The Perfect Bake Pro is a Bluetooth-connected smart scale for baking. What is that, exactly? It’s a scale that ties into an app, so you can move step-by-step through a recipe, without missing a beat. My favorite feature? If you over-measure or don’t have enough of something or over-pour, you can adjust the whole thing. You may recall that we reviewed a similar concept last year and were less than impressed. The Perfect Bake Pro knocks that model out of the water in a few ways. It’s a solid metal build with a digital readout, so you can use it even without the app. It’s also a really solidly built device. There are three color-coded mixing bowls, plus the app is also designed to be used with any bowls you have around the house. It also has recommended settings specific to KitchenAid brand mixers.
About that app–you have to make an account (or use your Facebook or Google ID) to use it.
The app has a ton of recipes for all sorts of baked goods–cookies, cakes, even waffles. However, I was sad to see the only built-in bread (by which i mean actual breads, not fruit or veggie-based breads that are secretly cakes – lots of those) recipe was for Irish soda bread. Thankfully, you can download additional recipe packs or enter your own (more on that later). I downloaded the Bread package, which included challah. Interestingly, their version of challah includes milk–not something you usually see in a Kosher kitchen, for reasons outside the purview of this article. Speaking of Kosher cooking, I was sad to find no mention of hamentashen, a traditional Purim treat.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a novice baker. My grandmother baked, my mother baked professionally, and I’ve been baking for 20 years now. I’ve spent much of that time perfecting my few signature cookies. As such, I decided to use the Perfect Bake Pro to expand my range. I chose two cookies–chocolate-chocolate chip mint cookies and “Southern Gentlemen,” a chocolate chip pecan cookie. As a control group, I made my own chocolate chip cookies by hand, measuring the traditional way.
I immediately ran into an issue with the Southern Gentlemen. It turns out I had slightly fewer pecans than the recipe called for. This was where the app came in handy–I adjusted the recipe and moved on.
After one try with the Perfect Bake Pro on my iPhone 6, I quickly switched to my Nexus 7 for the second recipe. The bigger screen worked much better for me, even if I couldn’t get it out of landscape view. Also, if you’re going to want to enter your own recipes (which I did not finish trying), do it on a tablet, not a phone. Doing so is a bit tedious, but if you plan on using the Pro every time or using it as a way to teach your kids how to bake? Worth it.
That really is the best use of the Pro. Despite the name, it’s far, far better for a newbie baker, or for a practiced baker who wants to pass his or her skills on. Also? The Pro scale also works with the Perfect Drink app–when you need a little extra after the kids are asleep–and will work with the Perfect Blend, their smoothie solution shown at CES this year. Personally, of the three cookies I made, I did find my own recipe to be the best. However, I was impressed with how well the other two came out.
The Pro costs over $112 on Amazon, which feels like a real investment. Perfect makes other, cheaper models, but they all offer sacrifices (the SE isn’t wireless, the 2.0 doesn’t have a digital readout). This really has the most features and is the most useful. Is it worth it? If you want to teach your kid to bake and they respond well to digital tools, or if you are a baker who gets distracted (I cannot tell you how many times I have forgotten if I have added 8 cups or 9 to my challah), then yes. My suggestion would be to add this to your Amazon wish list and wait for a sale.
My review unit was loaned to me by Perfect.