As professional cooks we need several basic tools to assist us in our work, and if you bake there is one essential item that I can’t manage without, a Kitchen Scale.
Many dishes can be made without the need for weighing ingredients, Cooks can be a talented group of individuals who use training, skill and experience to produce all manner of wonderful dishes, without the need to weigh things, sauces can be thickened or thinned down, dishes can have the seasoning and consistency adjusted prior to service, this is all down to the skill of the cook.
However, Baking is different, ingredients must be weighed off and blended accurately prior to going in the oven as you can’t correct baked products later, so baking is a much more disciplined activity.
For most of my career I have used Mechanical or Balance kitchen scales, and whilst Digital Kitchen scales have been available for many years I was slow to embrace the technology, if my mechanical and balance scales worked why change them?
The truth is there is no comparison between Digital kitchen scales, Mechanical and Balance kitchen scales, Digital scales are far superior and offer greater flexibility and are very user friendly.
Beware Of Bad Weather..!
For any cooks out there that have never worked on a ship, you may be surprised to know that kitchen scales won’t work in bad weather, in fact let me change that they won’t work in any weather if the ship is moving up and down, ships and boats are moving structures and there are a number of different words to identify these movements.
Surging: The forward and aft linear motion
Heaving: The vertical up and down linear motion
Swaying: The side to side linear motion
Rolling: The rotational motion of a ship about longitudinal axis is called rolling.
Yawing: The rotational motion of a ship about vertical axis is called yawing.
Pitching: The rotational motion of a ship about transverse axis is called pitching.
A scale must be still and on a flat surface, all the movements generate forces which when sufficient enough, and especially in bad weather, cause all scales to keep moving up and down and unable to give a steady and accurate reading. Of course the bigger the ship the less the movement is felt, and some vessels cruise ships and ferries use stabilizers to reduce the effects of wind and sea state.
If you work on smaller ships which are more susceptible to substantial movement measuring by volume using cups, spoons and jugs etc. I have lost count of how many ships cooks I have seen using an A2 1/2 empty can to measure flour for bread making.
Also see article Cup and Spoon Measures;- https://www.shipscookbook.com/2019/12/11/cup-and-spoon-measures/