login ask-a-question questions unanswered tags faq


What is the best digital scale that dependably measures items to 0.01 gram precision? I'm l looking for something food-safe, to be used in the kitchen. It doesn't have to be waterproof as such, but should be easy to clean with a towel.


P.S. Most kitchen digital scales only measure to 1 gram resolution. I need higher granularity for measuring out small amounts of spices and cultures.

asked Jan 14 '12 at 13:31

sairuh's gravatar image


edited Jan 14 '12 at 13:34

« previous123next page »

The approach you describe above is reasonable, but as you state you are probably easily off by 30% or more. Mixing well is a VERY complicated art (important in Pharma and food manufacturing). e.g. if the texture of the ascorbic acid is very different then the texture of the flour, and I am sure it is, then merely sifting, stirring, and re-sifting will not give you a homogenous mixture... but I am nerding out.

You need a pinch of ascorbic acid to fix your bread recipe, and you seem to have achieved the desired effect. Excellent.


answered May 08 '13 at 12:18

striperguy's gravatar image


I'm an amateur cook, and baking is not my long suit. I've been baking sourdough bread regularly, one loaf at a time, using in part freshly ground flour. I'd been getting many "flying saucers" despite controlling the usual causes, till I read that "green" (not aged) flour can be a prime culprit in poor gluten formation. My sources Hamelman and Suas are indeed aimed at professionals, but contain actual information sorely lacking in home guides (many of which don't even assume scales). They both discuss the use of small quantities of ascorbic acid as a remedy. This has helped dramatically.

Before reading these new posts, I had just started a new loaf of bread, using 40 ppm ascorbic acid. So imagine my amusement, reading about my "disingenuous" comment! This is a good example for explaining my "I can't imagine" remark, as I too couldn't imagine a reliable procedure until reading Suas; doing this reliably is an issue even in a commercial bakery.

I measured 10 grams of ascorbic acid and 190 grams of white flour, and mixed these together as thoroughly as possible: many iterations of sifting and stirring. I labeled this jar "1:20 AA". I then measured 20 grams of this mixture and 380 grams of white flour, and mixed these together as thoroughly as possible: many iterations of sifting and stirring. I labeled this jar "1:400 AA". For today's loaf, I measured 10 grams of this mixture into the autolyse stage, with the freshly ground flour. The effect that I observe is pronounced and appears to scale with the ppm that I specify; I'd guess that my accuracy is within 30%. With a better scale I surely could do better.

One needs a sense of humor and reasonable expectations with affordable tools, and one needs some cleverness to apply them to best effect. I was indeed here looking for information on better scales than I now own.


answered May 08 '13 at 08:10

Syzygies's gravatar image


Furthermore to Syzygies disingenuous comment: If you are cooking bread on a commercial scale, say a 50 kilo batch you would need .05 grams (50 milligrams) of ascorbic acid if you wanted 1 part per million, barely doable with any reliability even on a good commercial scale.

For home cooking for say a two kilo loaf, if you needed 1 part per million of ascorbic acid now you are talking .002 grams (2 milligrams). This is at the limits of weighing even for a good, enclosed laboratory analytical balance and this is only with the following assumptions: you have recently calibrated the scale, it is on a solid granite vibration reducing table, you are not near a major highway (vibration).

So for anyone to think you can measure accurately to the 10 milligram level (.01 gram) on any scale for home use is just pure nonsense. And to assume that Syzygies could get anything approaching milligram accuracy on anything other than a lab analytical balance is just fooling yourself.


answered May 08 '13 at 07:34

striperguy's gravatar image


We're not talking about mathematics, we're talking about cooking, a practical application of skills and applied sciences. It's entirely reasonable to call shenanigans on a request for a high-precision tool that costs peanuts. High-precision costs money. The ability to calibrate against a standard costs money. So, when someone questions the use-case, it's valid to provide a rationale.

You state ascorbic acid needs to measured in PPM; how is that typically managed? And by who? With what equipment? Comparing an industrial or laboratory situation to a home kitchen is absurd and disingenuous.



answered May 02 '13 at 07:25

Christopher's gravatar image


Yes, ascorbic acid for conditioning bread dough is measured in parts per million. That's why I'm here.

In mathematics "I can't imagine" is not accepted as a proof of anything.


answered Apr 26 '13 at 16:15

Syzygies's gravatar image


I haven't found the solution yet, but all of you guys saying that a .01 resolution is unnecessary in a kitchen is missing something. Coffee. I need a .01 resolution.


answered Sep 27 '12 at 09:35

Wilson%20Hines's gravatar image

Wilson Hines

I've not found a 0.01g one (yet) that is cheap, accurate, and can be calibrated.

I usually like to have sensitivity to one decimal place more than I actually care about so I can see how far off I am from the target weight.

My 0.1g one http://www.scales-n-tools.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=113&zenid=7dq948nm1qgq59o6qr6c5iesm4 works fine in the kitchen (weighing tea, etc.) but I would also like one that is more sensitive for splitting human-dosed medicines (usually in capsules) down to cat-sized doses. Many medicines are 1/10 the cost this way.


answered Jan 23 '12 at 14:30

Sean's gravatar image


There is absolutely nothing in the world of cooking that requires accuracty to .01 gram. Even 0.1 gram accuracy is a bit much in the kitchen though I suppose if you are doing some molecular gastronomy stuff perhaps.

To want 0.01g accuracy for kitchen use is just plain silly. And honestly the only thing that goes that low reliably (this certainly won't do it http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-Scale-Scalemate-Digital/dp/B0012TEQMG/ref=pd_sbs_indust_3) is an anayltical balance that has an enclosure to shield it from air currents.

Here is one on ebay that is honestly a bit too cheap to really be reliable:


They usually cost $1,000 and up.

Here is a used one that was probably $3,000 new.



answered Jan 19 '12 at 12:29

striperguy's gravatar image


Digital 0.01-gram resolution scales are plentiful and very inexpensive (< $20) on eBay and other online retailers. Most of them have a small, flat stainless steel pan, and tare for a container, making them convenient for use with small quantities of food.

I used one from eBay identical to this http://www.amazon.com/American-Weigh-Scale-Scalemate-Digital/dp/B0012TEQMG/ref=pd_sbs_indust_3 and was satisfied with the performance. Note that I was using it for balancing motorcycle pistons, a less demanding task than some others.

Note that you can also obtain scale weight sets for calibration.

I believe that general-use precision weighing of small, light-weight objects is a problem solved by any one of these small,inexpensive digital scales.


answered Jan 19 '12 at 09:27

RCP's gravatar image


I use a Myweigh KD-7000 that I bought online. It's comparatively cheap and gives me a resolution of 0.05 ounces. I can't imagine any cooking application where you would need more granularity than that. It would be incredibly difficult to measure an amount smaller than that with any accuracy due to air currents adding noise to the reading.

One more thing - if you turn off the backlight on the display, the batteries last forever. I've had mine for years, using it every day (for my coffee at least) and I'm still using the original batteries that came with it.


answered Jan 19 '12 at 08:59

signal7's gravatar image


Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or __italic__
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported


Asked: Jan 14 '12 at 13:31

Seen: 85,642 times

Last updated: Feb 14 '14 at 06:59

powered by OSQA