Use a Kitchen Scale
A kitchen scale is an invaluable tool, especially when it comes to baking. Weighing ingredients is a much more accurate measurement then volume measurement. A cup of flour can vary considerably when using volume measurements. This is why good baking recipes will provide measurements in weight.
Also, weighing ingredients is often faster and cleaner since you do not need to dirty multiple measuring cups. It is also much easier to scale a recipe up or down when using weight measurements. And, baking recipes are based on common ratios of flour, fat, and liquid. I will post more about these ratios when I review Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio.
When purchasing a kitchen scale you do not need to spend a lot of money, but there are a few features to keep in mind. Make sure the digital display juts out a bit, so if you place a large bowl on the scale you can still read the display. That being said, a somewhat good size platform is helpful when using a large bowl. A zeroing function is also essential. Add the first ingredient, zero the scale, add the second, etc. Metric and imperial conversion is also helpful. Finally, make sure the scale will hold at least five pounds of weight. I have one that holds up to eleven pounds.
A kitchen scale is an inexpensive and invaluable tool. It will help you achieve more consistent results, especially when baking. They’re easy to use and speed up measuring and cleaning time. I cannot believe I went so long without one.