I bought a kitchen scale years before owning a kitchen scale was cool—around the same time I invested in a KitchenAid Mixer in Martha Stewart blue, as a 17-year-old who had just started a cooking blog.
Several baking books, like the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook (from which I made my first and only batch of croissants) assured me that measuring ingredients was THE WAY to go. Apparently, I had been screwing up my baked goods for years by measuring ingredients by volume instead of weight.
There’s a reason expert bakers use kitchen scales instead of measuring cups. Weighing ingredients is accurate, neat, and speedy. Precision is important in baking, which I like to describe as a science, whereas cooking is more of an art. Baking is all about chemical reactions, and small inconsistencies in measurements can throw an entire recipe off.
If you’re the type of person who hates doing dishes (yup, now you’re listening!), you’ll love baking with a kitchen scale. No more hand washing measuring cups and spoons—simply weigh out all of your ingredients in the same mixing bowl by hitting the “tare” button in between ingredients to zero everything out. It’s like magic.
I’ve been using the Escali Primo kitchen scale for a little under ten years now, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. Heck, an appliance that lasts that long is enough of an endorsement for me.
If you’re like one of the many Americans who’ve recently gotten into sourdough baking, procrasti-baking, or rage-baking (my dissertation on the current political climate and food trends is forthcoming), you’re gonna need a good kitchen scale. I keep mine in tip-top shape by wiping it down after each use and storing it in the original box.
The Primo is an affordable entry-level model at just $20 and has a lifetime warranty. It’s perfect for beginner bakers, with an 11-pound capacity and measures in 1 gram increments. There are only two buttons, so it’s easy to use and seamlessly switches between grams, pounds, and ounces.
The Primo gets the job done for most baking projects, but I find that it’s not sensitive enough to register small amounts of ingredients like baking soda and baking powder. I still measure baking powder, soda, and salt with measuring spoons, which isn’t a huge deal for me. If you’re a regular baker, I recommend spending a bit more for the Escali Pana, which has a 13-pound capacity and seems to be more precise with smaller units of measure.
Spring-clean your kitchen this year and toss your crappy plastic measuring cups. Get yourself a digital kitchen scale and upgrade your baking experience.