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This $130 kitchen scale is an expensive way to learn to cook

This $130 kitchen scale is an expensive way to learn to cook

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Sur La Table, a cooking-ware store that Wikipedia reliably tells me is French for "on the table," just announced its first foray into the connected space with the launch of their Perfect Kitchen Pro Smart Scale and App System. It's a smart kitchen scale that connects to the Perfect Kitchen apps for baking, cooking, and mixing drinks. The idea is kind of clever — you select your recipe, and simply add ingredients to the bowl / drink mixer / container until the scale pings your phone to stop, and start adding the next ingredient.

The catch is that the Perfect Kitchen Smart Scale costs $129.95, which is simply absurd for a kitchen scale. It's not even close, with most scales topping out at around $20 — some of which are even more precise than Sur La Table’s offering — even if you consider that Sur La Table throws in a cocktail shaker, a set of mixing bowls, a smoothie cup, and a device stand. And should you be truly committed to the step-by-step walkthrough of a smart scale, there are other options on the market, like the $99.95 Drop scale, which is cheaper than the Perfect Kitchen scale and features what appears to be a far nicer-looking companion app that has ability to add and share your own recipes (which Sur La Table's app currently lacks).

That’s not to say that kitchen scales are bad. They’re great! If you like to cook or bake, you probably use measuring cups to measure your ingredients. The thing is, measuring cups, whether it’s the glass Pyrex one you’ve been using for years or a neat nesting stack, are terrible for accurate measuring. Dry ingredients, like flour or sugar, can take up wildly different volumes for the same weight of flour. And even for liquid ingredients, which will uniformly conform to the shape of their container, measuring cups or spoons simply just are hard to gauge reliably equal amounts of liquid each time.

That’s why kitchen scales, which measure the weight of the ingredients, are so much better. With weight, you can be sure that your 100 grams of flour is actually 100 grams of flour, no matter how many cups it can fill. And while that sounds like splitting hairs, too much or too little of an ingredient can make or ruin a recipe. It’s the difference between dry cookies and ones that are chewy and delicious.

It's hard to recommend any smart kitchen scale

But for the price, it’s hard to recommend any of the smart scale options over their cheaper, unconnected counterparts. At the end of the day, the only thing a smart scale saves you is a little bit of addition, as it keeps track of the total amount of each ingredient you've added to your mixing bowl for you. So if you’re serious about cooking or baking, definitely consider investing in a kitchen scale. Just think twice about getting a smart one.