Beggars can’t be choosers, though, and when the caffeine attack happens it’s time to get percolating.
When the choice is between the Cuisinart PRC-12 Classic 12-Cup Stainless-Steel Percolator we were sent for review purposes and the instant coffee alternative, there really wasn’t much arm twisting needed to get testing.
Cuisinart has a good brand name in appliances so we were keen to get testing.
What are the Specs on this Percolator?
This is a steel sucker. STEEL!
The inner basket, basket cover and stem are steel as well. No inner plastic workings here.
That’s not saying alternative percolators with plastic mechanics are junk. They work fine and do the job when you’re in a hurry. But this is mainly steel which bespeaks quality.
It’s substantial and solid. It does have a plastic base, but that’s to keep it cool. It works well for that.
The handle is plastic and therefore cool to the touch. It’s comfortable to use.
The top knob is transparent to allow you to see the progress as it perks.
There’s an indicator light that lets you know when it’s done brewing. The detachable cord is wonderful for moving the pot around and serving.
The capacity is 4-12 cups. Now, that actually produces more like 2-8 normal sized cups, but it’s enough for an individual or a few coffee drinkers.
3 year standard Cuisinart limited warranty.
What were the Positives and Negatives?
The first effort to make coffee with this was a joke.
The stem didn’t fit or lock correctly into the heating element, so it produced nasty light brown, grainy water.
This could have been user error but I’m a relatively practical person and it was a little complicated.
After it cooled, I tried again (with a few choice words thrown in for good measure) and voilà…worked like a charm.
This is a step or two up from drip coffee.
It’s an electric auto-timed model, not a time/strength adjustable stove top model.
If that’s not an issue, this works well and makes decent coffee. It’s just not super strong.
The pot cools down quickly when unplugged.
It needs to remain plugged into the outlet in order to stay heated. That’s just common sense, but it’s easy to forget cold or nuked perk coffee is just nasty until you taste either format.
It’s probably best to just make what you need and unplug it right away to prevent extra wear on the heating element.
Cleaning is tricky, but it needs to be done after every use.
A roll of unbleached paper towels worked wonders. Tons of grounds settled into the base, but the towels removed the waste.
A simple rinse and air dry took care of the rest.
The top bubble is plastic. Those things never last very long.
Other customer reviews suggest there might be a need to replace the top after 5 months of pretty consistent use.
It should be noted that this is an uncommon comment from customers overall. But still its frequent enough to be called an issue.
Fortunately, the top isn’t very expensive, but it’s a shame it happens at all. Keep your receipt just in case replacement parts are required. They’re covered in the warranty.
In terms of longevity, there seems to be little indication how long the Cuisinart percolator will last. The three year warranty suggests a goodly time.
What do we think?
We still think that our recommended Hamilton Beach percolator is a superior model. We think this because of its styling, it makes a stronger brew, it keeps your brew warmer for longer and it’s actually significantly cheaper.
However this is a quality made electric percolator (apart from the plastic knob) and makes a reasonable brew of coffee.
For that reason we give the Cuisinart PRC-12 Classic 12-Cup Stainless-Steel Percolator a solid 4 star rating