Review Of The Best Cuisinart Coffee Maker – 4, 12 & 14 Cup

cuisinart best coffee maker guide

Throughout every shift in modern coffee-making trends, automatic drip-brew machines remain a popular choice for any kind of coffee enthusiast. Their convenience and accessibility for the everyday consumer are hard to beat.

Trusted brands like Cuisinart continue to fine-tune what they offer with each model in order to capture as many varied preferences as possible. They don't always get it right each time, but when they do hit all the marks, their coffee makers brew a mean cup of joe. 

That's why we're about to take a deep dive into the world of Cuisinart coffee makers and show you how we decide which ones may be most worth your time and money. 

We love this Cuisinart 14-cup coffee maker because it has a great balance between features and functionality. Nothing about this model will complicate your simple wish for a well-brewed cup.

The PerfecTemp technology heats water from the filtered reservoir and showers grounds evenly for smooth extraction. 

Both the power control and small batch setting are calibrated to deliver a consistently tasty cup of coffee at the push of a button. While we'd love a thermal carafe instead of a glass one and a hot plate, we're not letting that get in the way of stamping this coffee maker as fully approved and best of Cuisinart's line of automatic drip-brew makers.

Why pick this one over the rest? We'll go over the basics of using a Cuisinart coffee maker so you understand how we would get the most out of the cup it brews. Then, we'll compare the different models and talk about what we like best, or least, for each one. 

How to Use a Cuisinart Coffee Maker 

We know that even inexperienced coffee-drinkers can find their way around a standard drip-brew machine without much trouble, but it's not always as simple as scoop, press, brew and go.

Understanding how each step in the brewing process works and which components have the biggest impact on flavor will help you make the most out of any Cuisinart drip-brew maker you choose.

Fresh, cool water is key
Whether or not the model in question has a built-in filtration system, you need to make sure you're using fresh water at room temperature. Cool doesn't mean cold, it simply means unheated water. Save the preheating for your mug while the coffee brews.

Keep in mind that water from the tap can vary by region so some areas may be more prone to mineral build-up than others. If you want to double down on removing anything that could alter the flavor of your coffee, use a refillable pitcher with filter insert or bottled spring water to produce the purest brew. 

Grind size and consistency
Even the best Cuisinart coffee maker will depend on you using beans ground to a consistent, medium-coarse size in order to brew a tasty cup of joe. Proper extraction requires the right brewing time and water temperature, which these machines are calibrated to achieve according to industry averages. 

The only variable that remains is the coffee you choose and how evenly it's ground. Check out our special section on Cuisinart brewers with built-in grinders for all-in-one functionality. 

Using a permanent filter
Cuisinart favors a gold-tone mesh filter for its drip-brew coffee makers and we're perfectly fine with that. Permanent filters give you some important options when it comes to playing with the flavor profile of different extractions. Volatile oils give coffee its unique flavor, but they cling to paper filters and thus never make it to your cup. 

Even an inexperienced coffee-drinker would notice a difference between a paper and permanent filter. If you're not sure which you prefer, we talk more about when and why you might use a paper filter or permanent one later on. 

How to measure coffee per cup
We have an insider tip to share with you. The standard volume of a cup as defined by drip-brew manufacturers and the usual culinary measurement are not the same. What a coffee maker brews and what you pour into your mug typically have nothing to do with the actual culinary cup that equals 8 fluid ounces.

As a reference, Cuisinart measures its cup at 5 fluid ounces, which means a 12-cup coffee maker is expected to brew 60 ounces. If a 5-ounce serving of coffee sounds short of the mark to you, check out our frequently asked questions section for answers on standard serving sizes. 

Cuisinart Coffee Makers: How They Perform 

The deciding factor between one drip-brew coffee maker and the next comes down to nitty-gritty details. Our review focuses on taking a close look at the features, or lack thereof, for competitors to the Cuisinart DCC-3200 in this brand's line.

We also take it one step further and show you some options with built-in grinders. Make sure to read up on the rest of our tips, tricks and answers to common coffee-making questions down below. 

cuisinart 3200 stainless steel coffee machine
Cuisinart DCC-3200
Brew Capacity: 14 Cups 
Strength Control: Yes 
Charcoal Filtration: Yes 
DC1200 stainless steel
Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central 
Brew Capacity: 12 Cups 
Strength Control: No 
Charcoal Filtration: Yes 
DC3000 with temperature control
Cuisinart DCC-3000 Coffee-on-Demand
Brew Capacity: 12 Cups 
Strength Control: No 
Charcoal Filtration: Yes 
stainless steel 12 cup coffee maker
Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 
Brew Capacity: 12 Cups 
Strength Control: No 
Charcoal Filtration: Yes 
1100BK one of the best cuisinart coffee makers
Cuisinart DCC-1100BK 
Brew Capacity: 12 Cups 
Strength Control: No 
Charcoal Filtration: Yes 
SS gold tone 12 cup coffee maker
Cuisinart SS-15 
Brew Capacity: 12 Cups 
Strength Control: Yes 
Charcoal Filtration: Yes 

Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central 

Aside from a few minor cosmetic details, the DCC-1200 and DCC-3200 could be twins. Like the DCC-3200, the DCC-1200 has the same black and chrome build and narrow, rectangular shape.

Their countertop dimensions are the same down to the last inch, though the DCC-1200 weighs a little less. We'll assume it's a combination of holding less volume and missing some internal upgrades for its slightly more expensive sister.
  • Temperature settings for the warming plate 
  • Lightweight but sturdy build with classic design 
  • Convenient brew pause feature or faster service 
  • No brew strength selection