How My Oven's Delay Start Feature Changed My Life

Tips from The Kitchn

Pin it button big

Technology and I have a love-hate relationship. Once I learn to how use a new device, I really grow to appreciate it, but it's getting me to try it in the first place that's the hard part. I hate figuring out technology unless it's really intuitive, so I usually give up after a few tries to do something the old-fashioned way instead. The same goes for extra or fancy features on kitchen equipment — I just want something to do its basic job.

Last year, though, an innocent-looking button on my oven changed my life forever.

Pin it button big

What is Delay Start?

My home oven is not fancy, just a standard GE electric range that's reliable enough that I bake in it with confidence. Last year, I noticed a "Delay Start" button on the display and decided to figure out what it did.

And what a simple yet amazing function it is! Simply input a desired time and temperature, and the oven will automatically turn on when it hits the right time and start preheating.

Tips for Using Delay Start

Delay Start became a huge game-changer for me. In the first hazy months after having my baby last year, I could preset the oven the minute I thought about it and not worry constantly that I would forget to do it.

These are other ways that I've found this function useful:

  • Delay Start before leaving the house in the morning so that you can walk in the door after work and throw dinner right into the oven.
  • Sleep a little longer in the mornings by setting Delay Start the night before for breakfast or brunch. This will help you get food on the table at a reasonable hour.
  • Delay Start for a dinner party so that you can prep and greet your guests with ease, knowing that you won't be too distracted to forget to turn the oven on.

This nifty feature isn't gas or electric oven-specific, but unfortunately, not all ovens may have it since it relies on a built-in clock and digital display. Still, it's worth digging up the user manual and seeing if you can take advantage of this practical function!

Have you used Delay Start before? In what kinds of situations does it work well for you?

(Image credits: Bernd Juergens/Shutterstock; Christine Gallary)

15 Comments