Do you use your oven's timer?

I was reading an article about saving energy in the house which went through all the usual stuff about how to not use power unnecessarily and how to make the best of your solar power by running things during the middle of the day when the sun is high. This advice included using timers to run equipment when you are not there.
For things like washing machines, pool pumps etc this seems quite straightforward to me. One of the savings it mentioned was to run your oven in the same way.

It has never occurred to me to cook a meal in the oven while I was out, assuming my oven would do this as I have not looked. Let us leave out the technical questions of the best oven for this, how well they work etc. To me there are questions about whether you really want to do this aside from the network power savings and the oven’s capability.

Do you use the timer on your built-in or stove oven? Are there good or bad aspects of the idea - not with the oven itself? Do you think it is useful advice for people to do this?

As well as specific comments you may want to complete this survey.

Regarding built-in or stove ovens:
  • My oven doesn’t have a timer that could be used to cook a meal while I am out.
  • My oven has a timer but I have never used it
  • I have used the timer but not while I was out
  • I have used the timer while I was out and it was fine
  • I have used the timer while I was out and it wasn’t satisfactory (why?)

0 voters

1 Like

One issue with an oven timer is how long food would be out of the fridge and in the oven before the oven started. We use the timer to start the pyrolytic cycle but not for starting cooking.

Cooking duration time can also be set but since everything is cooking together (oven, cooktop, microwave, air fryer) we have no benefit to setting the cooking duration time.


I find using the timer whether at home or out is a great tool. Our oven as well as allowing the actual cook time to be set, e.g, 2 hours it also allows us to set a start time and end time that suits our day. This means that it will start at a time that finishes the cook close to when we get home if we have been out and about or allows us to get involved in other household tasks without having to think about the oven during those tasks . Our Convection Microwave Oven has a similar time function to our standard oven., again this feature is well used in our house.


I use an Academy Brand mechanical timer . Only goes to 60 minutes but very accurate


The topic title is potentially confusing.

Almost every oven has a timer but it may be that the timer does not control either the switching on of the oven or the switching off of the oven. It is purely an audio alarm after X minutes. No different from using your smartphone. (My oven only has one timer so sometimes, during a complicated cook, I am using both oven timer and smartphone.)

Maybe the poll should have an option for “I don’t know” because honestly I selected “doesn’t have a timer that could be used to cook a meal while I am out” but really I would have to locate and read the manual. Maybe it does have the functionality and I don’t know about it so I have never used it.

To further muddy the waters, in a house that I used to live in, the oven definitely did have that functionality and I definitely used to use it (so that dinner is delightfully cooked by the time I get home from work). This however pre-dated solar power by some years i.e. was not motivated by a desire to make better use of solar power.

To further further muddy the waters, I have a battery so the battery effectively timeshifts the solar generation, removing the need to timeshift the cook. That means that there is only an economic reason to cook during the day (FIT << power buy price) - and even then only during winter. But this is getting complicated.

The big difference is that an oven is an appliance that consumes more than 2.4 kW and hence is hard-wired in to the house’s wiring. For most other appliances, they plug into a wall socket and hence you may be able to use a conventional separate timer even if your appliance does not have any kind of delay timer. However this is getting more complicated as appliances get more complicated and become stateful and need buttons to be pushed etc.

You may have noticed that I had excluded the specific qualities of your oven (twice) to focus on the desirability of being able to time a meal that allows you to cook in your oven while you are out. Nor I did I think to ensure that respondents had all absorbed the contents of the oven manual before they answered.

You could reasonably have thought that this topic was actually about unattended cooking not equipment. Do you have anything to say about that?

1 Like

Even if my oven had a programmeable timer, I wouldn’t use it. Getting home at a specific time is unusual for me.
In any case have an LPG stove and instantaneous hot water I would never change.


Regard to your pyrolytic oven i may Going off course bui am to believe that ise Going off course bui am to believe that is, a self clean oven. If so howdo u find self cleaning compared to normal oven cleaning.

Most pyrolytic ovens still require the wire racks, rack mounts, and sometimes roof liner to be removed prior to a pyro cycle, so that is a constant. As for the oven cavity itself the pyro cycle works very well and I would never ‘go back’. Some pyro ovens (a small minority) do not require the ‘removable parts’ to be taken out prior to a pyro cycle. If left in they will one or more of degrade, change colour, and/or have a short life even though they will get clean.

There is an older topic about problems and installation issues some members have had with them and is a more appropriate topic for any followup to your question.


What kind of meals do you cook in your oven? How do you deal with the risks of un-refrigerated food sitting in the oven either before or after cooking?


We once relied on a slow cooker with timer as the best when time poor, up until the arrival of the microwave. I’d suggest our household when we were all very busy changed what we cooked and how we cooked to fit into our schedule. For the evening meal the oven is more likely to play a supporting role than star. Many meals can be part cooked in the microwave or assembled from cooked ingredients to finish in the oven. Time is less critical. Given a choice the Weber wins with roasts, and many other dishes while easier to clean.

The manual clockwork timer on our stove has ceased to function.
For reasons best discussed in another topic, residential supply is progressing with the transition to cost reflective tariffs. IE charging more for electricity consumption at times of peak demand.

Chosen thoughtfully modern electric ovens (steam excepted?) are lower demand and more energy efficient. As more consumers are being transitioned to ToU and demand based tariffs, should we look at the impacts the other electrically powered kitchen cooking devices make on supply, or whether and how our habits might change?


Roasts, pizza, fish, vegetables, egg custards, cakes, breads, biscuits, tarts and pies, other baked goods e.g. scones (sweet and savory) and baklava

To avoid the issues of risky items (those that are at risk if left too warm for too long) before the cooking starts we either put them in frozen or very chilled depending on when the cooking is expected to start. Things that are too hard to chill or freeze before placing in the oven for delayed cooking, we just don’t do them on a delayed start. We plan the finishes to be around when we arrive back


Only sometimes. Depending on the oven’s instructions, some can be plugged in to a 10, 15, or 20amp GPO. Our current and previous ovens were designed to be plugged into a GPO.

Regardless, usually it would not be possible to access the GPO to have a timer there anyway.


… and, worse still, the timer would not be rated for 15A (and may not have a compatible plug either). Maybe you can purchase such a timer but the JRandom timer that you might buy will be 10A max.

1 Like

Dries food out if left in oven for some time, especially pastries fish…

Our oven has a timer but I can’t be bothered to work out how to use it. For bread baking I use a timer app on my phone. That way I can be away from the oven doing things. I need the timer app for rising the dough anyway.

1 Like

Always use the timer on the top plates and oven, it’s a reminder only to check the stove as I have a big house and move about lots …