Can a High-Tech Scale Make You a Better Baker?
If you’re the type who forgets to add sugar, confuses baking soda with baking powder or can’t figure out how to cut a recipe in half, you could probably use a little help—or something like the Drop ($80) or Perfect Bake Pro ($100). These two kitchen scales can turn the oft-dizzying science of baking into something simple enough for anyone to follow. That’s because they both include one secret ingredient: technology.
Don’t worry, these scales aren’t using those extra features to measure your cooking skills. Instead, they use wireless Bluetooth technology to talk to an app on your smartphone or tablet, which in turn helps scale up or down recipes based on the ingredients you have, walk you through the process step by step and more. All you need to do? Pour.
We put the Drop and Perfect Bake Pro scales to the test with a batch of cookies—you know, for science! Here’s how they measured up.
Photo: Drop via Facebook
The Drop is far and away more interesting, with a teardrop design that’s compact enough to squeeze into a crowded cabinet, step-by-step instructions for more than 700 recipes and integrations with products from GE and Bosch that make it primed for the kitchen of the future. It can scale ingredients based on your preferred number of servings and walk you through each recipe, with detailed directions and timers.
Photo: Make it Perfectly via Facebook
If you’re looking for a traditional scale with a high-tech twist, that’s where the Perfect Bake Pro comes in. It looks like your standard kitchen scale, it has a built-in LCD display (so you don’t necessarily need to use the companion app) and, as an added perk, it comes with three multicolored mixing bowls in various sizes. Unlike the Drop, the app has only about 400 recipes, but each of them has Pinterest-worthy images, detailed instructions and video tutorials that can help you do things you could have never imagined doing, like, you know, measure six-tenths of an egg.
Of course, sometimes too much information in the kitchen can slow you down, and slow isn’t good when you’re waiting for fresh cookies. The Perfect Bake app has confusing navigation and overloaded recipe pages, which can be distracting when trying to measure precisely—and it was, since we routinely went overboard and didn’t get feedback from the app until it was too late.
The Drop has some issues, too, biggest among them the lack of visible LCD display. That means you always need to have a phone or tablet on hand—and it needs to be an iPhone or iPad, since the app is not compatible with Android or anything else. Still, we found the Drop to be more accurate with measurements and easier to operate.
Photo: Drop via Facebook
Overall, the Perfect Bake Pro provided an experience similar to a traditional digital scale, with the option to add in a smartphone for high-tech help. However, the Drop delivered a slightly better baking experience, with an easier app, a bigger recipe database and more consistent results. In the end, both were easy to use, offered a lot of guidance and helped conjure up a lot of delicious cookies.
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