When we got married, my wife and I both owned Crock Pot slow cookers. Both of us had received these cookers from our parents; I don’t know about hers, but mine had actually been given to my parents as a wedding gift. Both of us feel quite fondly toward them.
Our family of two does not, strictly speaking, need two slow cookers. Hence the on-going friendly battle over whose is best.
A battle which I am winning.
Despite being over forty years old (a distressing number to write out, to be sure), my Crock Pot is still intact and entirely functional (although it is on its second, or perhaps third, glass lid). Its body is entirely metal, and electronic heating coils are among the simplest electronic devices and basically immortal. The only wear item (and indeed the only moving part at all) is the switch, which is rugged and has survived fine.
My wife’s Crock Pot is (charmingly) cow-pattered on the side. Its sides are metal, but the bottom is plastic — which has proven to be its undoing, as over the years the plastic has suffered from heat fatigue and has cracked and fallen apart in several places. The selector switch has one more position than mine does, but it’s also somewhat broken — it works, but it doesn’t point in the correct direction so the only real way to know what setting the switch is on is to turn it all the way off and then count the clicks as you turn it back on.
(Plastic is, unfortunately, The Worst. Despite being almost entirely non-biodegradable, it is vulnerable to sunlight and heat and as it ages will become brittle and break easily. So it suffers from the worst of both worlds — it lasts forever, but only in a form that is utterly useless. If a company used to make a product that would last for decades but then later versions of that product start to fail after just a few years, I can almost guarantee you it’s because they replaced a metal internal component with a plastic one to save themselves a few bucks on manufacturing costs, at the expense of removing years of serviceable life for the product.)
The battle rages on, but the war is all but won.