It’s about portion control. It’s about making sure you receive all of the weight controlled items you pay for. It’s about ensuring you sell exactly how much you think you sell. Those nickels and dimes add up very quickly in your food supplies bottom line. One reason the kitchen scale has gained in popularity is that chefs have realized the profound difference between measuring items by volume and by weight. Kitchen scales allow you to measure dry, liquid, or chopped ingredients in weight, rather than volume, for very accurate recipes. Different kinds of kitchen scales will range in their capacity, precision, display, size, platform, and units of measurement. So let’s look at the different types of scales and their functions.
The digital portion scale is intended to assist in portion control by quickly and accurately measuring portions to be cooked (precook weight) or serving portions. The majority of your digital commercial kitchen scales are good for weights up to 15 lbs. Digital scales are perfect for the pizza prep lines, sandwich stations, and busy restaurant kitchens with careful attention to exact measurements for recipes. Some digital scales help you save time by calculating nutritional content such as calories, protein, sodium, fat, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and even fiber content. Though the platform may be removable, digital scales are generally not dishwasher safe. Most scales are AC powered, however there are some portable models that are powered through batteries.
The mechanical portion scale is a bit more traditional than the digital scale, relying on the user to determine portion weights. Though not as accurate as a digital model, the mechanical scale is usually more budget friendly and is a good option for concessions stands, pizza prep lines, delis, and restaurant kitchens. The mechanical scale can wear out over time, making measurements inaccurate.
Another traditional form of scale is the hanging scale. You might find these scales in grocery stores, produce stands, butcher shops, and even bakeries. They serve many uses in commercial kitchens as they can range in weight capacity from 10 lbs to over 400 lbs. Much like the mechanical scale, though, the weights many not be perfectly accurate, as users may read weights incorrectly. Since they hang, these scales do not take up valuable counter or work table space.
Also known as legal for trade scales, these scales are the most accurate scales available and have to adhere to specific standards set out by the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP). These scales are most often found in grocery stores, delis, markets, or any place that would benefit from measured food items up for sale. Most models of price computing scales are programmable and offer the ability to print labels. Weight capacities vary.
Commonly known as counterbalance scales, these scales are most often found in bakeries and pizza parlor kitchens. They can range in size from the very small, used for measuring small amounts of ingredients, to the mid-weight scales. Most common of these falls between 2 lbs and 16 lbs. The counterbalance scale enables bakers and prep cooks to quickly set a weight on one side and counter it with either their ingredients or dough, to ensure each portion is as close to the same as possible.
The receiving area of busy commercial kitchens is often overlooked. When restaurant managers and chefs get their supplies, it is often by the pound. Ensuring the accuracy of the incoming supplies’ weights can make a big difference on the profit of the output of food. These scales ensure that you are getting the actual product weight you paid for, which prevents any issues and lost revenue. Receiving scales should be a part of every commercial kitchen’s set up. Receiving scales come in both digital and dial styles and can range in weight capacity from 50 lbs. to over 300 lbs.
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