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Food Scales Fashions in the Modern Kitchen

Updated on November 30, 2012

Food Scales or kitchen scales design has changed over the decades and especially over the last few years.

If you’ve invested big bucks in the latest contemporary kitchen design or rustic look you’ll probably want food scales to match. Especially if you want to leave your scales out on display.

Types of Kitchen Weighing Scales

Basically there are only 3 types of food scales or kitchen scales.

These are Balance (Weight) Scales, Spring Balance Scales and Electronic Digital Scales.

They all have advantages or disadvantages with regard to function, plus there is the matter of personal taste or style.

Digital Food Scales or Electronic Food Scales

The latest design of Kitchen Scales has clearly moved into the 21st Century. With no need for springs or weights digital food scales are now appearing in minimalist designs not possible before.

No your not looking at the latest version of a digital book reader but a sleek tempered glass pad kitchen scales, at home in any contemporary design kitchen.

Earlier designs often looked similar to mechanical spring balance weighing scales, but the latest designs are no more than flat pads.

The flat pad scales are available in plastic, glass or stainless steel and don’t usually come with a container.

Coming without a container is not a problem for the digital scales user as there is something called a “tare” facility. This simply means that you can place any container on the scales, hit the button and the scales will zero itself.

This facility is also useful when adding multiple ingredients, add an ingredient to the correct weight, hit the “tare” button and again the scales will zero itself ready to add and weigh the next ingredient and so on, no mental calculations required.

With a built in microprocessor additional functions can be added to the weighing ones. For those people on diets or calorie counting, calculating the amount of calories in the weighed out food can be done simply. Some have the ability to calculate liquid measures as well or you might find a kitchen timer built in.

If you are in the habit of weighing out small quantities, such as for yeast, digital scales are ideal, with some having an accuracy of +or – 0.1 oz (2g).

You will need batteries for these digital food scales, so it worth checking how many and what type they use. Look for an auto off facility will help prevent getting a flat battery if you forget to turn it off.

Scales for Diabetic and Weight Loss Diets

Digital Scales are available to help you with diabetic, nutritional or calorie counting diets. By keying in information relating to the food you are weighing these scales can calculate and display calorie content or other nutritional information.

How this is done will vary with different manufacturers. Some for example will provide an alphabetical list of food types with associated codes that you simply key into the scales when weighing the food, the scales calculates and displays the nutritional information for you.

Calibration Weights For Digital Scales

These can be bought as known accurate weights, e.g. 100grams, that you can use to calibrate your digital scales should they need it. They often look like one of the weights from an old fashioned balance scales.

Spring Balance Scales or Mechanical Scales

This type of kitchen scales replaced the the weights of balance scales with a spring to provide balancing force. They had the advantage of being lighter, more compact and easier to use. As long as the scales were set to zero with the weighing pan on it, you then just added ingredients until the desired weight was displayed by a pointer on a calibrated dial face.

The other advantage spring scales had was that their weighing capacity tended to be bigger. Scales weighing up to 12lbs or 5kg became quite common, but their disadvantage was that the higher capacity scales tended to be less accurate when trying to weight small amounts.

Spring balance scales often just called mechanical scales or traditional scales are still very popular because of their price, also that they don't have batteries that can go flat. However as accurate and easy to use digital scales have come down in price the sales of mechanical scales has and will continue to decline. So expect to see some bargains.

Balance Weight Food Scales

For the rustic or traditional look, there is the Balance Weight Food Scales. These are the scales evocative of a much earlier period, you make even have seen or used them as a child.

These are the scales where the required weight of food is balanced against the known required weight, chosen from a graduated series of weights.

Depending on how well made and how accurate the graduated weights are, these types of scales can be very accurate. An accuracy of + or – ¼ oz (7grams) for food scales is possible.

The disadvantages of these types of kitchen scales is that they require a bit of practice to use quickly and accurately. Also they tend not to be able to weight much over 2 lbs (1kg), simple because you need graduated weights in values equal to that which you wish to weigh, which would be a bit cumbersome if you wanted to weigh up to 5kg!

If you want this type of food scales there is a choice. Go out and find an original set of antique scales, buy a reproduction set or get the ones given a contemporary look, using modern colors and materials.

Whatever kitchen you have you should have no trouble finding the right food scales to match.


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      plumbing 6 years ago

      Food Scales are useful for accurately weighing ingredients such as butter or shortening, as well as measuring food portions as specified by diet requirements.