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Drop review: An iPad-connected scale for beginning bakers

Caitlin McGarry | Jan. 28, 2015
I love to bake, but it can be such a finicky process. Add too much baking soda? Your cookies are ruined. Try to substitute regular milk for buttermilk? Disaster. It doesn't allow for interpretation the same way cooking does. That's why Drop's new iPad-connected scale is so compelling: It simplifies even complicated recipes down to baby steps, no measuring required.

One of Drop's stand-out features are its ability to scale recipes up or down depending on the amount of ingredients you have on hand or servings you want to make. Only have 4.2 ounces of chocolate chips instead of 6.2? Weigh out the ingredient with Drop before you get started and it'll adjust the amounts of every other ingredient accordingly. The app details everything you need to have on hand, including utensials and ingredient ounces, so you the app can help you adjust a recipe before the mixing begins. Once things start happening in the kitchen, you'll be grateful you set out every utensil and every ingredient in advance.

My Drop experiments were overall successes. The chocolate chip cookies were a little too large and a little underbaked, but that was my fault — I was a little distracted shooting this video. But my coworkers scarfed them down in seconds. My second attempt went smoothly. The three batches of cookies I baked for a dinner party were such a hit that my guests were asking for Drop demos.

The downside

One feature that I couldn't wait to try but wasn't available yet was the ingredient substitution option. Tapping to substitute an item you're out of results in a "coming soon" message, so I was disappointed I couldn't use it when I had no idea where to procure cacao nibs.

I'm also looking forward to the day when you can upload your own recipes or import ones from other sites/apps. For now, you can only choose from the app's recipe database, which, to be fair, is constantly growing.

Bakers in the market for a digital scale probably won't turn to Drop if only because it lacks a display. You can't just weigh an ingredient without going through the whole process of selecting and making a recipe — serious chefs don't have time for all that.

The verdict

I am certainly no expert but I do enjoy baking when I have time, so Drop is the perfect tool for me. It's small and takes up no space at all in my Brooklyn kitchen. It keeps my iPad from looking like a toddler smeared her food all over it. It results in delicious treats.

There are other connected scales, like the $70 Perfect Bake, that are cheaper and give you a little more bang for your buck. The Perfect Bake includes a digital display, three mixing bowls, an oven thermometer, and an iPad stand out of the box. But it also lacks Bluetooth and needs to be connected to your tablet via a wire that has to be plugged into a headphone jack. That's not exactly convenient.

If you have $100 to shell out on another gadget and want to step up your baking skills, Drop will definitely guide you in the right direction. Serious bakers can skip this scale.


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