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Even if you don't cook very much evey kitchen needs a set of scales. I usually just use mine to measure out some flour and butter for various recipes and they are invalueable most of the time as it is hard to guess weights and measures sometimes and for some recipes you can't just add a pinch of this, etc, the weights need to be exact.
I have a Salter Mixing bowl and scale. It's actually quite an attractive looking set and if I had the space I would definitely keep this out on the side as it is good enough to display. However, it is nice that it is small enough to fit in my cupboard and comes out when I need it.
The scales have a 2.5L round stainless steel mixing bowl on the top which looks really sleek and fancy. I really like this aspect to the scales. Other scales I have used just have a plastic bowl that you merely weigh the ingredients in and then you have to add them to another bowl so in effect you are getting two bowls dirty meaning more washing up. This bowl is great as you can measure all the ingredients in it at once and then its all ready to mix. THis works because the scales it sits on are electric. When you put your first ingredient in you measure it as you normally would and then you can press the zero function which brings the readout back to zero again so you can then measure out your next ingredient safe in the knowledge that you have got the right amount and haven't had to calculate it in your head by adding the two together.
The bowl sits on a really small weighing scale which is nice as I've said above it is handy to store that way. These are digital scales so there is a blue backlit display with black digital numbers. This makes it easy to read and I have to say way more accurate that scales that have a little needle showing the weight. I have found these very accurate and a good way of measuring things. The weights are given in either metric or imperial measurements so for the older ones among us we can still use imperial measurement which is great as especially like me you have old recipes from your mother or Grandmother which shows weights in these measurements, no more having to go on the internet to find a conversion chart!!
You can also measures liquids in the mixing bowl as there is an aquatronic function which lets you measure in ml or Fl oz. I have had this for a year or so now and have not had any problems with it although it does come with a 15 year guarantee should you need it. The digital display takes AA batteries. I bought mine in John Lewis for about £25.
Having invested in a new breadmaker, I thought it was time to also upgrade my scales to make sure that the bread making ingredients were all measured out accurately.
I had no plan or previous research when I set out to buy these scales, but I knew that Salter was a name I could trust. Looking around the shelves at Sainsbury's, I came across the Salter Aquatronic Scale reduced from £29.99 to £12.99, and acting purely on the financial savings, I went ahead and bought them.
It was only after I got them home that I realised that I had bought the perfect scales for bread making; even if I had carried out hours of research, I still feel that I would have chosen the Salter Aquatronic.
~~What Does Aquatronic Mean?~~
Having an aquatronic ability means that scales can measure liquids as well as dried ingredients. The units of measurement are shown in millilitres as well as kilogrammes.
~~What Do The Scales Look Like? ~~
The scales are completely white. The base consists of a flat white circular measuring platform which is 14.5cm in diameter. On the front is large LCD display, with each digit measuring 13mm - big enough for me to easily read without my glasses on, which is always a bonus!
To the right of the LCD display are two buttons. The top button zeros the scales, as well as switching them on via the ON button; the lower button enables you to choose kg or lb.
To the left of the LCD display, the top button is the OFF button, whilst the lower button enables you to choose between ml or fl.oz.
A large, white, shatter resistant mixing bowl with a lip for pouring, sits on top of the measuring platform. The bowl has a grey rubber ring at the base which provides a good grip and keeps it from slipping off the measuring platform or any other surface. This bowl has a capacity of 2.5 litres which is as large as an average mixing bowl and can take plenty of ingredients. If I want to I can mix the ingredients in this bowl and transfer them directly to a cake tin, avoiding mess and extra washing up.
A little compartment in the base of the scales can easily be opened via a plastic clip, and contains the two CR2032 batteries that are needed for the digital display.
~~What Makes These Scales so Perfect? ~~
These scales mean that I can add different ingredients to the scales mixing bowl without having to empty it each time. If I put in the flour, I zero the scale and (without taking the original ingredient out) add the next ingredient. If I then need a third ingredient I can zero the scale again and it will measure the third ingredient independently.
This really makes life a lot easier when cooking almost anything, but is particularly perfect for bread, as I can put the bread pan itself directly onto the scales, set it to zero, and then proceed to add each ingredient directly into the bread pan, zeroing the scales in between each one. As the scales are aquatronic, I can change the setting to fluid ounces and even add the water. The bread pan can then simply be plonked into the bread maker and off I go. No extra washing up and no more guess work.
The scales are very reactive without being over sensitive. I am able to remove flour a bit at a time with a spoon, and the scales react instantly in a very stable way.
These are without doubt the best and most practical scales I have ever owned. I have now used them for nearly four months and they have proved to be reliable and durable - still looking as pristine as the day I bought them. The scales are covered by a 15 year manufacturers guarantee, which gives me peace of mind.
They are totally flexible and suitable for all ages. The ability to swap between metric and imperial measurements is a great benefit, not only for the elderly who find it difficult to translate into metric, but for anybody using an older recipe that is still in pounds and ounces.