I enjoy cooking and tend to be the main person in my household to do this task everyday. Until now, my method for timing dishes on the stove and oven has been accomplished using the timer in the microwave, the grandfather clock in the living room and the timer built into my stove. That doesn’t sound like a problem does it? Well it is when you forget what time source was used for which dish. And then there’s the fact that the grandfather clock doesn’t actually buzz when the time is up.
American Innovative has come to the rescue with the Chef’s Quad-Timer Professional. This is a small battery operated digital timer that allows you to keep track of 4 different timed events, all in one small device.
The Quad-Timer stands 5.5 inches tall and 3 inches wide. The professional version like the one I was sent to review, has a black rubberized housing with a brushed metal face. The regular version ($19.99) has a white face and plastic housing.
A speaker grill and battery compartment are located on the back side of the device. The Quad-Timer is powered by 2 AAA batteries.
Besides the large LCD on the front of the timer, there are 2 dials, 4 LEDs and 1 button. The 4 LEDs correspond to the 4 timers and are arranged just like the 4 burners on a standard stove cook top. This allows you to easily see and remember which timer has been set for which dish on your stove. Great idea!
The Silver knob is the mode dial. In the Left-most position, the timer is turned completely off. One click to the Right and the timer is in time of day mode. Turn it one click further and you are selecting timer #1. Each additional click of the dial matches up with Timer #2, #3 and #4.
When the mode dial is set to one of the timers, you can then set the time by rotating the Black value-entry collar (the one with the dimples). Every click of this dial will adjust the timer 1 minute up or down. Each of the 4 timers can be set from 1 minute to 24 hours.
Here is the Quad-Timer in time of day mode.
In the first picture above, I’ve set Timer #1 to 30 minutes. Then to activate the timer and start the countdown, the diamond shaped button between the LEDs needs to be pressed. When pressed, the #1 LED will start glowing Green to let you know that the timer is active. If you press the button a 2nd time, the countdown will pause. Quick presses will toggle between start and pause. If you hold the button down, it will reset the selected timer to 0.
Now the cool part comes when you use the Quad-Timer to time more than one event. At any time, you will be able to see two of the timers as they count down. Using the Silver mode dial, you can select which timer to view in the main display. Then by pressing the bar on the top of the timer, the other timers will show below in the sub display. Each press of the bar will cycle through the 4 timers in the sub display.
The bar will also silence an expired timer when it buzzes.
Besides hearing a loud buzzing noise when a timer has expired, the LCD will blink and the associated LED will blink Red until the expired timer has been muted with the button bar. If you do not press the bar, the audible buzzer will automatically silence after 1 minute. However, the LED will continue to blink until the bar has been pressed. This actually allows the Quad-Timer to be useful for people with hearing problems.
Two more features that I find useful are the fact that once a timer has expired, it will count up from 0:00. So, if you happen to be out of the room when it expires, you’ll know just how much time has elapsed. Also, you can automatically recall the last value entered by pressing the diamond button. Pretty handy if you’re baking batches of cookies or something similar.
In my opinion, there are only two things that would make this device even better than it already is. A backlight for the LCD and a built in digital thermometer probe. The backlight would probably be a much easier feature to add, but a thermometer would be really cool. The Quad-Timer Professional is a very nice tool that any cook would be happy to have in their kitchen. It’s built to last and very easy to use. I didn’t even need to look at user guide except to set the clock. Get one for your favorite chef!