Kitchn Love Letters

I’ve Become a Much Better Cook Just by Adding This One Simple Gadget to My Kitchen

published Jan 27, 2023
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If there’s one gadget that’s both worthy of a place on your countertop and an easy way to help elevate your at-home cooking, it’s a food scale. Now while you’ve probably seen food scales in the past as easy ways to track serving sizes — and they’re great for that, don’t get me wrong — food scales are good for lots of other tasks in the kitchen, too. For any aspiring pastry chefs or folks who love baking, brewing top-notch coffee at home, tackling involved recipes, and pretty much anything else that calls for precise amounts of stuff, having an accurate food scale is a must. Why? Well, you could get by with volumetric measurements — aka cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons — but the problem is that differing densities of ingredients can cause your measurements to be way off depending on the way you fill the measuring cups. A solid food scale cuts all of that stress and inaccuracy out of your cooking, making following recipes and nailing ingredient lists a breeze. My personal favorite food scale, and the one I use pretty much daily, is from one of my favorite brands: the OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull-Out Display

This scale has loads of cool features that set it apart from the rest. It has a removable weighing platform for easy cleanup, a digital screen that’s easy to read (even super early in the morning before I’ve put my contacts in), a zero function to help you do the least math possible (always a plus), and a unit conversion button to switch between ounces/pounds and grams/kilos. It also has a little diagram on the right hand side of the screen that shows you how close you are to the 11-pound limit, ensuring that you don’t overload the scale. Oh, and the batteries are also included, which is a plus, since the scale takes four AAAs — which means you don’t have to worry about wires or keeping your scale charged. 

While all of the bells and whistles are great, my two absolute favorite things about this scale are the weight limit and the unique pull-out display. My girlfriend is an avid baker, and I brew a lot of beer, and when we’re making large batches of heavy ingredients, a dinky little grocery store food scale doesn’t really cut it. My grain bills for beer brewing can often be up to 10 pounds, which is a lot for everyday cooking, but still safely under the 11-pound weight limit OXO recommends. The pullout display is a game-changer, too. When you’re working with a wide mixing bowl on a traditional scale, it can be a challenge to peek under the edge to see the number on the display due to the angle of the bowl. With the pull-out screen, there’s no craning your neck involved. 

Credit: Ian Burke

And, with a 4.8-star average from over 5,400 ratings on Amazon, I’m not the only one gushing over this sweet scale. “I purchased an expensive scale … but it can’t handle the weight of the bowl for flour and I can’t see the numbers when the bowl is in place. The OXO changed all that,” one reviewer writes. “The numbers tray pulls out so I can see them, it’s washable and there is a visual display letting me know if I have put too much weight on the scale. It’s been a game changer for me and has a permanent place on my countertop.” 

Since snagging this food scale, pretty much everything I’ve cooked from a recipe — from homemade bread and pan pizzas to souffles and soups — has come out way better than it has in the past using volumetric measurements. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to level up in the kitchen, look no further.