Underestimating the cooking time of a dish often leads to burnt dishes or undercooked food. If you're the type who can supervise the cooking process of a dish as it simmers on the stove, then you probably won't have such accident in your kitchen. But if you're someone who has other things to do aside from watching the bubbles on your stew, then kitchen timers might just help you run back to the kitchen in time.
Early kitchen timers were miniature hourglasses that were also used in board games such as Boggle. These kitchen timers were configured to run approximately for only short periods of time and required constant checking and turning. Hourglass cooking timers were ineffective as it only diverted your attention from the stove onto the hourglass and not onto any other things you might need to do. Since hourglass kitchen timers do not have any alarms on them, one might actually miss when the time has elapsed when doing something else outside of the kitchen.
Clockwork-type kitchen timers
Kitchen timers were then manufactured to sound alarms that definitely grabbed the attention of the person who is cooking. Clockwork-type kitchen timers worked with a wind up action that sets a specific amount of time to lapse before the alarm sounds. Clockwork-type kitchen timers were eventually incorporated in some models of the cooking ranges and stoves for ease in use.
Digital kitchen timers
Kitchen timers were eventually digitalised as well. This innovation helped one to set an exact time period as seconds can also be programmed into these timers.
Some kitchen timers were specifically configured for specific food items such as eggs. Though boiling an egg may seem easy, the part when you deem it is cooked to perfection (or to suit one's preference) is not easily judged. Luckily, there are egg timers that made boiling an egg quite more scientific; one may easily known when an egg is done for soft-boiled consistency, medium solidity or hard-boiled perfection.
Designs of kitchen timers
Typically, kitchen timers resembled clocks or watches due to their similarity in functions. But as more people now integrate designs and concepts into their homes and into their kitchens, kitchen timers have also become subjects for artistic and creative expressions.
Many kitchen timers are fashioned to resemble or portray items and activities found and done in the kitchen. Kitchen timers are often round in shape; some even adopted the look of round-shaped items such as cheeseburgers, robust chickens and even ladybug designs. Digital kitchen timers often battled it out with designs that are modern and advanced. These kitchen timers are available in most kitchen aid shops.