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Holiday Wish List: "Instant" Craze Behind Multi-Use Gadgets

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The Instant Pot has been around for years, but once again, the electric multi-cooker is topping holiday wish lists this season.

"It really is a one pot wonder," said Emily Youree, a contributor at Fort Worth Mom's blog. The mother of two swears by the gadget.

"You put everything in, and close the lid, and 15 minutes later-- like magic -- everything is ready," Youree explained.
It's become a cultural phenomenon of sorts with a Facebook community of more than 1.5 million members strong.

Neighborhood Goods' food and beverage manager Juan Scott believes the Instant Pot and multi-use pressure cookers like it may have roots in our consumption of television cooking shows.

"A lot of it is the result of the Food Network boom in the 90's, everybody believing that they have a chef inside of them that's just waiting to break out," he told CBS 11 News reporter Gilma Avalos.

University of North Texas Retailing expert Linda Mihalick, said the trend came to a pressure point without traditional marketing.

"We typically talk about "WOM's" or word of mouth, and that really means that the consumer tried it and they had great success with it and they were satisfied," Mihalick said.

That's exactly how Youree got hooked. She heard about it from a fellow Fort Worth Moms Blog contributor. Together, they continued to spread the word to other busy parents through video tutorials and recipes on the blog.

"Whenever you find something you love, you want to share it with your friends and shout it from rooftop!," Lauren Stockard, Fort Worth Moms Blog sponsorship coordinator said.

The busy moms said it just clicks with families because it saves them time and space.

"This can function as a slow-cooker, You can also use it as a sauté pan. It's also a rice cooker," Youree explained.

The rise of other multi-use gadgets like air fryers and electric pressure cookers show consumers are demanding more from their kitchen electronics than they did in the past.

"The most popular ones are the ones that are not the one-trick ponies," Scott said.

The gadgets have even spawned a new market: cookbooks. There are a number of options, tailored specifically to each device.

Youree and Stockard said — don't call it a trend. They believe any gadget that makes mealtime easier is here to stay.

"Great food. Easy cleanup. Sold." Youree said.

Here are a couple of recipes from Youree and Stockard. Enjoy!

Turkey Sausage Penne Pasta
1 lb sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 cup sliced mushrooms
8 oz penne pasta, uncooked (approx 2 2/3 cups dry penne)
2 cups chicken stock/broth
1 (10 oz) roasted red peppers
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 cups fresh spinach

Easy Hard-Boiled Eggs

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