Handy Kitchen Timers and Thermometers

Tired of weak little timers? Tired of being surprised by yet another batch of burned cookies or scorched soup? Check out the tools from Cooper Instrument Corporation. The FT24 Digital Timer is perfect for the counter or wall mounting. It has settings for hours and minutes/seconds (great for those 72 minutes you need for that giant Bundt cake). A volume control allows you to set the alarm level. The unit counts up after a set time has elapsed. Handy if you're picky about making precise notes with recipes.

Less fancy, but equally handy is Cooper's TS100 Chef's Timer/Stopwatch. A neck cord allows you to take this timer with you. Punch in the minutes and seconds you need then leave the kitchen. Its impertinent beeps (which don't cease until you clear the timer memory) will ensure you won't forget whatever it is you left cooking or baking. Available at restaurant supply stores.

I also tested cooking thermometers from a large line that is produced by a company called Component Design Northwest of Portland Oregon. I had never heard of CDN before. A publicist brought them to my attention. One of CDN's more versatile products is a combination digital thermometer and timer (model DTTC). It consists of a control unit and a probe tethered to a stainless steel cable. The probe can be inserted in roasting food in an oven and the control unit can be snapped onto the oven door via a magnetic mount (the cable can be safely clamped by the closed oven door). A probe clamp allows it to be mounted onthe side of a saucepan as well. I tried the DTTC for candy-making, and it was a joy to use. It has a full-function timer that counts up or down, a clock and hi-lo alerts. As well, it has an oven-test feature which is very useful. I often hear from bakers who are having difficulty achieving good results with their ovens. More often than not, the oven calibration is off. The DTTC comes with everything you need (including a battery). Recommended.

Another neat unit produced by CDN is the TempFork (DTF212). It's a full-size food fork with a built-in thermometer. The large backlit LCD screen is easy to read, and the controls are simple to master. You can program the unit for up to 9 levels of doneness for various foods. The stainless steel tines run right up into the handle to give you 10 pounds of lifting capacity (it is a fork after all). The unit turns off automatically to conserve battery power. A great idea. Recommended.

Another CDN product I tried was the tubed professional chocolate tempering thermometer (TCH130). This is a traditional glass thermometer that provides readings between 40 F. and 130 F. in one-degree increments. Nicely done.

CDN manufactures a broad line of thermometers and timers.
Visit their web site at www.cdnw.com.