When to Abandon Your Kitchen Scale

When to Abandon Your Kitchen Scale

Megan Gordon
May 19, 2011

There has been much written about kitchen scales and why it's beneficial to purchase an inexpensive one and give it a go. But what about the moments when you feel like using your good old-fashioned measuring cups and spoons instead?

In Slate last week, Sara Dickerman wrote a piece entitled "Weighing In" that explored the virtues of kitchen scales -- things many of us already know: they're more accurate, neater (not fussing with cups and cups of flour), and a little simpler once you get the hang of them. I own an Escali scale at home and in my commercial kitchen that I just adore. It's become invaluable for measuring out large quantities of butter, flour and eggs for pie dough and cookies. At home I often use it for more finicky dessert recipes when I know that accuracy will be absolutely critical (macarons, for instance). I couldn't live without it.

But what I love about Sara's piece is her closing discussion on when it's kind of nice not to use a kitchen scale. When you make a decision to honor the everyday cooking you do for a casual dinner by keeping it in the cupboard. Sara notes, "The recipes that got me cooking in the first place were written with cup measurements, and so I have a certain, perhaps sentimental, fondness for the old system." Do you ever find yourself making decisions either way based on the recipe, the tradition, or the occasion?

The Virtues of Kitchen Scales
Hanging Kitchen Scale
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(Image: Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)

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