 65 square inches. While it is very accurate, we recommend this food scale for measuring food portions rather than for large baking or cooking projects.
Taylor Precision Products Stainless Steel Analog Kitchen Scale (opens in new tab)
Stainless steel construction
This food scale uses a traditional weighted analog system to measure quantities of both solid and liquid ingredients. The five-inch dial is easy to read with black and red marking to figure out fractions of measurements up to 11 pounds.
- Stainless steel
- Removable measuring bowl
- Good for uneven foods
- 11 lb limit
- Slower to read
The removable bowl holds a total of five cups and is dishwasher safe. It is perfect for holds foods that are more difficult to weigh on scales with platforms. This includes fruits, like pears and apples, and eggs that tend to roll. Because the Taylor Precision Products scale is an analog model, it doesn't depend on a power source to work. It's great to take outside for cooking on camping trips or for barbeques. It does take some time to learn how to read this analog scale, so you don't get results as quickly as a digital model until you're more familiar with it.
Greater Goods Nutrition Scale (opens in new tab)
Shows weight and nutritional information
The Greater Goods food scale accurately weighs out food but also provides detailed nutritional information for each type of food you place on it. The scale has a catalog of 2,000 foods it can provide nutritional data for including calories, fat content, and how many servings based on the weight of some food. You can also input up to 99 additional food items yourself.
- Displays nutritional info
- Accurate measurements
- Needs more nutritional codes
While there is a lot of foods that this scale can weigh and provide additional details for, 2,099 foods aren't really enough to cover a normal person's food intake. It is also time-consuming trying to manually input all nutritional values for those foods you add to the list. But overall, the GreaterGoods food scale has a decent weighing platform that is flat and flush with the display panel. This makes it easier to measure out and dump smaller foods like grains, herbs, and spices.
My Weigh Bakers Math Kitchen Scale (opens in new tab)
The My Weigh Kitchen Scale is sturdy and well designed. It provides accurate readings for up to 8,000 grams in five different measurement modes and calculates baker’s math and percentages. This scale features an adjustable LCD display and an auto-off setting that can be programmed.
- Shows baker's percentage
- Removable tray
- Tare feature
- Power cord sold seperately
The weighing tray will hold measuring cups and bowls to make it easier to measure out sugar, flour, and other finer foods. This is known as a tare feature. The tray comes off for easy cleaning. The My Weigh Kitchen Scale can be plugged into a power socket so that you don’t have to rely on batteries to power it. However, the power charger must be bought separately.
Key features to look for when buying a food scale
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A good scale can make your life easier with features like a large weighing area and high weight capacity because you can use it to weigh anything you need. You should also look for a scale with a tare feature so you can weigh ingredients in containers.
Design features may seem minor, but they can set one scale apart from another. Look for a large display and check the scale’s dimensions so you know it fits in your kitchen.
Units of Measurement
We looked for scales that can display weight in grams, kilograms, ounces, pounds, fluid ounces, and milliliters. None of them show all six measurements, and it’s worth it to look for a scale that has the units you use most. The scale should also make it easy to switch from one unit to another.
How we tested food scales
We've been comparing food scales since 2013. Along the way, we've weighed hundreds of eggs, over 20 pounds of cheese, 16 cans of chili and 16 jugs of milk to see how accurate each model is.
For our accuracy test, we weighed a single egg, a half-dozen eggs, a cheese block, milk and some chili on each scale multiple times. We then compared the scale’s weight readouts to those we established by weighing the items on our laboratory scale. During this test, we placed each item in the middle of the scale’s weighing platform. The closer the scale came to the weight from our lab scale, the better its accuracy score.
In our consistency test, we weighed those same items multiple times, but we placed them off-center in different spots on the weighing platform. If the scale showed inconsistencies – for example, if an item weighed more in the center than in a corner – it earned a lower score. Consistency is important when you weigh foods that are an uneven size such as a raw chicken breasts. An inconsistent food scale may give you the wrong weight if it doesn’t measure correctly where you place the thick or thin end. This could lead to overcooking or undercooking your food.
We also considered the scales’ specifications and features, including maximum capacity, surface size and available units of measurement. All these factors influence how convenient a scale is to use.
What the experts have to say
Serious food fans and cooks swear by food scales because weighing ingredients produces better results than using measuring spoons and measuring cups. Food Network star Alton Brown is one advocate of digital kitchen scales. Many foods cannot be correctly measured by volume alone, but you can get accurate measurements if you weigh them, according to Brown.
"Consider a cup of all-purpose flour. Depending on who's doing the scooping, the age of flour, the size of the bag, the relative humidity, it could weigh between four and six ounces -- the difference between success and failure of a recipe," Brown says. "You've got to have a scale."
Melissa Clark, cookbook author and staff writer for the New York Times, said in an article titled "Our Favorite Gadgets" that her food scale is an indispensable part of her food preparation for many reasons.
"Pastry chefs love kitchen scales for their precision; using weight instead of volume gives you more exact measurements and more consistent results," Clark said. "But the real reason I love my kitchen scale is its convenience. Using the scale and one bowl to hold what I’m weighing instead of a stack of measuring cups and spoons means eliminating the trail of white dust left behind when transferring flour, sugar and salt from cup or spoon to bowl."
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