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Best Cuisinart Coffee Maker: The Complete Buyer’s Guide

Cuisinart coffee makers offer consumers the trifecta of kitchen appliance bliss: performance, value and reliability. Our Cuisinart Coffee Maker Complete Buyer's Guide highlights the best models to buy, programming and cleaning instructions, and helpful troubleshooting tips.Cuisinart is a household name — and not just because they make household appliances. The company holds the 4th-largest market share of Coffee makers in the United States, owning 8% of the total market.

If you’re looking to replace your Cuisinart coffee maker or buy one for the first time, you’re in the right place.

Welcome to The Coffee Maven’s Cuisinart Coffee Maker Buyer’s Guide.

What’s the Best Cuisinart Coffee Maker?

That depends on what you want! In this guide I’ll explore the best Cuisinart has to offer in 5 different categories:

  1. Best 14 Cup Coffee Maker
  2. Best Grind and Brew Coffee Maker
  3. Best Single Serve and K-Cup Coffee Maker
  4. Best Thermal Coffee Maker
  5. Best Programmable Coffee Maker

Best Cuisinart 14 Cup Coffee Maker

Cuisinart DCC-3200 Perfectemp 14 Cup With Glass Carafe | $80.10

Cuisinart Coffee Maker DCC-3200 front
Click to learn more about the DCC-3200

While most coffee makers are capped at 10- or 12-cup capacity, the Cuisinart DCC-3200 gives you a little extra volume by brewing 14 “full” cups of quality coffee.

I put “full” in quotation marks because a cup, by Cuisinart’s definition, is a 5 oz serving. That means the DCC-3200 will brew up to 70 oz of coffee. For someone like me, that’s more like 5-7 cups — but the overall point holds. Those 2 extra cups gives you another 10 oz of coffee.

With a cone-shaped filter basket, a brew strength selector, and a special brew setting for 5-20 oz servings, the DCC-3200 is capable of tailoring the brew to your specifications with a reasonable amount of customization.

There isn’t a temperature selector or high altitude setting, but this coffee maker will brew sufficiently hot coffee north of 190°F for those under 5,000 feet of elevation.

The DCC-3200 has a Brew Pause feature that lets you pause the brew process to pour your necessary first cup as soon as its ready. It’s a nice feature, but note that the Brew Pause feature doesn’t stop the flow of water into the filter basket. Cuisinart warns that pausing for more than 20 seconds could result in basket overflow.

It takes about 8 minutes to brew a full 14 cup, 70 oz pot. On the surface that seems like quite the wait, but it averages out to 8.75 oz per minute. That’s comparable to some of the faster single serve K-Cup style brewers that deliver a full cup of coffee in 60 seconds. The 8 minute wait is the price you pay for having 14 cups of brew capacity.

I used this coffee maker for 3 weeks and had absolutely no issues with it during that time. I was impressed with its build and it was extremely easy to clean. I especially loved the 1-4 cup brew size selector, because I didn’t always want a full 14 cup pot. Programming this coffee maker is easy (instructions below) and it makes great tasting coffee, thanks in large part to the cone-shaped filter.

My supplemental research turned up similarly impressed Cuisinart customers. In fact, this coffee maker is one of the highest-rated coffee makers on Amazon with most users giving it great marks because of its durability, simplicity and quality of brew.

Features
  • 70 oz water reservoir
  • Setting to brew 5-20 oz (1-4 cup) single brew
  • Removable charcoal filter
  • Gold Tone Filter, cone-shaped and size 4 paper filter compatible
  • 14 cup carafe, sturdy glass with stainless steel plated handle
  • Control panel comes with “Tone” button to toggle finished brew beeping
  • Cleaning mode
  • Bold brew strength setting
  • Auto-off with 0-4 hour off time
  • Programmable 24 hour brew start
  • Brew Pause so you can pause the process and grab an early cup
  • 60-Second Reset will remember brew settings and how long into the brew process in case of power outage
  • Dimensions: 7.8″W x 9.0″L x 14.0″H
  • Weight: 8.4 lbs
  • 3 year warranty

Click here for the Cuisinart DCC-3200 user manual.

Pros Cons
  • Brew size setting optimizes brew process for smaller servings (1-4 cups)
  • Programmable 24 hour start time and Auto Off feature
  • Toggle loud finished brew beeps on/off
  • Toggle warming plate temp to high, medium, low
  • Durable and comes with a 3 year warranty
  • Attractive stainless steel exterior
  • Steam comes out the top-back, which can stain or damage cabinets
  • Carafe design has lip which makes it hard to empty completely
  • Requires frequent cleaning to prevent clogging
  • Smaller brew sizes using 1-4 cup setting may not get hot enough

Best Cuisinart Grind and Brew Coffee Maker

Cuisinart DGB-550BK 12 Cup Grind and Brew | $69.99

Cusinart Coffee Maker DGB-550BK
Click to learn more about the DGB-550BK

I almost exclusively drink whole bean coffee, and I love my Culinary Prestige Manual Grinder to get the perfect, customizable grind for my cup.

But if you’re looking to keep things simple with an all-in-one grind and brew coffee maker, then go with the Cuisinart DGB-550BK. Compatible with both whole bean and pre-ground coffee, this coffee maker keeps the brew process as simple as possible.

Like the DCC-3200 above, the DGB-550BK features Cuisinart’s Brew Pause feature allow you to halt the brew process (advisable only up to 20 seconds) and siphon off a quick cup before the brew is complete. Also like the DCC-3200, you can use the 1-4 cup brew setting to optimize the brew for smaller portions.

Despite a smaller brew capacity than the DCC-3200, the DGB-550BK is bigger and heavier due to the built-in grinder. The grinder is pre-set for a medium grind, which is the recommended grind size for this brewer’s speed and brew process.

Clean the grinder regularly. It’s advisable you do it after each use! It’s a simple process, though: rinse and use a bristle brush to lightly scrub. The grinder basket and grinder lid are both dishwasher safe.

However, while the cleaning process is simple, it’s not always easy.

Because the grinder is part of the coffee maker, it tends to get moist from the hot water and steam of the brewing process. This mixes with the finer, powdery parts of the medium grind to create a paste-like substance that adheres well to the grinder basket. To keep everything functioning properly, you’ll have to dedicate time to cleaning this paste. For that reason, I still prefer a separate grinder — either the Culinary Prestige manual grinder mentioned earlier or an electronic grinder.

Ultimately, this grind and brew coffee maker does what it says: it’ll grind and brew a great cup of coffee. As a frequent coffee drinker, though, I find the built-in grinder to be more hassle than it’s worth — it’s loud and it’s time consuming to clean. My preference is to have my manual grinder separate from my brewer, but if you’re OK with the frequent cleaning and the noise of the built-in electronic grinder, then the DGB-550BK is a great coffee maker for the price.

Features
  • Built-in grinder for whole bean coffee
  • Grinder Off setting for pre-ground coffee
  • 60 oz water reservoir
  • Setting to brew 5-20 oz (1-4 cup) single brew
  • Removable charcoal filter
  • Gold Tone Filter, flat-bottomed filter bed (not cone-shaped like others here)
  • 12 cup carafe, sturdy glass with stainless steel plated handle
  • Control panel comes with “Tone” button to toggle finished brew beeping
  • Cleaning mode
  • Bold brew strength setting
  • Auto-off with 0-4 hour off time
  • Programmable 24 hour brew start
  • Brew Pause so you can pause the process and grab an early cup
  • 60-Second Reset will remember brew settings and how long into the brew process in case of power outage
  • Dimensions: 7.5″W x 11.2″L x 15.2″H
  • Weight: 10.8 lbs
  • 3 year warranty

Click here for the Cuisinart DGB-550BK user manual.

Pros Cons
  • Compatible with both whole bean and pre-ground coffee
  • Brew size setting optimizes brew process for smaller servings (1-4 cups)
  • Convenient Brew Pause feature
  • Programmable 24 hour start time and Auto Off feature
  • Durable and comes with a 3 year warranty
  • Attractive stainless steel exterior
  • Grinder builds up coffee paste and requires frequent cleaning
  • Everything has to be dry before making a pot
  • Requires frequent cleaning to prevent clogging
  • Smaller brew sizes using 1-4 cup setting may not get hot enough
  • Grinder is very noisy
  • Smaller brew sizes using 1-4 cup setting may not get hot enough

Best Cuisinart Single Serve and K Cup Coffee Maker

Cuisinart SS-10 Premium Single Serve | $119.99

Cuisinart Coffee Maker SS-10
Click to learn more about the SS-10

I’ll take the SS-10 Premium Single Serve brewer over any Keurig. In fact, the SS-10 finished 2nd in my ranking of best single serve coffee makers behind only the Nespresso Pixie.

High quality coffee and extreme compatibility, the SS-10 is a formidable brewer. It works with almost any K-Cup you can find and comes with its own reusable pod for use with your whole bean or pre-ground coffee.

Like the full-pot brewers reviewed here, the SS-10 offers a 24 hour programmable start time and auto off feature. Its 72 oz water reservoir is one of the largest you’ll find among single serve brewers, and the 4-12 oz brew size setting will let you brew 6-18 servings without refilling, depending on the size you choose.

A handy rinse feature cleans out the brewer between servings, letting you refill the reusable pod with tea (if that’s your cup of tea, awful pun intended) or just run a hot water brew for your hot cocoa or oatmeal.

I have very few negative things to say about this brewer. What I could compile is displayed below, but I’m really grasping at some of those cons.

All-in-all, I love the SS-10. While single serve brewers generally aren’t my coffee makers of choice, the SS-10 is probably the one I’d buy.

Read the full Cuisinart SS-10 review.

Features
  • Removable 72 oz water reservoir
  • Includes charcoal water filter
  • Includes Cuisinart HomeBarista reusable K-Cup pod
  • Compatible with all K-Cup varieties
  • 5 different serving sizes from 4-12 oz
  • Hot or extra hot temperature control
  • Programmable for 24 hours in advance
  • Programmable auto-on/off
  • Removable drip tray for travel mug and easy cleaning
  • BPA free
  • 3 year warranty

Click here for the Cuisinart SS-10 user manual.

Pros Cons
  • Compatible with every K-Cup known to man
  • Programmable interface with temp control
  • 72 oz water reservoir capacity
  • Side storage compartment for reusable pod
  • Durable and comes with a 3 year warranty
  • Attractive stainless steel exterior
  • A little slow
  • Some splattering
  • No reservoir light

Best Cuisinart Thermal Coffee Maker

Cuisinart DCC-3750 Elite 10 Cup With Thermal Carafe | $124.91

Cuisinart Coffee Maker DCC-3750 Elite
Click here to learn more about the DCC-3750

The DCC-3750 shares many of the same settings and features as he DCC-3200 above, but it also has a much more developed heating system for improved temperature control as well as a 10 cup thermal carafe.

The internal heater can be set to one of three different temperature settings — Regular, Hot, and X-Hot — and allows for the DCC-3750’s Extreme Brew function.

What is Extreme Brew?

It’s a function that allows you to brew the same hot, fresh cup of coffee in 25% less time.

This unit has a smaller capacity than the 14- and 12-cup brewers reviewed above, but its thermal carafe does a good job of keeping the DCC-3750’s 10 cups of coffee nice and hot for about 2 hours.

There are only 2 reasons I’d go with this brewer over one of the others reviewed:

  1. I want thermal carafe
  2. I live at a high altitude or want the X-Hot temperature setting

If those don’t matter to you, go with the DCC-3200 and get the largest brew capacity.

Features
  • 50 oz water reservoir
  • Removable charcoal filter
  • Gold Tone Filter, cone-shaped and size 4 paper filter compatible
  • 10 cup brew capacity
  • Exreme Brew setting or 25% faster brew speed
  • Regular, Hot and X-Hot brew temperature selector
  • Bold brew strength setting
  • Auto-off with 0-4 hour off time
  • Programmable 24 hour brew start
  • Self clean mode
  • Setting to brew 5-20 oz (1-4 cup) single brew
  • 60-Second Reset will remember brew settings and how long into the brew process in case of power outage
  • Dimensions: 10.4″W x 12.8″L x 17.0″H
  • Weight: 10.8 lbs
  • 3 year warranty
Pros Cons
  • 3 temperature settings allow this brewer to be used at high altitude
  • Brew size setting optimizes brew process for smaller servings (1-4 cups)
  • Extreme Brew setting allows for 25% faster brew
  • Comes with thermal carafe
  • Durable and comes with a 3 year warranty
  • Attractive stainless steel accent
  • No viewing window into water reservoir to see water level
  • Requires frequent cleaning to prevent clogging
  • Smaller brew sizes using 1-4 cup setting may not get hot enough

Best Cuisinart Programmable Coffee Maker

Cuisinart CHW-12 Coffee Plus 12 Cup Programmable With Hot Water Dispenser | $75.52

Cuisinart Coffee Maker CHW-12
Click here to learn more about the CHW-12

While all of the Cuisinart coffee maker models reviewed in this article have similar levels of programmability, I elected to name the CHW-12 the Best Programmable Coffee Maker because it combines all of the aforementioned programmable features with a little something extra — a hot water dispenser.

Because we’re talking about programmability, let’s lead off with the notable programmable (and other useful) features:

  • Clock setting
  • Auto On up to 24 hours
  • Auto Off from 0-4 hours
  • Carafe temperature: High, Medium, Low
  • Self-clean function

Let’s also talk for a minute about this hot water system. The CHW-12 has 2 separate water reservoirs: a 60 oz reservoir on the coffee side and a 54 oz reservoir on the hot water side. They are two completely separate systems and function independently. The hot water reservoir is operated with a lever, which is held down until the proper amount of water has been dispensed, but it also has a safety lock to disable this functionality.

A note on the hot water’s “hotness” — it’s very hot for the first 12 oz. After that, the machine runs out of hot water and you have to wait for it to heat up again. You can still pump out a little extra not-as-hot water, but then you’ll have to let it reset.

Because of the added hot water feature, this coffee maker is a little bigger than the DCC-3200 and DCC-3750. If you like hot water on demand it’s worth a look, but otherwise my favorite Cuisinart coffee maker is still the DCC-3200.

Features
  • Separate hot water dispenser with safety lock
  • Removable drip tray on hot water side
  • 60 oz water reservoir on coffee side
  • Separate 54 oz water reservoir on hot water side
  • Removable charcoal water filter
  • 12 cup brew capacity
  • 12 cup glass carafe
  • Setting to brew 5-20 oz (1-4 cup) single brew
  • Gold Tone Filter, cone-shaped and size 4 paper filter compatible
  • Self-clean function
  • 60-Second Reset will remember brew settings and how long into the brew process in case of power outage
  • Auto-off with 0-4 hour off time
  • Programmable 24 hour brew start
  • Brew Pause so you can pause the process and grab an early cup
  • Stainless steel accent
  • BPA free
  • Dimensions: 10.8″W x 12.4″L x 16.5″H
  • Weight: 10 lbs
  • 3 year warranty

Click here for the Cuisinart CHW-12 user manual.

Pros Cons
  • Hot water feature with separate 54 oz water reservoir
  • Tons of programmability as noted above
  • Brew Pause and carafe temp selectors are nice to have
  • Brew size setting optimizes brew process for smaller servings (1-4 cups)
  • Durable and comes with a 3 year warranty
  • Attractive stainless steel accent
  • Small, awkward space to fill brew side reservoir
  • 54 oz water reservoir isn’t huge
  • Max single serve of 12 oz on hot water side
  • Smaller brew sizes using 1-4 cup setting may not get hot enough

How to Program a Cuisinart Coffee Maker

If you own or are considering purchasing a programmable coffee maker, follow the instructions below to program it:

Setting the Clock

  1. When plugged in, the coffee maker will flash “12:00” for 10 seconds — this lets you know it’s in Clock Set mode
  2. If “12:00” stops flashing or you want to reset the time at any point, press and hold either the Hour or Minute button to return to flashing Clock Set mode
  3. In Clock Set mode, press either the Hour or Minute button to change the time — press and hold to scroll more quickly and make sure the PM indicator is on if you’re setting a PM time

Setting the Auto On Time

  1. Press and hold the Prog/Auto On button for 2 seconds
  2. The display will flash “12:00” or the last time you set
  3. Follow the instructions above for setting the clock to set the Auto On time
  4. When the time is set, press the Prog/Auto On button to exit Set Time mode
  5. When you want to turn the Auto On setting on, press the Prog/Auto On button — the time set will appear before changing back to the clock
  6. To turn Auto On off, press the Prog/Auto On button — the notification light will turn off

How to Clean a Cuisinart Coffee Maker

You’re busy. You have better things to do. But take a few minutes every 2-4 months to clean your coffee maker. Doing so will ensure the following:

  • Better tasting coffee
  • Better performance
  • Longer useful life

If you have hard water, clean it every 1-2 months. If you have use filtered water you can probably get away with cleaning every 5-6 months. If at any point the Clean light comes on, make sure you descale soon.

Whenever the time comes, this is how you do it:

  1. Turn off the coffee maker and unplug it from the electrical outlet
  2. Remove the charcoal water filter, if one exists
  3. Fill the water reservoir with 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water
  4. Press and hold the Clean button, if one exists
  5. If no Clean button, run several cycles until you’ve used all of the vinegar/water mixture in the reservoir
  6. Repeat until the Clean light turns off
  7. When done cleaning, fill the reservoir with water (no vinegar) and run one or more cycles to rinse
  8. Return the charcoal water reservoir, if one exists

That’s all there is to it.

Depending on your model, some components may be dishwasher safe. While this varies from model to model, most Cuisinart coffee makers will adhere to the following:

  • Coffeemaker lid — dishwasher safe
  • Filter basket — dishwasher safe
  • Glass carafe — dishwasher safe
  • Thermal carafe — dishwasher safe
  • Removable drip tray — dishwasher safe

Warranty

Cuisinart products are among my favorite and tend to rank well on lists of most reliable products because of their sturdy construction and Cuisinart’s 3 year warranty.

You read that correctly — Cuisinart products come with a 3 year warranty.

Today, most kitchen appliances seem to fail around the 12-18 month mark, and many — most notably Keurig coffee makers — only come with 1 year of purchase protection.

Not Cuisinart.

You can read about the Cuisinart coffee maker warranty in any of the user manuals linked to above, but here’s a snapshot of the warranty from their DCC-3200 model.

Cuisinart 3 Year Warranty
Cuisinart 3 Year Warranty from DCC-3200 (click here for full manual)

Problems & Troubleshooting

No one likes dealing with a faulty kitchen appliance. If you’re having issues with your Cuisinart coffee maker, try some of these helpful troubleshooting tips:

Why does my coffee taste metallic? Even after frequent descaling with vinegar, your coffee machine may build up some tough-to-eradicate calcium deposits. Before replacing the machine, try cleaning it with a commercially made descaling solution designed specifically for this purpose.

Why is my brew basket overflowing? Cuisinart carafe lids are designed specifically for a Cuisinart coffee maker and have a check valve on the top that allows coffee to flow into the carafe when brewing but prevents it from flowing out when pouring a cup. This check valve can clog, so make sure you clean it regularly with a brush and vinegar.

I can’t remove the permanent Gold Tone coffee filter from the brew basket. The Gold Tone filter is spring loaded. Eject it using a button usually located near the top left of the machine next to the brew basket.

My coffee maker keeps shutting down during the brew cycle. The most common cause is calcium buildup. Try descaling with water and vinegar. If that doesn’t work, the next most common cause is a clog in the reservoir or somewhere inside the machine’s inner tubes. First check the water reservoir for anything obvious near the water intake. If that’s not the case, try some of the following troubleshooting tips.

Why is my coffee maker beeping incessantly but not brewing? This can happen for myriad reasons. First, unplug the unit from the electrical outlet for 10-15 minutes, then plug it back in and see if it works. If this doesn’t fix the problem, try the remaining troubleshooting tips in order. If all else fails, call customer service.

Why won’t my coffee maker turn on? Have you made sure it’s plugged in? (Sorry, had to ask.) If it is plugged in, check the power cord for any tangles or bent/broken sections. It’s possible the cord was damaged and the wires were broken.

Why won’t my coffee maker brew a full pot? This is often a sign that it’s time to clean and descale the machine. Try following the cleaning instructions above. If this isn’t the solution it’s possible that coffee grounds overflowed into the water reservoir and have clogged up the interior tubes. You can fix this by opening up the machine (read next troubleshooting tip).

I need to open up my coffee maker but can’t get the security screws off. Disclaimer: It’s not advisable that you try to open up your coffee maker. You could damage the unit and void the warranty. Now with that out of the way, you can remove the special security screws with a T10 torx screwdriver. These are available at most hardware stores or on Amazon.

For any other issues, feel free to comment below and I’ll see what I can do to help. If you’re within your warranty period, you can also contact Cuisinart customer service at 1-800-726-0190.

Parts & Accessories

Even the most careful users find themselves in need of new parts from time to time. Here are some of the Cuisinart coffee maker parts and accessories you may need.

  • Glass carafe: prices vary (make sure your model is compatible)
  • Thermal carafe: prices vary (make sure your model is compatible)
  • Paper filters cone-shaped #4: $19.74
  • Gold Tone permanent coffee filter, flat bottom for DGB-500BK: $6.44
  • Gold Tone permanent coffee filter, cone-shaped for other models above: $5.75
  • Cone-shaped filter basket holder compatible with Gold Tone filters above: $15.99
  • Replacement carbon filters: $8.34
  • Replacement glass carafe lid: $9.75

The post Best Cuisinart Coffee Maker: The Complete Buyer’s Guide appeared first on The Coffee Maven.



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