Tip of the Week: Add a digital scale to your holiday wish list


Switching from volume measures to weight measures will up your cooking and baking game. If you don’t already have one, I encourage you to put one on your gift wish list (or buy one yourself!).

Most digital food scales range from $15-$30. They are small, and typically measure grams, ounces, fluid ounces and milliliters.

When not photographing a mise en place for a blog photo, I skip the extra dishes, measuring spoons and cups and go straight to the scale. It has saved me countless dishwashing and my results are much more consistent (well… except for having to figure out higher fat European butter and adjust all of my recipes. A scale can’t solve that mystery)!

Other digital food scale benefits include:

  • Consistency of measurements (Example: depending on how you scoop a cup of flour, you may end up with 30% or more than what is required. A weighed amount will be the same every time)
  • It’s easier to measure tricky ingredients (Examples: Brown sugar, butter, sour cream or yogurt… all tricky. Use a scale and get exactly what you need, no more, no less)
  • Consistency in baking (Example: Eliminating false measurements will tend to get you a consistent result. I can’t speak for your oven or your baking dish!)
  • Easier clean up (Example: If a recipe requires a lot of different sizes of cups and spoon measurements… Use a scale and you’ll be able to skip most of the extra dishes!)
  • Portion control (Example: Trying to watch your waistline and stick to regular portion sizes and weights? A scale will tell you the truth. ☹)
  • Dividing doughs or batters (Example: dividing cake batter into two or more pans for perfectly equal sized cakes)
  • Easier experimentation (Example: Sometimes I like to make changes in recipes after I’ve made them first using the instructions. Weighing ingredients and making notes is the easiest way to do this.)


  1. Be sure to keep an extra set of batteries on hand. God forbid your scale runs out of power halfway through a recipe. Been there…
  2. For very small weights (e.g., anything under 5 grams) I tend to use measuring spoons
  3. See my Resources tab for links to typical weights of dry ingredients



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Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

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