Celebrated chefs often compare running a kitchen to running an army, and precise timing is key to their success. But being able to keep track of everything on the stovetop and in the oven can be challenging, especially when it’s time to cook big holiday meals. Instead of committing several cooking schedules to memory, invest in a kitchen timer. While your oven, microwave, and smartphone likely already have timers, kitchen timers are easier to use and come in handy, whether you’re whipping up cookies or executing a gourmet feast with multiple courses.
What to Consider
Kitchen timers come with a range of features and designs, so keep the following in mind to ensure you’ll end up with one that will work for you.
Batteries: Most of the timers on the market require batteries, but there are still mechanical ones too. We include a few that don’t require battery power below.
Additional Features: If you are looking for a timer that also provides the state of your kitchen, we provide options that show the time, measure humidity, measure the temperature of the house and the temperature of the food you’re cooking.
Design: If form is as important as function to you, we include options that have magnet backing so you can keep it on your oven or fridge and some with kick stands to keep them steady.
How We Selected
We considered all of the different ways you might want to use your kitchen timer, with a range of cook types in mind, from younger kids to retirees. We also consulted experts, and looked at reviews from users to see what worked, and why. Ultimately, we included a broad range of highly rated options from reputable companies.
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Best Budget Option
KTKUDY Digital Kitchen Timer
Size: 3.15 x 0.87 x 3.15-inch
Batteries: 1 AAA battery (not included)
Volume: 70 to 90db
Features: Magnetic backing and stand hook; clock mode and alarm clock mode
This compact digital timer packs a lot of possibilities in its tiny package. This timer comes with multiple sound settings, a loud ring mode and a silent flashing mode for when you’re in meetings. The ring mode issues at 70-90db frequency, ensuring it will alert you even if you’re in another room. The digital cooking timer also offers three modes: a timer mode that counts up and down, a clock mode, and an alarm clock mode.
It’s easy and intuitive to use and operate, and features an on and off switch to save battery life. The timer also comes with a magnetic backing to hang on the fridge, and a retractable stand hook so that it can be hung. The timer includes a one-year warranty.
Reviewers say it “looks great. Nice features. Easy to read.”
Best Wind Up
KeeQii Kitchen Timer
Size: 2.68 x 2.68 x 1.73 inches
Batteries: Not required
Features: Magnetic backing
If you’re looking for an old-school, straight-forward timer, this is the one for you. It’s diminutive and doesn’t require batteries. Simply twist the knob to the time you desire–any time between 1-60 minutes–and then get cooking.
The fact that it does not require any type of battery or electrical power makes it energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. When the time is up, an alarm will sound, which you’ll be able to hear in another room. The back features a strong magnet so it can be attached to a fridge. This timer is kid and elderly friendly.
One thing to be aware of: before each use, you’ll need to turn it clockwise once and stop at zero before setting it.
Reviewers love this “dandy little kitchen timer. The ring is loud enough to hear well, but not loud enough to scare the cat.”
Best for Large Feasts
OXO Good Grips Triple Kitchen Timer
Size: 2.55 x 4.5 x 8.2-inches
Batteries: 3 AAA batteries (included)
Features: Has clock mode; three 100-hour timers
If you’re planning to whip up a multi-course feast anytime soon, this OXO timer will have your back. It’s not small, but it offers much more power than your average kitchen timer.
It’s easy to operate, with a full keypad, and can track up to three different times simultaneously. When not in use, it switches into clock mode and can be kept on your kitchen counter. The screen is large, easy to read, and features adjustable volume and stopwatch functions. The kitchen timer does require three AAA batteries to operate, but they are included with the purchase.
Users say this “versatile triple timer” offers great features like an “automatic count-up when it finishes counting down, so you know how late you are, backlit numbers that are easily readable in the dark.”
Most Family Friendly
Antonki Kitchen Timer
Size: 2.9 x 2.7 x 0.7 inches
Batteries: 1 AAA battery per timer (included)
Volume: 67 to 96db
Features: Magnetic backing and kickstand
This digital stopwatch will have many uses outside the kitchen, especially for families with young kids. This timer two-pack comes in a range of colors (including white, mint green, sky blue, and light pink) and is small enough for little hands.
The Antonki timer has an on/off switch, a loud/silent switch, large buttons, and an easy to read digital screen. The alarm buzzer is loud enough to be heard in another room, and the clock features a memory setting so you don’t have to reset the same time repeatedly. You can also fast-forward to set 60 minutes, and use a basic countdown timer for time management. The timer set comes with a strong magnetic backing and a kickstand.
Many love the design and “look” of the timer, saying their kids use it to help them manage time with homework. Another notes it’s easy enough for “6-year-olds to read and operate.”
OVEKI Countdown TIMER
Size: 3.46 x 1.34 inches
Batteries: 3 AAA batteries (not included)
Volume: 60 to 90 db
Features: Timer up to 99 minutes; magnetic backing
If the style of your digital timer is as important as its job, then this OVEKI timer is worth checking out. The small, round timer is minimalist and high-tech, with a twist operation, instead of buttons.
The LED display is easy to read and looks streamlined. It can be set for up to 99 minutes, and has a strong magnetic backing so that it can be affixed to an appliance and seen at a glance from afar. The timer can be set in quiet operation and silent mode, and the alarm, when it does go off, is loud enough to be heard from another room.
Reviewers say they “love this timer! It works perfectly, and it is easy to understand and set times. Can be used to count up or down.”
KADAMS Digital Timer
Size: 4.17 x 1.63 x 4.33 inches
Batteries: 2 AAA (not included)
Features: 4 mounting options
This medium-sized digital timer can be used for a surprising array of tasks. It is waterproof and shatterproof, and can be used to manage time, measure the temperature in your home (there is a Celsius and Fahrenheit setting), and track humidity. There are four mounting options.
This timer has a maximum 99-minute countdown, and a loud chime that will alert you in another room that the cooking time is over. There is a low-battery indication when they need to be replaced. A one-year limited warranty is included.
Reviewers say this digital timer “helps us stay on track” in the kitchen and beyond. Users say they use this timer to reduce their time in the shower, make sure they’re brushing their teeth for long enough and to “be aware of the time if I only have 10 minutes to fold laundry.”
Best for Serious Cooks
ThermoPro Digital Timer & Thermometer
Size: 2.25 x 0.59 x 1.54-inches
Batteries: 1 AAA battery (not included)
Features: Cooking thermometer; magnetic backing and kick stand
This ThermoPro timer also works as a cooking thermometer, with USDA preset temperatures. You can use this to assess meat temperatures in the oven, smoker, or on the stove top.
The timer can be programmed to go off when preset temperatures are reached. In timer mode, the digital assistant features countdown and count-up ability, up to 99 hours and 59 minutes. The meat probe can withstand 716 degrees Fahrenheit.
Reviewers say this timer and thermometer “works well,” is “easy to keep in the kitchen and very easy to use.” Others appreciate that “the probe can be kept in your food while it is in the oven, and the thermometer seems accurate.”
Taylor Super-Loud Digital Timer
Size: 5 x 6.75 x 0.25-inches
Batteries: 2 AA batteries (included)
Features: Counts up or down to 24 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds; Includes 12/24-hour clock
This digital timer is great for people who like to leave their kitchen projects and walk away, or for those with hearing issues. It issues a continuous ring at 95db until deactivated, which is also important to note for families with young, napping children in the home.
Reviewers dub this timer “perfect” and “sleek.” Another writes that its “easy to use, nice and loud.” Another says it works like a charm for their “90-year-old Mom. She can continue to make cookies without worrying about not hearing the timer.”
Best for Eggs
Size: 2.83 x 2.09 x 1.93 inches
Batteries: Not required
Features: For boiling eggs
The NobleEgg egg timer is everything cooks in search of the perfect egg have been looking for. Simply plop it in boiling water along with your eggs. The egg changes color when they reach the ideal soft-, medium-, or hard-boiled egg consistency. The NobleEgg is made from nontoxic materials and is BPS-, BPA-, and BPF-free. The egg timer comes with a satisfaction guarantee for 180 days. It should be noted that for jumbo-sized eggs, an extra one minute of time should be added.
One reviewer raves that this is the only way they can cook a “perfect egg with no thought! I’ve tried so many different ways to do hard boiled eggs and it’s always a guess.” Other say their kids use this timer to cook boiled eggs without supervision.
U/D Apple Kitchen Timer
Size: 3.86 x 2.99 x 2.72 inches
Batteries: Not required
Features: Only goes up to 60 minutes
If you’re more likely to use a kitchen tool that looks good, then this timer will be the apple of your eye. This stainless steel timer is in the shape of a shining apple and operates mechanically. Before setting the timer, simply rotate it clockwise to 55 minutes, then turn it counterclockwise to the time you want to set it for. You can use this timer for anything that takes up to 60 minutes.
When the timer goes off, it dings once, so this is not something that should be used by people who want to leave the room and know when the time is up. It’s apple-size which means you could bring it with you.
A reviewer writes that “this timer works well for us. We like that there is nothing plastic on it, plus it’s pretty and looks nice on our counter.”
Kathleen Willcox Kathleen Willcox is a journalist who writes about parenting, technology, shopping, food and wine.
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