America is heavily entrenched in “portion distortion.” Ever heard of it? The American Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says over the past 20 years, Americans’ sense of a “normal” portion has imploded. A cheeseburger 20 years ago was 333 calories, compared to 590 calories today. A plate of spaghetti and meatballs was about 500 calories, and today’s average 1,025. Right now, your plate might have enough food for two or three people on it.
Enter the food scale. Much loved by bakers, bodybuilders, meal-preppers, and coffee masters, food scales are pretty freakin’ cool. Not only are they compact counter-top appeal, they take away the need for multiple measuring cups and can keep your slim suits looking, well, slim. Apart from vanity, being mindful of your portions and servings helps you eat healthy and you savor the food on your plate. Yes, there’s room for lasagna and fried chicken, but the key is portion control.
Here are the best digital food scales to add to your kitchen.
Greater Goods Nourish Digital Food Scale – $40
An ace for accuracy, this digital food scale has four precision weighing sensors. But the coolest part? Nutrition facts for 2,000 foods are stored in the scale’s built-in database, with 99 more custom entries at your disposal depending on your favorite, obscure, or exotic ingredients. You can measure individual ingredients, track full meals, and calculate daily totals (even track macros!). The tempered glass supports up to 11 lbs and allows you to measure ingredients in a bowl so things don’t get too messy. It takes three AAA batteries. Proceeds from the Nourish scale are given to the Global Orphan Project, so double win.
Acaia Pearl – $140
The Ferrari of food scales, the Acaia Pearl is sexy, modern, and … wait, where are the buttons? You won’t find any digital screens on the actual scale since it pairs via Bluetooth to a matching iPhone and Android app. Acaia says the Pearl scale is so high-tech that it will account for changes in weight that result from natural evaporation, with “readability up to a tenth of a gram.” Sure, you can use it for food, but this scale was made specifically for measuring coffee. Yep, the best coffee comes from the perfect grounds-to-water ratio, and every java master knows you need a scale to find that holy equation. Bonus: The battery lasts 20-30 hours.
Gourmia GKS9140 Cutting Board Digital Scale – $28
Bamboo cutting board, meet food scale. This food prep device blends the most common counter accessory — the cutting board — with a removable, matching kitchen scale. This is great if you’re a cheese and charcuterie guy. The “medium” size is a Goldilocks fit, providing enough space for chopping and prepping without taking up the entire counter. Slide your recently chopped veggies onto the digital scale for seamless cut-and-measure. This food scale won’t be uber-precise to the gram, but the minuscule measurements you lose are made up for in the aesthetic.
MARNUR Food Portion Control Scale – $28
This scale made particularly for meats, vegetables, and fruits functions by the user inputting a food code from a list provided by MARNUR. A calculated protein, salt, cholesterol, fiber, fat, and carbohydrate make-up appears (the database holds about 1,000 foods). This option is best for those wanting to improve their diet, which is made easier since MARNUR can accumulate the data of 99 foods. It’ll help you recognize the hidden calories that go into dishes.
Etekcity Digital Food Scale with Removable Bowl – $15
Compact, space-saving, and well-designed (plus this scale costs less than our weekly coffee budget), the Etekcity includes a 10-inch diameter bowl that can hold a top weight of 11 lbs. The bowl is also super practical, allowing you to detach it from the scale, mix ingredients, and even store away for less counter clutter after use. Plus, you can measure liquid volumes, which is not so easily done on a flat scale. If you’re unsure of whether you’ll realistically use a food scale, or want to enter the experiment with caution, this is your go-to beginner’s option that still does the job.