Digital Scales

Published September 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

Overview:

Handy as they are, measuring cups will never measure up to the accuracy of a digital scale. We’ve found that when measuring dry ingredients using a “dip and sweep” method, different cooks can be off by as much as 10 percent—a variance that, in baking, can mean the difference between a dense cake or a fluffy, tender crumb. To find the best digital scale for the job, we tested nine models, each measuring in 1-gram increments.

Seeking Accuracy and Good Design

As we placed 30-, 200-, and 500-gram lab weights on their surfaces—and moved them around to make sure readings were equal in every position—we found only negligible discrepancies (within 2 grams). We based our rankings, then, on how easy the scales are to use. Whether you choose a scale that measures in decimals (as the professionals use) or fractions (as most home recipes are written) is a matter of preference. We ranked scales most highly for roomy platforms (over 6 inches); at least 7-pound capacity; a large, clear readout display; and sensitive, accessible buttons.

We… read more

Handy as they are, measuring cups will never measure up to the accuracy of a digital scale. We’ve found that when measuring dry ingredients using a “dip and sweep” method, different cooks can be off by as much as 10 percent—a variance that, in baking, can mean the difference between a dense cake or a fluffy, tender crumb. To find the best digital scale for the job, we tested nine models, each measuring in 1-gram increments.

Seeking Accuracy and Good Design

As we placed 30-, 200-, and 500-gram lab weights on their surfaces—and moved them around to make sure readings were equal in every position—we found only negligible discrepancies (within 2 grams). We based our rankings, then, on how easy the scales are to use. Whether you choose a scale that measures in decimals (as the professionals use) or fractions (as most home recipes are written) is a matter of preference. We ranked scales most highly for roomy platforms (over 6 inches); at least 7-pound capacity; a large, clear readout display; and sensitive, accessible buttons.

We Found the Best Digital Scale

Our new favorite, which displays weights in fractions or grams, measures up all around.

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