Like just about everyone else I know, I registered before my wedding for the biggest slow cooker I could find. I use it most often for making stuff to take to parties...dips and chili and wings and barbecue. For a while, I was using it also to make meals for my husband and me at home. I work night shift, so it was very convenient to stop at the grocery store on the way home in the morning, pick up some ingredients, throw them in the slow cooker, and wake up to a home cooked meal. However, that biggest slow cooker I could find was pretty hot, and I found myself sometimes using the "keep warm" setting to do the actual cooking because I wanted it to have to cook for seven or so hours while I was asleep. On some days that my husband worked from home, he actually had to turn it off after four hours because the food was done. And when he didn't work from home and I slept past the point when it should have been turned off, we ended up with dry tough meat and a slow cooker that was a pain in the butt to clean.
Several months ago, I was wandering around my local Wal-Mart, and I came across a smaller (2 quart) Crock-Pot for $9.94. I was sold. It has been sitting in my garage since then, but I pulled it out today to use it to make the pork for the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches, and I have to say that it has been cooking for about four hours now on the low setting and there is still plenty of liquid in the pot, and it is looking like it will be nice and moist. I am thrilled!
One thing I used to hate about the smaller slow cookers is that they didn't have removable stoneware insert that the big ones did. However, this one does have a removable crock, which means it can go right into the dishwasher! And the lid is plastic, so I don't have to worry about it ending up shattered all over my kitchen floor!
My Crock-Pot dreams have come true!