Photo and blog by Amanda Prusila

Like most minor Twitter feuds not involving celebrities, this one started over risotto. In my opinion, which I made abundantly clear in less than 140 characters, frying pans are a waste of time when making anything that is not a pancake.

Why would you want to toil over the stove, stirring and stirring until your meal is ready, when you have better things to do, like study or rewatch Stranger Things? I’m sure Eleven would agree that unless you’re making breakfast foods, your time can be better spent. And that is why I’m here to tell you about rice cookers.

A quick Kijiji search shows rice cookers being sold for upwards of $15, making this a frugal-but-worthwhile purchase for the lazy university student.

Rice cookers are seriously the best kitchen appliances ever. Want cheap, healthy, filling food that’s as easy to make as pushing a button? Rice cookers have got your back.

Sure, they can cook rice—white, brown, wild, whatever—but they can cook more than rice, too! These handy contraptions can also cook oatmeal, risotto, barley, couscous, tabouli, quinoa, and more.

For the grain-based meals of your dreams, all you have to do is add any one of the above-mentioned ingredients and water to a 2:1 water-to-ingredient ratio. If you have seasoning, dump that in too, and flip the switch from “warm” to “cook.”

Now you can call your mom, do laundry, or complete inane Buzzfeed quizzes. And once it’s cooked, this meal-making pal will switch settings to “warm.” No more rushing to an over-boiling pot or dodging sizzling oil splashes from your neglected saucepan.

If you’re a wild child and want to dirty more dishes, you can add some microwaved sauce to give some extra flavour. If you’re feeling truly out of control, you can fry some vegetables or meat to add to your meal.

There is no limit to the number of culinary options you can create with this magical device—I haven’t even mentioned vegetable steaming!