How To Use Scales for Weighing Food

How To Use Scales for Weighing Food

How to you use scales for weighing food? How do you set them to actually weigh just the food?

In my “How Much Pasta to Make Per Person” post, I mentioned that I used kitchen scales for weighing food.

In this pos,t I will show you a commercial scale and a small digital scale that I use for weighing food and how to set them to actully weigh only the food.

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How to Use a Commerical Kitchen Scale for Weighing Food

I prefer to use large commercial kitchen scales. The one I use is made by Thunder Group. This scale weighs up to 22 pounds of product, but the scales come in a variety of sizes to weigh.

It’s definitely durable, (it’s been knocked around a little during 4 years of use) and it’s easy to clean, it has a wide flat bottom that I can depend on to hold up my full size filled pans of food on a wider platform than a smaller scale

This is the Thunder Group scale that weighs up to 22 pounds of product.

commercial kitchen scale for weighing food with large round dial that weighs up to 22 pounds of food

Set your food container on top of the platform (flat top). The scale will then show the weight of the food container.

kitchen scale with a metal pan on top weighing 1 pound 12.5 ounces

Under the platform there is a turn dial knob, with the pan still on top, turn the dial clockwise to zero.

kitchen scale weighing zero pounds after turning the dial knob

After the pan is removed, the scale will then weigh negative with nothing on it.

kitchen scale reading negative after the pan was removed

Now you are able to put whatever it is you want into your food container, place it back on the scale and it will only weigh the amount of food in your pan.


The scale will need to be READJUSTED (turn dial knob), everytime you change the size of your pan or a use a different food container.

How to Use a Digital Kitchen Scale for Weighing Food

You can buy small digital kitchen scales at local stores or order online.

I use a couple in the kitchen for weighing smaller products, the Winco I use weighs up to 20 pounds of product. It weighs as much food as the commercial but the platform is much smaller, so it cannot hold full size disposable pans.

The ones that I use, run on batteries and/or can be charged.

What the Buttons Are For

  • Light – This button turns your digital screen green or dark grey, not darker, just dark.
  • Pieces – This button counts pieces
  • Mode – This is the button where you will choose pounds/ounces (lbs,oz) or kilograms/grams (kg,g).
  • Tare – this button weighs the pan and starts back at zero

Winco brand small digital portion scale.

small digital portion scale for weighing food sitting on a table

Turn the scale On and wait till it reads zero. Choose you Mode. Then place your food container on top of the flat platform.

small digital portion scale with a half size pan on top weighing 1.4 ounces

Then push the Tare button.

small digital scale showing the push buttons, light, pieces, mode, tare, on and off, with a pan sitting on top of the flat platform

The Tare button, will read the weight of the food container and show a 0 (zero). When you remove the container, it will show a negative.

small digital scale weighing a pan, reading 0 pounds o ounces after the tare button has been pressed

Also, you can add the food while the pan is still on the platform or remove the pan and add your food. Then put the pan back on the platform, before it cut offs automatically.

If you remove the pan and place it back on again, it will still be on the Tare from the last pan you weighed, as long as it hasn’t cut off automatically.

What Happens If The Scale Has Shut Off?

If it has cut off:

  • remove the pan
  • turn it back on
  • check your Mode
  • put the pan back on the platform
  • push Tare

If the scale sits for a while (3 minutes) with no use, it will cut off automatically and you will need to turn it back on and follow the same steps above.

To set a new Tare with a new size pan:

  • turn off the scale
  • turn back on
  • wait for 0 (zero)
  • check Mode
  • place pan on scale
  • Tare

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