Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable Review
Pros: Inexpensive, automatic brew feature
Cons: Hard to fill, bulky
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Black+Decker 12-Cup Programmable
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|Pros||Inexpensive, automatic brew feature||Easy cleaning, simple design, can use pods||Large brew capacity range, good water distribution, coffee filter included||High brew quality, sleek design, mess-free pouring||Simplistic interface, easy to clean|
|Cons||Hard to fill, bulky||Small water tank opening, fill to brew volume||Bulky, confusing interface||Tall, small carafe handle, water backsplash while filling||Poor brew quality, no automatic shut off, short carafe handle|
|Bottom Line||The most affordable and straightforward coffee maker that consistently brews decent coffee||The combination of features and affordability make this a great budget option||A great option for coffee drinkers looking to brew larger batches of coffee||This model offers great brew quality; however, its additional height may pose a challenge fitting it between your countertop and cabinets||A 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%)|
|User Friendliness (35%)|
|Ease of Cleaning (20%)|
|Specs||Black+Decker 12-Cup...||Hamilton Beach 2-Way||Cuisinart 14-Cup Pr...||BUNN Heat N' Brew P...||Mr. Simple Brew 12-...|
|Brew Temp (°F)||161.98||166.14||176.94||169.04||160.36|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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