Cooking with a kitchen timer is fun, especially if you know how timers work. It is easy to use, and it makes the whole process of cooking less time-consuming. You can leave your food with a timer to do other things while it cooks only to ping when it’s done.
Have you noticed how your friends, family, or neighbor get called to the kitchen by a ding while in the living room entertaining you or doing other things? Yes, that’s a timer. It helps you to set the time for each cooking so that you don’t stay in the kitchen watching your food all day.
As long as you can estimate the time your food needs to be ready, you can set the timer to that time, leaving the kitchen to do other things without your food getting burnt.
Let’s talk more about what timers can do for you.
What does a kitchen timer do?
1. It measures the specific time it takes to cook your food
If anyone asked you off the top of your head how long you leave your casserole, your barbecue, or bakings in the oven, you might not be able to give an accurate, timely answer. However, from active practice and experience, you know how long you leave your casseroles in the oven; you know how much heat it needs and how long it takes your food to be ready.
When writing a recipe, how do you qualify all of these without confusing your readers? By using a food thermometer and a timer.
While you can use a food thermometer to measure your food’s internal temperature, you can also use a food timer to determine how long it took you to cook the food. Using the average of how long it took you to cook the same meal at different times, you can find a perfect time to put on your recipe.
Using a food timer to measure time is as simple as setting the timer as soon as you place your food in the oven or on the cooker. Then you stop it when you remove your food.
2. It helps to time your cookings
More people use the kitchen timer to time their cooking, more than they use it to measure, and that’s okay! In your everyday cooking life, you can use the kitchen timer to time your cooking. Once you know how long it takes your egg to reach the soft boil you like, you don’t have to go back to the kitchen several times to check. Set your timer as you put your cooking on, allow it to countdown, and draw your attention when it’s done.
3. It serves as a reminder
There have probably been a couple of times where you forgot you were cooking and went on your usual business, leaving the food to burn. You don’t have to feel guilty for that; we all have forgotten our food in the oven a couple of times more than once.
If you want to avoid such incidents repeatedly, using a food timer is one of the best ways. With the timer’s chime, your brain connects easily to the fact that you are cooking, and you get to rescue your food before it becomes ash-black. A timer is the best way to ensure that you never burn any food again.
Types of kitchen timers
Looking beyond brands, kitchen timers are of various types. Some serving specific purposes, which are often limited. Others, quite versatile that they can be used when cooking different food. Here are some of the types of kitchen timer you’ll come across in kitchens.
1. Egg timer
An egg timer is one of those one-use types of kitchen timers. Although it comes in various colors, shapes, sizes, and materials, they are best for making eggs. Egg timers like the color-changing boiled egg timer are used when boiling eggs.
The timer is perfect for when you want a hard-boiled egg, a soft-boiled egg, or a medium-boiled egg. It changes color as your egg boils to help you settle on the color of yolk that will be in your egg as it boils.
2. Mechanical kitchen timer
The mechanical kitchen timer is a timer type that works and displays its figures mechanically. You count out the numbers yourself. This type of timer has versatile usefulness and so can be used for any cooking.
3. Digital kitchen timer
The digital kitchen timer is also another versatile timer. Unlike the mechanical kitchen timer, it has buttons and displays its figures digitally. The digital kitchen timer has been adopted for other timer designs by manufacturers.
4. Electric kitchen timer
Another popular kitchen timer is the electric timer. Although it makes use of electricity, it does not consume as much electricity as you may think. That makes them perfect to be mounted bedside refrigerators and ovens.
5. Refrigerator Timer
Popularly found in some refrigerators is a defrost timer. It is a single-use timer that is used to time how long it takes a meal to defrost. Usually, it is combined and connected to your refrigerator.
How a kitchen timer works
A mechanical kitchen timer has various parts coupled together to make it whole. However, a factor that determines how it works majorly is force. When the dial on the timer is turned, the power needed by the timer to complete a cycle is provided.
Also, as you turn the timer, the spring compresses. The spring slowly unwinds as time passes, touching gears and turning them. The gears, turned by the spring, turn the dial of the timer and move it. Finally, when the spring unwinds completely, a cycle is completed.
An electric timer works like a typical clock. It counts seconds, and that eventually amounts to minutes, and minutes amount to hours. It possesses a pulse oscillator that counts the seconds and a total of which triggers other parts of the timer’s movement.
How to use a kitchen timer
Using or setting a kitchen timer is easy. The procedure is just like getting your oven to work or turning on a fan. To use a kitchen timer:
- Press the timer button on your timer. You’ll find it at the upper right of the controls.
- Press the UNIT button. This will allow you to change the timer’s values to the time/ how long it will take to cook your food.
- Press the kitchen timer button for verification, and then you can move on to the next digit.
- When this is done, your timer will start to count down.
How to turn off a kitchen timer
Turning off a kitchen timer is, even easier than turning it on. Just press and hold the kitchen timer button. This cancels the timer set. You do not have to press some other buttons or remove batteries.
How to reset the kitchen timer
On the digital timers, you’ll find reset labeled on both the minute and seconds buttons. Therefore, to reset your kitchen timer, press the minutes and seconds button at the same time.
How to read a timer
Reading a timer is also easy, just like using a timer. If you are using the digital timer, check the screen for the displayed figure. Your timer is likely counting down. So the displayed figure shows how much time you have to wait for your meal to be ready.
In the case of a mechanical timer, you also have to check the screen’s readings where the hour hand or seconds is headed. This also tells how much time it will take your food to be done.
What food should you use a kitchen timer for?
You can time all types of food. Whether you are using the oven, the microwave, a cooker is a stove. Timing requires that you understand how long it takes to cook a particular meal. When you know that, you can time it to take out later.
Is the kitchen timer safe?
Yes. A kitchen timer is safe and has no danger attached to its usage. Learn to use it, and you’ll find that it makes cooking more flexible and fun. With a timer, you can easily pass direct and accurate instructions to others.
Where can you buy kitchen timers?
You can buy a kitchen timer at a retail store, online, and in the kitchen utensils section of done supermarkets.
What are the best kitchen timers?
There are various digital kitchen timers brands, all of which can also be classified based on their price and mechanical or digital way of display. Read a comprehensive review of kitchen timers to learn more.
How do you fix your kitchen timer together?
Fixing a kitchen timer is easy and can be done through some DIY processes.
When your timer isn’t working, check the battery and replace it with new ones. Otherwise, get a screwdriver and a cotton bud. Use the screwdriver to detach the board and clean it. Also, clear the screen’s back and take out the buttons to fill with the buttons with a spongy mat if they are the problem.
Kitchen timers may be small and thought unnecessary. However, when you start to use them, you realize they are significant additions that should be in every kitchen. They are safe, easy to use, and accurate for when cooking.