Gadget Love – The Escali Primo Digital Scale

by moderndomestic on January 4, 2011

I love, love, love the Escali. And it's cheap too - only $25.

Most of you know that I’m a kitchen gadget hater. I’m not talking about paring knives or a good pastry wheel – I’m talking about really useless crap that magazines try to convince you that you have to have.

After talking to some friends and readers, I’ve decided I’m going to be doing some gadget hate/love posts as a new feature for 2011. Think of it as my own little campaign to keep people from buying stuff that only serves to clutter up their kitchens (and, um, because I like to rant). I’ll also be highlighting stuff that I actually use, and find really helpful to have around a kitchen.

So I’m starting with an easy one – but it’s so basic and fundamental that I don’t care if it sounds trite. If there is one baking gadget you’re going to put on your list I absolutely recommend buying a scale. Scaling ingredients quickly, cleanly, and precisely is the hallmark of a good baker, and you’ll be amazed by how much more consistently your baked goods turn out when you weigh your ingredients. Some really tricky recipes – like macarons – can’t be made without scaling the ingredients (in grams, no less). It takes a little bit of practice to learn how to quickly convert recipes using volume measurement into weighed measurements, but once you get the hang of it it’s very quick and easy (and you can do most of the math in your head).

I use an Escali Digital Primo scale. I like it because it’s precise, dependable, doesn’t take up a ton of space in my kitchen, uses regular AAA batteries (not watch batteries), and easily changes between grams, pounds, and ounces. And unlike some scales, which represent ounces in fractions (for instance, it will read 4 ½ ounces, or 4 ⅛ ounces), the Escali uses decimal points (so, 4 ½ ounces reads 4.5 ounces). I find using decimal points much easier when converting recipes between pan sizes, and when doing math in my head. It weights up to 11 pounds, which is more than enough for most everyday baking needs. And the price ranges between $25-$30 at most stores, making it a choice anyone can afford.

No, it’s really not a fancy scale, but it’s affordable and it works, and that’s why it’s in my kitchen.

How many of you use kitchen scales? Do you love them? Hate them?

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Baking Math: How to Convert Recipes from Cups to Ounces | ModernDomestic
January 10, 2011 at 12:17 am

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kenneth Moore January 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

I could also see you visiting people’s kitchens and grading them on efficiency–too many gadgets for a single purpose? Horrible organization? Actually, what I’m really getting at is that I need pro help in my kitchen! I need to start using my measuring cups before I can justify a scale–my motto is “That looks about right…”

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Nicole January 5, 2011 at 11:08 am

i love this scale, i have it in yellow :)
it does have occasional problems calibrating, but the tare button fixes that in a jiffy!

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Alice January 5, 2011 at 11:46 am

I love love love using the kitchen scale (also an Escali, at your recommendation). I made chocolate chip cookies with it a few nights ago, and I loved knowing that I was using the right amount of brown sugar. I always hate wondering if I’m packing it as tightly as the authors of the recipe envisioned… The cookies turned out delicious — score one more victory for the scale!

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Lindelle January 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm

You read my mind!

I’m actually currently researching on purchasing a kitchen scale since I find weighing to sometimes be more accurate than measuring.

Thanks for the tip!

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Bonnie January 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Got a Salton scale last years that looks and performs like the Escali. Been surprised at how much I use it for a lot of things in addition to baking. If I could only get my favorite baking recipes converted to weights, I would be all set.

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moderndomestic January 6, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Maybe I’ll do a post on conversions – they’re actually really easy once you get the hang of it.

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Shannon January 5, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I got this for Christmas and LOVE IT!

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Foxyvee January 6, 2011 at 8:31 am

Love your Blog!!!

I totally agree with gagets- some of them are just an excuse to spend money, not to mention they clutter the kitchen!

I have a scale I bought when I was in culinary school, and it comes in quite handy. It is far easier to “scale” ingredients (liquid or dry) because you dont have to go searching for mesuring spoons and cups. I still use those from time to time, but much prefer scaling.

Happy New year!

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moderndomestic January 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Oooh, where did you go to culinary school? And yes, scaling is SO much faster and neater – I hate having to use cups now.

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Devaki @ weavethousandflavors January 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Hi Jenna – You did a phenom job hosting the DC Food Blogger’s happy hour yesterday evening. I was delighted to meet you and I look forward to many more such gatherings that include chow and chatter :)

As for me, I couldn’t do without my little kitchen scale – saves my life everytime especially with baking and portion control. So I love it and keep it handy on the kitchen counter top. But, if you’re ever going to get around to something arcane like those old time zester thingys (metal with tiny holes on the rim) I might have to turn on my rant.

chow!

Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

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probonogeek January 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Where does one get “Triple AAA” batteries? Does the box actually say AAAAAAAAA batteries?! That would be awesome!

Okay, done being snarky. Sarah and I just got a scale for portion control purposes, but we got something even less fancy, but smaller, as counter space is at a premium in our kitchen.

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moderndomestic January 6, 2011 at 9:18 pm

I’ve never claimed to be a good copy editor. Will fix! Thanks.

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Shaw Girl January 31, 2011 at 10:27 am

Odd little question. I’ve been converting my recipes over from volume to weight and have come upon a little bit of a quandry. For the items weighed in grams mostly (like baking soda, salt, vanilla extract, etc.), how do you handle weighing out the grams? Do you just round to the nearest whole gram or does the scale have grams to the .1 place? For example, for my chocolate cupcake recipe, it calls for 3.35 grams of salt. Would you simply round to 3 grams or can I find a scale that takes grams to a decimal place? I’m trying to decide if I should convert all my recipes to grams or stick with the ounces/gram combo I’ve got going on now but this question keeps nagging at me.

And I’m LOVING this series. Thanks so much for posting it!

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moderndomestic January 31, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I would round up or down to the nearest gram. Yes, I’m sure you can get a scale that will measure grams in percentages (I’m not sure which scale that would be, but I’m sure it exists), but for my purposes I’ve found that rounding to the nearest gram is accurate enough.

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