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Jason Perlow

Q&A: The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Please note that, due to personal circumstances, Darren will be available to answer your questions on a date to be advised.

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Hi, Thank you so much for that really nice piece on the use of the kitchen scale, I'll post my question here, knowing that it will be answered some time in the future.

The kitchen scale is something I use all the time. Being in France with a large collection of American and British books on food and cooking, I've had to compensate for differences the density and quality of ingredients due to milling processes for flour, etc. through trial and error. I managed to tweak my recipes, with the help of my scale, for the same results each time. It took me some time to get used to it, but now its just indispensible. I know that an dry ounce of something weighs about 33 grams and that a stick of butter is around 130 grams. I convert many of my American recipes from cups to their gram equivalents, and now that I'm cooking from French cookbooks, its indispensible. Here's my question:

In my metric recipes, why aren't liquid measurements written in grams too? (They always are written in "ml"s my recipes that feature gram measurements). It seems like it would make sense to just use all grams, since common ingredients have common densities, i.e. oil is oil, water is water, wine is wine, so if you give a gram measurement you should get the same amount coming out every time when reading the recipe. Is it inappropriate to note liquid measurements in grams for a recipe that I plan to share? Any insight on why I see gram weights for dry ingredients and butter and measurements in ml for the liquids?

My second question a comment, really. I would like to note for those planning on getting digital scales, that they are wonderful! But one thing that I have noticed with my rather cheapo kitchen scale is that adding ingredients to some digital scales very slowly can cause the scale to sort of skip over and misread the ingredients. It's definitely related to the precision of the scale and it's measurement increments (1, 5, 7 etc). But I'd like to stress that it's important to be aware it can happen for the times when you're trying to be really exact in your measurements. It's best always to add the ingredients as quickly as possible for the most accurate result, and re-measure (very easy) if you are doing something very delicate. Eveyone's scales may differ, however, and it's up to individual experimentation.

Thanks again for a really nice rundown on the different kinds of scales available, too.

-Lucy


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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For Canadian eGulleteers, check out canadianweigh.com for some great scales.  This tutorial has prompted me to get this one.

Thanks for the link. Great looking scale, but don't you want more capacity? I would go with the 6001T, though it is pricey in comparison. I bought one after Fat Guy pointed them out here a few months ago, and I'm extremely happy with it.

-michael

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itch22   

Well I couldn't think of anything over 2kg that's I'd need to meassure. However, I suppose one should always be prepaired...

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Hello,

I have two comments on the (marvellous) kitchen scale manifesto.

1. About scales: why kitchen scales? On my previous job (at a school) I was able to buy a cheap laboratory scale (OHAUS) for less than 40 dollar. It has metric and American scale, accurate to 1 gram, and is lasting 5 years on just one battery. And, being a laboratory scale, it is resistant to most chemicals, so kitchen ingredients shouldn't be a problem...

2. about converting: several years ago I found a small program for converting all kinds of units in to other units (of the same style). I.g. Fahrenheit to Celcius (very usefull to me, since most American recipies use Fahrenheid, and I have grown up with to Celcius). But, for this manifesto, it also converts from "cup" to "teaspoon" or ml (the version I have only has "cup" in the map "volume"). Weight can also be converted from a lot of units to a lot of other units.

Now the crucial part: the program is called "convert", and can be found at the following site: Convert

I hope my five cents can be usefull to someone...

edit: p.s. convert is freeware!


Edited by John von Pey (log)

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docsconz   

Now the crucial part: the program is called "convert", and can be found at the following site: Convert

I hope my five cents can be usefull to someone...

edit: p.s. convert is freeware!

Thanks for the link. Cool program!

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oraklet   
In my metric recipes, why aren't liquid measurements written in grams too? (They always are written in "ml"s my recipes that feature gram measurements). It seems like it would make sense to just use all grams, since common ingredients have common densities, i.e. oil is oil, water is water, wine is wine, so if you give a gram measurement you should get the same amount coming out every time when reading the recipe. Is it inappropriate to note liquid measurements in grams for a recipe that I plan to share? Any insight on why I see gram weights for dry ingredients and butter and measurements in ml for the liquids?

basically, because you measure your weights in a bowl, and a bowl is not very useful for pouring liquids. also, if you want to use your bowl to measure the liquid first (say, for a bread dough), you'd end up with having to dry it very thoroughly before adding the flour to it (if you don't, you'll have flour sticking to the bowl).

as you will notice, i've very ingeniously NOT used the word for that thingy you use for measuring liquids. you know, this transparent plastic thingy with a scale on its side that is most useful: you hold it under the tap and just pour water into it :raz: what's it called, anyway?

(bear with me, please, i'm danish.)

oh boy, i hope this made sense.

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In my metric recipes, why aren't liquid measurements written in grams too?  (They always are written in "ml"s my recipes that feature gram measurements).  It seems like it would make sense to just use all grams, since common ingredients have common densities, i.e. oil is oil, water is water, wine is wine, so if you give a gram measurement you should get the same amount coming out every time when reading the recipe. Is it inappropriate to note liquid measurements in grams for a recipe that I plan to share? Any insight on why I see gram weights for dry ingredients and butter and measurements in ml for the liquids?

basically, because you measure your weights in a bowl, and a bowl is not very useful for pouring liquids. also, if you want to use your bowl to measure the liquid first (say, for a bread dough), you'd end up with having to dry it very thoroughly before adding the flour to it (if you don't, you'll have flour sticking to the bowl).

as you will notice, i've very ingeniously NOT used the word for that thingy you use for measuring liquids. you know, this transparent plastic thingy with a scale on its side that is most useful: you hold it under the tap and just pour water into it :raz: what's it called, anyway?

(bear with me, please, i'm danish.)

oh boy, i hope this made sense.

Thanks for trying to answer my question, oraklet. I measure my weights in whatever's handy, actually. I place my ingredients in all kinds of vessels - Cup, measuring cup, bowl, plate, etc and then add them at the appropriate time to my recipe, after I've weighed them. Every container in my kithen under 3kilos in weight has been used to hold things on my scale at one time or another. It's easy to weigh a liquid in any vessel, really. :smile: Oh well. It will remain one of the great big mysteries of the world to me.


Edited by bleudauvergne (log)

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The US site for the 6001t is saveonscales.com. I looked at the various kitchen scales they offer, in addition to the 6001t, and sent an email asking for clarification of differences. Their response at top of the quote is in response to my questions at the bottom. I have decided on the KD-600, unless someone can convince me that the greater accuracy of the i5000 will make a significant difference.

Hello Richard,

1) The KD-600 is easier to clean, the weighing platform is easily removable for cleaning. Both the 6001 and KD-600 are vulnerable to scratches.

2)  The KD-600 has 4 weighing functions (g, lb, oz, kg), it is accurate to 1.0g and 0.1oz.

    The i5000 has 3 weighing functions (g, oz, lb), it is accurate to 1.0g and 0.05oz

    The 6001 has 4 weighing functions (kg, lb, oz, g), it is accurate to 1.0g and 0.1oz

3) The 3 scales compare in stability. The extended arm for the KD-600 is to add additional stability for heavy items that would otherwise cause the scale to tip over backwords.

4) While the 6001 is sufficient for most kitchens, the KD-600 is preferred due to it's look, and range of weighing.

5) False, not only does the i5000 come with a bowl, it is more accurate in ounces and pound readouts.

6) We sell so many KD-600's and have such a high demand that we are purchasing more units for less, and as a result, we are able to offer it at a lower price. It is not being discontinued at this time or in the near future.

Personally, I would recommend the KD-600 over the other two scales.

Best Regards,

Perry

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

From: Richard Kilgore [mailto:richard.kilgore@sbcglobal.net]

Sent: Sunday, May 09, 2004 10:33 PM

To: info@saveonscales.com

Subject: Question re: Kitchen Scales

1) The KD-600 is the easiest to keep clean and looking good? The 6001T is more vulnerable to scratches and such?

2) All three have the same weiging functions, including the same minimum weight to register?The minimun weight is what?

3) The KD-600 is the most stable?What is the extendable arm referred to in the description?

4) The 6001T would be suficient for most home kitchens? Smallest footprint?

5) The only advantage of the i5000 ove the 6001T is that it comes with a bowl?

6) Why is the KD-600 on sale at 50% off? Being discontinued? Any problem with it?

Thanks. There is a discussion on eGullet.com in the eGullet Culinary Institute regarding kitchen scales, and I will post my impressions and decision there. The 6001T has received positive comments currently and in the past on the site. If you wish to follow the discussion or participate in it, I will be glad to send you a direct link.

Richard Kilgore

Site Manager, eGullet.com

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Redsugar   

Unhesitatingly, I must congratulate Mr. Vengroff for his excellent treatment of the subject. Bravo! Also, I am grateful for the link (provided by a reader, supra to a Canadian online retailer).

I have used (for the past 10 years) an exceptionally accurate & dependable scale that was built in England: A Salter Electronic -- powered by a single 9-V alkaline battery. The device can measure up to 5kg (11 lbs) in 5g (¼-oz) increments. The press of a button instantly switches the readings from Imperial to Metric readouts; plus a zeroing-out feature is also included. An easily portable scale, functionally proven to have been worth an order of magnitude above the original purchase price. However, there have been times when I would have appreciated supra a scale that would provide readings of loads up to approx. 10kg. Eventually!

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Dove   
In my metric recipes, why aren't liquid measurements written in grams too?  (They always are written in "ml"s my recipes that feature gram measurements).  It seems like it would make sense to just use all grams, since common ingredients have common densities, i.e. oil is oil, water is water, wine is wine, so if you give a gram measurement you should get the same amount coming out every time when reading the recipe. Is it inappropriate to note liquid measurements in grams for a recipe that I plan to share? Any insight on why I see gram weights for dry ingredients and butter and measurements in ml for the liquids?

basically, because you measure your weights in a bowl, and a bowl is not very useful for pouring liquids. also, if you want to use your bowl to measure the liquid first (say, for a bread dough), you'd end up with having to dry it very thoroughly before adding the flour to it (if you don't, you'll have flour sticking to the bowl).

as you will notice, i've very ingeniously NOT used the word for that thingy you use for measuring liquids. you know, this transparent plastic thingy with a scale on its side that is most useful: you hold it under the tap and just pour water into it :raz: what's it called, anyway?

(bear with me, please, i'm danish.)

oh boy, i hope this made sense.

Thanks for trying to answer my question, oraklet. I measure my weights in whatever's handy, actually. I place my ingredients in all kinds of vessels - Cup, measuring cup, bowl, plate, etc and then add them at the appropriate time to my recipe, after I've weighed them. Every container in my kithen under 3kilos in weight has been used to hold things on my scale at one time or another. It's easy to weigh a liquid in any vessel, really. :smile: Oh well. It will remain one of the great big mysteries of the world to me.

I think the answer is that dry ingredients are weighed and liquid ingredients are measured by volume. Therefore you can never get rid of your measuring cup which probably has a dual scale for US and metric measuring.

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tamiam   

I know this thread has been dormant for a while, but I am posting in the hopes that someone might respond. I am shopping for a scale, and am curious if anyone has experience with the MyWeigh 7001DX. It sells for approx $35 wherever I can find it.

It has a capacity of 15 lbs (7,000 g), accurate to 1 g, seemingly nice tare and g to lb conversion, and I like the low profile. Cook's Illustrated likes a Soehnle that cost 80 bucks, and the small weighing platform is elevated in a modern looking cool way that looks to be a pain in the arse.

Would you recommend another for my shopping consideration? Any ideas welcome.

7001DX

(edited to correct accuracy


Edited by tamiam (log)

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Mottmott   
I know this thread has been dormant for a while, but I am posting in the hopes that someone might respond.  I am shopping for a scale, and am curious if anyone has experience with the MyWeigh 7001DX.  It sells for approx $35 wherever I can find it.

It has a capacity of 15 lbs (7,000 g), accurate to 1 g, seemingly nice tare and g to lb conversion, and I like the low profile.  Cook's Illustrated likes a Soehnle that cost 80 bucks, and the small weighing platform is elevated in a modern looking cool way that looks to be a pain in the arse. 

Would you recommend another for my shopping consideration?  Any ideas welcome.

7001DX

(edited to correct accuracy

I have a little Salton: up to 5 kilos, weighs in either 1/4oz/ 5g increments, with a tare feature. It's only about 2" high and I can conveniently stash it in an otherwise unusable space between my microwave and the cabinet above it. Very handy.

Were I buying one today, I'd look for smaller gram increments.

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tamiam   

The folks at Willknot are very helpful. They showed me two Saltons that are worth a look. One is +/- 1 g and the other +/- 2g.

When I return home to a good internet connection, I'll try and post them for posterity.

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tamiam   

Here is some scale talk, from the nice folks at Will Knott Scales. They sell at their own website as well as on eBay, but with slightly different pricing and shipping charges.

Hi there,

I am interested in a My Weigh DX 7001 scale.  Question for you:  Of all the scales you carry, are there any others I should consider if my primary use is for cooking, weighing dry and liquid ingredients, converting lbs to g, etc.? 

**********************************************************

Tamara,

This scale would work for you, if it is within the accuracy you need and the capacity is okay.  Here is another scale I would suggest.

http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/index.as...PROD&ProdID=309

http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/index.as...PROD&ProdID=310

Also the shipping charge for the two items would be just $9.90 because the adapter has free shipping.

And, if I include the AC adapter, do you consider that one or two items ($9.90 or $9.90 + 7.92) when calculating shipping on our eBay site?  It looks as though it does not add shipping cost if purchased thru your regular site. 

*******************************************

Jennifer—Thanks for your response.  Both of those other scales look like good candidates too, so now I have more thinking to do.  I am wondering if you recommended the Salter’s because you thought they would fit my needs better, or just as other alternatives to look at.. 

The Salter 5007 sure is pretty for a scale.  It looks like it might be hard to use a bowl other than the one that it comes with because of the oval shape of the weighing platform.  Would that be an issue, or is that just a trick of the photograph?  I imagine that I would want to measure into whatever mixing bowl I was using, and that I might also want to weigh odd shapes, like big hunks of frozen meat.

Your website has more description of the My Weigh DX 7001, so I know a bit more about it.  I liked the ease of using the tare, converting g to lb quickly, showing pounds + ounces instead of just ounces, and remembering the last weight measured.  Do the Salter’s do those things well too?

*************************************************************************

Tamara,

I just recommended those scales just to look at.  I think they are pretty scales.  All the scales that have been mentioned are great scales.  Like you said about the Salter 5007 scale the bowl that it comes with is recommended to use.  I think any of these scales would work for you. Including the 7001DX.

The Salter 5007 does weigh in pounds-ounces, grams, fluid ounces, and milliliters.

The Salter 5100 does weigh in pounds-ounces and in grams

Thanks,

Jennifer

OldWillKnott Support

Email: support-jc@oldwillknottscales.com

Phone: 1-866-867-5400

Fax: 580-233-5402

*************************************

Thanks for your help.

************************************************************

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