Friday, January 25, 2013

Foodie Faves: My Kitchen Scale

My Soehnle 65055 Digital Kitchen Scale

You’d think that someone who was trained as a mathematician, and is as crazily careful about measurements as I am when dealing with a new and untried recipe would have been using a kitchen scale since the age of 3. But you would be wrong.

I first got into the concept of weighing on one of my forays into the world of Weight Watchers. Yes, folks, I believe the WW people should at this point have a building named after me. Despite my efforts – notice I didn’t say best efforts, which would be a lie, as I’m sure my best efforts would have been more successful – I am still in that category of renewing the pledge to lose weight every January. In any case, my most successful efforts have always involved the kitchen scale.


These days, I’ve learned to love my scale. Even more helpful than when dieting, the scale makes many recipes soooo much easier to manage. How do you feel when you read a recipe that asks for a small onion, chopped? You put “1 small onion” on your shopping list, but even if I told you you’ll need about ½ cup, it would be easier in the shopping if you knew you needed a 4-ounce onion, wouldn’t it?

And if you knew that the last time you made that scrumptious vegetable soup, you used 6 ounces of zucchini, it would be easier to replicate the wonderfulness.

This is to say nothing of the fact that most recipes for breads rely on precise weights of ingredients for success.

So get thee to a kitchen store (or at various places on the web) and add a nice digital scale to your roster of equipment. The fine folks at Cook’s Illustrated have conducted a bit of research and recommend either the OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale or the Soehnle 65055 Model Digital Kitchen Scale. The OXO can handle up to 11 pounds, while the Soehnle has a 9-pound capacity.

The OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale
But according to my research, the OXO costs just under $50 almost everywhere, whereas the Soehnle is only $25-30 (best I found was for $26 at Old Will Knott Scales on the web). So that’s the scale I own. It’s a little bulky for storing, but it doesn’t run through the batteries like the last scale I had, which was a Salter.

The best thing about working with a scale is that you can weigh one ingredient, then without emptying the bowl, you can zero out the scale and weigh the next ingredient, and so on. When you’re done, the ingredients are already together in the right quantities in the same bowl. Pretty slick.

And FYI, here’s how to think of those onions:

Small onion = 4 ounces, or about ½ cup chopped
Medium onion = 8 ounces, or about 1 cup chopped
Large onion = 12 ounces, or about 1½ cups chopped

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