This Christmas I was given a cooking scale as a gift. In many of my better cookbooks, they always seemed to include quantities by weight as well as by volume for most ingredients, especially for baking recipes. Being the “Yank” that I am, I have always cooked by volume. In fact, the only person I knew personally who ever cooked by weight was my great grandfather who was a Belgian pastry chef. His handwritten cooking journal is in Flemish, and being European, used all weight measurements. Every year, my mom makes about a million Christmas spice cookies (actually it’s like 5,000) from one of his recipes that she had to have translated and converted into “Americanized” measurements.
It works, but take my word for it, the weight method is better.
Aside from being wonderfully accurate, you would be amazed at the differences, especially in dry ingredients like flour or powdered sugar. For a type-A guy like me, it’s like being back in chemistry class.
The one I have is by Salter, and is good up to 11 lbs, more than enough for most recipes. It has a button to “zero” or “tare” the readout so that you can use any container you want on the flat surface, or even add ingredients successively, zeroing the scale before each one. There is also a button to convert between ounces and grams. The ounces display actually shows with fractions, which I guess is fine since I plan on using grams anyway. It also uses a 9 volt battery and not some strange “watch” battery.
A “must have” in my opinion, even after just a few days of use.