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The Best Kitchen Scales
No matter what you’re cooking or baking, weighing the ingredients helps guarantee perfect results—but only if your scale is accurate and easy to use.
Last Updated May 19, 2023. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 17: Refreshing Desserts
We recently tested an additional digital scale and recommend it, but our winner (OXO Good Grips 11 lb Food Scale with Pull Out Display) and Best Buy (Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale) remain the same.
What You Need To Know
Digital scales measure ingredients by weight to guarantee accuracy. Our winner is the OXO Good Grips 11 lb Food Scale with Pull Out Display and has been for years. It’s reliably accurate, has a large display with a backlight for clear legibility, and has a removable platform for easy cleanup. We also chose a Best Buy, the Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale. While it doesn’t have a detachable platform, it is an accurate, less expensive option.
What You Need to Know
A digital scale is a game changer in the kitchen. A scale is critical for baking recipes, where measuring dry ingredients by weight is the only way to guarantee accuracy. We’ve proven this in tests where we’ve repeatedly measured a cup of flour by volume, using a “dip and sweep” method, and found that there can be up to a 20 percent difference in the weight—a variance that can mean the difference between a cake that’s squat and dense and one that’s fluffy and tender.
Scales have many applications in cooking too. Using one to portion burgers, for example, means no more guessing if the patties are the same size and will thus cook at the same rate. They can even make cooking and cleaning more efficient, thanks to the help of the "tare" function. Instead of dirtying different measuring cups or spoons to get the right amount of each ingredient, you can measure ingredients directly into your mixing bowl, pushing the tare button between each ingredient to reset the displayed weight on the scale to zero.
We tested a variety of consumer-grade scales with maximum capacities between 9 and 15 pounds, as we find this to be the most useful size for most cooks. (Commercial-grade scales are often certified for accuracy by the National Conference on Weights and Measures but are too pricey for the home cook.) The scales we tested have a resolution of 1 gram, meaning that they can display weights in 1-gram increments. This does not mean, however, that they reliably detect weight differences of a single gram, though. For scales with this resolution, we find accuracy within a range of ±3 grams to be acceptable for most cooking. If you're measuring particularly small amounts, such as a few grams of coffee or salt or baking soda for a recipe, we recommend using a coffee precision scale or precision scale to ensure correct results.
What to Look For
- Accuracy: All of the scales were acceptably accurate, measuring within a gram or two of the correct mass when we tested them with calibrated lab weights. And when we used the weights with multiple copies of each model, most gave the exact same reading every time. A couple of them consistently displayed fluctuating rea...
Everything We Tested
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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Kate is a deputy editor for ATK Reviews. She's a culinary school graduate and former line cook and cheesemonger.
Sarah is an assistant editor for ATK Reviews who is deeply passionate about anchovies and sourdough bread.