The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Overloaded my 2-volt brain!

symplelife4me's picture
symplelife4me

Overloaded my 2-volt brain!

I have been wanting to buy a food scale for some time. With my increased interest in bread baking it's scooted up to the top of my wish list so I've been researching. I've read just about every scale thread on this site and googled til my brain hurts! All I've done is overwhelm myself with choices and I still have no clue what I want/need.


So here is my question(s): What is important in a scale? What features am I going to find that I can't live without?


I want it for baking and cooking but also for measuring my food portions (It's the New Year and everyone's on a diet (she says as she licks the butter from her KA waffles off her lips.)) I've looked at the Escali Pana and initially thought it was really cool but then I got to thinking, will I actually use the precoded things and is the weight to volume feature something necessary? If I know how many grams are in a cup doesn't that negate that feature? The other thing with this scale is it only goes up to 6.6 pounds. What capacity is realistically needed?


I've also been looking at all the My Weigh products and they look great but how do I choose which one I want? The new 8000 has the bakers percentage feature; as I get into this and learn how to do that will that feature come in handy? (I will get there, that's just how I am!) The i5000 can count your jelly beans for you! I don't like jelly beans but will I ever use that feature to count something else?


I used to have a cheap, manual scale that didn't work very well so I know I want digital and I don't mind spending a few extra dollars if it means I won't have to keep replacing it. Mind you, I'm not wanting the big dog, super expensive price range!  Cleanability is needed since I'm a messy baker and I do cake too. When I'm in the midst of a wedding cake the entire kitchen is coated in frosting and/or cake batter (including me!)


I know this topic has been covered and I'm sorry If I'm being redundant but my brain just shut off and I could really use some input from people who currently use some of these scales. Thank you! :)

mountaindog's picture
mountaindog

For my money, you cannot beat this little Escali scale for sale at King Arthur Flour for $29. I have been using this for 2 years and it is simple but works in either oz or grams (I like grams myself). It's easy to clean, sturdy, and can weigh a lot of dough (11 lbs) before zeroing out. It's all I've ever needed. I already went through a pricier Salter scale before buying this one, the Salter fell apart after awhile, but maybe I just had a dud as others like them. 


My husband uses the Escali scale for the rest of his cooking as well as portioning out meat for the dogs, it's very versatile and lives on our countertop. --Mountaindog

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

I second MountainDog. I went through two Salter scales before finally settling on my simple, durable Escali.

johnster's picture
johnster

I currently have Salter's "The Baker's Dream", but I think that I've outgrown it.  It is accurate to only 5 gram or 1/4 oz. increments, and I'd like something accurate to the gram for some (though, not really needed for most) of my measuring.  


 


I have found that I like something capable of at least ten pounds since I often use a heavy mixing bowl, and then that accuracy I'm now looking to have will be a "deal-breaker" on my next purchase.  Other features that are/would be nice are an easy to see readout as those are sometimes covered by the bowl, I would love if the scale "remembered" which system (metric or standard) I had been in last time it was on, and finally, I would like it to stay on for ten minutes before automatically shutting off.  Many times, I've been in the middle of measuring, only to find that the Salter decided that it was time to preserve the batteries for another day.  Ouch!


 


For the record, this Salter was a gift and probably does just fine on over 95% on meeting my "needs", and 85% of my "wants".  That little Escali does look pretty sweet.  Maybe my ship has come in!


 


By the way, I always drape a sheet of saran wrap over my scale.  To this day, I haven't had to clean it, yet!


 


Johnster

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

I also had a more expensive Salter scale for a while. It didn't break, but I needed a scale that would measure 10th's of ounces and to 1 gram. I got the same Escali scale as JMonkey and mountaindog and have been very happy with it.


Don't strain your brain with exotic features you don't need. The Escali scale, a cheap calculator and, every so often, a conversion table, is all you need. Oh. A pencil and paper is good too.


David

Wisecarver's picture
Wisecarver (not verified)

...Got mine on Amazon for a few bucks less and free shipping, but in red.
When I ordered it they had at least 5 colors listed, some were more expensive.

LindyD's picture
LindyD

The Escali's cool.  You can get it through  Amazon for $25, no sales tax, and free shipping. 


There used to be an Amazon link here at TFL so that Floyd would make a few pesos for stuff purchased via that link, but it seems to have disappeared.  Or I need better glasses...


 

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

I bought my Escali scale on impulse at a baking class, as it was what the instructor recommended (and, just by chance, what they had for sale in the attached baking store!).  I have been very happy with it.  I'm glad I bought mine before cluttering my brain with research and comparisons, as I do for many other purchases.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I have had exceptional service from my MyWeigh i5000; I don't think you can go wrong with MyWeigh.


 I had a hard time deciding between the i2500 with the 0.1 g resolution and the i5000 with the 5 kg capacity.  I finally chose the i5000 and have been glad for the extra capacity ever since:  I can put my large ceramic mix bowl on it, zero it out, put in 2 lb of flour (950g) and proportional water, and not be at the limit.


I looked at the info on the KD-8000.  The bakers percentage feature sounds interesting, but there are many systems of bakers percentages and I would be concerned that the method they have built in might not match Beranbaum's or Hamelman's.


In my opinion what you need to look for are reasonable capacity (around 5000g), resolution of at least 1g, a zero function, a tare function, and US/metric unit settings (the MyWeigh converts the units if you switch while weighing which is handy if you are converting a recipe).


sPh

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I can't decide if this is an actual product or an April Fools joke that got left in the catalog by mistake: 


http://www.myweigh.com/scales/large-scales/funweigh-joking-scale


Turn on your sound before visiting the page!


sPh


Maybe they could make a similar one for breadmaking; we could have a contest to come up with the copy.

leucadian's picture
leucadian

The Escali looks like it is a prettier clone of my Salter model 2001 scale, about $25 when I bought it a couple of years ago.  http://www.amazon.com/Salter-5-Pound-Microtronic-Kitchen-Scale/dp/B0000YWUY0 One button turns it on and zeros the readout for tare measurements, and the other selects grams or ounces. It times out after a few minutes which can be a hazard if you get interrupted by a phone call, because you lose the previous tare offset. Also, my scale can't handle over 2kg/5 lb, which is not that big a deal, but it can measure accurately down to 1g (think salt).


The things I like about my scale, an presumably would be the same with the Escali:
It's small enough to move easily from drawer to countertop.
It measures down to 1g (or 1/4 oz I think).
It's simple and reliable.


Things I'd like my next scale to do, in addition to the above:
Have a switch so I could select whether it starts in grams or ounces
Have a memory so I wouldn't lose the measurement because it timed out.
Have a little bigger base to make it easier to see the display when using a big bowl.


 

symplelife4me's picture
symplelife4me

Thanks for all the replies. I've really seriously been looking at the My Weigh's because they seem to have a very good reputation and are reasonably priced. Good point on the 8000. I am wondering how close you come to the capacity of the scale? I went and looked at it again and saw that it's 11 pounds, do you feel that is adequate? I, like you will be weighing with ceramic mixing bowls, filled cake pans and the like. I do four loaves of bread in one batch at times and want to make sure I have enough capacity to do what I want to do. (Which is one reason I didn't think the Escali Pana would work for me.)


The Old Will Knot website has the Fun Weigh for sale so I'm thinking it isn't a joke (except on ther person stepping on it!) That was so funny I had to send it to my friend who is doing Weight Watchers. :)


Thanks to everyone for your help, I feel like I'm getting it narrowed down. :)

MommaT's picture
MommaT

Hi,


You asked for features that are "necessary".  In addition to the precision that many wrote about, I have some additional criteria that are critical when choosing a scale:


1) it INVALUABLE to have a scale that zeros out between measurements.  I expect most of the cooking scales do this.


2) must weigh in both grams and ounces. (I have cookbooks from both sides of the pond)


3) larger tare is highly preferable, particularly if you do as I do and place your large mixing bowl (heavy) on the scale and then add incrementally to that directly.


4) I like the added bonus of having conversion between fluid oz and dry oz. when making bread, mostly because I discovered my pyrex measuring cup differs significantly from my scale measurements!  This is, by no means, a necessary feature though.


I recently purchased a beautiful glass and chrome Salter with all the above features (but as I discovered later, insufficient precision IMO).  I have learned what I use and what I don't use.  The scale is used primarily for bread baking, but is also used for normal baking and cooking, particularly when consulting my UK and S. African cookbooks.    DH dropped a 2 cup glass measuring cup on top of it, and now it only weighs up to 2 lbs... Grossly insufficient tare when making bread.  


Good luck!


BTW, after reading up more on TFL, I am going to replace this beautiful but useless device with the $29 Escali.  I fully expect it to be sufficient for the job.  And now, looks don't count as much, because I hide my scale away to protect it from further falling objects!  :-)


MommaT