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The saying goes that timing is everything, and nowhere does that adage ring truer than in the kitchen. Whether you're poaching eggs, whipping up the ultimate chocolate chip cookies, or making a juicy Thanksgiving turkey, ensuring things bake, broil, boil, and sauté for the right amount of time is paramount. A quality, easy-to-use timer is an important tool that every kitchen should have handy — and, no, the timer on your oven or microwave, while perfectly serviceable, doesn't count.
What we're looking for is a standalone timer that's made for counting down the simplest and most complex kitchen tasks alike. No meal is too small for the humble kitchen timer, and no culinary person — from Michelin-star chefs to the greenest home cooks — is above timing what they cook. With that in mind, we set out to find the very best timers on the market. From digital to spring-wound and magnetic to countertop, no kitchen timer is off-limits.
How We Selected Products
As you might suspected, the market for kitchen timers — both online and in-store — is absolutely flooded. They're as small, simple, and relatively cheap as kitchen tools go, which makes choosing the best ones all the more difficult. But as with any kitchen tool, there are certain characteristics that stand out.
Since we're talking about timing — something that's straightforward, especially if you've got a smartphone in your pocket — intuitiveness is vital. We also looked at the interface and overall design, including number (or dial) size, buttons, and even shape. Basically, a good kitchen timer should be easy to set, even easier to read, and fit well in your kitchen, whether placed on a counter, hanging on the fridge, or situated somewhere in between. We awarded extra points for multitasking ability and good looks, too (can you blame us?). Every timer we selected checked at least one or two of those boxes, and many checked them all.
Best Overall Kitchen Timer: OXO Good Grips Triple Timer
If one timer is good and two timers are better, what does that make three timers? For us, it's best overall. The OXO Good Grips Triple Timer is, true to its name, equipped with three separate timers on the same device. It's perfect for the kitchen multitasker in your life or the home cook who's decided to admirably take on cheffing a massive holiday dinner all by their lonesome. Just plop this sucker in a clear spot on your counter, set it, and forget it.
This timer certainly looks complicated, but don't fear the many numbers and buttons — the interface is straightforward, navigating between each timer is simple, and the digital screen's backlight ensures easy reading even from afar. We also love that each separate timer has its own special chime.
Purchase the OXO Good Grips Triple Timer from Williams Sonoma for $26.95.
Best Dual-Timer Kitchen Timer: Taylor Dual Event Timer
Normally going from three to two is a downgrade, but not in this case. The Taylor Dual Event Timer is exactly the kind of no-frills device we love. Don't mistake its simplicity for inadequacy, though. It's got a big digital interface, clearly labeled buttons, and the timer continues counting even after the alarm's gone off.
Perhaps our favorite feature, though, is that this timer can either sit on your countertop or be attached via magnet to your oven or fridge. Talk about versatility when you're trying to pull off a two-part recipe.
Purchase the Taylor Dual Event Timer from Crate & Barrel for $11.95.
Best Dial Design: Williams-Sonoma Stainless-Steel Mechanical Timer
In a digital world, sometimes we yearn for the directness of analog. Fortunately, Williams-Sonoma has that covered, too. Its Stainless-Steel Mechanical Timer is just like the one you probably remember from your mother's or grandmother's kitchen, albeit with some upgrades. The steel finish is sleek and easy to clean, plus the rubber foot means this thing will stay put on your counter no matter what.
And, though it almost goes without saying, it's incredibly simple to use — simply turn the dial to your desired time. This timer is a throwback with lovely modern sensibilities.
Purchase the Williams-Sonoma Stainless-Steel Mechanical Timer from Williams-Sonoma for $14.95.
Most Counter-Friendly Design: Zone Denmark Timer
Kitchen tools serve a purpose, but some are so beautiful that you want to keep them on display. That's exactly what the Zone Denmark Timer is — an attractive, functional timer that earns a place on your counter through sheer looks alone. It won the German Design Award in 2020, as well as the German Brand Award in 2021, so you know you're getting a champion.
We also love the metal finish, horizontal dial, and the fact that it's available in three colors. And if your counter is a little too busy, hang it from a cabinet handle for easy access.
Purchase the Zone Denmark Timer from Afternoon Light for $34.
Best Digital Display: Avina Digital Timer
When we look for something with a digital interface, we want one thing: big ol' numbers. That's exactly with the Avina Digital Timer provides. You can see these LED digits from far across the room, which is useful when you're running between cooking tasks.
Turning the dial is as easy as it is fun — seriously, this thing could double as some kind of fidget toy. And while some folks will (plausibly) argue that this looks more like a car tire than a kitchen timer, we quite enjoy the unique design.
Purchase the Avina Digital Kitchen Timer on Amazon for $19.99.
Best Design For Families: Areaware Everybody Kitchen Timer
Every kitchen needs a little pop of color — especially those with little kids at the hip and crawling through busy legs. Enter the Areaware Everybody Kitchen Timer, aptly named because it is indeed great for everybody. Kids will enjoy the bright hues, polka dots, and the smiling face staring back at them as it winds around.
Adults, of course, will appreciate this timer's straightforward spring-wound design. It's a win-win for the entire household (so long as you keep it just out of reach).
Purchase the Areaware Everybody Kitchen Timer from Slow Down Studio for $48.
Best Egg Timer: Williams Sonoma Perfect Egg Timer
If you're boiling eggs on the regular — for deviled eggs, egg salad, or to enjoy them hard-boiled — an egg timer is an absolute must. Williams-Sonoma's Perfect Egg Timer is just the device for you.
Simply drop it into the pot alongside the eggs you're boiling. The timer itself absorbs heat from the water and reflects the level of doneness, auto-adjusting to the number of eggs surrounding it. Yes, it's really that easy. Under-cooking your hard-boiled eggs (or over-cooking your soft-boiled eggs, for that matter), is a thing of the past.
Purchase the Williams-Sonoma Perfect Egg Timer from Williams-Sonoma for $9.95.
Best Large Display: TMTM Digital Kitchen Timer
If you thought the numbers on the timers before were big, you had no idea. The TMTM Digital Kitchen Timer is perfect for viewing from afar — the unit is 4 inches wide and nearly 3 inches high, so you won't have any issue spotting how much time you've got to go on the pot roast you left in the oven.
The interface's mirror surface is a nice touch, too, which lends to this timer's clean, modern look. It's also got three volume levels and even a mute mode, so it's as easy to hear as it is to see. This timer can be hung, stood on the counter, or placed on the fridge with its magnetic backing.
Purchase the TMTM Digital Kitchen Timer on Amazon for $9.99.
Best Loud Kitchen Timer: ThermoWorks Extra Big & Loud Kitchen Timer
Being able to see how much time is left is one thing, but actually hearing your timer go off is another battle entirely. For folks working in extra large spaces, loud, busy kitchens, or who are simply hard at hearing, the Extra Big & Loud Timer from ThermoWorks is the ticker for you.
The name leaves little to the imagination, but when the timer actually lives up to its auditory promises, we're more than okay with it. The timer's interface is rudimentary, and since it's available in nine colors, you'll be able to pick one that matches your kitchen decor.
Purchase the Extra Big & Loud Timer from ThermoWorks for $22.10.
Best Budget Kitchen Timer: CHEMELIAI 4-Piece Multi-Function Electronic
Perhaps having more than one timer on an interface intimidates you. Or, perhaps, you simply want more than one physical device at your disposal.
Enter the CHEMELIAI 4-Piece Electronic Timer set. These timers are about as basic as it gets — three buttons, digital numbers, and absolutely zero frills — but they certainly do the job, and colorfully. As far as digital kitchen timers go, you won't find one easier to use than this, and netting four for just under $10 feels like a steal.
Purchase the CHEMELIAI 4-Piece Multi-Function Electronic Timer Set on Amazon for $9.99.
Best Thermometer/kitchen Timer Combo: GEFU Digital Roast Thermometer With Timer
Ensuring things cook for the proper amount of time is important, but if you're reverse-searing steak or cooking poultry in your oven, the temperature is just as key. The GEFU Digital Roast Thermometer with Timer is an all-in-one device that covers both of those bases. The thermometer can measure up to 482 F and is customizable based on the meat you're cooking.
Timer-wise, it reaches up to 99 minutes and 59 seconds (as most timers do) and its red backlight makes things easy to read, whether you're checking the time or meat doneness. We love a multifunctional device, and though the price tag is a bit steeper than other timers on this list, the extra features take this one above and beyond.
Purchase the GEFU Digital Roast Thermometer with Timer from Sur La Table for $70.95.
Best Retro Design Kitchen Timer: Zassenhaus Retro Kitchen Timer
Certain things never go out of style, and the Zassenhaus Retro Kitchen Timer is one of them. One look at this bad boy and you'll see how it made it on the list. Timers like this just aren't common anymore, and we can appreciate its metallic finish and overall retro appeal.
This timer has its limitations, sure — it only goes up to 55 minutes and the interface is quite small — but there are certain devices for which we're willing to overlook some functionality for aesthetics. If your kitchen is fashioned with old-school metallic or chrome appliances, this timer will fit right in and look awfully good while it counts you down.
Purchase the Zassenhaus Retro Kitchen Timer from Home Depot for $24.95.
Best Digital Touchscreen Timer: Escali Touch Screen Digital Timer
Fast-forwarding into the future, digital touchscreens are basically the opposite of the old spring-wound dial timers you'd see in kitchens of yore. While some might think a touchscreen timer is a bit much when you're handling food, there's still something to be said for modern function.
That's why we recommend the Escali Digital Touch Screen Timer. Despite its modern proclivities, this timer is as easy to use as any on this list, with three "buttons" and a magnetic back that slips right onto your refrigerator. It even has power-saving features so you won't have to change its tiny batteries too often. Just be sure to wipe your hands before setting it.
Purchase the Escali Digital Touch Screen Timer from Home Depot for $19.95.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.