As soon as autumn hit, cravings for comfort food also hit. But, comfort foods require long, slow cooking and because I'm unwilling to stay home watching and waiting all day, the idea of using a slow cooker seemed an excellent alternative. I have to admit that I haven't used a slow cooker since the early 70's and back then I really didn't have a clue how to properly use one, thus the meals weren't too tasty. After collecting dust for many years, I finally gave the cooker away. So, after 30 years, I began my search for the ideal "modern" slow cooker, debating about which size, what price and what features were suitable to my needs. In the 70's we didn't have so many choices - it was either harvest gold or avocado green with or without flower decoration, plus the switch was manual on, off, warm and sometimes auto. This 6 Qt. Hamilton Beach has excellent features - count-down digital timer, glass lid, removable ceramic insert, Probe/Manual/Program modes, Low/High/Warm/Off function, Automatic switchover to Warm (and stays there for 14-hrs), 3-year warranty and a 15 page instruction manual, but without recipes (English & Spanish). Amazon was selling it at a reduced price with shipping included - perfect! Amazon's price was also less expensive than what I saw in the local stores. Delivery was very prompt - I received it about 1 week after ordering. The digital programming feature is an excellent "modern" addition and well worth the extra expense. I used the probe while cooking a pot roast, but didn't find it too useful. After 5 hours the probe said the meat was cooked, which was correct, except since it was a pot roast it still required more slow cooking to break down the meat fibres - another 4 hours on Low did the trick. To add extra depth and flavour, I like to season, dredge and brown all meats, poultry or vegetables before adding to the crockery insert. It's well worth the extra time and effort. Also, be sure to reduce the cooking liquid to 2-1/2 cups, because extra liquid always accumulates by the end of the cooking cycle and you don't want the meal to taste like it's been boiled. So far, I've made barbecued pork ribs, soup with vegetable, beans, rice & ham hocks, beef stew, smoked pork picnic with veggies, chicken thighs & legs in barbecue sauce, beef pot roast with onions and veggies, pork chops in mushroom & onion gravy, beef short-ribs in a tomato-based sauce and each dish turned out perfectly and was very tasty. I've also made Chinese congee (or jook) in my smaller 3.5 qt. slow cooker with excellent results. Use your favourite recipe, but a ratio of 1-cup long-grain white rice to 10-cups chicken stock (or water) produces a good consistency - cook on Low for 8 to 10-hours. A big plus is that the slow cooker gives the opportunity to use less expensive, but tastier cuts of meat. The 6 quart size is perfect for 4 to 6 people or for 1 to 2 people with the intention of freezing leftover portions. Be aware that for the slow cooker to function properly it must be 1/2 to 2/3rds full.