Last updated: 16/10/2022

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They say that time is money and when it comes to cooking, it really is money. When preparing a recipe, especially a new one, time is of the essence to avoid spoiling the dish.

The kitchen timer is specifically designed to be a practical tool for this purpose. It’s amazing how such a small device can make such a difference to your cooking routine.

It is important that you know all the features of this appliance, as well as the aspects that differentiate them from each other. This way it will be much easier for you to identify which type of kitchen timer is the one you really need. Hopefully this article will help you!


The kitchen timer is also known as a timer timer and is designed to count the time while you are preparing food. A programmable frequency stipulates how long it takes for the alarm to go off before you can continue or complete the preparation.

It is important that you know the two types of mechanisms that a kitchen timer can have, which are mechanical or digital, so it will be much easier for you to choose the one that best suits your way of cooking.

To ensure that the product you buy makes you feel 100% satisfied we recommend that you take into account some factors such as time measurement, design and functions that can make the difference.

The Best Timer: Our Picks

Buying guide: What you need to know about kitchen timers

Whenever you want to make a safe and efficient purchase, you should always be informed and know all the aspects of the product you want. This time we want you to know all the important aspects of kitchen timers so that you can choose the one that suits you best and that best adapts to the way you cook.

Don’t spend more time than you need to in the kitchen. (Photo: Katarzyna Białasiewicz/

What is a kitchen timer and what are its advantages?

A kitchen timer, also known as a timer timer, is a device through which you can measure the passage of time while preparing food. They have a programmable frequency that triggers an alarm as soon as the time is up. It is very useful for measuring cooking and cooling times.

Besides the fact that they are extremely easy to use, as their mechanism is very simple, you can find them in any place that sells kitchen items. The best thing is that in the huge variety of designs that these timers have, you are sure to find one that fits your style.

  • Useful and practical
  • They are very easy to use
  • They are very economical
  • Many designs
  • Digital ones need batteries
  • Alarms can be quiet
  • They are fragile

Mechanical or digital kitchen timer – what should you look out for?

There are two variables of kitchen timers that you should consider before choosing one. Although both have the same purpose, there are many differences that you can find between one and the other and that basically lies in the type of mechanism. These can be:

Mechanical. This type of timer is the one that has been on the market for the longest time due to its type of mechanism. In order for it to work, it is necessary to activate it manually by choosing the desired time by turning a handle that activates it. As its mechanism works through voltage, it does not require energy to work.

Digital. Technology has long since allowed a digital version of the timer to emerge, making it much lighter, smaller and with more functions. This type of device requires batteries to operate. With them it is possible to count much more than 60 minutes, whatever the size of the display allows.

Mechanical Digital
Time Up to 60 min Up to 10 hrs
Functions One One to five
Design Many designs Few designs
Placement On a flat surface On a flat surface, standing, attached by magnets or hung on the wall

How much does a timer cost?

Incredible as it may seem, the cost of kitchen timers does not lie in the type of system they have, mechanical or digital. Rather, it depends on their design. There are very simple timers on the market with little capacity to count the time starting at 150 MXN.

Some with a capacity of up to 60 minutes but with original and modern designs can cost up to 500 MXN. On average, to give you an idea, these devices cost between 250 and 300 MXN. They are really cheap and their practicality is worth every peso.

Add a fun touch to your kitchen with this small utensil. (Photo: Alessandro Zocchi /

Where to buy a timer?

As we have already told you, this kitchen utensil is extremely useful, which is why it is also very easy to buy. In supermarkets like Walmart, Chedrahui, La Comer or Mega, in the kitchen department you can find several options. They are usually simple and may not have much variety in design.

Department stores such as Liverpool, Palacio de Hierro or Sears distribute kitchen timers from very simple to premium brands in the sector. It is perhaps in these types of shops where you can find the greatest variety in prices, designs and functions.

All of the above shops have online pages through which you can also purchase a timer. And while we’re on the subject of safe and easy shopping, don’t forget that Amazon, MercadoLibre or AliExpress are some of the online shops with the largest variety of these types of products.

Purchasing criteria

Whenever we buy a product our aim is also, in a way, to acquire satisfaction. The only way to be sure that the kitchen timer you are going to buy will meet your expectations is to take into account some factors before making your choice. We explain the importance of each one, take them into account.

Time measurement

Depending on the amount of time you spend in the kitchen, on food preparation and on the type of food you usually prepare, you need to identify approximately the amount of time you will need to keep track of.

It is important that you take this into account because if you buy a timer that only counts up to 60 minutes, for example, and your preparations require more than an hour, the device will not be useful and you will only have spent money in vain.

On the market you can find timers that measure from 60 minutes up to 10 hours. The longer they measure, the more useful they are likely to be and you can even use them to time other activities.


Now there’s nothing stopping you from cooking your favourite recipes to perfection. (Photo: trustieee/


Design is a rather subjective aspect, but it is still relevant. Consider that a kitchen timer is a device that you should have at hand to be able to use it quickly when required. Therefore, consider whether you will have it presented like any other appliance or whether you prefer it to be less eye-catching.

Nowadays kitchen timers come in a wide variety of designs that can be fun, colourful, elegant, original, delicate, simple or even extravagant and can complement your kitchen perfectly. It all depends on your taste and how much you want it to stand out. Some of them are:

Clock/original. These are the timers with a conventional design. These are the ones that have always existed and although they are the simplest ones you can find colourful presentations or elegant materials such as steel or stainless steel

Fruits and vegetables. These healthy and colourful foods are a must in the kitchen. An original way of representing them is with timers with these designs. The most common are apple and tomato, although you can also find pumpkin, carrot, corn or strawberry for example.

Animals. Don’t farm animals make you think of food? Well, these are the ones you can find in some timers, cows, chickens, piglets and even eggs. These designs give a touch of colour and originality to your kitchen.

Keep track of the time and live in peace! (Photo: Sebastian Leesch /


Mechanical timers have only one function, which is to count the selected time. Digital timers usually have at least two or more functions that can help you to cook in a much more practical way. These are:

Choice of hours or minutes. With this function you can choose how you want to count the time, whether you want to mark the hours in fractions of an hour or seconds. This depends on how easy and convenient it is for you to read the time.

Timer or stopwatch. Some digital timers have not only a timer function (which counts the time in reverse) but also a stopwatch function which counts the time in the normal way.

Pause or stop. By means of two buttons it is also possible to pause and reactivate the time or stop it completely and restart it in order to start it again. This function is very practical because you don’t have to wait for the time to run out before you can use it again

Alarm settings. Each timer alarm is different and they cannot always guarantee that you will hear it. That’s why this function is very useful in case you need to adjust the volume of the alarm. You can even mute it if you don’t want it to make noise.

(Featured image source: hskoken/