How to Work an Oven Timer

Updated February 21, 2017

Setting the timer on your kitchen oven lets you prepare meals in advance, take off for a few hours and return to hot food that's ready to eat. Working an oven timer requires three settings: when you want the oven to turn on, the temperature and the duration of the cook or bake time. The labels and arrangement of the control panel and buttons will vary, depending on the stove model, but the essential settings are the same.

Press the "Clock" button and adjust the hour and minute settings to the correct time.

Press the "Timer" button and the minute and hour controls (use the "+" and "-" buttons on some ovens) to select the time of day you want the oven to turn on for cooking or baking.

Enter the temperature for baking or cooking during the timer setting, for example, 177 degrees Celsius.

Press the "Cook Time" button to enter the minutes and hours required for cooking the food.

Open the oven to insert the food and close the door.


The labelling on your oven may vary slightly, depending on the model. The essential settings to program the oven are time on, temperature, and time off.


Be mindful of food safety and use caution when leaving food in an oven for timer cooking. A frozen casserole, for example, may be safe to remove from the freezer and place in an oven with timed cooking several hours later. Raw chicken, meat, dairy products and fish should not be prepared for timed cooking as bacteria can form quickly as the food reaches room temperature, which may be hours before the desired timer cooking.

Things You'll Need

  • Oven-safe dish or pan
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.