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little ms foodie

Do You Set the Timer or Trust the Internal Clock?

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The post about who uses recipes and who wings it had me thinking last night (as I was winging it with chantrelles!)..... I reached for the timer and set it for my pasta, not because I don't know when pasta is done but because I have a habit of getting involved with other things and forgetting about stuff on the stove or in the oven!! (especially when I'm toasting things in the oven! grrrrrr)

So what about you? Do you always use a timer? Never use a timer?

I also find that sometimes I undercook things if I don't time them. I usually think it's been x number of minutes but in reality it hasn't.

And of course I always use a timer (and recipe!) when baking!


Edited by little ms foodie (log)

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Timer if it needs to be watched ... other than that? eyeballing and tasting (too) often ...


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I have to use a timer. I am genetically programmed to burn the toast. I have a lousy sense of elapsed time though I can walk outside, look at the sky, and be within 15 minutes of the correct time. :blink: I used to have one with a big chord to hang it around my neck. I can't find it now but am on the hunt for a replacement.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I have actually set pieces of toast aflame in the toaster oven through my inattention. :blink: Seems the instant that toaster oven door closes, the bread slices are wiped from my mind as though surgically removed. This doesn't happen with anything else - just toast.


Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Baking? timer always, at less than the recipe calls for.

Otherwise: I usually don't set a timer if I'm staying in the kitchen.

But whenever I leave the kitchen I now take a timer with me. Even if I'm only boiling water. So easily distracted, time track so easily on the side. Oh let me count the pots... :angry:


"Half of cooking is thinking about cooking." ---Michael Roberts

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I have actually set pieces of toast aflame in the tosater oven through my inattention.  :blink:  Seems the instant that toaster oven door closes, the bread slices are wiped from my mind as though surgically removed.  This doesn't happen with anything else - just toast.

Umm, am I the only one who's toaster has a built-in timer?

I am reminded of an incident a few winters ago when the door on my toaster oven jammed shut for some reason. I came into the kitchen to find the toaster (and the bagels within) engulfed in flames. I deftly lifted the flaming toaster (awesome name for a rock group dontcha think?) off the countertop and hurled it out the window in one motion. Going outside to inspect the wreckage, now smoking in a snowbank, I heard my neighbour comment to her husband, "Arne must be cooking again." :laugh:

A.


Edited by Daddy-A (log)

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I set a timer for some things, such as baking and pasta, but it's mostly a reminder because I tend to wander off if something doesn't need my full attention. I have a built-in alarm clock in my head, so I usually return to the kitchen just as the timer's about to ding. It works for laundry and getting up in the morning, too.

But, I don't like to trust timing alone to let me know when food is ready. I usually set the timer to go off a little before the recommended time, and then I'll bite into the pasta, poke the cake with a tester, stab the broccoli with a fork, in other words, use other tests, to be sure I'm catching the food before it overcooks.


"It is a fact that he once made a tray of spanakopita using Pam rather than melted butter. Still, though, at least he tries." -- David Sedaris

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No...you are not the only one with a timer on their toaster oven.....lol..and bee,ive me i use mine frequently..also the one on the regualr oven sees frequent usage as well...I wasnt blessed with a real great internal clock and I do wander away from the kitchen when i cook since its a tiny kitchen to the point it has no lace to sut...just to work with things on the counter...small apartment..and when i wander out of the kitchen in this apartment ..shame on me..i do tend to forget...but like others here i also tend to set the timer for less time than what may be called for...and i also do the same thing when im creating something on my own...use another recipe...for the time as a guidleine..i dont want to undercook anything either...at the same tiem i dont want to overcook...so i also have a meat thermometer to help me out with internal meat temps..as for baking...thats another thing....ive discovered that when baking cakes for things like wedding cakes of half sheets ..something other than normal size..ive discovered that no matter what amount of time is called for in a recipe and no matter what cake book may give recommend times for the different size special cakes...i wind up having to bake those longer in order fot them to be done as they would be for a normal size cake....at first i burned a few..set off the smoka alrm a time or two...but got the hang of what i might need andthen went under that so insure they woukdl be done perfectly but not burned.....lol...so yes...for me..the timer is essential.....lol


a recipe is merely a suggestion

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No timer. I rarely burn anything. On occasion I will forget cookies for a little too long at work, because I've got so many other things going on there, but then I usually make way too many cookies so it's not like I can't chuck a few. I never burn them to a crisp, or anything.

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I knew this one guy who cooked for a frathouse. Every day at 2pm he would set up his cot in the kitchen and set the timer for 1 hour. :)

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Timer? Yup. My biggest problem is getting everything to come out at a predetermined time. I'm anal enough to make a little "cheat sheet". I work backwards, starting with the time I want to serve. Then I list plating time and work backwards. That way I have a "general" idea when to start each dish. If I don't do this I get lost because I don't multi-task well if I don't have a plan. The fact that I've spent my entire career in scientific/engineering disciplines surely contributes to my anality (is that a word?).

In a word...Polder. I also depend on the temp probe to give me an idea of when to pull it and let it rest to finish cooking.


--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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I, like Fifi, can get so wrapped up in other stuff that a timer is essential. Put it in my pocket!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Timer? You get by on one single timer? :shock: Sheesh! I have three of them often all set for different times and my biggest problem is remembering which is set for what. :wacko:


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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When I first started cooking I never used one. But now with 3 kids running around, I always use a timer. I even have one that I can clip on so I don't forget.

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Timer?  You get by on one single timer?  :shock:  Sheesh!  I have three of them often all set for different times and my biggest problem is remembering which is set for what. :wacko:

Haha! My husband does this too! Also we have a few timers in the house, we each have a favorite.

I'm really working on timing things for short amount of minutes like 5, 10, 15, etc. when I'm sauteing, browning, etc. I just need to really work on knowing what 5 mins really is. For this I usually glance at the clock and then mentally time it.

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I set the timer if I'm going to be baking, and know I'm going to be out of the kitchen. Otherwise, I have a very good timer clicking away in my head, at least when it comes to food. I smell and watch the steam and listen for overenthusiatic bubbling activity.


Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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On very very rare occasion I will use a timer. I normally stay in the kitchen. When baking I cook by smell and texture, everything else I eyeball and use this handy dandy thing called a thermometer :raz:


Never trust a skinny chef

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Timer - yes. Always. With everything. 'cept toast. I have one of them newfangled automatic toasters. :biggrin:

The one I have has a clip with a magnet on it, so I can clip it to my shirt or apron (yes, I do have one...) and it beeps until it is shut off. I have a second one built-in to the microwave, and I can use my palm pilot in a pinch, if I really need the third one.

But I always set the timer a little short. So I'm checking everything a ffew minutes before it is "supposed to be done".


Screw it. It's a Butterball.

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I use a timer for all recipes and non-recipe dishes.

Except for my Sunday morning "omlettes" (in quotes because it's not made in the normal omlette manner). For some reason, I always know when it's time to check on the pan. Works without fail...


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Like maggie, I have an excellent timer in my head -- I've never worn a watch, and I never use a timer. One time I fell asleep, though, and lost a toaster oven. :laugh:

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I never used to use any timers, but now the most use from my microwave is the timer function, especially roasting meats and baking or cooking beans. I'll set it to chirp every 15-20-25 minutes, and check progress when it chirps. I have had a lot of good results doing things that way. :smile:

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Hm. The only time I use a timer is when making the Thanksgiving turkey. Scratch that, I use a Poldark which beeps when the proper internal temp is reached. Otherwise I just glance at the clock and estimate when I need to check the food.

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i bot one of those timers where you stick the prob in the meat and it beeps when you hit the desired internal temp...i LOVE it and cant say enough good things about it especially for chickens

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