If you have been around the foodie world awhile you have probably heard at least one person say that you should weight your ingredients with a kitchen scale rather than measuring them with measuring cups. So, is that really true? The answer is yes…and no. There are times that you absolutely need to weight your ingredients – usually when baking. And, there are times when it really isn’t necessary – usually not when baking. So let’s take a look at both situations.
Baking is more of a science than an art. Sure, you can be artistic when it comes to flavors or decorating your already baked item, but when it comes down to whether or not the cake rises, falls, is moist, etc., it is all about science. The more precise you are, the more likely your finished product will be what you planned. In reality, there is a little room for error in a lot of baking. An extra teaspoon of flour won’t make your cake fall or even make it unbearable dry. However, if you are making French macarons , an extra gram or two of almond flour really might be a problem (trust me, I know). So, is it always necessary to weigh your ingredients, no, but it will make your baked goods better and more consistent. And, better is, well, better.
If you really want to be artistic, cooking is for you. You can throw in a pinch of this and a handful of that and come up with a masterpiece. Often, you only need weights and measures if you are publishing the recipe or if you know you are going to want to recreate it exactly.
So there are times when you need that kitchen scale and there are times when you don’t, but what you may not know is that you may actually want to use a kitchen scale whether you need to or not. Weighing your ingredients can save a ton of time on clean up. Most scales have a tare button on them that resets the scale at zero. So you can put a big bowl on the scale and weigh in the ingredients one at a time pressing tare between each. When baking, I usually end up with one dry ingredients bowl and one wet ingredients bowl, and no little cups and spoons to wash.
By now, I may have convinced you that weighing is a good idea, but you probably don’t know how much a cup of flour weighs. You can find conversion charts and calculators all over the internet, but I like this one: http://allrecipes.com/howto/cup-to-gram-conversions/. Happy weighing.
You might like this kitchen scale which will be being reviewed soon!