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Nov 8, 2008 07:31 AM

Kitchen Timers - What's in your drawer

There are times, when it's just sheer madness. Being a host for 30 people and as much ~prep~ as I have done even 2 days earlier, just timing things so they are hot when it's time to chowdown, it always tends to be madness over my stove.

Lately, I've been pondering at kitchen timers. Such a useful little device that I don't even have in my stash of cooking tool goodies. The closest thing I do use is the timer that is built into my stove.
However, like the last time I had family over, I wish I would be able to time 3 seperate things.
My ideal timer would be nice and audbile too. Not too obnoxious but audible .

I found one timer that looked like it was a perfect fit. Mostly aluminum build, mechanical and it had 3 timers. However, my biggest gripe was that the audible alert went off for like 3-4 seconds and then it shut off. I dunno if all *mechanical* timers are like that.

So back on to the timer quest.
I might go to the MOMA store as there is 1 timer that I saw designwise that looked great. Not sure about functionality though. And buying 3 seperates is not ideal....but sometimes fashion wins over function.

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  1. I have this four-event timer and like it a great deal.

    In fact, when a guest dropped and broke my last one, I went out and bought the same thing.

    Just tested mine and it beeps, once every second, for a minute.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      I actually did look at that model and u this crazy digital technological world we live in, I was opting for a mechanical just simply for the sheer analog simplicity of things.

      And I think due to the simplicity of things, as I look at it, it may very well be the nature of mechanicals and how they chime/alert.

      1. re: chefwong

        I can certainly understand that. But I find the digital timers to be more accurate. My mother has a mechanical timer and when I cook at her house it always seems to me as though I'm turning the dial less or more than I should. And I can't set it for 30 or 45 seconds as I can mine. I also don't like the way hers rings or how loud it is. Hers, however, is the only mechanical one I'm familiar with and it's quite an old model.

      2. re: JoanN

        Mine's not in my drawer, it's on the side of my fridge: a magnetic Taylor that also has a temperature setting and metal sticks to the oven door, when I'm using it that way. It's worked beautifully for YEARS.

        1. re: Beckyleach

          Here's mine:

          When I need multiple timers, I use my stove and microwave, as well...but this Taylor is loud, insistent, and reliable.

          1. re: Beckyleach

            I have three of them - and all meat thermometers. If you do buy multiple ones then get the same make and type as the probes are NOT interchangeable. And I do use them all. And why three? Let's see how I use them...

            First is just the timer thing - bake in oven for 40 minutes say. In general I prefer to cook to a temperature than for a time, but that isn't possible for stews etc.

            Also, I use a timer to say when I should start something. It's used just as a reminder. I've even set one the night before to remind myself to take something out of the freezer. However, I have stood before a beeping timer scratching my noggin.

            I frequently set one timer to go off after 9 o'clock when the cheap rate electricity kicks in in Toronto. Then I start the dishwasher.

            I have beans soaking outside on the deck. Out of sight is out of mind - except for the timer.

            If I am boiling a pan of water I will set the alarm temperature for 210. It goes off just before the water boils. (It goes off earlier if the probe is resting on the pan bottom.)

            I make yoghurt. I need to keep the milk at roughly 180F for 20 minutes. So I can set it for 20 minutes and also have the alarm go of it reaches 185. Too hot and the yoghurt can be ruined.

            Let's describe my vision of the perfect timer. It's loud so I can hear it in my home office. It has a big display. Don't get a timer or thermometer with a small numbers. You need to be able to read it from 10 feet away. When I press the 'Go' button I say something like "Check if the beans are done". Instead of beeping it feeds me back my message. The older I get the more I want this.

      3. I actually like separate timers so, at a glance, I can see what the status of each dish is. (I just have to remember which is which!) I have two "handheld" timers so one can go out to where the grill is. The two ovens and the microwave all have timers so I can use those even when not using the appliances themselves. I also strongly agree with poster who prefers digital for the short periods of time.

        2 Replies
        1. re: c oliver

          I have a timer from Pampered Chef. I love the digital. It's small so you can put it in your pocket if you go into another room. If you don't shut it off, it starts counting up so you know how long something stayed in the oven longer than it should have. I like that I can stop it but not clear the time so I can hit start again for another batch.

          1. The timer I had for over 20 years died, and the one on my stove never I started really looking around and found this:


            I've had it for almost 3 months and just keep loving it more & more. I'm very visual, so I like that I can view the four settings as a template for the eyes of the stove. It is very straight-forward to use, and the sound carries even if I'm in another room. It has a narrow profile, so easier to store in my space challenge kitchen. It has become one of my favorite kitchen things!

            5 Replies
            1. re: meatn3

              I have that one and I want to love it but the damn thing is so flaky. It stops working at unexpected times (even with fresh batteries). It's pprobably been dropped a few times, so maybe that's the issue, but it LOOKS like it's working, and flakes out while it's timing. grrr.

              I want a kitchen timer that can time multiple things that I"m going to love- preferably one that can sit on the counter.

              Any others to recommend? I don't like the Polder and would prefer something a bit more aesthetically pleasing than the CDN mentioned earlier.

              1. re: Chris VR

                Hopefully the OP found a suitable timer in the last year.

                For anyone still interested, I have this one from CDN and really like it:


                It doesn't do multiple timings, but you can buy two or three. I bought it because it times up to 24 hours and for a digital timer, it is easy to read and is not ugly.

                1. re: taos

                  Yeah, I'm really sold on the one gadget that offers multiple timings rather than having multiple gadgets. I liked mine... when it worked! I'm trying to make up my Christmas list now.

                2. re: Chris VR

                  Must be from dropping it - mine is still working great. Still on the original batteries and I use it frequently.

                  1. re: meatn3

                    Hmm, both encouraging and discouraging. I really do want to like it. Maybe it's worth contacting the manufacturer, or ThinkGeek, since I bet we bought it from them. But I'm not sure I really can have a kitchen timeer that can't be dropped, especially since I've got 2 kids.

              2. Now I rely on the microwave timer and the oven timers. The oven has two timers that operate independently, and that's been really useful.

                However, truth be told, the timer I like the best is my Grandmother's old, beat-up, rusting manual one--can't remember the manufacturer but many of you would recognize and white and you can turn the knob up to 60 minutes, ha ha. It dings when "time's up" and is probably 80 or 90 years old by now. Sometimes, the simplest machines are the most reliable. Unlike my oven, it doesn't have a motherboard that has to be replaced if I look at it cross-eyed. ;-)