This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
I took a Home Economics class in high school and the teacher emphatically stated the importance of properly measuring ingredients for the best results. She instructed us to measure flour by fluffing it in the container before using a spoon to scoop the flour until it forms a small mound above the rim. Lastly, use the flat side of a butter knife to scrape off the excess flour back into the flour container.
Why? Interestingly, the way the flour is scooped affects how much flour fits into the measuring cup. Always one to follow the rules, I did my best to fluff, scoop, and level my flour for years. I have a whole drawer dedicated to metal measuring cups and spoons, and that’s just for the dry ingredients. I have another cupboard for liquid measuring, which happens to have its own set of rules. Set the liquid measuring glass on the counter and then get down to eye level and pour the liquid in until it reaches the desired amount. Measuring ingredients by volume, though a bit finicky, was all I knew.
Escali Primo Digital Food Scale
Better accuracy in my bakes
Very useful for everyday kitchen tasks
Lightweight and compact
Comes in stylish colors
Makes baking too easy
It turns out that there is another way to measure ingredients that my Home Ec teacher completely ignored. While perusing the web, I came across articles by Deb Perelman and Alice Medrich explaining the benefits of measuring by weight instead of volume using a kitchen scale. With the promise of less dishes, and more accuracy, I went out and purchased a kitchen scale and have had one ever since.
I was nervous the first time I used a scale for baking. I kept checking that the weight measurement was correct by re-measuring with cups. Some habits are hard to break! Finally, I learned to trust the scale and reap the benefits of accurately weighing dry and liquid ingredients for all my home baking. Beyond measuring ingredients, I use the scale to make sure I have the same amount of batter in each cake pan and to weigh doughs instead of eye-balling whether each dinner roll is 2 ounces as the recipe states. It reduces my stress in the kitchen and helps my bakes finish at the same time, as well as look better.
Finally, I learned to trust the scale and reap the benefits of accurately weighing dry and liquid ingredients for all my home baking.
Yet, not all kitchen scales are created equally. My favorite scale is the Escali Primo P115C in Royal Blue. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and fast. The batteries have lasted for years, thanks in part to the auto turn off, which kicks in after 4 minutes of inactivity. The bottom of the scale has rubber protectors to keep it from slipping around while using and it can weigh items as heavy as 11 pounds accurately. The buttons make a satisfying click when pressed to zero out (aka tare) the scale or to toggle between grams, pounds, and ounces but it's not overly sensitive that I unknowingly press it. The screen is legible without squinting and it wipes up easily. Honestly, choosing the color was the hardest part! It comes in a variety from chrome and black to soft white and soft pink. I finally settled on Royal Blue but Tarragon Green was a close second.
The scale is also very handy for the multiple times I’ve mixed different open bags or bars until I have what I need for a particular recipe. Recently, I decided to make Rice Krispy treats and as I was digging around my pantry, I found one opened bag of regular sized marshmallows and one opened bag of mini marshmallows. Thankfully, the recipe listed the amount of marshmallows in ounces so I got out my scale, set it to ounces, put a bowl on top, hit tare and then added marshmallows to the bowl until I had the correct amount. The scale saved the day again!
Of course, a scale has other uses in the kitchen besides baking. I use it to divide up bulk packages and to determine whether there really is a pound of chicken left in the freezer for tomorrow’s dinner. Many recipes use ounces for cheese, pasta, meat, fruits, and vegetables and having a scale allows me to use what I have more efficiently while still getting the desired results.
My Escali scale is an invaluable tool in my kitchen and though I know how to fluff, scoop, and level, I choose my scale every time.
Size: 8 x 6 x 1.25 inches | Capacity: 11 pounds | Measurement Increments: 1 gram/0.05 ounces
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Rachel Knecht is a recipe developer, food writer, and recipe tester based in Seattle. Her recipes and writing have appeared on Simply Recipes and she began writing for Spruce Eats in 2022.