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Risotta

Kitchen Scale Recommendations (2003 – 2010)

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One of my scales is a Salter 4001 (it's not on that page but here's a photo: click). Like the other Salter scales, it's attractive and it works very well. It's also overpriced, too large, and the readout is too close to the platform. Which is why whenever I need to weigh something in the kitchen I use my cheap little postage scale and the Salter stays in the cabinet.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Just go to OfficeMax and get a potal scale -- they're electronically the same but less expensive to buy. This one is 30 bucks, has 1-gram gradations, tare, and metric/English, plus the readout is nice and far from the platform. Also check on eBay.

This link is dead due to a cookie.

Might you provide a bit more info? I'm interested in this.

Thanks.

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Sorry about that:

Sunbeam

Digital Programmable 5-lb. Postal Scale

Item # 20073778 , Style # SP5

Thanks.

I'm going to make a trip to OfficeMax this week & take you up on this.

Best.

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It's really helpful to be able to remove the weighing platform for cleaning. This information is not always explicit in product descriptions, unfortunately.

Accuracy is how, well, accurate it is -- if you put a one-pound weight on it, does it show one pound on the read-out? If it doesn't, what's the margin of error? (What is never disclosed is the accuracy across the measuring range, which is too bad, because it matters. Scales -- even digital scales -- are inherently non-linear.)

Precision is how small an increment (e.g., 1/10 of an ounce, or 0.25 grams) it can weigh with a given accuracy.

I think. If that's not what they mean, that's what they should mean, because they're what's important. IMHO.

So what do you use in your kitchen?

I, too, have a Salter 4001, which is how I know all the stuff I mentioned (and for which Fat Guy criticized it) is important!

I will say that I didn't pay full price for it, though.

Fifi, I knew that you knew what accuracy and precision were. :wink:


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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5-lb. Postal Scale

Oh.

Another important thing is capacity. For what I do (cook for a family of five, with occasional dinner parties), five pounds is not enough. I think the Salter I have goes up to seven, and even that's not sufficient for breaking down a pork shoulder or a whole brisket.

Whatever tare you use counts against the total capacity of the scale (at least on mine, it does). for instance, if you use a glass bowl or measuring cup as a container, it can easily weigh close to a pound, cutting your five-pound capacity by 20%.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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For weighing individual dry ingredients to be used in baking, 5-7 lbs is plenty. It's not enough if you're going to weigh large cuts of meat or if you're going to do multiple tares on the same bowl as you add the ingredients (which is how professionals do it). Either way, I'm still partial to the postage scales (if you have to go up to a 10lb just be prepared to pay double) because they seem to be better value for a given level of features (I assume a lot more of them are manufactured). And really, check eBay before buying one of these -- kitchen or postage.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I have the Salton Aquatronic which has been satisfactory except for going through batteries at the wrong time. Perhaps those models with lithium batteries would have an advantage.

I like Dave's suggestion to be able to remove and clean the weighing platform. Mine doesn't and I simply cover it with a piece of Saran which pretty much becomes invisible. As I didn't buy it for its looks, that's ok but if I had gotten one of those cool looking ones, I'd be annoyed. I wonder though about the glass platforms. If broken, can they be replaced?


"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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FWIW, my Salter weighs up to 11 lb., and if I'm not mistaken, down to .5 grams, which has proven sufficient to my needs. (I used a postal scale for years, once the rates went up, and a replacement chip to calculate postage was so much $$ that I relegated it to the kitchen, but it had a lot of nooks and crannies that were impossible to get flour...and worse...out of.)

Another thing I really like about that scale is that it takes up NO space in the kitchen. I have countertop "issues", and I lean it up against the fridge, where it takes up about as much space as a child's handprint.


"Laughter is brightest where food is best."

www.chezcherie.com

Author of The I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook ,The I Love Trader Joe's Party Cookbook and The I Love Trader Joe's Around the World Cookbook

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The Salter 4001 apparently has 5 lbs capacity and the 1001 has 11 pounds capacity with precision declining as weight goes up (0 - 2kg x 2g, 2kg - 5kg x 5g, 0 - 5lb x 1/8oz, 5lb - 11lb x 1/4oz).

Now here's an independent review site where they take scales very seriously:

http://www.digitalscale.com/ -- "The Scale Experts"

And I think given all the arguments they make for it this is going to be my next scale:

http://www.digitalscale.com/6001t.htm

It's made by this company:

http://myweigh.com/

According to the reviewers: "The only bad thing that we can say about them is that they have driven the scale market into the ground with their low cost / high quality scales."

Their take on Salter: "The only bad thing about Salter is that they concentrate more on design then they do accuracy. This is because for most kitchens, the "look" of the scale is much more important then the accuracy. Salter scales are therefore not recalibratable and not very accurate but they do look really cool!"


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Colors.

Thanks, FG.

Guess I'm not going to OfficeMax this week.

Any other suggestions before I order/pick up a scale? :laugh:

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It depends what you want to do with your scale. I've had my cheapo office-supply-store scale for something like 9 years and I've rarely exceeded its capabilities. Not to mention, I think I've only had to change the battery once (ask anyone with a Salter how many batteries you'll burn in 9 years!). If I spend 2-3 times as much on a superior scale I'll probably only push its limits once or twice a year. And many cooks would never, ever exceed the capabilities of a 5-pound postage scale. I doubt I'll buy a replacement scale until such time as I break this one or go into a reallly obsessive baking phase. But when it's time to buy, I know what I'm going to get, or at least where I'm going to go for information. Either that, or I sell an article on scales and get free product samples!


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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This site might help you, lots of reviews and opinions:

Digital Scale Opinions

I have this one and I love it.

I like that it can weigh up to 11 pounds and has the tear feature (a must have for a scale). Also that it weighs grams and ounces in case I want to do some serious baking.

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It depends what you want to do with your scale.

Not a lot, I think.

One of my goals for fall/winter is to work more on baking--breads, tarts, & whatever else I happen upon.

I don't have a kitchen scale.

The My Weigh looks to be about $50.

If the opinion is that it's worth the extra $20 over the Sunbeam postal scale, I'll pick up the My Weigh. (For some reason, I don't feel like researching this. I'll trust--and not question after purchase :smile: --whatever the recommendation is here.) Make sense?


Edited by MatthewB (log)

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Just go to OfficeMax and get a potal scale -- they're electronically the same but less expensive to buy. This one is 30 bucks, has 1-gram gradations, tare, and metric/English, plus the readout is nice and far from the platform. Also check on eBay.

This link is dead due to a cookie.

Might you provide a bit more info? I'm interested in this.

Thanks.

Hit refresh and you should see the page.

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I'm not an expert on this subject, but... I picked up a digital Terrailon a few years ago very cheaply and have been happy with it. I've heard about the postal scale recommendation before. If you go that route and have other things to buy at Office Max, I have a $10-off coupon for a $50 minimum purchase that I can give you on Thursday. Re the My Weigh, this site has them discounted ($38-40 for the 3001, $43-45 for the 6001). The My Weigh looks cooler and can be recalibrated.


Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

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Thanks, F-G. I have a scale on my list of cooking needs too, so I checked the price on one of their merchant links and the 3001T is under $50 shipped ground UPS. The 6001T that weighs to 13 lbs. is only $5 more. Black or white (3001 or 6001) is about $2 less. Looks like this should do it, unless someone has found something negative about these.

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I'm no expert and I haven't researched this as exhaustively as I would if I was going to write about it for a magazine, but that 6001 unit looks really, really, really compelling at first blush. If it can be had for under $50, I'll go with that as my top pick for an advanced amateur cook or someone who plans to migrate in that direction. But I think a <$30 digital postal scale is a respectable choice for a casual cook on a budget. As I said, I have one and haven't felt particularly limited by it. Yet if I had no scale and had to make a purchase today I'd go with 6001.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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This is the scale I use. I had another kitchen scale that wasn't quite repeatable but this one is dead on each and every time. I have a mass set to check it with and it tests out perfectly. The only potential drawback is the 4.4 pound capacity, but that hasn't seemed to have hindered me. For lighter work I have a scale that has a capacity of 2.2 ounces and a resolution of 0.0002286 ounces (obviously not designed specifically for kitchen work!) I have, however, used it when doing some experimenting with coffee roasting.

--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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I have both this Salter, the one with the square glass platform, and a mechanical Salter that's maybe 30 years old. And I've used the Salter Aquatronic.

I'm not entirely thrilled with the electronic one. But for some facets, I love it. If I had to get another, this is what I'd look for:

  • the longest possible time it can sit idle before it shuts itself off (mine is too quick to go)
  • the largest capacity; you never know when you need to weigh 10 pounds of tomatoes for sauce
  • the smallest possible increment (this is just for work use, though, where I need to go as small as 1 gram)
  • the most accuracy, natch
  • largest readout, that won't be obscured by any container on the platform
  • tare feature, natch
  • metric and US measures, and an easy-to-get-to way to switch between the two
  • a platform I can easily wipe clean. I don't care if I can remove it, because I almost always have what I'm weighing in some sort of container, the better to prevent inadvertent cross-contamination.

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I’ve used an AccuLab for many years. It has a readibiity of 1 gram but the minimum weight it will display is 2 grams. When I've looked at other scales with the same readibility, it’s usually been difficult to determine the minimum weight without trying them. Some have not displayed a weight of less than 5 grams, even with a 1 gram readibility.


Bouland

a.k.a. Peter Hertzmann

à la carte

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I use the Aquatronic by Salter. It has worked very well for me for 2 1/2 years without a new battery. I use it everyday almost. (Because I do not work weekends, it gets a break then). Granted it is not the scale we had in the bake shop, but for what I do it seems to be functional so far.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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I'm going to FG's Sunbeam postal scale tomorrow or Monday. Any last words?

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