Time in a sliver of a galley kitchen in China has taught me to love all of the things you can do with a rice cooker. It started with perfect millet and then a cake. But I really fell hard when I had a mouthwatering chicken soup in mere minutes during day or rare freezing rain. Upon returning to Massachusetts this fall I ordered one to greet me when I got home.
It was a simple little thing with only on switch, down when you were ready to cook. It cooked all sorts of rice effortlessly, setting itself to warm when the grains were finished cooking. Then I was lazy one night I threw chicken in. The result was tender and juicy meat. From there I did pork and rice at the same time, again perfect. When I realized I could use it to make pasta too, the rice cooker took up permanent space outside the appliance garage.
By December 1st I had upgraded to a bigger model with a few more bells and whistles. The slow cook setting meant our crock pot went to the goodwill.
Great recipes to try in a rice cooker: