I have a CrockPot brand slow cooker that is less than one year old. I have recently realized that it heats rather unevenly, being considerably cooler on the side near the controls than on the opposite side. For example, when I cook a batch of chili, I can see it bubbling bubbling near the warm-side wall, but not on the opposite side. If I cook dumplings in my chili then those on the warm side are done in about the amount of time I expect, but those on the cool side are still decidedly undone at that time. For what it's worth, I usually use the "low" heat setting, but I think similar behavior occurs on "high".
Questions: Is this kind of uneven heating typical for slow cookers? Does it indicate that mine is broken? Do you have any advice about how to deal with it, beyond stirring and/or occasionally turning the crock within the heating unit?