Comparing Kitchen Timer Styles and Functions

If you have started to spend more time in the kitchen, you may have discovered that a kitchen timer can be a very useful tool, especially when trying to coordinate an entire meal with many dishes. While a watch or wall clock can give you the time as easily as a timer, a kitchen timer allows you to set a countdown for when a dish is complete so that you can fully focus on other dishes or tasks in the kitchen.

When looking for a kitchen timer to meet your needs, there are many styles to choose from. Which one is right for you? Here we list a few of the most popular styles and their advantages and disadvantages to help you decide which would be ideal in your kitchen.

Hourglass Timers

The oldest style of kitchen timer, hourglass timers use sand passing through a narrow hole to measure a set amount of time. Hourglass timers can be found that measure time ranging from 30 seconds to many hours. They are engineered to be very accurate, and since they do not contain any moving mechanical parts, they can be relied on to stay accurate for a long time. A set of hourglass timers also looks very fashionable on the kitchen counter and can be displayed as decoration.

One disadvantage, however, is that hourglass timers do not have an alarm or chime to alert the cook that the time is up, so you must keep the timer in sight. Another problem with this style of timer is that they typically measure short periods of time, up to 5 or 10 minutes. While larger hourglasses can be found, they quickly become very large and bulky as the desired time capability increases.

Mechanical Timers

Mechanical timers are advantageous in the kitchen because they often cover a time range from 1 minute to 60 minutes, which is useful for most kitchen applications. Since they rely on mechanical motion, mechanical timers do not require batteries or electricity. Old style mechanical timers can be a beautiful addition to the kitchen.

However, cheap timers of this type can be very inaccurate and can easily break. If you purchase a mechanical timer, consider buying a more expensive one that uses a traditional clockwork mechanism. Since time is measured in minutes, mechanical timers can not be used for more precise applications, such as 30-second durations.

Digital Timers

Digital timers are the newest and most sophisticated form of kitchen timer. These timers rely on battery or electricity power, so it is important to monitor them when the battery gets low. However, most of these timers have a 100-hour battery duration. Digital timers can also be much more precise than other types of timers, and you can always check to see exactly how much time is left, allowing you to time dishes perfectly with one another.

The main disadvantage that some users may find is aesthetic. Digital timers do not make the pleasant clicking noise and chime that mechanical timers make, and they often have a loud beeping alarm when the dish is done. If the beeping doesn’t bother you, however, digital timers are the most versatile and functional in the kitchen. They can also complement the aesthetic of a more modern style kitchen.

For More Information

For more advice on kitchen equipment and recipes to try, please visit the innovative, interactive cooking website CD Kitchen here.