The Foolproof Trick To Make Sure Your Kitchen Scale Is Properly Balanced

While it may seem like an unnecessary kitchen accessory to some, kitchen scales are incredibly useful tools that are a great addition to your culinary arsenal — especially if you're a baker. As Anybody Can Bake explains, measuring cups aren't always accurate, but metric measurements like grams are universal.

If you've never been able to master the skill of baking, the issue may not be you, but rather inaccurate measurements. Not only that, but kitchen scales help streamline both baking and cooking — instead of multiple measuring spoons and cups, you can simply use one bowl for each measurement (via Williams Sonoma). There is one drawback of kitchen scales, though — technological errors. 

While they're generally more accurate than other measurement systems, both electric and vintage kitchen scales alike can get off balance or uncalibrated, throwing off all your ingredient measurements and ratios. Luckily, there's a simple trick to test if your scale is on balance or not.

Weigh nickels

Electronics are convenient, but not infallible, and over time the calibration in your kitchen scale is likely going to get off balance. That doesn't mean it's broken or unsalvageable, though — just that it needs recalibration. Before fixing the problem, though, you need to be able to identify what it is.

According to King Arthur Baking, there's a simple trick to check if your kitchen scale is balanced, and it only costs five cents. One nickel weighs exactly 5 grams, so all you need to do is weigh one to check the accuracy of your scale — if it reads 5 grams, you're good to go. Some scales require heavier weights for more accurate reads. If that's the case, measure a few nickels. Two nickels should weigh 10 grams, three should weigh 15 grams, and so on. 

If the reading is inaccurate, consult the manufacturer's guide on how to recalibrate the scale. Other potential issues giving you an inaccurate reading could be a low battery, water damage, or even being dirty, per Scales Plus.