Published October 1, 2010. From Cook's Country.
Testers liked the size and user-friendliness of one of the entries, but it wasn’t durable enough to earn the top spot.
A good multi-event timer is handy, able to keep track of each dish whenever you’re preparing several recipes at once. But too many brands have terrible, confusing designs, and aren’t tough enough to survive years of food-covered hands and rough treatment (who has time to coddle a timer?). Our previous favorite, the Polder Dual Timer/Clock/Stopwatch ($11.99), isn’t as durable as we’d hoped, so we tested it against six new models.
We demand a multi-timer be easy to read and straightforward to set. Since it times more than one dish, you should be able to see at a glance which alarm is going off. To test durability, we knocked each one off the counter seven times, and manhandled them with sticky, dough-covered hands. Under this treatment, two timers quit, and a third cracked.
We were particularly impressed by the compact, user-friendly West Bend Electronic Triple Timer/Clock ($13.99), which had all the essential features at a reasonable price. It’s our new winner. Our runner-up, the American Innovative Chef’s Quad Timer ($29.99), is far from intuitive to use. And it can be set only in increments of 1 minute—no seconds. But a vocal minority of testers, including our editor and founder Chris Kimball, insisted that it’s a great timer for anybody willing to read the manual and put in a little effort. We particularly like its sleek design and solid construction. Chris has used it at home for several years, and he swears by it.