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Convenient rice cooker doesn't lose its sizzle

The Oster 20-Cup Saute Rice Cooker offers an easy way to create delicious and healthy one-pot meals. Combing a saute function with a rice cooker allows users to brown ingredients before making a pot of rice.

Makes so much more than rice.
Makes so much more than rice.

It's no secret that scent is a powerful influencer both in the kitchen and beyond. The sizzle that accompanies meal-making not only brings back memories of meals gone by, but also holds promise of meals to come--and if the sound of cooking is in the air, certainly the wait won't be long.

When it comes to convenience in the kitchen, all too often that option destroys the potential for well-prepared food. But just because something is convenient doesn't always have to mean that it has to lose any of its sizzle.

The Oster 20-Cup Saute Rice Cooker combines a saute pan and a rice cooker into one convenient unit. Designed to create one-pot meals that are both delicious and healthy, the countertop appliance makes it easy to build flavor with a minimum of hassle. The idea is to use the saute function first and then finish by making a pot of rice. Having procured a test unit, I set about devising a plan to put it through its paces.

The rice cooker looks like many other rice cookers, except for one major difference. In addition to the usual cook and keep-warm setting, a saute function is easily activated with a press of a button. Just looking at that big button made me think of two things: mushroom risotto and chicken with rice. The versatile pot passed both tests deliciously.

For both my creations, I sauteed ingredients first and then removed them, reintroducing them after the rice had finished. It should also be noted that the high sides allow for variations on this theme if so desired. For example, any number of ingredients could be sauteed and then left in to cook with the rice; the 20-cup capacity offers lots of room. With the scent of chicken (and mushrooms, onions, and garlic) permeating my kitchen, it became clear that the one-pot appliance was a complete meal-maker that would be put to good use for many meals to come, ready to sizzle at the press of a button.