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A kitchen scale is only for pro chefs like Eric Ripert and Christina Tosi, right? Not so fast. We’d actually argue that in any home kitchen, a scale is just as important as measuring cups.

Many savory recipes list a weight for produce and grated cheese; if you miss the scale at the supermarket, you’ll have one waiting at home.

And most baking recipes call for the weights of ingredients in addition to the volumes. That’s because weighing ingredients is the most accurate—and arguably the easiest—way to measure. For example, instead of carefully spooning flour into a measuring cup and trying not to spill it on the counter, place a bowl on a kitchen scale and simply dump in the flour.

Investing in a scale might seem intimidating, but we sifted through all of the different options to bring you the very best.

Amazon

Editors’ Pick: Ozeri ZK14-S Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant Black

The Facts:

  • Weighs up to 11.24 pounds in 1 gram increments
  • Unit button converts between grams, pounds, ounces and millileters
  • Features a large weighing platform and just two easy-to-use buttons

While there are many sleek-looking kitchen scales on the market, PureWow’s food editor swears by this streamlined workhorse. “Some scales have way too many buttons, but this one has just two in plain sight—so anyone can figure it out without using instructions,” she explained. “Plus, the base feels really sturdy, like you can throw a ton of flour on it. And the numbers are visible even when you’re using a big bowl.” Plus, she’s owned her scale for five years, through her culinary school training and days of working at restaurants, and it’s still as good as new. 

Buy It ($17)

Amazon

Best Value: AmazonBasics Stainless-Steel Digital Kitchen Scale with LCD Display (Batteries Included)

The Facts:

  • Weighs up to 11 pounds of food in 1-gram increments
  • Displays results in ounces, grams, pounds
  • Stainless-steel with widescreen LCD screen

A word to the wise: Steer clear of inexpensive glass scales, which are flimsy, hard to read and break easily. This no-nonsense model is lightweight and easily slips into a kitchen drawer, but won’t break when it rattles around with your wooden spoons. One of our favorite aspects of this budget find is the tare functionality, which has a history function, so you can work backward if needed (because math can be confusing).

Buy It ($11)

Amazon

Splurge-Worthy: OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull-Out Display, 11-Pound

The Facts:

  • 11-pound capacity scale measures ingredients in 1-gram increments
  • Meter shows how much of the scale’s 11-pound capacity remains
  • Display pulls away from base to prevent shadowing from large plates or bowls 

We’re not gonna lie: Oxo’s kitchen gadgets are always top of the line. That’s why we weren’t surprised when our assistant food editor, a former pastry chef who’s used many different scales in her day, mentioned that this one is her favorite. “It has an ample base for even the largest mixing bowls and an easy-to-read display (big numbers! a backlight!) that detaches from the base, so there’s no awkward maneuvering to read the measurements.” Oh, and it also has a long-lasting lithium-powered battery that’s easy to replace.

Buy It ($50)

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