People use spices throughout the world. Some are common enough to be bought in bulk at the grocery store, while others are worth as much as some precious metals and are difficult to get unless you’re a professional chef. Whether they’re being packaged in bulk or used in a recipe, they must be weighed accurately. In this post, we’ll discuss which scales and balances are best for weighing spices.
Why use a scale to weigh spices and herbs?
There are many different reasons to use a scale to measure herbs, spices and other ingredients. First and foremost, consumers and sellers alike want to get what they pay for. It’s also important to know how much of an ingredient is in food, whether it’s to ensure recipe consistency, adjust the recipe or to prevent health problems.
While cups and measuring spoons seem handy, compared to measurements based on weight or mass, they’re very inaccurate. A single cup of flour could vary by as much as 30 grams between measurements. If you have to scale a recipe up, doubling or tripling ingredients, you can imagine how quickly that adds up! And with expensive or strong spices, it’s important to keep measurements accurate for the food to taste good and to reduce waste.
A scale keeps measurement accurate, which reduces variance and ensures the consistency of recipes. If you order a mild curry at a restaurant, you don’t want to get a different tasting and spicy curry every time, you want it to be done to your taste! Same with production; when someone buys a cinnamon roll at the grocery store, they expect the pastry to taste the same every time they buy it. A consistent taste allows consumers to know what to expect and could ensure a customer chooses one product over the other (for example, some people prefer Coke to Pepsi).
Furthermore, a lot of recipes deal with fractions. Maybe a recipe calls for 2/3 of a tablespoon of cumin. What if you have to scale that up? Rather than dealing with fractions or multiple types of measurements, a scale keeps all ingredients with the same unit of measurement. This is also useful because units such as teaspoons can vary from country to country.
A scale also makes measuring quicker and easier. Instead of using an entire drawer’s worth of measuring cups and spoons, a chef can use a single tared container, which makes cleanup much easier. And according to ChefSteps, it’s much quicker to use a scale to measure ingredients. This is particularly important for catering and restaurant professionals.
Lastly, some food requires more precision than measuring spoons. You might think that there’s no way you’d ever use 0.01 gram of readability for cooking, but certain ingredients (for curing meats, or thickening or emulsifying agents, for example) must be used in extremely small quantities, or else they can negatively affect the taste and texture of the food. Some ingredients are toxic in high quantities, so it’s not something you can approximate.
Spices are frequently sold by weight. Scales with checkweighing features like the CKT can help sellers and retailers during bulk packaging. Smaller retailers and independent shops often use compact scales to save counter space. Don’t forget that to sell by weight, the scale must be trade approved. You can get the scales below with approval by NTEP, OIML, Measurement Canada or EC.
WBW washdown scales can be used for batching and large amounts, and they’re rated IP66, which means they’re highly resistant to water and humidity. They can be washed very easily.
WBZ washdown retail scales are similar to WBW scales, but they are specialized for retail applications. They have a display that shows weight, price per unit and total cost, which can be useful for selling bags or packages of spices.
Raven retail scales have 44 keys and a removable stainless steel pan. They’re perfect for stores with large inventory. The Raven has 2 displays, so the weight, unit price and total price are visible to both customers and operators.
Cooking and catering
Because you only need a small amount of spices to change the taste of a dish, balances that weigh in grams or ounces are a good choice for measuring spices. Compact scales and balances like the Dune or the CB can be operated with an AC adapter or batteries, for quick and easy portable weighing. For larger commercial kitchen, you could also consider a catering scale like our stainless steel Astro.
The CB has an easy-to-clean stainless steel pan that is ideal to weigh spices and powders. Both the CB and the Dune have a sealed keypad to prevent dirt from accumulating or spills from damaging the balance. The Dune is made of sturdy ABS plastic, and has overload protection, which can protect the balance against accidental overload.
The Astro is constructed entirely of stainless steel for quick cleanup. This portioning scale is specifically designed for cooking and catering applications. It’s perfect for experienced cooks, and the generous capacity allows for large batches to be weighed, and it can be used for other ingredients in larger quantities as well. The big green numbers on the display turn red if the balance is overloaded.
These are some suggestions for people who use and sell spices. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We can help you find the perfect scale for your needs. You can also follow us on social media for the latest Adam news, and our blog has all sorts of guides and articles to inform you, or help you make an informed buying decision.