I love the practicality of oval cooking vessles. More things fit by lying down flat so they cook better and more evenly. I've always found Hamelton Beach a reliable product and this is no exception. I bought two of them at this price. The small crock keeps my soup or whatever hot as I usually eat much later than everyone else. We are big soup, chili, stew people and prefer slow cookers - and I love that it is black!