Weighing and measuring buying guide
There's many different tools in the kitchen which can make cooking and baking a lot easier. From scales and measuring jugs to meat thermometers, this guide will explain the difference between each type and how you can best use them for great results.
Weighing ingredients, particularly when baking or following a meal plan, is an essential part of everyday cooking. Measuring cups and spoons can come in useful but weighing scales provide the level of accuracy needed to perfect any recipe. Read on to learn more about the different scales available.
Digital kitchen scales
Digital scales feature an LCD display screen with a solid platform and usually range from £10 - £30. Most digital scales include an 'add and weigh' function which allows you to measure multiple ingredients in the same bowl, the scale returns to zero after each ingredient is added. This feature also means you can place jugs or bowls directly onto the scales and weigh the ingredients inside. A 'liquid measuring' function is also common and allows you to measure in litres/pints. Most digital scales can easily switch between metric and imperial measurements. Digital scales require batteries.
Mechanical kitchen scales
Mechanical scales rely on springs to move dials, which then reflect the weight of the ingredients that are being weighed. These scales have a dial display, which isn't as accurate as the digital LCD display, and a bowl or tray which can easily be removed for washing. They're a lot bigger in size than digital scales but the traditional look means they're often displayed in kitchens as a retro style statement. Prices also range from around £10-£30.
Jug scales can be used for weighing both solids and liquids. Most feature an 'add and weigh' function which lets you measure solid and liquid ingredients in the same jug, reducing the number of tools needed in the kitchen. The ingredients can then be easily poured from the jug into another bowl. Jug scales have a digital LCD display screen and therefore require batteries.
Available in both plastic and glass, some measuring jugs have an angled rim inside the jug that lets you read the measurements from above as well as from the side. They can be used directly on scales which have the 'add and weigh' function to measure liquids.
The below charts show you how to convert between imperial and metric measurements when cooking.
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Meat thermometers are used to tell when a joint of meat is fully cooked. Simply insert the point into the thickest part of the joint away from bones, leave a few seconds, and check the readout. They should be quick to respond and easy to read.
Many meat thermometers will show the optimum temperature of each type of meat but if your thermometer doesn't, follow the recommended temperatures below.
For best results, follow these temperatures as a guide when cooking meat.
Beef, lamb and venison
- Rare: 52C
- Medium: 60C
- Well done: 75C - 80C
Poultry (chicken, turkey, goose and duck)