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Choosing a Kitchen Calculator

Updated on September 27, 2011

The Kitchen Calculator: The Equipment Your Kitchen May Be Missing

Certainly any calculator can add, subtract, multiply, and divide. However, for those who work in the kitchen, scaling a recipe to make fewer or more servings can take some time.

In addition, converting units of measure can be a challenge if you use recipes originating outside of the country. This is where a kitchen calculator steps in to do the job.

These calculators save time and reduce errors. On this page you'll learn more about some of their special features which make them a much better option than a basic calculator when cooking. You'll also find some affordable models from which to choose.

Buying Tips

Before you buy a kitchen calculator, there are a number of special features that you might want to consider. Here are a few of them:

  • Recipe scaling
    Recipe scaling is useful when you wish to "cut down" a recipe or increase it to serve more people. It sounds simple, but if it's not done precisely, you can ruin a dish. If the calculator doesn't have a function for this, it's not a true kitchen calculator.
  • Measurement Conversion
    The usefulness of these functions may be limited for some home cooks, but for many of us pulling recipes off of the internet, using cookbooks from other countries, and so forth, makes having a quick and easy measurement converter a life saver. Calculators with this feature will allow you to immediately convert US standard to metric. In fact, some kitchen calculators can make conversions among a variety of standards.
  • Timer
    A kitchen calculator with a digital timer and alarm allows you to know when it's time to baste or check your dish. You might also check to be sure you'll be able to perform calculations while the timer is running, since you may be preparing and measuring foods while timing something else.
  • Protection
    Any calculator in the kitchen is exposed to risks. With water, liquids, and other substances being used, the device can easily have things spilled on to it, potentially destroying it's electronics. Thus, having a plastic cover can help save it's life. Another important safety mechanism is an auto-shut off feature. These calculators are typically battery operated, so conserving energy to avoid a dead battery when you need to use the calculator is important.

  • Other Functions
    A good kitchen calculator should do more than scale recipes and convert measurements used in preparing foods. They should also provide a basic calculator that will at least add, subtract, multiply, and divide. There will certainly be times when you need such functions handy while in the kitchen. Some calculators will do even more. They may be specialized measurement converters that calculate linear, area, and volume measurements. They may solve equations to determine velocity, flow rate, pressure, and more. They are not true kitchen calculators, but can handle conversions in the kitchen and elsewhere for those who have more than one use for such a device.


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    • anemometers profile image

      anemometers 6 years ago from Anemometer Installation Areas

      well done. Thanks

    • fishtiger58 profile image

      fishtiger58 7 years ago from Momence, Illinois

      Great hub I had no idea these types of calculators were available. Thanks for a great read.