There are several pieces of kitchen equipment I can't bear to consider living without. They rank right up on the list of "will purchase a replacement immediately - no matter the cost". The one item I never expected to fall in love with was a pressurized rice cooker/steamer. I purchased our Aroma rice cooker/steamer at Sam's Club several years ago. The current model equivalent appears to be this.
Honestly, this is a pretty good deal. I spent less than $40 for ours and use it at least weekly. Not only do I cook rice, I steam lots of veggies. One of the great functions is the "keep warm" setting. After the rice or vegetables have cooked, the appliance switches to a warming setting for an indefinite holding time. This function allows me to start the appliance, run out the door for the offspring's activity du jour, and return home to a head start on a healthy dinner.
Fried rice with dinner? Start the rice, onion and peas in the pot and carrots and lima beans in the steamer insert. All that's left is scrambling the egg in the skillet and adding the rice, veggies and soy sauce to heat thoroughly. Last night, I steamed the butternut squash for dinner in the basket while the offspring and I were off at practice. Fresh corn on the cob? Not a problem. Break the ears in half and place them in the steamer. They will be piping hot when the rest of dinner is ready. The offspring LOVES steamed baby carrots. Easy as pie in the steamer. I cook almost a pound at a time and package the leftovers for the offspring's lunch box. Mashed potatoes for dinner? Potatoes mash like a dream after steaming. No messy starch water splatter on the cooktop either! Steamed potatoes make wonderful gnocchi too.
Clean up is a breeze for this rice cooker. While the cooking pot can not be placed in the dishwasher (aluminum pot) it does have a non-stick coating which washes easily.
The pressurized component is what makes this style of rice cooker far superior (and cleaner) to the loose lid-style options. If you don't own one, seriously consider if this appliance could help with dinner prep at your house.