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Microwave cooking timer

Timed alarm without running the magnetron
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I've seen many solutions for timing cooking processes, from dedicated egg timers, stopwatches, phones, regular clock glancing, rough guessing, etc. Most of these require an extra device to be purchased or totted into the kitchen in order to set a simple alarm, when there is already a device sitting in almost every kitchen that can time short periods and provide an alarm at the end: the microwave. Simple add a button to the front to select 'timer' mode, turn the dial as you would normally to set the time, and hit 'start'.

Possibly baked, but I've never seen it on any microwave I've owned or used. Running it with nothing in it doesn't count (and probably isn't good for the magnetron).

EdZ, Dec 16 2008

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       I would have said baked and widely known. Every microwave I've seen except units intended for industrial and commercial use has a timer mode. It's not always intuitive, but it's usually there. (Admittedly, I haven't seen many with a dial instead of a keypad, so that may be the difference).
MechE, Dec 16 2008
  

       Yeah there's normally a button marked 'timer' or similar.
Texticle, Dec 16 2008
  

       Baked - well, actually waved in my kitchen, top right button marked "TIMER".   

       If you're turning a dial on your microwave that may be part of the issue. The analog microwaves use bigger waves which are actually larger than the micro class.
normzone, Dec 16 2008
  

       [Time machine location confirmed, assemble the team]   

       "Your days of stealing modern appliance advances and absconding with them back to 1982 to patent for your own are over EdZ."   

       <Rant> In my opinion, the old interface with the two dials, one for power and the other for time, is much better than the touchpads. You can vary the power and remaining time, quickly and intuitively, without interrupting the cooking/plasma generating/water superheating/glass melting process. </rant>   

       You could probably wire a big ON/OFF switch into the circuit supplying the magnetron's power transformer. Make it prominent so someone doesn't think the oven is broken because it is switched off.
spidermother, Dec 17 2008
  

       ...which is baked
miasere, Dec 17 2008
  

       Yup, it exists. As soon as people started saying it was baked I realised there's a timer button on my microwave which has never been used. Turns out it does exactly what this idea describes, and it's a pretty old microwave.
fridge duck, Dec 17 2008
  

       I was going to suggest having a power level 0 as an option; set time, set power level zero, timer counts down, no heating, oven goes BEEP. To my surprise, the model here does exactly that. The turntable and light don't activate either.
spidermother, Dec 17 2008
  

       widely known to exist?   

       I can't believe yours doesn't have this. What's the make and model of your microwave?
jutta, Dec 17 2008
  

       //widely known to exist// I disagree - microwaves with timers are universal, but I hadn't come across a microwave timer that could be used as a kitchen timer alone (ie, without running the microwave). Evidently some microwaves have this, but mine doesn't.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 17 2008
  

       Arguably, even if every microwave on earth had this, it still wouldn't be "widely known" in the sense that most people don't know the features of their microwaves. For all I know, mine fights crime with David Hasselhoff on its time off.   

       I suspect it's usually there, users just don't look for it and don't know about it. But it might be a regional thing - I'm still waiting for the poster to come back with a make & model to give us a baseline.
jutta, Dec 17 2008
  

       How curious. Neither of the microwaves I have access to run if you set the power to 0, and neither have 'timer' buttons. Both are fairly modern (LCD or LED matrix displays, a plethora of functions, etc). Maybe it's a national thing? I'm in the UK, maybe this is only baked across the pond. Or simply a case of bad luck in microwave selection on my part.
EdZ, Dec 27 2008
  
      
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