Whether you are a budding baker, seasoned chef or meal prep master, to truly be a kitchen whizz, you will need to invest in this essential gadget.
While the pinch of this, dash of that approach works for some dishes, certain recipes – like cakes or bread – require precise measurements of wet and dry ingredients to avoid that dreaded soggy bottom. For bakes that will impress Mary Berry, these will be worth the investment.
What are the different types of scales?
There are three different types of scales on the market; digital, mechanical and balance in which there are pros and cons of each.
Digital scales have an LCD clear display, which are some of the more popular designs. They are precise, easy to read and can offer a multitude of functions. Mechanical scales do not require a battery where a hand moves around the dial with a finely tuned mechanism. For balance scales, you place a weight on one side and add ingredients on the other until they are level. This is not the most accurate method, and like mechanical options, they can be chunky, heavy and more challenging to store.
Before you invest in a set of scales, you must also consider size and function. For smaller kitchens, you will want an option that can be easily and compactly stored away when not in use. On the other hand, if you want something that will stand out, you may want to opt for more traditional, retro-inspired models to win on style points. In terms of features, innovative settings like the Tare function that will reset the weight back to zero when adding new ingredients will save on the washing up and the always-worrying mental maths difficulties.
All types will encourage you to flex your culinary prowess and cook up a storm that will go down a treat with your family and friends.
We’ve weighed up all the options and found the best scales to invest in right now.
Heston Blumenthal Double Platform Digital Scale
Maths and baking often go hand in hand but if the former is not really your forte, having an ultra-precise set of scales that will do the sums for you is always a good idea. This sleek option from renowned chef Heston Blumenthal has an add and weigh function for multiple ingredients, a liquid measuring function and imperial and metric conversions. Requires two AAA batteries.
Salter Waterproof Aquatronic Flat Digital Kitchen Scales
When you are baking with (and without) the kids, mess is par for the course. With this handy set of scales from Salter, spillages can be washed away with ease by dunking the waterproof digital device into the sink. It has a sleek black design with touch buttons and an easy-to-read digital display. There is even a Tare setting so you can put it back to zero to avoid those inevitable mental math errors. The scales are operated by three AAA batteries.
KitchenCraft 4kg Mechanical Scales – English Sage Green
In terms of aesthetics, this KitchenCraft option ticks all the boxes. The vintage-inspired mechanical scales has an old-fashioned style dial that gives you both lbs and kg measurements with increments of 20 grams and one ounce.
John Lewis & Partners Vintage Mechanical Kitchen Scales
Looking for one that will last for years to come? A must for traditionalists, these John Lewis mechanical scales are sized perfectly for larger kitchens. Despite its hefty appearance, the classic upright design is impressively easy to move around the kitchen and won’t look bad on your shelf either. The large and easy-to-read dial features both metric and imperial units for all types of cooking.
Brabantia Matt Steel Digital Kitchen Scales
When storage issues are real, you may not want a chunky, heavy set of scales, which is where this Brabantia option may come in handy. The compact round scales are lightweight, almost flat and so can be slotted away in your cupboard with ease. It has a stainless steel top and a smooth design with non-slip feet and a large LCD display. The scales also have an add and weigh option, integrated kitchen timer and will automatically switch off to save batteries.
Bonsenkitchen Digital Kitchen/Food Scale
Bring a touch of colour into your kitchen gadgets with this fun brightly hued set of scales from Amazon that is available in both blue and green. The device has extremely precise sensors with a tare function, automatic off and low battery mode. It is also compact and can hang on the wall for easy storage.
Mechanical Kitchen Scale
Match your scales with your traditional kitchen aesthetic by opting for this cast iron option. Place weights on one side and add ingredients to the other until you have determined the optimum amount. It comes in a variety of colours to suit your design scheme and the weights are sold separately.
Salter Disc Kitchen Scale
In just the right size for storing on shelves, Salter’s electric Arc Pro is the sleekest kitchen scale on our list. It boasts a hygienic stainless-steel platform that can be wiped clean with ease and has a maximum weight capacity of 5kg. Among its features is an aquatronic function, which allows you to measure wet as well as dry ingredients. What’s more, it switches from metric to imperial units at the push of a button.
Morphy Richards 3-in-1 Jug Scale
The ultimate space-saver, this Morphy Richards offering doubles up as mixing bowl to make meal preparation simpler. It has a clear digital display with a convenient volume indicator that is ideal for measuring liquids accurately. Our favourite part is the tare function – which lets you weigh each ingredient without needing to remove the last one.
Dexam Retro Design Mechanical Kitchen Scales
This traditional-meets-modern Dexam design comes with a practically shaped bowl that makes it easier for pouring liquids in. Sturdy and reliable, its measurements are shown in 25g (1oz) graduations for accurate measuring. The generous 2L capacity means this mechanical scale is great for weighing large amounts of ingredients.
Salter Orb Mechanical Scale
Cooking on a budget? A simple yet functional design, created from lightweight plastic with a clear dial for both metric and imperial measures, the Salter Orb mechanical scale has all the features you need for fuss-free meals. It comes with a dishwasher-safe bowl and can be compacted down for easy storage, making it perfect for smaller kitchens.
The slim and stylish Heston Blumenthal Double Platform Digital Scale is the perfect tool for precise baking. The stainless steel surfaces are easy to clean, you can weigh multiple ingredients and the flat design can be easily stored in any drawer. The price is higher than most but it’s an investment piece that will instantly upgrade any kitchen.