Of the two slow cookers I own, this Hamilton Beach 5-Quart Slow Cooker is by far my favorite. It has a well-sized crock, though a large family would most likely prefer a 6-quart model. The settings are simple to use: off, keep warm, low, and high. Simply turn the knob and come back in several hours. I really like that the lid has a rubber lip to help with eliminating spills during transport to your family gatherings and parties elsewhere. The large rubber band that is intended to attach the lid by hooking under the handles is a good idea but I have only successfully attached it once. Typically, my slow cooker is hot when I want to transport it and I don't want to wrestle with the hot stoneware and a very tight rubber band. Instead, I usually just sit the slow cooker in a box to transport it. Because of the rubber lip, the lid sits nicely in place. This is a great value starter slow cooker. I would recommend it to young people just starting out in their first apartment or home or to anyone who wants a simple slow cooker without bells and whistles. Time to Heat It heats quickly. Cooking Performance Cooks evenly. The amount of time needed generally matches recipes well. The hot setting doesn't overcook food. Ease of Cleaning Identical to any other slow cooker I've used. Just be sure to let your stoneware soak for a bit if anything is baked on. Liners are available if you don't have the time to wash the stoneware. Ease of Use Choose a setting, set a kitchen timer, and walk away. Easy peasy. Design Modern housing to match many kitchens. The rubber band to hold the lid on during travel, however, could be reworked. If you travel a lot, look for the other models that have a lid that latches on. Durability Going strong for three or four years now with no problems or signs of wear.