I use a crock pot a minimum of once per week. I have had one for several years that worked, but would get so hot (even on the "keep warm setting") that the liquid would scorch along the sides of the dish. Because it was the only crock pot I had ever owned, I thought that was how they all worked.... I decided to get a new one and was looking for one with the automatic timer that would cook, then switch to "keep warm." I purchased this one, expecting it to cook the same way. After cooking one meal, it was obvious how terrible my previous crock pot was. This one cooks evenly, never scorches, and the casing is surprisingly lightweight! The oval shape also makes it easier for me to store. This might be one of my favorite purchases ever.