This essential kitchen gadget will come in handy for many cooking requirements — but that doesn't mean it has to be expensive.

By Melanie Fincher and Adam Hickman
Updated December 05, 2020
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For the average home cook, a digital food scale may sound like another non-essential gadget meant to take your money and clutter your cabinets. But in fact, the opposite is true. A digital food scale not only gives you the most accurate measurements, it also removes the need for the countless measuring cups taking over your kitchen drawers. After hours of testing, we've determined the best food scales to buy.

Best Food Scales at a Glance

How We Tested Each Food Scale

We called on Test Kitchen Product Tester Adam Hickman to put the top-rated food scales on the market to the test. The team rounded up top-rated food scales from brands like KitchenAid, OXO, AmazonBasics, and more. Here are some of the features that each scale was tested for:

  • Accuracy/consistency: Was the scale consistently accurate regardless of where food was placed on the scale?
  • Readability/functionality: Is the digital display still readable with plates, bowl, and trays? Are there multiple options for measurement units? Is it able to weigh large items without maxing out?
  • Cleanup/Storage: How easy is the scale to clean and store?
  • Overall value: Is it worth the investment?

Read on for our picks for the best food scales for all your measuring needs. See one you like? Click the link below each description to get your very own.

Credit: Amazon

Why You Need a Food Scale in Your Kitchen

While measuring cups can be an easy and convenient way to quickly measure ingredients, they don't always yield the most accurate results. Measuring by volume alone can give you varying results, depending on how much flour was packed in the measuring cup. When it comes to baking, this can be the difference between soft and chewy cookies and a crumbly mess. Using a food scale allows you to make sure you're getting the correct measurement every time. Converting a recipe from outside of the U.S.? Many scales will convert measurements for you, or you can refer to our cup to gram conversion guide.

Additionally, if you're counting calories, or simply trying to manage your portions, using a food scale will ensure you know exactly how much food you're getting. Plus, using a food scale will save you some dishes, since you don’t need to wash all those measuring cups.

Best Overall: OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Stainless Steel Food Scale With Pull-Out Display

While the price of this scale is on the higher end of the products we tested, it is well worth the investment. Adam says, "This is the winner in every category. Well designed, consistent, large, easy to clean and store. Cook friendly and good quality. Buy this scale and never by another one."

The design of this scale allows you to pull out the display for easy reading when using oversized plates or bowls. The metal plate is removable for simple cleanup, and the scale will sit upright and easily slide into a crowded cabinet. And if you've got a lot of ingredients to measure, the display will stay on for up to 32 minutes, so you don't have to keep turning it back on. From the backlit timer display to the simple button control, we couldn't find a single thing we didn't like about this food scale.

Credit: Amazon

Buy It: OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Stainless Steel Food Scale With Pull Out Display, $50; Williams Sonoma

Best Budget Buy: AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Scale with LCD Display

If you're looking for a basic food scale to weigh simple things like whole produce, nuts, or other ingredients, this $11 scale from Amazon will do just that. The tare button subtracts the container weight to zero, so you get an accurate measurement every time. The angled display makes for easy reading, and comes in handy when weighing larger items.

On the downside, this scale turns off after 2 minutes, requiring you to continually turn it back on. The metal surface is not removable, which could become an issue for cleaning up ingredients such as flour, oils, or meats. Weighing larger items would likely require a bowl because of the small size of the metal surface. Overall, this food scale will function well for most home cooks, and you can't beat the price point.

Credit: Amazon

Buy It: AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Scale with LCD Display, $11; Amazon

Honorable Mention: Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale

Of course we had to include a tidbit about this highly-rated food scale from Ozeri. This scale features sealed buttons that wipe clean easily. It also boasts multiple options for displaying the same units (i.e. 1 lb 8 oz., 1.5 lbs, or 24 oz.), in addition to grams and milliliters.

However, this display can be hard to read when using larger plates or bowls, and similar to the AmazonBasics scale, it turns off after 2 minutes. While the overall feel of this scale is slightly cheaper than the others (the platform is made of plastic), for the price it definitely performs well.

Credit: Amazon

Buy It: Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, $14; Amazon

Other Food Scales We Tested

If you're curious about what other scales we tested, keep reading. These scales may not have made the final cut, but they're worth mentioning. Adam shares his thoughts on these top-rated food scales.

1byone Digital Kitchen Scale

Although Adam appreciated the basic and easy to use design of this scale, this one slides around the counter easily which makes it difficult to use.

Buy It: 1byone Digital Kitchen Scale, $13; Amazon

KitchenAid Dual Platform Digital Kitchen Scale

This one was intriguing as it has a basic scale and a smaller scale. However the display turns off every 90 seconds, and sadly it didn't give consistent numbers when objects were placed on different spots on the platform.

Buy It: KitchenAid Dual Platform Digital Kitchen Scale, $47; Amazon

Taylor Compact Digital Portion Control Scale

"At nearly the same price as the OXO, this is a good scale but the OXO one offers so many more features," says Adam. "This one would be good for somebody doing small scale production work as it stays on when plugged in and is consistently accurate."

Buy It: Taylor Compact Digital Portion Control Scale, $61; Amazon