The Cuisinart DCC-1150BKP1 Classic Thermal Programmable Coffee Maker has been a popular choice in homes for many years. Available in both 10 cup and 12 cup versions, the quality of the coffee coming from this automatic drip coffee maker is surprisingly good, especially given the low cost.
Even more surprising, Cuisinart seems to find ways to upgrade the design and the quality of the coffee maker. For instance, they have replaced the glass carafe with a stainless steel thermal version.
Let’s see what else makes this Cuisinart Classic Thermal coffee maker a classic.
Features of the Cuisinart DCC-1150BK Coffeemaker
Let’s run through the basic features of this coffee maker and see what, if any, advantages this coffee machine has when compared to other coffee makers in this class.
Type of Coffee Maker: Automatic Drip
This Cuisinart DCC-1150BK is a 10 cup automatic drip coffee maker that runs on a 110 volt current and uses 1250 watts. It comes with a thermal carafe and is made from BPA free plastic. There’s a charcoal filter to remove impurities in the water before it reaches your coffee beans. Total brew time for a full pot of coffee is about 10 minutes.
Type of Coffee Used: Roasted Ground Beans
This will take your favorite roasted coffee beans. The beans are saturated with water flowing through a shower head design.
Type of Filter Used: Permanent Goldtone Mesh
The Goldtone mesh filter rests inside a plastic filter basket. You can also use paper filters with this machine. The paper filters that works best with the Cuisinart DCC-1150BK are the #4 cone style that work with the 8-12 cup machines. When the coffee flows through a carafe lid like this one, it’s worth considering the extra expense of using a paper filter. Ground still get through the filter and this can cause clogging, forcing the coffee to go everywhere but into the carafe. It will also prevent sediment from settling into the bottom of your coffee mug.
The reservoir has a 50 ounce capacity. It isn’t detachable but it does have a fill line window that allows you to visually see how much water you’re adding.
The carafe has a stainless steel inner layer. This is optimal if you like your coffee piping hot. Cuisinart used to ship this coffee maker with a glass carafe.
The lid on this carafe can be tricky when trying to adjust it for pouring. Make sure to line up the markers or things could get messy.
Number of Cups Can Brew at Once: 1-10 cups at 5 ounces each.
This automatic drip coffee maker also has a small batch feature that enables you to brew one to four cups of coffee at five ounces each. This is accomplished by double heating the water. This should extract more flavor from the beans, strengthening the flavor.
Five ounces is the industry standard for a “cup” of coffee. This is low in comparison to what most consumers are used to drinking and many reviewers will talk of being, “ripped off,” by the small amounts.
This is where a lot of confusion lies when trying to get the measurements right. Cuisinart recommends one level teaspoon of coffee for every five ounces of liquid. They also advise against using any more than 15 tablespoons of coffee when brewing a full ten cup carafe. For reference, 16 tablespoons is the equivalent of one measured cup or eight ounces.
There were some reports of the warming plate corroding or rusting. Further investigation reveals that these burners had been used for anywhere from five to ten years. Looking at this logically, if you subject anything to nearly 200 ° temperatures every day for five years, it will probably start to wear out.
Instead of a trigger mechanism, Cuisinart has put a pause button on the program display panel called Brew Pause &tm;
It will pause for up to 30 seconds before the water filter starts to overflow.
Automatic Shut-off: Yes
The machine’s default is to shut off immediately after the brew cycle is completed. There is an option to change this to up to 4 hours.
Many people never extend this time as the carafe itself can usually keep the coffee warm for up to five hours without any outside help.
The Cuisinart DCC-1150BK has a small batch feature which allows you to brew one to four cups of coffee (that’s 5 – 20 ounces) without losing flavor. The water is heated at a higher temperature so more flavor is extracted from the beans. Cuisinart is never clear on exactly what that higher temperature might be.
Brew Strength Options: One
There are no programmable options for changing the strength of the coffee. It brews a full-bodied medium roast cup of coffee. There’s no noticeable watery taste that sometimes occurs with single strength coffee machines.
The operating pad has a chrome look which complements the steel look of the thermal carafe.
It should blend in well with most kitchen decors. This coffee maker is also available in white but isn’t always available.
This is a gray LCD readout. There’s no backlight to illuminate the digits and this can make programming the coffee maker difficult in low lighting. You can program this coffee maker to turn up to 24 hours in advance.
There’s an indicator as to when the machine should be descaled and a Clean function button to get the job done.
Power Failure Recovery: Yes
This has a 60 second reset feature which is engaged if there’s a short power failure that may occur from a power surge, accidental unplugging or other quick power outage. The memory will hold the clock time and the auto on/auto off functions.
Other Features of Note
An audible tone turns on when the brew cycle has completed. It will beep five times. There is no way to turn off this feature without taking the machine apart and getting into the electronics.
The charcoal filter is great for removing chlorine from your tap water. Your coffee will only taste as good as your water. Distilled water eliminates minerals that enhance the flavor profile. Charcoal filters solve this problem by eliminate the chlorine we don’t want but still keeping the minerals needed.
How Easy is the Cuisinart DCC-1150BK Coffeemaker to Clean?
The coffee machine has a CLEAN function button. There’s a light that indicates when the coffee maker should be descaled. The CLEAN button handles the decalcifying duties.
The rest of the coffee maker should be unplugged and wiped down after each use to prevent moisture from holding bacteria.
The carafe, lid and filter basket are all top rack, dishwasher safe although there is some controversy that the carafe’s lid has seals that may be prone to weakening after continued cleaning in a dishwasher.
How Much Counter Space Does it Use?
8.1 x 10.2 x 14.2 inches with a 28 inch power cord.
You’ll need about 21 inches of space underneath a cabinet to fill the reservoir with the lid flipped open.
What the Comments Say
At first, the reviews on this were scattered with many hating on this machine. Looking more closely, we realized that a lot of the negative reviews were directed at the 12 cup model that was released 5 or 6 years ago.
Praises From Reviewers:
- Many people love this coffee maker and compare it to models that cost three times as much. Most people seem to agree that it brews a cup of coffee that’s high quality.
- The programming is straightforward. Without a lot of bells and whistles on this machine, it isn’t difficult to get the auto brew function to work correctly.
- The thermal carafe is definitely an upgrade from the old glass carafes. It keeps the coffee hot for hours on end.
Drawbacks to Consider
- There have been reports of electrical problems but, as we stated above, we believe these were problems with the older models of the 12 cup coffee machine.
- Others have reported having an issue with the lid of the carafe. Some have trouble pouring coffee without a lot of spillage.
- You should also be aware that you should wait for 30 seconds or so after the brew cycle has completed with its 5 beeps before removing the carafe to pour a cup of coffee. A significant amount of coffee still drips down after the cycle has finished.
The Cuisinart DCC-1150BKP1 Classic Thermal Programmable Coffeemaker is a very good choice for a coffee maker under $100.00. The stainless steel carafe is stylish as well as very effective at keeping coffee hot for hours. The programmable clock is an absolute necessity for getting going in the morning. The small batch feature creates versatility so if you often are the only coffee drinker in the household but also want a larger pot for entertaining, this fills the bill.
We do recommend using a #4 cone filter with the reusable mesh filter to prevent sediment from landing in your mug and to keep grounds from being pushed through the spout.
We like the look, the 10 minute brew time and the overall flavor profile of the coffee.
If you’re looking for a versatile coffee maker with a thermal carafe for under $100.00, the Cuisinart DCC-1150BK Classic Thermal Coffee Maker is a solid choice.
You can get the Cuisinart DCC 1150BK Coffee Maker manual here.
Cleaning Instructions for the Cuisinart DCC-1150BK Coffeemaker
Cleaning the Cuisinart DCC-1150BK Classic Thermal coffee machine is pretty straightforward. Just be sure to let the coffee maker cool after using.
- Unplug the machine.
- Remove the filter and filter basket.
- Discard the paper filter and any grounds in the permanent filter.
- The permanent filter and filter basket can be washed in warm, soapy water.
- Water should never be added to the machine without the filter basket in place.
- The carafe and lid can also be washed in warm, soapy water.
- Wipe down the base with a soft cloth. Never use abrasives on the base or the resting plate.
- Leave the reservoir lid open to dry. To avoid getting lint into the reservoir don’t use a cloth to wipe it dry.
Descaling Instructions for the Cuisinart DCC-1150BK Coffeemaker
Descaling any coffee maker is a good idea for removing calcium deposits from the inner workings of the machine. This Cuisinart Classic Thermal coffee machine has an indicator light to let you know when it’s time to run the CLEAN function. As a side note, if it takes more than one run-through for the light to go off, you should probably decalcify your coffee maker more often.
Also note that pressing the CLEAN button will cancel all other functions until it is pressed again or until the coffee maker is turned off and then turned back on.
- Make sure the carafe, filter basket and reservoir are empty.
- Make sure the coffee maker is turned off.
- Fill the reservoir with one-third distilled white vinegar and two-thirds plain water.
- Press the CLEAN button. The Clean light will glow.
- Press the power ON/OFF button. The Clean light will stay on through the brew cycle.
- The cycle is complete when you hear the normal five beeps.
- At this point, the Clean light should go off. If this happens, run a full pot of clean water through the brew cycle. If the light continues to flash, discard the old solution and repeat the cleaning procedure with a fresh solution of vinegar and water.
- Always complete the cleaning process with a brew cycle of fresh water in order to remove any vinegar smell or residue.