For consistent cookies, flawlessly risen bread, or a high souffle, a reliable kitchen scale could be your secret weapon. It takes baking to a new level of precision, rivaling even the best measuring cups and spoons. We’re certain that the Escali Primo Digital Scale is the best after years of study and testing. It’s one of the fastest and most accurate scales we’ve used, and it stays turned on for longer than most before shutting off automatically.
The Escali Primo weighs up to 11 pounds (or 5 kilograms) and reads in 1 gram or 0.05 ounce increments. It has a capacity of up to 11 pounds (or 5 kilograms) and will stay on for roughly four minutes before automatically turning off. The interface is incredibly simple, with only two buttons—one to change measurement units, one to tare, and one to turn on or off the device. Since 2017, the Escali has been our preferred scale, and we’ve been pleased with its performance.
With a few small variations, the Ozeri Pronto Kitchen and Food Scale looks and feels like our top selection. It weighs in 1-gram or 0.05-ounce increments, much like our top pick, and in our tests, we found it to be just as accurate—slightly more so at greater weights. It does, however, turn off after around two minutes, which is roughly half as long as the Escali. We also noticed that it was slightly slower, taking up to two seconds to read very modest weights.
The My Weigh KD8000 is larger and more expensive than our top option, but it comes with a few more features that expert bakers will appreciate. It’s almost as fast and precise as our top selection, but it has a large capacity of up to 17 pounds, 6 ounces (8 kg) and can weigh in baker’s percentages, which lets you effortlessly scale recipes up or down if you wish to bake by ratio. It’s one of the few scales we’ve seen that lets you turn off the auto-off feature.
The American Weigh Scales LB-3000 Compact Digital Scale is recommended for customers who need to properly measure coffee or other ingredients. This year, it was the most accurate 0.1-gram scale we examined. However, because of its small capacity of 6.6 pounds (3 kg), you won’t be able to weigh a huge cut of meat with it. Its two-minute auto-off feature is lengthy enough to account for the pouring pauses seen in most pour-over coffee recipes. It also comes with an AC adaptor that inhibits auto-off when the device is plugged in.
Escali Primo Digital Scale
For most household baking and cooking applications, the Escali Primo Digital Scale is the perfect scale. It was one of the fastest and most accurate scales we tested in our tests, with one of the longest auto-off intervals we’ve observed. The Escali scale has a straightforward design with a two-button membraned interface for ease of operation and four rubber feet to keep it in position. When utilizing large bowls, the weigh platform is suitably elevated so you can still read the digital screen. It’s a small, light scale that takes up little room in a drawer or cupboard.
The Escali is easy to use thanks to its basic design and intuitive UI.
In our 2018 test, we utilized lab weights on the Escali scale, and it read to the gram in all except one of our measurements—the 1,000 gram weight, which was 2 grams off. (To put things in perspective, only five of the thirteen scales we tested in 2018 reliably measured kilogram weight.) In addition, the Escali scale was one of the most responsive models we examined, reading weights in less than a second whether we were adding or deleting things, making it one of the fastest scales we tested. Other scales took two or three seconds to settle on a reading, and a couple of them even varied their readings over time.
The Escali’s auto-off feature started at 4 minutes and 13 seconds, which was the third longest of any scale we examined this year. The majority of the scales we examined shut off after approximately two minutes, so having that extra time will come in handy for recipes that demand a lot of multitasking. The only pocket scales with longer auto-off times were the Hario V60 and the American Weigh AMW-SC-2KG, but both were inaccurate or problematic in other ways.
The Escali has a straightforward design with two buttons: one to turn the unit on or off and tare, and another to change the unit of measurement between grams, ounces, and pounds plus ounces. It offers the perfect capacity for both household and professional use: It can precisely weigh items ranging from 1 gram to 5 kg (or about 11 pounds). Unlike our previous top pick, the Jennings CJ4000, which beeps every time you click a button, this device does not beep when working. The Escali is also available in a variety of colors. Two AA batteries are required, which are included.
It’s easy to keep on a counter or slip into a cupboard or drawer thanks to its compact footprint of 8.5 by 6 inches. It’s also small and light, making it ideal for professional cooks and bakers who wish to add a scale to their toolset. The scale’s four rubber feet on the bottom kept it from slipping around. The Escali scale was also one of the easiest to clean because it had less grooves than some of the other models we evaluated.
The Escali scale has been in one Wirecutter staff member’s possession since 2014, and he claims it has a lengthy battery life. (This wasn’t the case with our previous top pick, the Jennings CJ4000, which had to be replaced frequently.) For the past three years or so, according to pastry chef Jürgen David, the Escali scale has been the model supplied in the toolkits for pastry students at New York’s International Culinary Center. The Escali Primo is covered by a lifetime warranty.
My Weigh KD8000
If you’re looking for an inexpensive yet precise scale, we recommend the Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale. Because it is a little smaller than the Escali scale, it takes up a little less room. The Ozeri has a far shorter auto-off length and is much slower at reading weights than our top pick, despite its comparable appearance. It also has a shorter warranty period.
Given its low price, our testers were surprised by the Ozeri’s precision. On all of our tests of 100 grams or less, it accurately measured lab weights to the gram. The Ozeri, like our top option, was one gram under the target 1,000 grams when it came to the kilogram weight. However, the reading was inconsistent: it read 1,000 grams at times and 999 grams at other times.
When measuring items as little as 1 or 2 grams, we noticed a slight delay, which wasn’t the case with our top pick. We timed the auto-off feature at 2 minutes and 17 seconds, which is on par with the other scales we examined, if not somewhat longer (by a few seconds).
The Ozeri scale is extremely comparable to our top pick in terms of interface and general appearance. It features two buttons, similar to the Escali, one to turn the unit on or off and tare ingredients, and the other to change the unit of measure. We did observe that pressing the tare/power button twice, which bakers may do in a hurry, turns the scale off, which is inconvenient. To switch off the Escali, you must hold down the power/tare button, making it far more difficult to do by accident. The Ozeri has a maximum weighing capacity of roughly 11 pounds, which is the same as our top selection.
The Ozeri’s digital screen isn’t backlit like our top pick, but its elevated weighing platform allows you to read the scale even when using a large bowl. It requires two AAA batteries, of which four are included in the package.
Wirecutter senior staff writer Lesley Stockton, for example, has owned the Ozeri scale for years and says, “I’m pretty rough on this scale.” I lug it about the kitchen and occasionally commit the horrible sin of storing items on the weigh platform. Lesley’s Ozeri died after six years of use, but she promptly replaced it with one she’d had for eight months. “My only gripe is that the automatic shutoff seems short, but I guess that’s why it doesn’t burn up batteries,” she says.
The Ozeri scale comes with a one-year warranty, as opposed to the Escali model’s limited lifetime warranty, but we don’t think that’s a deal breaker because it’s so inexpensive.
Ozeri Pronto Digital Kitchen Scale
For customers who produce a lot of bread or wish to cook huge batches of meals at once, we recommend the My Weigh KD8000. It’s quite large—roughly the size of a pop-up toaster—but it offers the biggest weighing capacity of all the scales we’ve tried, at 17 pounds, 6 ounces. The KD8000, unlike the Escali or Ozeri, allows you to disable the automatic-off feature and features a backlit LCD for easy reading. The My Weigh KD8000 provided some of the most accurate readings we’ve seen, and it responded fast when we added or deleted substances in our tests. We appreciated how the display was tilted, making it much simpler to read.
Since 2015, we’ve been long-term testing the My Weigh KD8000, and we still think it’s fantastic. The scale can run on a DC 5 V 300 mA AC adapter, in addition to allowing you to modify the lighting and auto-off capabilities (not included). Its capacity to measure in baker’s percentages, which makes it easier to adjust a recipe or scale the quantity up or down, may appeal to advanced bakers.
The My Weigh KD8000 was accurate to the gram in our accuracy testing using lab weights, albeit it had difficulties reading a 1-gram weight on occasion, as did several other scales we tested. But you’re unlikely to need to measure out so little of an ingredient in the first place. It always delivered a correct reading in less than a second on all weights over 1 g. It’s also one of the few scales in our test group that can be calibrated (though you need to have a 5 kg lab weight or the equivalent).
The KD8000 offers the option to disable the auto-off feature, which is a unique feature not seen in the Escali Primo or Ozeri Pronto. It’s a somewhat involved process (link to PDF), and the directions in the manual are a touch hazy: They tell you to hold down the “HOLD” and “POWER” buttons at the same time, however they don’t say that this will only work if the scale is turned off. You can set an auto-off length of two minutes, five minutes, or eternally once you arrive. We timed it switching off at 2 minutes and 5 seconds, which is the default setting.
The My Weigh KD8000 was one of the easiest types to clean; the stainless steel weigh platform can easily be lifted off for cleaning, and it comes with a detachable plastic cover that protects the interface while it’s not in use. The buttons are also laminated for further protection against crumbs, oil, and other baking debris.
The huge, illuminated screen on this model was by far the easiest to read. You’ll have no issue viewing the screen because the weigh platform is elevated above the interface. When we utilized large, larger bowls, some of the slimmer scales in our test group, such as the Greater Goods Nourish Digital Precision Kitchen Scale, were difficult to read. The KD8000’s four rubber feet, which help keep the machine in place, were also a plus. It runs on three AA batteries, which are included in the package.
The limited “lifetime” guarantee on the My Weigh KD8000 is good for 30 years.
American Weigh Scales LB-3000
We propose the American Weigh Scales LB-3000 if you desire high precision for chores like boiling coffee. This type of pocket scale could be handy for weighing little amounts of ingredients like leavener for baking (though in most cases, a set of good measuring spoons will do fine.) Despite not being the fastest scale we tested, the LB-3000 was by far the most accurate of the five pocket scales we tried in 2018. Its maximum weight capacity, like most pocket scales, is around 6.6 pounds, which is sufficient for most purposes. It includes an illuminated LCD for easy reading and four rubber feet to keep it in place. It’s also the only scale we evaluated with a hinged plastic cover to keep the platform clean and protected.
The LB-3000 was the only pocket scale to pass our milligram tests, in which we examined the scale’s ability to read the following weights accurately: 20.5 grams, 20.1 grams, 30.5 grams, 50.5 grams, 50.1 grams, 30.5 grams, 20.5 grams, 20.1 grams, and 10.5 grams If you’re brewing coffee, for example, where espresso or single-serving pour-over brews sometimes necessitate accurate measures to the decimal, this is what you want. With a few exceptions, the LB-3000 performed similarly well in our whole-gram tests: It was 0.1 and 0.4 grams underweight in the 100 gram and kilogram weights, respectively, and 0.1 grams overweight in the 10 gram weight. However, it’s worth noting that because pocket scales can read to the first decimal point, they have an inherent disadvantage in this test. Because whole-gram scales can’t tell if they’re wrong by 0.4 grams, you’d never know.
The LB-3000 was almost always accurate, but it took a few seconds to get there on occasion. The majority of the pocket scales we examined took less than a second to get a reading. It wasn’t enough to cause anyone a headache, but it was just a smidgeon slower than our top picks. The auto-off function was standard for the category, shutting off after 2 minutes and 9 seconds, but it comes with an AC adaptor that will keep it on indefinitely if plugged in.
The LB-3000 is extremely easy to use and maintain. It comes in grams and ounces, just like the rest of our options. It can also measure Troy ounces (ozt) and pennyweights (dwt), though these aren’t useful in the kitchen. It includes rubber feet to keep it from slipping, just like our other recommendations. The hinged lid, which keeps the controls and platform clean and safe from weights that can stack up on top of it in a closet or drawer, was one of our favorite features. It’s a little smaller than our other recommendations, but it’s larger than most pocket scales, making the screen easier to read when you’re using a larger bowl. All of the buttons are membraned, which adds a layer of protection against baking crumbs. While this scale is simple to use, not all of the controls are obvious in their function. On, Off, Cal/Mode (to calibrate the scale or change units of measurement), and Tare/Print are the four buttons. We’re not sure what “print” means (and the instruction booklet isn’t much help), but it’s easy to overlook.
The LB-3000 comes with a plastic bowl that can be removed, but we don’t think it’s really practical. It may merely add clutter to your kitchen because it’s too shallow for most baking operations. It runs on four AA batteries and may also be powered by an AC converter, which are all included in the box. We’ve found that some of the customer reviews aren’t as positive as our other recommendations. Wirecutter contributor Beth Niegelsky has been using hers for nearly a year and hasn’t had any difficulties with durability, but we’ll keep testing for the long haul. If yours goes bad, American Weigh gives a 10-year limited warranty.
Why measure by weight?
The kitchen scales are all about consistency. According to Alton Brown, 1 cup of flour can equal wherever from four to six ounces, relying on the way you measure it, how previous the flour is, the scale of the bag, and the relative humidity. That’s the distinction between a light-as-air cake and one which’s powerful or rubbery. As pastry chef, Jürgen David advised us, “Using a scale is much more precise… If you measure 100 grams of flour using a scale, it’s going to be the same for everyone.” He encourages dwelling cooks to “Get a scale and ditch the cups.”
It’s not simply flour and sugar that may differ relying on what you’re measuring with. The identical goes for cooking substances. Take cheese for example A recipe might name for a cup of shredded cheddar, however, you’ll get totally different volumes grating with a field grater, a Microplane, or a meals processor. The identical holds true for nuts, greens, or any variety of substances that you simply lower up. Your chop or cube might differ from that of the recipe tester.
Finally, for precision espresso brewing, as when making a pour-over, a scale can assist you to get a correct mixture of beans and water each time. Weighing ensures consistency.
Beyond accuracy, execs use meals scales as a result of their make issues faster and simpler. Author Michael Ruhlman advised us he likes cooking by a ratio as a result of it streamlines the blending course. If you understand the ratios in your recipe, you’ll be able to whip up a batch of pasta dough (three components flour, two components egg) or biscuits (three components flour, two components liquid, one-half fats) in a couple of minutes, or tailor the recipe to the variety of company you’re serving. And since you’ll be able to measure all of your substances into one mixing bowl—subtracting cups and spoons from the equation—utilizing a scale additionally cuts down on soiled dishes.
Who ought to get a kitchen scale
Anyone who needs extra constant outcomes from their baking, cooking, or espresso brewing ought to think about getting a scale. Cheap digital scales may be very correct, so if you happen to at the moment utilizing a $15 or $20 mannequin that simply switches from grams to ounces, you in all probability don’t must improve. Cookbook creator Peter Reinhart advised us that for years he has fortunately used an inexpensive meals scale that gives solely an on/off button and a tare characteristic. But in case your scale is broken or isn’t studying correctly, it’s in all probability time for an improvement. Scales starting from $35 to $50 will provide you with extra options, equivalent to a backlit display, a pull-out show, or the power to weigh in baker’s percentages.
For weighing very small quantities very exactly—equivalent to espresso, spices, or learners—you’ll wish to put money into an extra delicate digital pocket scale. Whereas the typical kitchen scale rounds to the entire gram, pocket scales sometimes weigh in increments of 0.1 grams, with a number of tremendous delicate fashions able to studying in milligrams. The milligram scales, nevertheless, solely learn in milligrams and have a lot, a lot of decrease capacities, so we don’t suggest any on this information.
Maintenance and upkeep
When you overload digital scales beyond their capability, they can break. To put it another way, don’t try to weigh a 7-pound bag of malted barley on the American Weigh LB-3000, which can only handle 6.6 pounds of weight, or you’ll irreparably destroy it. The warranty on a scale is also void if it is overloaded. For similar reasons, you should avoid laying anything on top of a scale when it’s switched off; some versions, such as the American Weigh scale, come with a plastic cover to protect the scale when it’s not in use.
Some scales, such as the My Weigh KD8000, can be calibrated with lab weights, however this isn’t a realistic choice because large calibration weights are far more expensive than a home scale. Despite the fact that some of the scales we examined did not allow for recalibration, none of them were off by more than 2 grams, even with larger weights.
When you overload digital scales beyond their capability, they can break.
Check to see whether your scale’s batteries need to be replaced if the readings appear to be off. A low-battery symbol appears on better scales at the proper time. Also, be sure your scale is on a flat surface; if it isn’t, it will weigh incorrectly.