When you love those old cookbooks, and start digging deeperfor recipes, sometimes you need a little bit of help. I have something that istruly a must have for anyone who wants to play with their food in a more serious way. A kitchen scale.
The nicest way to see what is actually happening in arecipe, is to weigh it! Not to mention that there are millions of fabulousrecipes that come from countries that don’t use our antiquated measurements,and you will need to know grams, etc. You can sort of wing it, or you can spend $10 bucks and get a digital scale.Yes, this old fashioned mama said digital.
As a food geek, there is nothing more interesting thanseeing how many grams of flour difference it is on a humid day versus a dryday, to make the exact same recipe! Or the difference in actual flours when youweigh them. Or water, or oil..anything!
Because I make a lot of soap, I am pretty comfortable aroundmy kitchen scale, and recently bought my second one in about 15 years. Thefirst one finally stopped becoming refreshed after a new battery, andconsidering I paid 2.00 from a thrift store for it, I guess buying another onewas not much of a hardship. This new one, I did buy retail (I know, right?)Even off the shelf like that, it cost me $10.00, and works like a charm.
If you want to buy a kitchen scale, here are some tips thatare pretty important, imo:
- Buy a digital one that plugs in or uses a battery thatyou can replace when it needs it.
- Buy one with a TARE feature. If you are unfamiliar withthis, TARE means that you can place an object on the scale (say, a bowl ormeasuring cup), push the TARE button and the scale zeros out, so you are JUSTweighing the food In the bowl or cup. Brilliant! This is almost a deal breaker. You can useone without (I certainly did), but it slows you down to have to figure trickymeasurements – your dishes are never an even number so hello decimals…ugh
- Buy something that turns off all by itself, but not toosoon. My new one has just one problem, if I don’t use it within a minute, itshuts off…that drives me batty! Especially when I am making soap that needs tobe measured on one side of my kitchen and processed on the other. Not such abig sounding deal, but remember I have 5 kids and 3 large dogs with eveyrone’svarious detritus all over the floor. When I am in the kitchen- they are in thekitchen. I am sure you moms can relate. So if you can get at least a 3 minute window, it sure wouldhelp.
- Buy with a nonreactive surface. You have to clean it ofcourse, but the top has to be impervious to moisture, oil, heat and cold. Mynew one has a glass top and that is perfect. My old one had a plastic one thatremoved to be wiped and that meant it stuck to any oily measuring cup that wasset on it. Hello aggravation! If you are not a messy cook – EVER, then disregard.
- Most of all, buy one that measures in as many differentunits as you can. Ounces, pounds, grams at least. Serious business thiscooking, and you don’t want to measure away in ounces then see it should havebeen grams. Been there done that and it is a pain in the bum.
Hopefully this helps some of you. I know that I wish someonehad clued me in to how nice they were to have in the kitchen, I would haveasked many years before for one.