HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Discussion

What Kitchen Scale Do Chefs Use At Home?

It's my birthday today and I'm going to get a kitchen scale!

My first thought was "well, what do restaurants use?" but of course, I do not make recipes designed to feed 250 people so I won't need to be measuring that kind of volume.

So, what kitchen scale do chefs/cooks use, at home?

My requirements:
Digital
Tare Feature
Metric/Imperial switch button
Buttons don't have space around them where flour can get in
Weighs small enough to measure a bit of spice, and large enough to measure an armful of lemons

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Well I'm no chef but my little home scale is fab:

    http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-...

    digital - yes
    tare - yes
    metric/Imperial - gms/oz/troy ounces/pennyweight
    buttons - sealed
    increments - 0.1 gm to 1000 gm

    Only goes to 1 kg though. For hefty weights I use either the people scale (or I could drag out an infant scale I bought when I had a sickly cat).

    Accurate, tiny (5" x 3" x 5/8"), adorable, easy to use, sturdy. Not only that but it's $3-4 cheaper now that when I bought it -- now selling for $8.99. The manufacturer (American Weigh) has larger scales, the 11# or 13# models might work for you at a sensible price.

    1. I guess is depends on what you'll use it for.

      I personally use the My Weigh KD-8000 scale in my kitchen. It helps breakdown baker's percentage weights and conversions, it's sturdy and very reliable. It's got a great faceplate cover to protect the buttons from ingredients. Been using mine for a few years now. Never had an issue.

      My recommendation..

      http://www.amazon.com/My-Weigh-KD-800...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Novelli

        I have this same model. I highly recommend it, as well. I love the fact I can put my mixing bowls atop and read the weight clearly below. It's very accurate. I have a set of weights I use to calibrate it every few months.

        1. re: Novelli

          I also use the My Weigh KD8000 I love this scale

        2. I bought this scale for our kitchen: http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/soe... It has a lot of neat features and better accuracy than most. It's very conpact so it doesn't take up much room when not in use.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mikie

            About six or seven years ago I got a My Weigh KD-600 from oldwillknot. It's been great for just about everything I've needed it; I use it every day. Occasionally I think about upgrading to one of the newer models that work in bakers' percentages, but my old scale refuses to conveniently die.

            1. I've been very pleased with my OXO scale. I guess there are two models. Mine can weigh up to 11 lbs.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ecwashere7

                Seconding the vote for the OXO. It meets all the OP's requirements; don't know how much an armful of lemons weighs, but there are 5-lb and 11-lb versions.

                  1. re: jkhdsf

                    Original poster -- in this case, you are.

              2. Some come with a protective film over the controls. You could leave it intact if you have issues with flour.

                1 Reply
                1. re: SanityRemoved

                  Oh yah! I used to do that years ago and totally forgot. Good tip!

                2. I'm no Chef... but a line/lead cook.. I assume like most working Cooks.. we eat at work and after working our rear ends off at work we mostly just put together simple meals at home.

                  I don't use a scale ... but I think the main benefit is to fine tune baking recipes.

                  Restaurant Supply stores online and brick and mortar usually have a good selection but Bed Bath and Beyond may also have what you want.

                  30 Replies
                  1. re: bbqJohn

                    Starfrit( 5 kg) digital scale.I use it at work and at home.Very accurate and compact.

                    got it on sale for $10.00 CAN

                    1. re: petek

                      I am also on the market for a kitchen scale too, but never have a super urge to actually get one. I have been looking for an analog kitchen scale just to be old fashion, but everything I read lead me to believe a digital one is better -- if anything the digital is much better on the low end (light weight reading).

                      Anyway, it is interesting that you put a kitchen knife (kono HD) on the scale. :)

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        "Anyway, it is interesting that you put a kitchen knife (kono HD) on the scale. :)"

                        I couldn't find a photo on the internetss to post,so I used a picture from a previous knife review..

                      2. re: petek

                        I've got the identical Starfrit scale and am very happy with it.

                        To the OP:
                        Digital
                        - yes
                        Tare Feature
                        - yes
                        Metric/Imperial switch button
                        - yes - grams/kilograms/oz/lbs oz
                        Buttons don't have space around them where flour can get in
                        - no - but a strip of saran wrap would protect
                        Weighs small enough to measure a bit of spice, and large enough to measure an armful of lemons
                        - yes

                        I did a test of accuracy using a 310 gram glass, a 1/4 tsp measure, and whole white peppercorns.
                        the 1st 1/4 tsp didn't register
                        the 2nd added 1/4 tsp registered 2 gms
                        all subsequent 1/4 tsp additions incremented by one gram
                        Conclusion - very accurate

                        1. re: rosetown

                          thanks for the detailed review!

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              "Please don't encourage Petek. :P

                              What do you mean by that Chem?

                              1. re: petek

                                :) As in encouraging you to include knives in all your other photos. :D

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  That was purely coincidental...kinda :-D

                                  What would you have me include,my matchbook collection? :P

                                  1. re: petek

                                    :) Do you actually collect matchbooks? That is pretty cool.

                                    By the way, I just realize knives are not that expensive. I was never good at music and have never taken music classes when I was a kid. Now, I am interested in picking up a music instrument. Man, those music instrument and private lessons are expensive. Oh well, hopefully, all those money I paid will be meaningful -- as in able to learn something.

                                    Any knives in your wishlist?

                                    I may consider getting a JCK Kagayaki Aogami Super Santoku.

                                    http://japanesechefsknife.com/KAGAYAK...

                                    Alternatively, maybe a JCK Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan White Steel #1 Santoku.

                                    http://japanesechefsknife.com/Furinka...

                                    I remember when I first mentioned the Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan, people here are more interest in the Aogami Super instead.

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      :) Do you actually collect matchbooks? That is pretty cool.

                                      No I kinda did years ago(mostly from my days of trveling the world)) but not anymore.

                                      No more knives on my wish list(for work anyway) I might get into collecting folders or pocket knives...some pretty cool ones out there.

                                      1. re: petek

                                        True, you actually have very good knives already. Just think of all those people going through lives without ever getting to use a knife a tenth as nice as your Kono HD.

                                        Folders and pocket knives, huh? I was (very remotely) thinking about expanding to straight razors, but I doubt I will any time soon. There are just so many other things I can learn.

                          1. re: petek

                            Nice. I was just going to say that I have the OXO and it serves me fine, but I find that I weigh my knives more than ingredients.

                            k.

                            1. re: smkit

                              "but I find that I weigh my knives more than ingredients."
                              I know right? I don't do any baking at home,but I couldn't pass up such a great deal..($10.)
                              It's kinda funny(and a little sad),this disease we've been afflicted with :-D

                              1. re: petek

                                I bake, but my recipes are all learned and refined base on cups and spoons, so it will be a pain to convert to weight based baking, but I may just have to do this.

                                <It's kinda funny(and a little sad),this disease we've been afflicted with :-D>

                                This disease is inherited from fathers to sons since the stone age -- since the first caveman decided that a sharp stone is funner than a dull stone. This gene has then been selected and multiplied. :)

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                  "This disease is inherited from fathers to sons since the stone age "

                                  Well said doctore! But I would also add fathers> daughters,mothers>sons etc etc... :D

                                  1. re: petek

                                    <But I would also add fathers> daughters,mothers>sons etc etc>

                                    But I see a weaker evidence of that. I don't know many women enjoy sharpening knives or axes. It isn't that they cannot do it, but very few I know "enjoy" doing it. Must be some kind of recessive gene :)

                                    The stone age is really more than just stones. Grabbing a rock and tossing it at a lion is not the beginning of stone age, neither is using a naturally sharp stone (a chimp can do just that). The stone age is about shaping stones into sharp objects -- the imagination and ability of early humans to transform surrounding objects (stones) into their desirable tools (stone axe, stone spear...)

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Must be some kind of recessive gene :)

                                      :-D Oh Chem..you crack me up!

                                      1. re: petek

                                        I think it skips generations -- like baldness. There is hope.

                                2. re: petek

                                  My wife just told me a couple of days ago in jest: "You can never have enough knives right?"

                                  Not funny -- ok, sort of.

                                  1. re: smkit

                                    "You can never have enough knives right?"

                                    It's funny cause it's true..

                                    1. re: petek

                                      Yep. Just did a count. I think I have 25 respectable to very nice blades, five more on order. And about a dozen sand baggers. 40 knives is not enough. Some people bird watch, others follow football and collect cars -- I collect blades I guess.

                                      1. re: smkit

                                        I collect blades I guess.

                                        And there ain't nothing wrong with that!
                                        I've seen some of your blades on KKF,very nice.How did you catch the "bug'?

                                        1. re: petek

                                          Wife bought me a Mr. Tanaka, so I had to learn how to sharpen, and once you learn to sharpen you have to learn to sharpen every conceivable steel, blade shape, bevel, and maker. It's quite simple actually ;)

                                          1. re: smkit

                                            So really it's her fault, yes?... :D

                                              1. re: petek

                                                And just to get back on topic. My OXO scale tells me that my Mr. Tanaka santoku weighs 163 grams.

                                                 
                                                  1. re: smkit

                                                    Full circle back to kitchen scale. Now, you can use your Tanaka as your weight calibrant.

                              2. I also use a MyWeigh KD series for ~5 years now and it's great. Big 7kg capacity, big easy to read display, an easy to clean stainless steel platter and a cover that flips down to protect the controls.

                                About the only drawback, a big bowl can block the display a bit.

                                One thing I found when I researched is that it's really hard to find a scale that measure in smaller than 1-gram increments with high enough capacity to serve as your everyday baking scale. You pretty much need two scales if you want to do that.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: jzerocsk

                                  A scale that could do sub-gram accuracy over 5 kilos would be way more expensive than most people would want to pay for.

                                  1. re: Moopheus

                                    Even 2kg capacities are hard to come by at that resolution. I eventually decided that for recipes where less than 1g of something is required, measuring by volume is probably accurate enough.

                                2. Escali and Soehnli are 2 I like. I do use a number of European recipes and have found both scales by these companies to be reliable.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Candy

                                    I was looking at the Soehnle too. It looks nice, but also bulky too:

                                    http://www.amazon.com/Soehnle-Digital...

                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                      Chem, the Soehnle Optica is quite compact and very accurate. See my post above for a link.

                                      1. re: mikie

                                        Yeah, I should really consider the more compact one. It makes more sense. It is just that the other looks so cool. :) Unfortunately, it will take up too much space and too difficult to store.

                                        :)

                                  2. Here is what I use:
                                    http://www.amazon.com/TFY-Digital-Tem...

                                    It's also available in white for the same low (cheap!) price. Things I like about it are that it's thin, totally smooth surface that cleans in one swipe, stands easily on its side and stays out of my way when not in use. Now, I assume it will break if I drop it, but with any luck, I won't. It has the tare feature, will weigh a gram, no idea what the max is, but I haven't hit it yet. I did a LOT of comparison shopping before settling on this one. I'm glad I chose it!

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      That looks like a great scale for about half the price of the 5-lb-max OXO. The OXO's pull-out reader & controls is handy (for big wide bowls and plates), but maybe not worth double the money to many. What is its maximum weight?

                                      1. re: ellabee

                                        It will weigh things up to 106 ounces (6.6 pounds) or 3,000 grams in increments of 1/2 oz or 1 gram. I am extremely pleased with mine. It sits on it's side out of the way until I need it and it always performs perfectly. Strangely, the thing I use it for most is to weigh frozen stuff so I know how much time to program on the auto-defrost setting of my microwave. But I've used the tare correction with some really heavy porcelain bowls and it handles them with no problem. As you say, it is a bargain price and mine has given top performance across the board. The last scale I had cost nearly four times as much and broke beyond repair in about five months. No wonder I'm thrilled with this one!

                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                          How long does the battery last for the TFY scale? I heard that the batteries die fast since they are the button variety.

                                          1. re: JaHarden

                                            For what it's worth, we have an OXO scale, and the panel pulls out a couple of inches so that you can use the scale with a large bowl that may overlap the platform. It was top rated by Cooks Magazine/Country at one time. We have had it for about 3 years, still on the same set of batteries. It powers down after a minute or so. And it meets all of your stated requirements. We purchased at BB&B, about $50.00. We have no regrets.

                                            1. re: JaHarden

                                              Mine turns itself off when I forget to. I've had it for a year or so and it's still running on the original battery. "Coin" batteries can last a pretty long time. I have several things that use them, and overall, I'm pretty happy with them.

                                      2. Here's the one I use:

                                        http://www.amazon.com/Ozeri-Professio...

                                        Very nice, thin, compact... Not too expensive...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: krivera1

                                          Same. I have exactly the same one, and bought it from Amazon.

                                        2. I think you are asking for best of both worlds here. You would have to have a scale that measures in 0.1 gram increments and they only usually go up to 2kg - not sure if that is enough to measure an armful of lemons!

                                          1. OK, since this is now officially a Frankenthread, this is what I mostly use.

                                            Digital--Yep, I use all 10 fingers.

                                            Tare Feature--My tare for bread is shown.

                                            Metric/Imperial switch button--discs for metric/capstans for Imperial.

                                            Buttons don't have space around them where flour can get in. No buttons at all.

                                            Weighs small enough to measure a bit of spice, and large enough to measure an armful of lemons--can do, down to 1/4 oz. and up to 5kg.

                                            Finding batteries has been a bitch, though...

                                            Aloha,
                                            Kaleo