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May10April

Kitchen Scale Recommendations, 2011–

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Unless your buying very expensive items such as saffron, small amounts of truffles,dried morels, bottarga, porcini. etc. I'm not sure why there is a need for such a scale.

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Unless your buying very expensive items such as saffron, small amounts of truffles,dried morels, bottarga, porcini. etc. I'm not sure why there is a need for such a scale.

 

Bingo!  Particularly the mushrooms and saffron.

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Bingo!  Particularly the mushrooms and saffron.

Wait! You can buy loose saffron?

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Wait! You can buy loose saffron?

The middle eastern market here sells loose saffron but they measure it carefully in a little glass-enclosed cubicle so not even a slight breeze from the AC or an opened door will blow any of it away.  I can't imagine them allowing a customer to measure their own.

They do have some "faux" saffron in pre-measured bags but it is not true saffron - it is dried safflower petals.  They produce the color but not the flavor of saffron.

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Wait! You can buy loose saffron?

 

Yes, at the nearby Indian "spice bazaar."  The owner has it in, for lack of a better term,  small pouches, not bins as you may be thinking, and one may buy whatever amount is desired.

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Yes, at the nearby Indian "spice bazaar."  The owner has it in, for lack of a better term,  small pouches, not bins as you may be thinking, and one may buy whatever amount is desired.

The middle eastern market has it in glass tubular containers that have a little "gate" in the lid so the threads can be carefully shaken out into the little pan on the scale.  It can't be tightly packed because the threads will break and their customers want to see the threads as intact as possible. 

They tell me to transfer it to a glass container as soon as possible because plastic (soft baggie material) will degrade the saffron rapidly.


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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Why not you use any hanging scales because these scales are cheap and have enough capacity that you can weight herbs, spices and other small measurement. I have bought one in $10 which help me in getting small measurement at supermarkets.

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Why not you use any hanging scales because these scales are cheap and have enough capacity that you can weight herbs, spices and other small measurement. I have bought one in $10 which help me in getting small measurement at supermarkets.

 

Not too many hanging scales are accurate for very small quantities. Not many stores have a stable hook for a hanging scale.

 

dcarch

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Regarding a hanging scale for small quantities...

http://www.chinesesinseh.com/toolsoftrade/Liteng/litenginfo.htm

:-)

(and some info on units...)

Of course, the NIST in the US might not entirely approve of this instrument.

 

In the Chinese medicine store here in NYC, I have seen the same type of scales used for weighing very small quantities. They were beautifully made.

 

dcarch

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In the Chinese medicine store here in NYC, I have seen the same type of scales used for weighing very small quantities. They were beautifully made.

 

dcarch

 

Yes, they are still the "standard" weighing instrument in many old-style Chinese medicine shops/apothecaries both in the West and in the East.  The larger ones (weighing in taels and catties) were still routinely used in other markets and stores when I llved in SE Asia and are still used in "traditional old-style" shops where they still exist, AFAIK.   My mother used such a scale for many weighing applications and I have many memories of watching merchants weigh out stuff all over the place using such instruments.  I've done it myself in my youth using these instruments, and it isn't hard at all to do so long as you are in a "stable" environment, no stiff breezes, no one banging around next to you.

 

Some of the very small ones in Chinese medicine shops were made of precious and semi-precious materials (ivory and gold, for example) and were kept in velvet/damask/etc padded-and-lined boxes.  They were quite valuable in their own right, and seemed to be remarkably accurate for what they were (but cannot prove it, of course), and I remember watching a family friend, a Chinese apothecary, weigh out tiny amounts of herbs with his micro-scale while wearing gloves.

 

ETA: Of course, proper calibration would have been an issue, as I alluded to in the post that follows.


Edited by huiray (log)

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It would certainly provide entertainment in the local shops. Are the 'flowers' on top really the hangers, i.e. suspension points? How does one know which to use?

 

Yes, the tassels are the suspension points - one holds one of them in one hand with the fingertips while doing the weighing procedure.  The choice of tassel depends on whether one is to use the x1 or the x10 "scale", the one nearer the pan for the x10 and the one further from the pan for the x1 scale.

 

Some of these also came with an alternate counter-weight for the corresponding "scale".  They were crafted and calibrated against the accepted standards, such as they were, in those olden times; and were therefore not exactly el-cheapo throw-away things.  Nevertheless, accuracy and reproducibility were doubtless not quite what modern standards would demand.


Edited by huiray (log)
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Yes, they are still the "standard" weighing instrument in many old-style Chinese medicine shops/apothecaries both in the West and in the East. The larger ones (weighing in taels and catties) were still routinely used in other markets and stores when I llved in SE Asia and are still used in "traditional old-style" shops where they still exist, AFAIK. 

 

The larger ones are still standard in markets and street stalls in China. The smaller ones are even used in the most modern looking Chinese medicine pharmacies and even in my local hospital dispensary. 

 

Once you get the hang of them, they are accurate enough for most needs. Certainly very portable. They are available calibrated in grams.

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I'd like to find a small digital scale that I can carry with me when shopping.  The immediate need would be to weigh small amounts of bulk items like herbs and spices, dried mushrooms, grains, and such.  I'd be happy with a small capacity, such as a pound or so, and being able to weigh in grams and ounces.  If it were small enough to fit into a pocket, perhaps about the size of a men's wallet or a pack of cigarettes, I'd be thrilled.  Any suggestions?  Does anyone carry a scale with them when shopping?

I've just started "Playing" with my food and trying to learn the basics of Molecular Gastronomy.  I have a gram/ounce scale but I know I need a smaller one.  This seems to fit both your requirements and mine.

 

www.amazon.com/dp/B00CEGXBK4/ref=nosim/?tag=egulletsociety-20

 

This one only measures 0.1 grams but it has a larger capacity.

 

www.amazon.com/dp/B00CEGXAXC/ref=nosim/?tag=egulletsociety-20

 

Both of them are under $15.

 

~LB

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Done!  I got the scale you mentioned and now I'll see how clever I was to get the lower capacity unit.  I like the somewhat smaller size compared to the 11-lb scale - it'll be easier to store, and the price with the ubiquitous coupon and Gov. Brown's cut was easy on the wallet.  If it doesn't work for me, I'll switch to the 11-pounder.  Gotta love BBB.  Thanks again for the pointer.

I may be in the market soon for a new scale (after just having spent $8 on new batteries that still don't make my old one come on :angry: ).  Are you still liking this scale, Shel?  And can you zero it out after putting a bowl or container on it?  I use that function a lot when baking.  Thanks!

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I may be in the market soon for a new scale (after just having spent $8 on new batteries that still don't make my old one come on :angry: ).  Are you still liking this scale, Shel?  And can you zero it out after putting a bowl or container on it?  I use that function a lot when baking.  Thanks!

 

Yes, I still like it having used it about 15 times.  Yes, you can set the tare weight very easily.  I haven't been able to get the readout to light, but I'm not sure it's supposed to.  However, the readout can be pulled from the base of the scale allowing a good view even with a large bowl on the scale.  For the money, it's a good deal, IMO.

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I may be in the market soon for a new scale (after just having spent $8 on new batteries that still don't make my old one come on :angry: ).  Are you still liking this scale, Shel?  And can you zero it out after putting a bowl or container on it?  I use that function a lot when baking.  Thanks!

 

Hi Kim,

 

I have the higher capacity version http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/oxo-good-grips-reg-11-lb-food-scale/120843?Keyword=oxo+scale and I love it.

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I've had these Heston Blumenthal branded scales for a couple of months now and really rate them. They have a high capacity plate that measures in grams and a smaller one which does tenths of a gram.

I was a bit sceptical about the auto power off function but ithas been fine (unlike other scales I've used which are wont to turn themselves off at just the wrong time)

http://www.johnlewis.com/heston-blumenthal-by-salter-dual-precision-digital-scale-10kg/p618645?kpid=232200360&s_kenid=4e601c40-0225-6488-0a70-000048fb74c5&s_kwcid=129x75860&tmad=c&tmcampid=73&stop_mobi=yes

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You can use a small jewelry scale or a hanging scale for weighing when you go for shopping. Because that scales are portable and have enough weighing limit that you need. Otherwise you can use portable kitchen scales which have more accuracy and weighing limits.

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I have the same scale and it has served me well for quite a few years.

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Just wanted to pass this on.  I bought an Oxo scale a couple of months ago.  This one:  http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-5-Pound-Pull-Out-Display/dp/B0020L6T7K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1435169002&sr=8-2&keywords=oxo+scale

It works as well as I need it to.  I was perfectly happy with it, but then the readouts began to fade.  They are those liquid crystal displays and some of the sections were not displaying.  Made it hard to tell if something weighed 3 oz. or 8 oz.  I emailed Oxo and explained the problem and asked if they had any suggestions for fixing it.  For some reason, I neglected to save the receipt, so I wasn’t sure where or exactly when I bought it.  I got an immediate response requesting a photo and date stamp to be sent email to them and they sent me a new one the next day.  Excellent customer service, I thought.  

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nice   very nice to see a company stand by its products.

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