We have two crock pots. We just got one for a Christmas present and just used it. Its the newer kind of crock pot that has the ceramic dish/liner that can be removed for easy clean up. I made a beef stew and after three hours on high the potatoes and carrots are just a tad on the hard side. I ended up pouring it into a regular stew pot and finished cooking it on the stove to help soften up the pototoes and carrots. The corn was fine, and the meat seemed soft. Although I usually pre-cook them and brown them up first. Anyway, I am thinking that the traditional crock pot, (the one the ceramic liner can't come out) actually seems to cook faster that the newer one. Anyone notice this?