I remember having slow cooker in the 1970's (or a crockpot, as they were called then) but I don't remember why I stopped using it. Maybe when the microwave came in during the 1980s and faster food became the thing to cook. So when I got this as a gift, I was a little hesitant as I don't cook too many stews or one-pot meals too much anymore. But I am very happy with this little cooker. The main reason is that the cooking pot comes out of the heating base for easy cleanup. The original crockpots didn't have this feature so you had to soak the pot, and then wash it while trying not to get the heating element wet, which would ruin it. I've tried soups that came out very well. Stews were more work, because you had to brown the meat on tyhe stove first, but they were also good. I did try baking a cake in it, using the recipe that came with the cooker, but it didn't rise well and was slightly gummy. So if you have limited time to cook, and like to have a ready meal when you come home, this is a good appliance to have.