Using Your Oven Delay Timer

Since my Hubby is a Pastor, Sunday’s are very busy for us and when we finally get home from an exciting day of church, we are all STARVING!!! Quite often, we have a few families & stray souls follow us home for some fellowship and food and I have had to learn to plan ahead and find ways to have lunch ready a few minutes after walking in the door.

I have had quite a few disasters along this learning experience. Food completely burnt, or cold, or I forgot to even put it in the oven or turn on the crockpot….etc… (Those are the days I am thankful for an understanding husband who quickly comes to my aid and we figure out a solution…like hotdogs and mac & cheese! HA!)

Through this journey I have learned that one of my greatest tools in my kitchen is my oven! It’s one thing to have a lasagna ready to cook, but you can’t very well put in the oven for 3 hours!!! Most newer ovens, (even the ones without a lot of bells and whistles) come with a Delay and Cook & Hold feature. Once I figured out how to set my oven, the possibilities of feeding a crowd and having it pretty much ready to put on the table when I walk in the door have become ENDLESS!

Most oven manufactures include these types of settings. My oven is a simple Maytag gas four burner. Dig out your owners manual to find the settings on your oven. This is how I set mine.



Push the delay button. Determine when you need your oven to turn on.



In this case, I knew I needed the oven to come on at 12:00. It was 11:00 at the time I was setting my oven.



Next push the Cook & Hold button.



Enter the temperature needed to cook your food.



After you set the temperature, wait a moment and the 00:00 will begin flashing.



Enter the cooking time.



And that’s it! Your oven is set! It will come on automatically in an hour. The temperature will set to 350˚. It will cook at 350˚ for one hour. And then automatically lower the temperature of the oven to warm. (for my oven 170˚)


The oven will stay on warm until for several hours (It will turn itself off after a certain amount of time). Of course, I hope I am not several hours late to lunch! But if we happen to have a longer sermon (which, thankfully, my husband doesn’t make a habit of…hehehe) or talk and fellowship a little longer at the door, I am not worried about my food burning. Rather, I am confident that my food will be nice and hot and perfectly cooked!

Let me encourage you to find out what all those extra buttons on your stove are for. Do a little practice run on a weeknight or Saturday dinner. (I wouldn’t suggest tempting fate with a large company of people coming to your house!)  The point is to make yourself feel at ease about a wonderful, home cooked meal waiting for you at home. No need to spend a lot of money and endure long wait times at restaurants after church (or any similar situation).

Check out my Lasagna Recipe Tutorial for a great Sunday afternoon meal! Set it in the oven before you go. And come home to an amazing meal, nice and hot and ready to enjoy!





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17 thoughts on “Using Your Oven Delay Timer

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  • June 26, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Thanks, found this article helpful. Delayed timers are such a useful feature, get the food all ready and heated till you arrive home.

  • July 30, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    I am starting back at work soon with two kids in daycare. I was wanting to start making freezer meals that I could throw in the oven frozen in the morning and then set the oven to come on sometime in the afternoon. I was planning on making some recipes with chicken with a sauce on it and freezing it in those disposable aluminum pans with foil over it. A friend just pointed out to me that it is not a good idea to leave chicken out to thaw while sitting in the oven all day instead of in a fridge. What are your thoughts on this? I thought I had such a great idea!

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  • April 3, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you thank you for this! You just saved my bacon! (or in this case – getting a ham cooked in time for dinner when I’m not going to be home in time to turn it on in a couple of hours….)

    • April 4, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      So glad that this helped you, Carmen! I don’t know what I would do without my oven delay timer!!!

  • May 14, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I tried using the DELAY setting this so many times…couldn’t figure it out. Your readouts on your stove are EXACTLY the same as mine. The instructions are perfect and now I can use my timed oven feature. Thank you so much!!!!

  • October 17, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    This was such a big help. I tried reading the manufacturers instructions with no luck. I found this, and got it to work the first time I tried. Your pictures and instructions are so simple and useful. I am a music ministers wife and had always waited to preheat the oven until we got home from church, waiting so long for lunch. Thanks so much for this. No more hungry toddlers and husband!

    • October 18, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Oh I am so glad it helped, Lora!!! I am in the same boat. Hungry toddlers and husband is no fun. =)

  • November 11, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    We have the same oven. Yay! Thanks for the step by step. I’m doing this tonigh for baked potatoes. Automating weekday meals is less stressful too.

  • July 13, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    The delay time bake feature on the oven is your best friend. Thanks for this great post!

  • December 23, 2016 at 12:56 am

    I love using the delay feature on my oven, especially when one of my kids has a late sports event. We can come home to a ready, or almost ready meal for the ravenous kids.

    There is one thing I’ve been curious about though. I have an older oven, and it takes about 10 minutes to preheat. I’ve come to believe that I should count about 3 minutes of this as cooking time, but does anyone have a scientific basis for how you should count the preheat time? I believe it should be either 1/2 or 1/3 of the time it takes to warm up, but I’m not sure.

  • February 4, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you so much! I am also a pastor’s wife who needs the food to cook while I am at church. I have the exact same stove as you, but I got it used and did not get an owner’s manuel with it. This clears everthing up!

  • February 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks very nice very helpful for Sunday after spiritual food ready to eat fleshing food hallelujah amen


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