Digital Scales : Measuring Up to Excellence
Consistency in your menu items truly boils down to how well you measure your ingredients. Even if your chefs are precision cooks, if the original measurements are off, the entire meal is a flop. Your kitchen may utilize measuring devices like cups and rulers, but are you sure you’re getting the most accurate measurements? In the argument for digital kitchen scales, there are many factors that prove that utilizing digital scales in your everyday operations is the best way to measure items in your restaurant.
Digital scales provide a numerical output for the weight of your products, and digital kitchen/portions scales are specifically designed for measuring portions (as opposed to receiving scales, which are an entirely different story!). You might be saying that other measuring devices could arguably do the same job, but let’s look at some of the downfalls of other types of measuring tools:
Cups and Spoons : You can use dry and wet cups to measure products respectively, but how accurate are they really? Consider this: a tablespoon of water is a different weight than a tablespoon of cinnamon. And the meniscus of a liquid in the spoon can alter the accuracy of the measurements! Similarly, packing cinnamon into a cup can yield a truly different measurement in terms of weight than if you were to simply scoop a loose sample of cinnamon into the cup! Digital weight outputs are truly the most accurate way to measure products.
Dial-type Scales : While these types of scales are generally a good option for measurement, they are still second to the digital scale in terms of accuracy. Over time, a dial type scale may build up grease, particles, and grime, causing inaccurate outputs. For scales on a raised platform, this can especially become annoying when you need to keep the scale constantly cleaned to get an accurate reading!
Length/Width by Rulers : This is typically used for measuring meat thickness or sticks of semi-solid or solid products such as butters. When you measure the length of an item, the actual measurement of the final product could vary dramatically! Meats especially are truly their own individual ‘creature’ each time you cut a slab of meat, and an inch thick of one ribeye could be ounces different from even the adjacent inch-thick cut! You’ll find the high-end restaurants offering meat by the ounce because of this.
Consistency is merely the result of accuracy, as a scale that has an accurate measurement and output will assuredly provide consistent results. Consider the previous example of a packed cup of cinnamon versus a scooped/loose cup of cinnamon and the potentially disastrous results due to mismeasurement! When your products are consistent, your guests will view your restaurant as reliable - and they’ll be sure to return often since they know that the product they ordered last time will be exactly the same the next time they order it!
Consider the cost benefits of consistent and accurate measurements as well. Your usage and resulting costs are more predictable when employees are properly and accurately measuring products! You’ll lose less money due to wrong measurements, whether it be from a heaping cup of flour or a dish that turned out wrong due to improper measurement.
As we mentioned before, dial-type scales can especially build up dirt and grime over time. Digital scales have a flat, stainless steel surface that can be easily wiped and cleaned. Clean, sealed surfaces don’t harbor bacteria, and digital scales tend to have these qualities!