The ability to throw ingredients into a pot and walk away is a convenient reality of modern living. Some time later (usually announced by an appropriate beep), those ingredients have become a meal, requiring only a transfer from pot to plate. Setting aside the prep stage, one-pot meals are about as easy as it gets in the kitchen.
Useful for cooking a variety of meals, the Zojirushi Umami Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer is well-suited for leaving out on the countertop. A slow-cooker function gives added versatility. Expanded menu options include settings for brown rice and porridge, while a special "umami" setting on the menu aims to develop "enhanced flavor" by soaking and steaming the rice for a longer period of time.
Rice cookers that do more are a welcome addition to the kitchen. Available in 10-cup and 5.5-cup models, the rice cooker is convenient in both size and operation. Countertop space being the valuable resource that it is, a little extra help can go a long way.