The 7 Best Kitchen Scales for Every Cook

Get precise measurements for baking, fermenting, and cooking with our top choice, the Oxo Stainless Steel Food Scale.

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The 7 Best Kitchen Scales
Courtesy of Amazon

The right kitchen tool makes any cooking project that much easier. Of all kitchen equipment, food scales may be the most divisive in the home cooking arsenal. Professional cooks have relied on the accurate weight measurements that scales provide for ages, but the home cooking jury is out, and hotly divided, about ditching the measuring cups.

How best to take advantage of a kitchen scale? Erin Kanagy-Loux, pastry chef and baking ops specialist, explains that the best strategy for weighing ingredients is the one that's the most accurate. "It depends on what I'm making. I try to work as efficiently as possible, so I scale based on what production steps are first and what MEP (mise en place) needs to be ready to go."

Scales come in handy for countless cooking projects, from feeding a starter to fermenting sauerkraut, from baking bread to perfecting the pour over. Today's kitchen scales come in various shapes and sizes to accommodate your food prep needs, featuring pull-out designs and tare to reset the balance's display to zero. We researched the top kitchen scales on the market and compiled this list based on factors like accuracy and ease of use before deciding on the OxoStainless Steel Food Scale as our top choice. Read on to learn more about it and for our full list of the best kitchen scales of 2022.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Oxo Stainless Steel Food Scale

Oxo Stainless Steel Food Scale

Amazon

Pros: It has an easy-to-read extendable digital screen and excellent accuracy.

Cons: It's somewhat difficult to clean.

This user-friendly kitchen scale has a measurement display panel that pulls out, eliminating any shadows caused by looming bowls. The display easily slides back in for seamless storage. With zeroing function and unit conversion buttons measuring from 0.1 ounces to one metric gram and more, this tool provides maximum precision.

Simply place a piece of parchment paper or your favorite bowl directly on top of the stainless steel platform and weigh any item. When done, wipe the surface and store. Don't worry about wasting the battery. It's programmed with an automatic 30-minute shut-off feature, which helps prolong the life of the four AA batteries inside.

Price at time of publish: $56

  • Weight Capacity: 11 pounds
  • Tare: No
  • Wash: Hand wash

Best Value: Escali Primo Digital Food Scale

Escali Primo Digital Food Scale

Amazon

Pros: It's inexpensive and reliable.

Cons: It doesn't have an on/off button.

The Escali Primo digital scale is a simple, durable, and accurate choice for any kitchen. A straightforward two-button operating system and sealed control panel make cleanup easy. The display and controls are sealed under a protective shield to guard against accidental spills. The ever-important tare feature allows you to reset the scale to zero, which means you can subtract the weight of the container or add multiple ingredients to any measurement. The scale has an auto-shut off feature of four minutes, which can help extend that battery life, so be aware when making longer recipes.

Price at time of publish: $27

  • Weight Capacity: 11 pounds
  • Tare: Yes
  • Wash: Optional stainless steel platform is dishwasher safe; hand wash the rest

Best Splurge: Zwilling Enfinigy 22lb Digital Food Scale

Zwilling Enfinigy 22lb Digital Food Scale

Amazon

Pros: It's accurate up to 22 pounds.

Cons: Grams to ounces button is located on the bottom of the scale, which isn't ideal for small measurements.

Designed by Italy's renowned Matteo Thun Milano studio and engineered by the experts at Zwilling in Germany, this modern kitchen sale weds form and function. It's easy to store and transport while still able to weigh large quantities, up to 22 pounds, extremely accurately. Weigh food directly on its surface or on a piece of parchment paper. While the glass top is simple to clean with a wet cloth or sponge, it can crack if knocked with a heavy bowl, so weigh with care.A large glass-topped weighing area with an LCD display makes digital numbers easy to read no matter what's on the scale. The display goes dark when turned off, but it does come with a USB cable for charging.

Price at time of publish: $65

  • Weight Capacity: 22 pounds
  • Tare: Yes
  • Wash: Hand wash

Best Digital Scale: KitchenAid Glass Digital Scale

KitchenAid Glass Digital Scale

Amazon

Pros: Change the unit of measurement with an easy-to-use dial.

Cons: We wish it didn't rely on batteries for power.

If you beat batter and whip frosting with a KitchenAid stand mixer or hand mixer, consider this digital scale the next baking tool you buy. With a bright, backlit screen and rotating knob, which recalls those of KitchenAid's countertop electric ovens, this scale is easy to adjust and read. While the scale can power off, it will automatically shut down after three minutes of no action. Wipe it with a damp cloth or towel and dry it for best performance. It holds up to 11 pounds, but it must be wiped down for best results. Three AAA batteries are included.

Price at time of publish: $27

  • Weight Capacity: 11 pounds
  • Tare: Yes
  • Wash: Hand wash

Best Round Scale: Ozeri Pronto

Ozeri Pronto

Amazon

Pros: It's inexpensive and accurate.

Cons: Battery operated.

This little scale could not be easier to use, store, or clean, and it's a great value. With the push of a button, it converts between grams, pounds, ounces, and mililiters, and it has a separate tare button to zero out any measurement. Able to weigh ingredients up to 11.24 pounds (or 5,100 grams) in increments of 0.05 ounces or one gram. Ozeri upgraded this version with a larger weighing platform to fit more ingredients, but it still has a small footprint. It comes in a variety of colors.

Price at time of publish: $15

  • Weight Capacity: 11.24 pounds
  • Tare: Yes
  • Wash: Hand wash

Best Waterproof Scale: Williams Sonoma Tare Waterproof Scale

Williams Sonoma Tare Waterproof Scale

Williams Sonoma

Pros: It has touchless features, like the tare button.

Cons: A glass top can be fragile.

Williams Sonoma's Tare Waterproof Scale has everything you'd want in a food scale, from a compact, sleek design to high-tech features. It lets you accurately weigh ingredients in any measurement, from ounces to fluid ounces to grams or even milliliters. The easy-to-read high-resolution LCD is visible no matter how much flour is in your eyes, and the tare button comes with a touch-free setting. And with just a wave of your hand, you can level the monitor down to zero. The glass top is easy to wipe and sanitize, while the waterproof body makes wiping the scale down easy.

Price at time of publish: $55 for 11-Lb.

  • Weight Capacity: 11 or 30 pounds
  • Cups: Yes
  • Wash: Hand wash

Best Scale with Bowl: Cuisinart Stainless Steel Bowl Scale

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Bowl Scale

Amazon

Pros: The attached bowl makes measuring easy, and it's especially helpful for baking or measuring wet ingredients into dry.

Cons: Measurements are only in fractions.

This Cuisinart scale is the best of both worlds: a tempered glass weighing platform with a gradient-marked, fitted stainless steel bowl. The bowl even inverts to fully disguise the base on the countertop and comes with its own batteries. The extra-large LCD screen can display weights in U.S. or metric mode, and switching from ounces to grams takes just a click. The tempered glass plate is easy to clean and can be removed when done.

Price at time of publish: $46

  • Weight Capacity: 11 pounds
  • Tare: Yes
  • Wash: Bowl and glass plate are dishwasher safe

Our Favorite

Kitchen scales are incredibly useful tools for cooking, fermenting, and baking projects that require precise proportions of ingredients. Consistently accurate and easy to read with its extendable digital screen, our favorite is the OxoStainless Steel Food Scale. For a sleek digital kitchen scale with all the bells and whistles, we recommend the Zwilling Enfinigy.

Factors to Consider

Accuracy

The most important function of any scale is accuracy. While the average cook may eyeball cups and tablespoons regularly, some projects require consistently accurate measurements. An important way to maintain accuracy is to keep ingredients below the maximum weight. Exceeding the weight limit can offset the internal balance and require an entire recalibration of the machine. Test your scale before each use, and always keep the batteries fully charged, as low power can lead to machine inconsistencies.

Ease of Use

A good scale is the one you'll use over and over again. That often means certain features will be more important than others. Newer models with sleek digital LCD screens can be helpful to a home cook, while additional features like motion sensor tare functions can save you time. A backlit screen can help with visibility, as does a single-click unit change button. Decide if you need precise decimals, or if fractions will do. Many models provide both.

Care and Cleaning

While a clean and sanitized scale is a great tool to have, take a tip from the pros and put a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap on the base. Not only will this help with keeping its surface clean but it also makes transferring ingredients easier. Some parts may be removable, but in general, wiping the scale down with a wet cloth or sponge does the trick. When storing, a good choice is to stack your scale vertically. That way, objects can't accidentally rest on the scale causing it to get off balance, which can lead to inaccurate readings. If the numbers seem off, it's likely time to replace the batteries.

Q+A

What units of measure does a kitchen scale have?

Kitchen scales can display weight in grams, kilograms, milliliters, ounces, fluid ounces, and pounds. Different kitchen scales have different units of measurement, so be sure to choose one that's programmed with the units you prefer to work in. To get the most out of your purchase, and to always be prepared, choose a scale with multiple units of measurement. "My scales must have metric (grams, kilos) but also have U.S. conversions," says pastry chef Erin Kanagy-Loux. Our choice for Best Overall, the OxoStainless Steel Food Scale, has a unit conversion button that lets you easily switch between grams, kilograms, ounces, and pounds.

How do you calibrate a kitchen scale?

You can and should calibrate your kitchen scale somewhat frequently to ensure accurate readings. Always calibrate on a flat, level surface but defer to the owner's manual. If calibration weights make sense, use them or whatever is handy to determine proper scale reading. Any owner's manual will help you adjust, as needed.

"I'll weigh my ingredients on each of my scales (I have multiple) to see if one is off. If I only had one scale I would use something that I knew the exact weight of like a pound of butter," says Kanagy-Loux.

What do you use a kitchen scale for?

You can use a kitchen scale for projects that need precise measurements or proportions of ingredients, such as baking, pickling, and fermenting. A kitchen scale is also useful for measuring spices. Finally, you're not limited to food. "I use my scale for everything from recipes to measuring out liquid plant fertilizer and natural clothing dye," says Kanagy-Loux.

Our Expertise

Alissa Fitzgerald is a chef, recipe developer, and food writer with over 15 years of experience in the food industry. For this piece, she interviewed Erin Kanagy-Loux, Executive Pastry Chef, Pastry + Baking Ops Specialist to find out what the pros look for in food scales. She then used their insights, market research, and her expertise to curate this list.

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