Cuisinart Brew Central Coffee Maker Review: DCC-1200 12 Cup Programmable Brewer

Quick Look
Cuisinart Brew Central Coffee Maker #DCC-1200
Model DCC-1200

green check mark Most people like it!

yellow caution sign Some report potential fire hazard.

4.0 / 5 stars 4.0/5      3,577 reviews

priced $50 - $100 $50 to $100 USD

The DCC-1200 Cuisinart Brew Central coffee maker is Consumer Reports' top-rated automatic drip coffee maker, winning 'Excellent' ratings for brew temperature, convenience, and carafe handling.

Owners sum it up:

FOREMOST and most important it makes a GREAT cup of coffee. Rich, flavorful, hot, and satisfying ..........Bob

...EXCELLENT design of a spout that I can't make leak! No matter how quickly I pour there isn't a drop lost to stain my counter ..........KW

The heating element was glowing red and electrical smoke was coming from both the top and bottom of the element unit ..........Ken

Product Details

Many owners agree with Consumer Reports' rating. They love the great taste and are enamored of the carafe, which lives up to its "dripless" claims.

However, a thorough review of consumer comments reveals a troubling factor: a small percentage of owners report experiences of their Cuisinart Brew Central coffee makers catching fire, or smoking and smoldering to the point where fire seemed imminent. The risk appears to be very small, but the consequences could be devastating.

Consumer Review Note


Reviews praising this Cuisinart Brew Central coffee maker are plentiful. At, we studied the reviews of over 3,500 consumers who have weighed in on this model. As the four star rating indicates, most owners are very pleased with its performance.

However, we found 48 reviews reporting instances where this model made popping and crackling noises while billowing smoke and smelling of burnt plastic. Most consumers were able to unplug and remove the unit before fire spread outside the machine.

This means 1.3% of reviews reported some kind of smoke or fire incident (48 out of 3,577). The percent of incidents to actual units sold must be even lower. Realistically, if you decide to purchase this unit, the chance of having a similar problem is extremely low. But be aware - the potential for damage and serious harm does exist.

In addition to reports contained in consumer reviews, similar incidents are described at consumer interest sites such as,, and


replacement carafe carafe replacement lid
Owners love this carafe Snap-on carafe lid

The glass carafe of this Cuisinart Brew Central Coffee Maker is a big hit with consumers. It has measurement lines for 2 - 12 cups, and features an ergonomic handle, dripless spout and knuckle guard.

It differs from the typical glass carafe in that the lid snaps on instead of flipping back on a hinge.

Showerhead for even water dispersal

This model uses a #4 cone-shaped coffee filter. A permanent gold-tone filter is included with purchase. The product manual states that the filter holds a maximum of 15 tablespoons of ground coffee.

Hot water is dispersed over the grounds with a showerhead, which is supposed to distribute water evenly and reduce temperature loss. Brew-pause allows you to hold brew flow while you grab that first cup.

The Brew Central features in integrated charcoal water filter (use optional).

A tone beeps five times to signal the end of the brew cycle, and when the Auto-Off function engages.

Like it strong?

If you are the type that typically uses more than one tablespoon of coffee grounds for each 5 oz cup,

be aware that the filter basket is not big enough to brew a full 12-cup pot of coffee at that strength.

coffee filter

Excess cord storage is located on the back of the machine.

The filter basket, carafe, and carafe lid are top-rack dishwasher safe.

Cuisinart includes a three year warranty on purchase of the DCC-1200. Terms of the warranty require the consumer to pay $10 each way for "shipping and handling" when you need a replacement or repair.

DCC-1200 Colors Offered

This Cuisinart Brew Central coffee maker model is available in several colors, though availability varies widely from retailer to retailer.

Cuisinart has removed all reference to color names from its website, but retailers list the following colors:

Color: Black/Brushed Metal Color: Matte Black
Black/Brushed Metal Matte Black
Color: Black Chrome Color: Metallic Red
Black Chrome Metallic Red
Color: Metallic Blue Color: Metallic Pink
Metallic Blue Metallic Pink
Color: Metallic Purple Color: Metallic White
Metallic Purple Metallic White
Color: Metallic Orange Color: Metallic Green
Metallic Orange Metallic Green


control panel
Control panel on Metallic White model

The control panel contains an LCD clock, on/off toggle, function knobs and indicator lights for the following features:

  • setting the clock
  • 24-hour programmable Auto-On
  • Auto-Off programmable from 0 to 4 hours
  • Brew On
  • 1-4 cup brew (double heats the water for a small batch)
  • Warming plate temperature control: high-medium-low
  • Time to Clean indicator
  • Self Cleaning function

See all coffee makers with 24-hour programmability
View all Cuisinart brewers

Product Specifications

Manufacturer Cuisinart
Model #DCC-1200
Avg Rating 4.0 stars 4.0 out of 5
Number of reviews 3,577
Price Range priced $50 to $100 $50 to $100 USD
Max Cup 12
Programmable Y
Auto Off Y programmable from 0 to 4 hours
Thermal Carafe N
Pause & Serve Y
Filter Type #4 cone
Warranty 3 years

User Manual

Click image to view or download User Manual
pdf file Product Manual for Cuisinart DCC-1200 Brew Central Coffee Maker

Pros and Cons - What Real Owners Like and Dislike

Overall like it


bullet Great coffee taste, attributed to proper extraction at the right brew temperature. Consumers think the brew is strong and robust. Some didn't realize what horrible coffee their old brewer made until trying this Cuisinart Brew Central coffee maker.
bullet Owners are just thrilled with the carafe on this unit. Many coffee makers claim to have a dripless carafe, this model delivers.
bullet The Cuisinart DCC-1200 does a fine job on small batches. Most say they cannot tell the difference from the taste of a full pot. The 1-4 Cup feature gets the water hot enough for proper extraction.
bullet The ability to change the temperature of the warming plate is a favored feature. Those who use cold milk or cream like to use the higher setting. When the pot nears empty, you can turn the heat down to avoid burning.
bullet Most owners find this unit easy to program. Though the controls may look daunting at first glance, they are very easily mastered.
bullet All-day drinkers love the four hour Auto-Off function. Many models have a maximum of two hours.


bullet Reports of brewer malfunction top the list of complaints about this unit.
  bullet A small number experience frightening incidences of smoke and fire, with accompanying popping and crackling noises. Several report the warming plate appeared to be melting.
  bullet More common are reports of the brewer just turning off in mid-cycle every time you try to brew.
  bullet There were also several reports of significant leaking from the bottom of the unit, indicating some kind of disconnect between the water reservoir and the brew basket.
bullet The housing and components on this Cuisinart Brew Central coffee maker are made with much more plastic than consumers expect when ordering. Owners who are replacing an older DCC-1200 unit report that the older models do contain metal, while the newer ones are plastic made to look like metal. Retail product descriptions still refer to "brushed stainless steel", "chrome", "metallic red". Some consumers feel deceived.
bullet The water reservoir is a disappointment to many. It is not removable. The target hole is quite small, and located in the back. The stairstep water level indicator located on the inside of the reservoir is said to be absolutely useless without a flashlight and stepstool.
bullet The clock is another weak point - the LCD panel is not backlit, making it very difficult in many lighting conditions. Additionally, some find the numbers too small.

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