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Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable Review

The most affordable and straightforward coffee maker that consistently brews decent coffee
Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable
Credit: BLACK+DECKER
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $40 List | $34.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, automatic brew feature
Cons:  Hard to fill, bulky
Manufacturer:   BLACK+DECKER
By Liz Nelson ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2022
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57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 13
  • Brew Quality - 30% 5.6
  • User Friendliness - 35% 5.1
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 6.0
  • Consistency - 15% 7.1

Our Verdict

The Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable takes the award for our favorite budget brewer. For a fraction of the price of other coffee makers, the 12-Cup Programmable consistently brews a decent cup of coffee. In addition, this machine is relatively easy to clean, offers a simple interface, and can be programmed to start making coffee before you wake up. Of course, it can get expensive if you're looking for the best specialty brewer on the market, but if all you need is a little help brewing your morning blends, the 12-Cup Programmable is a score.

Compare to Similar Products

 
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Price $40 List
$34.99 at Amazon
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$40 List
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Pros Inexpensive, automatic brew featureEasy cleaning, simple design, can use podsLarge brew capacity range, good water distribution, coffee filter includedHigh brew quality, sleek design, mess-free pouringSimplistic interface, easy to clean
Cons Hard to fill, bulkySmall water tank opening, fill to brew volumeBulky, confusing interfaceTall, small carafe handle, water backsplash while fillingPoor brew quality, no automatic shut off, short carafe handle
Bottom Line The most affordable and straightforward coffee maker that consistently brews decent coffeeThe combination of features and affordability make this a great budget optionA great option for coffee drinkers looking to brew larger batches of coffeeThis model offers great brew quality; however, its additional height may pose a challenge fitting it between your countertop and cabinetsA decent budget option if you like the simplicity of a single-button brewer
Rating Categories Black+Decker 12-Cup... Hamilton Beach 2-Way Cuisinart 14-Cup Pr... BUNN Heat N' Brew P... Mr. Simple Brew 12-...
Brew Quality (30%)
5.6
6.0
5.2
7.7
4.4
User Friendliness (35%)
5.1
6.3
6.1
4.8
4.3
Ease of Cleaning (20%)
6.0
7.5
7.4
6.9
7.3
Consistency (15%)
7.1
6.5
6.0
4.6
7.1
Specs Black+Decker 12-Cup... Hamilton Beach 2-Way Cuisinart 14-Cup Pr... BUNN Heat N' Brew P... Mr. Simple Brew 12-...
Cup Capacity 12 12 14 10 12
Single Serve No Yes Yes No No
Automatic Brewing Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Brew Temp (°F) 161.98 166.14 176.94 169.04 160.36
Preinfusion No No No No No
Filter Shape Flat Flat Cone Flat Flat
Energy Usage 975 watts 950 watts 1050 watts 1300 watts 975 watts
Dimensions (H x W x D) 8.2" x 12.2" x 11" 13.9" x 12.2" x 11.1" 14" x 8" x 9" 16" x 8.5" x 10" 12.3" x 9.3" x 13.8"
Weight 4.75 lbs 5.0 lbs 9.5 lbs 5.9 lbs 2.8 lbs

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable is our review's most affordable coffee maker. This brewer is a great lightweight and inexpensive coffee maker that packs in some features that we'd only expect to see in pricier models. The 12-Cup Programmable offers average cup quality and surprisingly outperformed some of the more expensive coffee makers. Most of all, our results show that this affordable coffee maker has a more effective spray head than most in its class.

Performance Comparison


Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable coffee maker - the black + decker 12-cup is the most affordable brewer in our review.
The Black + Decker 12-Cup is the most affordable brewer in our review.
Credit: Laura Casner

Brew Quailty


The Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable produces average coffee quality. The coffee this brewer makes reminds us of classic diner-style coffee. The coffee is comforting and familiar and gets the job done. Brewing temperature is not adjustable on the 12-Cup. However, Black + Decker does provide a couple of other customizable features, including an automatic brewing setting and a strong brew setting.


A pre-infusion setting is something we didn't expect to find at this price point and is not one of the features of this brewer. But, we found its spray head does an exceptional job of evenly distributing the water across the brew bed. Good water distribution gives the coffee a better chance of evenly saturating during brewing. Even saturation significantly contributes to better-tasting coffee.

Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable coffee maker - black + decker's strong spray head helps significantly increase brew...
Black + Decker's strong spray head helps significantly increase brew quality.
Credit: Laura Casner

While you're probably not going to extract the delicate flavor profiles of a lightly roasted coffee with this drip-brewer, the 12-Cup does a great job at evenly extracting medium to dark blends. We are highly impressed that this affordable coffee maker can outperform other more expensive models in terms of water distribution.

Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable coffee maker - the black + decker 12-cup programmable spray head does a great job...
The Black + Decker 12-Cup Programmable spray head does a great job of evenly distributing water across the entire brew bed.
Credit: Laura Casner

User Friendliness


The Black + Decker 12-Cup Programmable brewer was quite average in terms of user-friendliness. All told, the 12-cup performed impressively in temperature maintenance, meaning this brewer maintained its water temperature during back-to-back brew testing. We also analyzed the steps or approachability of the brewing process and the machine's brewing capacity.


The carafe of 12-Cup Programmable is not insulated; however, we found that the coffee temperature increased by 20 degrees two hours after brewing. This temperature increase doesn't serve much and is not good in terms of quality, but the heating plate effectively does what it's supposed to. For the right person, this feature could be helpful. If you prefer a brewer with an insulated carafe, we recommend looking at some of the higher-end brewers in our review.

Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable coffee maker - the black  + decker 12-cup heating plate is extremely effective at...
The Black + Decker 12-Cup heating plate is extremely effective at keeping coffee hot.
Credit: Laura Casner

In just a few simple steps, you can brew a big pot of coffee with the 12-Cup or set it to brew for you in the morning. The filter basket and water tank are easily accessible. And a handy water-level indicator with measurements is visible from the brewer's side to help guide you. Our only complaint is that the lid and spray head can be a bit cumbersome and gets in the way of filling the water reservoir.

Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable coffee maker - the 12-cup programmable makes for simple brewing.
The 12-Cup Programmable makes for simple brewing.
Credit: Laura Casner

The total brew time of the 12-Cup Programmable is lengthier than other brewers we tested. The brewer was delayed and took 1.5 minutes longer than the other coffee makers in our review. You can work around this issue with the automatic brewing setting. This feature allows you to prep the night before and saves you a lot of time in the morning, dramatically streamlining your morning routine.

Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable coffee maker - the black+decker 12-cup is an affordable brewer that comes with...
The Black+Decker 12-Cup is an affordable brewer that comes with features found on higher-end models.
Credit: Laura Casner

Additional features include the sneak-a-cup and automatic shutoff for peace of mind. The sneak-a-cup feature temporarily stops the flow of coffee so you can pour your first cup before brewing ends, eliminating messy second-serving pours without making a mess. After two hours, the 12-Cup automatically shuts off, so you never have to stress about whether or not you turned the coffee maker off.

Ease of Cleaning


The Black+Decker was one of many coffee makers that performed slightly above average when it comes to cleaning.


The 12-Cup is incredibly dishwasher friendly. The filter basket and carafe are dishwasher safe. Don't have a dishwasher? Keep in mind that the flat filter basket is also quick and easy to clean by hand. You also have the option to use a paper filter with this brewer, making disposing of the grounds even easier.

Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable coffee maker - the black + decke 12-cup programmable makes cleaning easy with a...
The Black + Decke 12-Cup Programmable makes cleaning easy with a dishwasher-safe brew basket.
Credit: Laura Casner

The 12-Cup offers a programmable descaling cleaning cycle that runs between 45 minutes to an hour. We found this to be the average amount of time for this kind of maintenance; the manufacturer suggests running this cycle every 60 days. Descaling reduces the build-up of mineral deposits that collect in a brewer.

The outside of the 12-Cup Programmable is not as easy to clean. There are a couple of spots on this brewer that are very hard and seem impossible to keep clean. The first is a small crack between the heating plate and the backsplash. This crack collects grounds and coffee splatters and is hard to reach with a sponge. We also discovered a white calcified ring on the heating plate, which was very hard to remove. If you value deep cleanliness in the kitchen, we suggest a model without a hotplate to avoid this mess.

Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable coffee maker - the outside of the 12-cup is a little tricky to keep clean.
The outside of the 12-Cup is a little tricky to keep clean.
Credit: Laura Casner

Consistency


To test the consistency of this brewer, we brewed pot after pot of coffee five times for each test. Our team of professionals studied the grounds in the brew basket to analyze the evenness of saturation. We also measured the difference in temperature between each and every pot of coffee.


The Black + Decker 12-Cup Programmable had very little deviation in temperature from the first brew to the fifth. In fact, this brewer performed well in temperature consistency. On the other hand, the average brew temperature of 161.98 degrees is below the SCA recommendation of 195-205.

Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable coffee maker - accurate water temperature is essential to proper extraction.
Accurate water temperature is essential to proper extraction.
Credit: Laura Casner

The 12-Cup Programmable brewer makes up for not having a preinfusion feature with its powerful spray head that delivers a surprisingly even extraction. Although this brewer doesn't reach specialty standards for temperature which will affect caffeine extraction, we feel the powerful spray head could do a good job brewing a decaf blend.

Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable coffee maker - side-by-side testing allows us to hand-pick the best coffee maker to...
Side-by-side testing allows us to hand-pick the best coffee maker to suit your taste.
Credit: Laura Casner

Value


The Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable is a steal. No other coffee maker can brew coffee as consistently and offer programmable features at anywhere near the price of this brewer. We have very little doubt that anyone will be disappointed with the value they get from this coffee brewer.

Conclusion


The Black + Decker 12-Cup is an inexpensive coffee maker that produces a decent cup of coffee. The 12-Cup includes programmable features generally only found in much more expensive brewers. If you're looking for a budget option, the Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable will be your best friend.

Liz Nelson

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