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Equipment & Gear: Kitchen Scales
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: 0.1 g precision and usable in the kitchen

My Weigh's i2600 may fulfill your needs.

It can handle 2.6 kg at +/- 0.1 g. Almost all home kitchen needs fall below 2.6 kg (just don't use heavy pots or glass mixing bowls to measure with. The bad news is: this scale is $150.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about an article on pots and pans?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: pots & pans

Excellent suggestion. A pots & pans article has been planned for a while but I haven't managed to write it yet... there are lots of pots, lots of materials, and lots of uses...
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palegreenhorse
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

as for a cheaper scale that does about 2 kg, i'm looking at the myweigh triple beam balance. this is a mechanical balance not a scale so even if i mess up and put my cat on the scale and try to mass her, it isn't going to mess up anything. there is a magnetic damping system so it doesn't take forever to get the reading too. best of all it is only about $80. pretty good for something that has an accuracy of .1 g. my guess is that if you are a bit ingenious you can also get to greater mass since this is a mechanical balance. just rig up an additional counter balance of a known mass. personally i love metric so it being metric doesn't bother me, but some people might find this a downfall. the lack of plug in also means i can put this on display and it can be a fun toy wherevery i want it when people come visiting.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inadvertently checking your cat's mass. Interesting idea. I've noticed that cats seem to change their weight at will (the most notable time being when they decide to step on a full bladder).
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Modman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We looked around for a good scale and finally decided on a Sunbeam Programmable Digital Electronic Postal Scale. It has all the features without the expensive kitchen store price.

* This digital scale offers an easy-to-read 4-digit LCD display, auto zero/tare function and 1 oz./1 gram gradation.
* Features include auto shut-off in 30 seconds and a low battery indication.
* Operates with 1 9-volt battery.

http://www.officemax.com/max/solutions/product/prodBlock.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&expansionOID=-536892121&prodBlockOID=536966697

I think we got ours on sale for $25 or so...
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Codeword
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice article. I have a question though; How do you translate recipies using cup, Tbsp, qt, etc... into measurments in weight? is there some chart of quantities for known goods that one uses?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For many ingredients, the USDA Nutrient Database is a pretty good source of information for conversions.
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codeword
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I am sorta bummed about this conversion thing. The USDA Nutrient DB site is a pain to get through and makes converting a recipie to wieght measurments a long and frustraiting task. It will be hard to get me to sit down in front a computer, and for each ingredient in a recipie, go through the 3-4 pages on that site to find out the conversion, then plug those numbers into a calculator to get the wieght in grams. It is just too much work! It just seems like an extra half hour NOT in the kitchen doing the fun stuff. ... too bad, I wish i had realized the work involved before getting the scale. The counting thing is pretty fun, but how many times can you count your m&m's?

If anyone has any better suggestions, Like a spredsheet of common items etc, I am all ears.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1606
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: converting

Most decent baking cookbooks will present information in mass or weight instead of volume. Many non-baking cookbooks (like The New Best Recipe) will list weights when it is necessary to be exact.

I do my best to include both volume and mass values when presenting a recipe, but in the course of my own cooking and experimentation I have a mental cheat sheet (and in some instances I have written on the box or container).

Butter: 1 cup = 8 oz. (1 Tbs. = 1/2 oz.)
same as water

Sugar: 1 cup = 200 g
Brown Sugar: 1 cup = 220 g
Flour: 1 cup = 125 g

These are the main things that I keep measuring over and over on my scale. Measuring flour or sugar on the scale is a time saver since you just pour until you get to the right number.

Sometimes I need to measure something on the scale and do not know the weight, but the nutrition info box on the ingredient product tells you what a serving size and mass is. So, a quick calculation usually leads you to a decent result. You'll need to remember the following:
3 teaspoons = 1 Tablespoon
2 Tablespoons = 1 fluid ounce
8 fluid ounces = 1 cup

For small measures (1/4 teaspoon, etc.) it is more convenient to use measuring spoons.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"As for a cheaper scale that does about 2 kg, i'm looking at the myweigh triple beam balance. this is a mechanical balance not a scale so even if i mess up and put my cat on the scale and try to mass her, it isn't going to mess up anything."

This is not true mechanical scales have knives as the pivots which can get damaged. Be gentle with any scale if you want long life.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the round up! I have purchased a similar scale, the iWeigh i3000 (with a capacity of 3kg instead of 5), and have been fantastically pleased with it.

I have been trying to steer other folks away from Salter & the usual brands towards iWeigh, since they have a lifetime warranty and seem to be well-reviewed everywhere - and they're not even more expensive!
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JamieC



Joined: 11 Jan 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:36 pm    Post subject: Thank You... Reply with quote

Thanks for the recommendation of the My Weigh i5000. I ordered one last week and, while I haven't used it extensively, I think it will be a superb replacement to my Salter.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which one would be the better choice for the kitchen, the My Weigh 7001DX or the i5000?

The 7001DX is slightly cheaper, but if anyone has used these scales, some comparison/input would be appreciated.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:08 pm    Post subject: Accuracy and precision Reply with quote

A couple of comments on the use of the terms "accuracy", "repeatability" and "precision" in measurement:

Accuracy is a measure of how closely the measured value approximates the actual value. It is often stated as a percentage of the measured value (e.g. "+/-5%"). So we can say that the mass of flour is 150g +/-10% (or, if you prefer, 150g +/- 15g). Implied in this statement is a level of confidence, typically 95% (so "150g +/10%" is a shorthand for "we are 95% confident that the actual value is between 135g and 165g"). A higher confidence level (e.g. 99%) would require a wider confidence interval.

Repeatability is a component of accuracy that takes account of only the random (as opposed to systematic) error.

Precision is a measure of how "finely" the measured value is stated. For a digital display, it is a matter of how many decimal places are displayed. For example, if the display reads 152.24 g, the precision is 0.01 g. For a needle moving around or along a graduated scale, the precision may be equal to the smallest marked graduation, or with experience you may be able visually to divide the smallest graduation into 5 parts and achieve increased precision, so that if there is a marking for every 25g, you can estimate the measured value to the nearest 5g.

The important point to make about precision is that it says nothing at all about whether the measured reading is accurate or repeatable.
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