I have two timers in my kitchen that I use regularly – my oven timer and a portable digital timer – and I probably use both of them every day. For both cooking and baking, it’s really imperative to have a good timer in the kitchen. It’s possible to do both without the aid of a timer, just glancing at the clock from time to time and getting up to check on whatever you’re cooking once in a while (I’ve done this before), but it’s just a lot easier and more efficient to set a timer so that you will know when food is ready.
This is especially true when you are cooking multiple dishes for a large party/gathering or are working on something else – whether it is watching a dvd, doing laundry or reading food blogs – while you wait for your dish to be done, because it is easy to get distracted and overcook or overbake food without the reminder of a timer. This is why I really like this Chef’s Quad-Timer from American Innovative. The timer has four independent timers that can be set from 1 minute to 24 hours. Each one can easily be reset with the time previously entered (12 minutes per batch of cookies, etc) and will count up once the countdown is finished. At the top of the timer, there is a light panel that “visually connects running timers with what’s on the stove,” with one light corresponding to each burner; the lights can also serve as a visual reminder of what timer you’re looking at, regardless of whether you’re using the stove, oven or grill.