- Compact and sturdy design
- Saves your iPad screen from floury fingers
- Weighing is speedy and precise
- Recipe library could be bigger
- Only one colour option
- Minor, occasional glitches
- Review Price: £59.95
- Bluetooth-enabled smart kitchen scale
- Wireless with a one-year battery life
- Compatible with most iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch models
- Requires iOS 8.0 or higher
- Interactive step-by-step recipes via app
- Social recipe sharing
- Recipe rescaling and ingredient substitutions
What is the Drop Connected Kitchen Scale?
The Drop is a kitchen scale with brains. Designed for seasoned bakers and kitchen newbies alike, the it’s here to inject some modern tech convenience into food preparation.
By connecting to an app on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, Drop puts the entire baking process on screen, offering features that your favourite go-to recipe book lacks.
It will re-scale an entire recipe based on how much of an ingredient you have in stock, suggest ingredient substitutions if you’re caught short, and even help you plan your shopping list.
At the heart of the Drop experience is the app’s library and hundreds of interactive step-by-step recipes, which use the scale’s precise weighing abilities as a prompt. A capacitive touch button on the scale lets you manually skip through recipe steps, too. It’s as hands-free as baking gets, which means no more floury fingers on your iPad screen.
So is high-tech baking the future? Time to get hands-free with Drop.
Related: Best Kitchen Gadgets
Drop Connected Kitchen Scale – Design and Setup
Drop is lightweight, compact and durable, which is all you could wish for in a kitchen gadget. The teardrop-shaped scale sports a solid white plastic base, with a red heat-resistant silicone upper coating that wipes clean easily.
A silicone ring on the base keeps the scale firmly rooted to the kitchen worktop while you’re assaulting your mixing bowl with ingredients at record pace. There’s also a battery compartment that requires some kind of tool – most likely a blunt knife – to twist open. The included coin cell battery should power the scale for one cake-filled year.
The tip of the teardrop shape houses a hidden capacitive touch button that activates a red LED light when tapped. It’s angled downwards for easy access.
There’s no screen or weight indication on Drop, which renders it completely useless if there’s no connection to the app – that’s sort of the point, after all. Still, it’s worth noting in case anyone is tempted to grab it as a standalone scale.
It’s all very neat and tidy, which makes storage and clean-up a breeze.
Setup is quick and easy, taking only a few minutes and zero faff. Simply download the Drop recipe app onto your chosen device, pull out the scale’s battery strip, and follow a few quick on-screen instructions.
They include creating a quick account with Drop, switching on Bluetooth on your device, and putting a bowl onto the scale, then filling it with water to calibrate the scale’s weighing function. So far, so simple.
Drop Connected Kitchen Scale – Features and App
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For a device with only one button, Drop can do plenty. But that’s because of cunning design and one incredibly feature-packed app.
Drop can weigh in ounces or grams, and its makers claim it’s versatile enough to weigh anything from a fraction of a teaspoon to just over 13lbs. It can also take temperature readings in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
In the app, you can create a mini bio for other Drop users to see, adjust basic settings such as the weight and temperature units, and set the app homepage to display the Scale screen or the Recipes menu.
The Recipes menu is where things get exciting. Here, you can browse Drop’s own house recipes, community-made recipes, and those from Drop partners such as Good Housekeeping, Jessica Entzel and other top baking bloggers.
It would be good to see Drop adding a more diverse range of recipes to the library as the scale’s popularity increases. I tried to find a Jamaican Ginger Cake recipe, but neither Drop nor its community had one to offer. There’s actually a place in the app where you can let Drop know if you’d like to see a specific recipe in the library, which is a nice touch.
You can sort recipes by Top Rated, Community-made, Baking, Cocktails, or browse from A-Z. There’s also a Getting Started section with beginner recipes such as Quick & Easy Meatballs.
Narrowing down the offerings even further is a detailed search feature. This lets you hunt for a recipe using various filters. There are diet filters, such as Paleo or Low Fat; occasion filters, such as Party Food or Picnic; food type filters, such as Breads or Pastries; and meal types, such as Sides and Desserts. You can also search according to preparation time and difficulty level.
One minor caveat is that you can’t apply the search filters to the entire library of recipes; you have to actually type in a search term to get results. This means you can’t just have a leisurely browse of all veggie recipes.
Tapping on a recipe lets you glance at variables such as its difficulty level, serving size, preparation time, calorie count, and how many ingredients it requires. If you decide to make it, you can tap Prepare, which lists all ingredients and kitchen tools required, including everything from a pinch of salt to a spatula, microwave or kitchen stand mixer.
Drop aims to use a one-bowl approach where possible, promising less fumbling around in the cupboards mid-bake, and less mess to clean up at the end.
Two clever features for customising recipes are also on tap here: recipe re-scaling and ingredient substitution. If an ingredient can be substituted, it will have a grey arrow icon beside it. You simply tap it to see all possible substitutions.
Recipe re-scaling lets you customise a recipe according to how much of an ingredient you have. Tap on “ground cinnamon” in a recipe, for instance, and the app will automatically re-scale the entire recipe to suit how much ground cinnamon you put on the scale. You can also re-scale according to how many servings you’re aiming for. That’s pretty neat.
When you’re happy with the ingredients required, you can tap “Copy List” to save them to your device’s clipboard, then paste them as a shopping list into an email, text or list app.
Tapping “Make” will prompt the first step of a recipe. This is where Drop’s hands-free approach takes over, using the scale to trigger each step, from placing a bowl on the scale, to filling up with ingredients, pre-heating the oven and timing a bake. More on that wondrous process in the next section.
The app has plenty to offer, and you don’t necessarily need the Drop scale to enjoy it. Anyone can download it and delve into the growing library of recipes, although I imagine it would be bittersweet skipping through the interactive recipes without having Drop as your smart assistant.
When you’ve finished a recipe, you can take a photo of your creation from within the app and share it instantly on social media. You can also rate recipes for other Drop users to see and save them in your Favourites to use again.
Drop Connected Kitchen Scale – Using the Interactive Recipes
Following the interactive recipes is an addictive experience that will have iPad owners hooked on techie baking. And once you accept that you’re actually supposed to keep your mitts off the iPad screen – something I found difficult and counter-intuitive at first – Drop is a breeze to use.
I began my interactive baking journey with Drop’s own recipe for pizza dough, and I should mention that Drop didn’t work as it should have the first time round. The capacitive touch button wouldn’t trigger the next stage of the recipe, and I had to manually use the app to do so.
Removing the battery, putting it back in again and quickly pairing the scale with the app again solved this. I asked Drop why the issue might have happened, and they were unsure; that particular scale had worked fine in their tests. It worked a dream after this initial hiccup.
Placing a large mixing bowl on the scale as instructed by the app, I watched the black tick in the bottom left corner of the first step turn green, prompting the next stage – adding warm water – to roll into view.
You can scroll forwards and backwards through the horizontal carousel of recipe steps at any time, which is handy if you want to check out the recipe steps before you start baking.
A weighing button to jump to the Scale screen appeared during the next step, but I didn’t need to tap it. As soon as I started adding water, the Scale screen appeared, then automatically prompted the next step when the target weight was reached.
I then had to add dried yeast, but I was a bit miffed that this step in the recipe didn’t offer me a weighing function – especially given Drop’s promise that the scale can weigh down to a fraction of a teaspoon.
Then again, using a scale to weigh a teaspoon-and-a-half of dried yeast is probably a fiddly and thankless affair. I used a measuring spoon (the horror) and then pressed the Scale’s capacitive touch button to trigger the next stage.
The app guided me fairly smoothly through each remaining stage of the recipe. Even when I had to leave the yeast mixture for 5 minutes, I just used the scale’s button to set the app’s integrated timer ticking. The timer sounds an alert 30 seconds before time is up, and you silence it by simply tapping the button again.
The app also sends a notification to your device for when the timer is nearly up. If you need extra time for rising, baking and so on, you’ll have to use the iPad screen to set the timer again – or simply play it by ear to avoid floury fingers on the screen.
There were a couple of occasions when the app didn’t automatically detect that I was adding ingredients to the bowl, which meant I had to tap the button on the scale to wake it up.
Conversely, the scale did mistakenly think I’d added plain flour when I hadn’t even opened the bag yet, which was a bit infuriating. It took about three attempts restarting that stage of the recipe to convince it that I hadn’t added the flour yet. Since making a few recipes with the scale, this hasn’t happened again.
One feature it took me longer to notice than I care to admit is a small “i” icon on the top-right of each step. When the recipe told me to mix the dough for 8 minutes, I realised there was no instruction on exactly how to mix. With a wooden spoon? In my stand mixer? Fast or slow? I’ve made dough before so I knew what to do, but the beginner baker might be baffled.
When I tapped the “i” icon, a further instruction – “mix until dough forms” – accompanied a picture of a stand mixer… hey presto! Chances are, if a step in a recipe seems too simplistic, that little icon will appear with the option for more detailed guidance, which is often in photo format.
The pizza dough was a triumph, and I went on to trial another Drop recipe – Soft Ginger-Bread and Chocolate Chip Cookies. During this recipe, the app seemed to respond better to the scale, and I’ve had no problem with it since. The cookies were incredibly tasty, so I can happily recommend Drop’s own recipes.
Drop is great used alongside recipes from a book or other app too. You just pop a bowl on it (or not, if you don’t need one), tap “Scale” in the app menu, and start adding ingredients.
The Scale screen has a ring indicating weight, with a handy “Zero” button as you’d see on a manual kitchen scale. You simply tap on the current unit – kg, g, or oz – to scroll through and choose your preferred unit; if you haven’t already done so in the Settings menu.
I occasionally found that I had to set the scale back to zero using the “Zero” button in the app because it was stuck at a fraction of an ounce or pound, which I suspect is down to my badly fitted and uneven kitchen worktop. This happened a few times during the interactive recipes too, but it wasn’t particularly annoying.
Should I buy the Drop Connected Kitchen Scale?
Drop is a fun and affordable kitchen gadget that puts your iPad on the front line of baking at home. The interactive recipes are intuitive and easy to follow, while the scale’s speed and precision make it a reliable scale for bakers of all abilities.
It’s worth downloading the Drop app to your iPad before buying it to check out the range of recipes Drop has to offer. The scale’s appeal lies in the hands-free step-by-step recipes, and if you’re not planning on using them frequently – or there isn’t much that takes your fancy – you won’t be getting the most out of Drop.
Anyone with a flour-spattered, dough-clogged iPad will appreciate the novelty of following tasty recipes on-screen without messing up their expensive tech.
A neat, fun and addictive connected kitchen scale with a brilliant app for interactive, hands-free baking at home.