Cooking Thermometers

Kitchen Timers

Thermometers & Timers

The smallest details can often mean the difference between a fabulous home cooked meal and a flop. Kitchen thermometers and kitchen timers are useful tools that help you create the ideal cooking conditions to make your meal a success. Our collections feature a variety of different types, designs, materials and options. Williams-Sonoma carries an excellent selection of thermometer and timer brands such as All-Clad and OXO.


There are many different types of kitchen thermometers available, which can make choosing one a challenge. Thermometers almost always serve a single purpose, so it is important to choose the right kinds for the foods that you want to prepare. Meat thermometers are very popular, as meat has to reach a certain temperature before it is ready to serve. To use one, simply insert the stick into your roast or meat dish and read the temperature. You can find meat thermometers with analog or digital displays. Many modern versions feature an oven-safe cable, so you can leave the stick in the meat as it cooks in your roasting pan.


Some dishes require precise oven temperatures, and even slight variations can cause burning, scalding or sinking. If you enjoy making dishes such as bread or soufflés, an oven thermometer may be a useful accessory to keep in your kitchen. Most oven thermometers clip inside of your oven and measure the temperature in that spot, so they work best when they are placed near the food you are cooking.


Candy thermometers measure the temperature of liquefied sugar and syrup, which helps you achieve specific candy consistencies. Soft candies require different cooking temperatures than hard candies, so this tool can help you get ideal results. Many candy thermometers clip to the side of your cookware; however, you can also find versions that you simply dip into the liquid to read the temperature. You can choose from models that feature analog or digital displays.


Timing is also important for the success of many finicky dishes. If you leave your rolls in the oven too long, they become hard and crusty, and a couple of extra minutes can cause your sautéed dishes to burn. Kitchen timers help you keep track of your cooking time to the minute. Enter in a cooking time and let your sauce simmer in the saucepan or your roast cook in the oven. When the time is up, a loud noise reminds you to check on your dish. Many timers stand or sit on your countertop, but you can find several other options. If your counter space is limited, look out for a version with a magnet to stick on the fridge or a hanger to hold the device onto your cabinet or kitchen shelf.


Like thermometers, timers come in both digital and analog versions. Analog timers can measure a limited period of time and usually fairly easy to use. Simply twist the dial and let the timer count down the minutes. Digital timers are slightly more sophisticated. These let you enter your desired amount of time and count down the minutes on a digital display. Many models can display time to the second and let you start and stop the cooking time as needed. Some models let you enter in multiple alarm times, which comes in handy when you prepare different dishes for a single meal.


Most kitchen thermometers and timers are easy to use and maintain, but you can prolong the lifespans of your tools with a bit of extra care. Always make sure digital devices have working batteries, as low battery power may cause you to press too hard on the buttons. Never wash digital devices in the washing machine. Instead, use a soft, damp cloth and some gentle dish soap to wipe down any splatters or spills.