A digital food scale is a kitchen scale with a digital readout that provides information about how much food weighs, typically in grams or ounces. This type of scale is very useful for people on diets or who are highly fastidious about the measurements used in their recipes. Many scales of this type also include information about the caloric content of common food items, which is useful for people who are weighing food purely for dietary reasons. It is commonly said that measuring cups and other objects that measure by space can be highly inaccurate and that weight is a better way of determining how much of a substance someone is using, but this often requires more effort on the part of the chef.
In many cases, a digital food scale is simply a small digital scale that is accurate enough to measure small quantities of food items like flour or butter. Usually, the scale is used to measure the ingredients that will be used in a recipe rather than the completed dish. Some people use scales of this type for measuring the weight of small parcels as well, but this is not the intended use of the scale. Not all scales are of the same quality or accuracy, so it is important to read about the particular digital food scale in question when making an investment.
The design of a digital food scale is usually straightforward, but there are scales of different sizes and capacities. Most people find that a countertop scale of a small size is sufficient and convenient, but some people need scales that are smaller due to space constraints. Conversion between measurements is also useful for this type of scale, and some devices include switches that will change the readout easily and quickly.
A digital food scale has several advantages over a scale with a needle. For one, the element of human error when reading is essentially removed from the process, as the number is clearly displayed by the machine. In addition, calibrating the scale can be done easily and effectively using the scale's own processes. Zeroing the scale and using the tare function are often quite simple on a digital scale, while a needle scale might lose accuracy during these processes.
While the basic function of a digital food scale is always to weigh food, many scales of this type have additional functions as well. Some can transmit data to computers about foods that have been weighed, and others can provide information about the calories in the food being weighed. These items can be very useful dieting tools, but they are only as helpful as the information within them. For many people, looking up this information from a more reputable source may be a better idea.