Smart scale


Sexy scale: Oxo's kitchen scales has many features to appreciate.

Sexy scale: Oxo's kitchen scales has many features to appreciate.

Personal scales, as in a scale to measure my weight, are a waste of time. Don’t care to step on one, thanks. Knowing whether my weight is up or down or holding steady has never influenced whether I’ll go in for a second (or third) cookie.

But kitchen scales are another matter. A few years ago a colleague sold me on the benefits of a kitchen scale and I became a vocal convert, blathering on about why everyone should have a kitchen scale to anyone who would listen (and a few who wouldn’t). Even before starting culinary school, I used one to measure ingredients for baking. If you don’t have one, you should. Trust me, it will make your cooking life easier and your food better.

For the most part, the culinary school I’m attending has awesome labs stocked with good equipment. But the scales, frankly, suck. They’re old-school spring models of questionable accuracy, thanks to abuse by students. So by the time we hit the baking class, I started toting my digital Salter scale to school. It’s does a great job. But it’s also made of glass, and I’m clumsy, so it’s only a matter of time until I drop the thing and it shatters into a million pieces.

Good thing I have an acquaintance at Oxo, who was willing to send me one of their top-of-the-line kitchen scales to test drive. This baby has several winning features that make it a keeper:

  • An 11-pound capacity. That’s a lot, but it came in handy when I needed to weight biggo hunks of meat in my meat fabrication class.
  • A removable stainless-steel platform. That makes it easy to clean without potentially damaging the scale’s electronics.
  • A pull-out digital display that lights up (!). That’s perhaps the sweetest of all, since the display on my other scale is often overshadowed by a bowl or plate. Not a problem with this one.

This model is $50, but Oxo also has a scaled-down (ha! pun intended) version with a 5-pound capacity for $30. Its display also pulls out (but doesn’t light up), and the platform can’t be removed. But for most home cooks, it will do the job quite nicely. So take your pick. Either way, it’s the kind of scale you’ll like to use.

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