Buyer’s Guide: The Best Kitchen Timers

Keep your cooking on track and multitask in the kitchen with these precise timing tools.

By Sarah Littleton | Updated Aug 17, 2020 3:40 PM and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

The Best Kitchen Timer Options


Recipes revolve around time. How long to bake a dish in the oven or leave in the pan, how much time ingredients should be left to sit—timing can make or break your meal, especially if you’re focused on other parts of the process. While many cooks use a smartphone to time recipes, this requires repeated handling of expensive devices with gummy hands. Dedicated kitchen timers solve this: they provide accuracy and simplicity in a package built to be knocked around and wiped down without sustaining damage.

Kitchen timers are practical and inexpensive, so owning more than one can be useful for complicated preparations or heavy multitasking. Beyond the number of timers needed, shoppers should consider their preference between digital and analog tools. Digital timers often have loud, prolonged alarm peals or visual indicators, while analog timers are more likely to provide short, quieter pings. Kitchen timers are designed to be magnetically attached to the refrigerator, propped on the counter, or hanging from a cabinet, and one form may be more convenient for you.

The best kitchen timer will fit your work style, space, budget, and timing preferences. We scoured the market to find the most convenient and high-performing kitchen timers available.

Our Top Picks

With those shopping considerations in mind, choose a timer that will be your greatest asset in the kitchen.

The Best Kitchen Timer Option: Wrenwane Digital Kitchen Timer


BEST OVERALL: Wrenwane Timer

The Wrenwane Timer is a highly versatile device: this timer includes a magnetic back for attachment to the refrigerator or steel appliances, a pull-out stand to rest on countertops, and a loop to string it around a kitchen cabinet. The loud alarm can be heard from other areas in the home, so users can also place the lightweight Wrenwane Timer around their neck as they attend to tasks outside the kitchen. Big digits take up most of the timer’s face, allowing cooks to glance across the kitchen to check the remaining time. Its settings range from 1 second to 99 minutes and 59 seconds, and the timer can count down to 0 or up to the set time. As a bonus, this digital kitchen timer can remember the last time setting used. This uncomplicated tool is powered by a single AA battery, not included with purchase.

The Best Kitchen Timer Option: eTradewinds Elegant Digital Kitchen Timer


RUNNER UP: eTradewinds Elegant Digital Kitchen Timer

The eTradewinds Elegant Digital Kitchen Timer features a no-scratch design: thin foam coating on the magnet protects the surfaces it attaches to. A heavy-duty magnet and flat back surface firmly attach to the refrigerator or other appliances without popping off or wobbling. For cooks who prefer placing the timer on the counter, a small pivot stand keeps it equally stable. Its large display is clear from a distance and the 75-decibel alarm is loud enough to be heard from another room. This eTradewinds timer is powered by an AAA battery, with an automatic on/off function after two minutes to save power. A clever memory function on the digital timer recalls the last setting and displays it after automatic shutoff. This durable steel timer is easily set using just one finger, capable of counting up and down from zero to 99 minutes. By holding the buttons down for two seconds, users can fast forward the digits for longer cooking times. For cooks who often make multi-stage meals or require more than one timer running at the same time, this device is also available in a 6-pack set.

The Best Kitchen Timer Option: ZYQY 3-in-1 Alerts Kitchen Timer


MOST VERSATILE: ZYQY 3-in-1 Alerts Timer

Most kitchen timers rely on loud alarms to signal that time is up, which is not ideal for cooks with noisy kitchens, sleeping babies, or hearing impairment. The ZYQY 3-in-1 Alerts Timer offers three signal methods: a red flashing light, loud audio alarm, or vibration. The digital countdown display is large and clear from several feet away. The on/off switch is easy to locate at the back of the timer, and setting it is very straightforward using the large buttons. There are several positioning options available: the timer mounts with a spring clip, sits upright with a stand, or attaches to an appliance with a magnet. This magnetic kitchen timer counts hours and minutes or minutes and seconds, with built-in automatic memory. The ZYQY timer is powered by two AAA batteries, which are not included.

The Best Kitchen Timer Option: Browne 60 Minute Long Ring Timer


ANALOG PICK: Browne 60 Minute Long Ring Timer

Sometimes simple is best: with no buttons to push or batteries to run out, the Browne 60 Minute Long Ring Timer counts down time with minimal hassle. This timer is incredibly easy to use, featuring a dial mechanism for those who would rather not fiddle with a digital device. This cost-effective timer sits neatly on the kitchen counter, where small rubber pads keep it in place. To set the Browne timer, twist the dial to the desired number of minutes, and it starts ticking quietly in the background. When the time is up, a mechanical bell sounds for a lengthy 18 seconds.

The Best Kitchen Timer Option: Kikkerland Vintage Streamline Cooking Timer


RETRO ANALOG PICK: Kikkerland Vintage Streamline Cooking Timer

Not all kitchen timers have to look utilitarian. The Kikkerland Vintage Streamline Cooking Timer offers a bold design statement with its classic 1950s style. Housed in light blue stainless steel, the timer is supported on its own pedestal to angle its face for optimal reading. The retro Kikkerland timer is set by twisting the chrome ring that encircles the attractive red, black, and white face clockwise to 55 minutes, then counterclockwise to the desired time. The cooking timer alerts users with two short bursts of sound when time is up. With its durable steel construction and reliable function, this Kikkerland timer is much more than a stylish timepiece.