This $16.99 ALDI Appliance Is Back for a Limited Time—It’s My Favorite

It makes a good chunk of my dinner prep hands-off.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

In college, I learned about the wonders of rice cookers from my friend Michelle. She had one in her dorm room, and we used it all the time to make rice and ramen noodles. I’ve had one in my life ever since.

Ambiano Rice Cookers show up at least once a year in ALDI’s aisle of specials. This year, they're only $16.99 at my local store. They make six cups of rice—plenty for the average household—but they’re not so huge that they’ll take up all your cupboard or counter space. Most rice cookers of that size cost $25 to $40, so ALDI’s rice cookers are a steal.

How I Use My Rice Cooker

They also make perfect rice every time, without any supervision. For optimal flavor and texture, I rinse my rice several times until the water runs clear, then add the washed rice and water to the rice cooker, toggle the switch from warm to cook, and walk away. While the rice cooks, I prepare the rest of the meal or start a load of laundry, and later I come back to perfectly cooked rice. It's that simple.

My Whole Family Is a Fan

One year, I spied some rice cookers in the AOS (Aisle of Shame) at ALDI, and I picked up three of them—one for my mom and one for each of my two sisters. I've had such a great experience with ALDI appliances that I couldn't pass them up. My mom later told me that she didn’t eat enough rice to justify having one. It’s the thought that counts, right?

However, a few months later our family dog, Jordan, was diagnosed with cancer. He couldn’t eat regular dog food anymore so my mom started cooking him chicken and rice using the rice cooker. After treatment, Jordan was declared cancer-free, but he still couldn’t eat regular dog food, so my mom cooked him chicken and rice for several years, all in that little ALDI rice cooker.

“I've never used a kitchen appliance that much,” my mom told me later. “I’ve never been so grateful for a present.”

<p>Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Retailers below</p>

Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Retailers below

What I Make In My Rice Cooker (Other Than Plain Rice)

When I’m tired of plain rice, I make lime and cilantro rice with just lime juice and chopped cilantro added. When I have more time, I make a “fancy” rice pilaf with butter, white wine, lemon zest and juice, onion and garlic powder, chopped apples, and toasted almond slivers. I’ve also used the rice cooker to make seasoned sushi rice.

Once in a while, I make rice pudding or congee, and I’ve even used the warm setting to make spiced cider and mulled wine. I’ve seen some people make omelets in the rice cooker, and others turn the rice cooker into a steamer with a collapsible steamer basket.

Ultimately, the best thing about having a rice cooker from ALDI is that you get perfect rice every time, all for a super affordable price tag.

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.