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Cuisinart Classic 12-Cup Percolator Review

Our Rating: 4.4/5

Cuisinart Classic Percolator


  • Stainless steel body
  • 1400 watts
  • Brews 4-12 cups
  • Electric percolator — needs minimal supervision
  • Stay-cool bottom won’t damage surfaces
  • Electric cord can be detached
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Our Rating: 4.4/5

Cuisinart Classic Percolator


  • Stainless steel body
  • 1400 watts
  • Brews 4-12 cups
  • Electric percolator — needs minimal supervision
  • Stay-cool bottom won’t damage surfaces
  • Electric cord can be detached
  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Cuisinart Classic 12-Cup Percolator Review Summary

The Cuisinart Classic Percolator is an electric coffee maker that carries the same solid reputation as other products from the brand. This model is perfect if you want to brew java without having to watch it constantly.

With a stainless steel body and plastic base, this percolator is sturdy and can brew four to 12 cups of coffee at one time. And, feel free to set it on any surface, since its stay-cool plastic bottom won’t damage your counter or table.

Thanks to its stainless steel reusable filter basket, there’s no need for paper coffee filters — saving you additional expense. What’s more, when your java’s ready, an indicator light will come on. Simply detach its electric cord from the base, so you can easily pour that cup of joe

Cuisinart is an American company based in Connecticut. Established in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer, the brand started producing coffee makers in 1994. Its java-brewing appliance lineup includes burr grinders, pour-over coffee machines, and percolators, like the Classic.


  • Brews 4-12 cups of coffee
  • Removable basket is stainless steel
  • Water level markings
  • Detachable electric cord
  • Stay-cool bottom won’t damage surfaces
  • Clear knob for watching percolation progress


    • Short brewing cycle leaves coffee weak
    • Difficult to clean
    • Coffee temperature could be hotter

    Features and Benefits of the Cuisinart Classic Percolator

    There are a lot of useful features and benefits that come with this Farberware percolator. Let’s look more closely at some of them.


    This percolator is an electric-powered model, which means you won’t need to babysit it while brewing. Stovetop counterparts require constant attention to make sure you’re not overheating the coffee. In contrast, electric models typically have timers, and many feature indicator lights, like the PRC-12, that announce when your brew is ready.

    What’s more, this Cuisinart 12 cup percolator features a detachable cord, so you don’t have the restraints of the power lead when pouring your coffee. This allows you to take your coffee prep from the kitchen countertop to the dining table or the backyard. 

    As a general rule, electric percolators do take a little longer to brew coffee than their stovetop counterparts. However, this extra time isn’t significant enough to make a big difference.

    Stay-Cool Bottom

    With many percolators, you have to use caution when you set the percolator down. If the base is hot, it can damage the surface of your table or counter. A really nice perk of this Cuisinart percolator is that the plastic bottom stays cool to the touch. No worries about leaving a burn mark or hurting yourself!

    Pour-Friendly Spout

    Percolators are sometimes difficult to pour from, with coffee spilling over the edges of the spout. However, this Cuisinart percolator has a spout that’s designed to not drip or spill. You can pour the exact amount you want, where you want it, without making a mess.

    Reusable Filter

    The Cuisinart PRC-12 Classic 12 Cup Stainless Steel Percolator includes a permanent stainless steel basket filter that can be reused again and again. No paper filters that take up space in a landfill, and you’ll save money by not having to purchase extra filters. Plus this filter includes markings for coffee measurements, so you’ll know exactly how much ground coffee you’re using.

    When it’s time for cleanup, the basket is dishwasher-safe. Of course, you can also wash it by hand with mild soapy water.

    Twelve-Cup Capacity

    Are you one of those people who sometimes drinks coffee alone, but sometimes has to share? The Cuisinart PRC-12 percolator can brew from four to 12 cups at once. So, whether you drink a little or a lot, or you have to provide that caffeine fix for friends and family, you can brew however much you need.

    That said, the brand refers to a cup as about 5-6 ounces, which isn’t necessarily the standard 8-ounce size most people drink.

    Cuisinart Classic Percolator Specifications

    Cuisinart Classic 12-Cup Percolator
    Model PRC-12
    Capacity 4-12 cups
    Heat Source Electric heat element
    Filter Type Permanent, reusable
    Finish Brushed stainless steel
    Product Weight 3.65 pounds
    Warranty Limited 3-year warranty

      What Do Users Say About the Cuisinart PRC-12 Percolator?

      It’s easy to see that a Cuisinart Classic Percolator can get the job done with brewing coffee. It’s sturdy and can make enough java for one or a group. However, I don’t expect you to just take my word for it. To offer you a more well-rounded review, I’ve researched what real-life users think about this percolator.

      For the most part, users like this appliance.

      They appreciate that it has both water and coffee measurement markings, so you know exactly how much to use. Its detachable cord is another plus point, allowing drinkers to freely move the percolator around to pour a beverage. And, reports confirm that the stay-cool bottom does indeed stay cool, avoiding surface damage.

      However, some did point out that this model can be tricky to clean thoroughly, since you cannot submerge it in water. Plus, its size and shape make it rather awkward to clean inside. There also seems to be some disconnect with cup sizes. Users mention the non-standard cup size capacity is a little misleading.

      Furthermore, some comment that the brewed coffee is weak. However, this could be down to the method, rather than a problem with the machine itself. Percolated coffee, sometimes isn’t as strong as, say, French press coffee.

      Alternatives to the Cuisinart Percolator

      Maybe a Cuisinart is not the perfect coffee machine for you. That’s okay because we have some alternative suggestions that might fit your needs better.

      If you would rather try a stovetop model, the Farberware Yosemite Percolator may be worth a look. It’s compatible with most stovetops and offers more portability than an electric percolator.

      Crafted from heavy-duty stainless steel, this model is sturdy and can handle things like camping trips. It also has a permanent stainless steel filter basket, along with a nonreactive interior, so your coffee will always taste as you expect.

      Greater capacity — the Yosemite brews up to eight 8-ounce cups

      Weighs 1.79 pounds, considerably lighter than the PRC-12

      Significantly lower in price than the Cuisinart

      If the Cuisinart percolator seems to be over your budget, the Presto 12 Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Maker could appeal. It has the same capacity as the Cuisinart — brewing up to 12 cups of java.

      The Presto is an electric model that brews coffee quickly, as fast as one cup per minute. It also sports a reusable stainless steel filter basket, so you can avoid those paper coffee filters. And, its polished design will look great in any kitchen.

      Electric percolator, just like Cuisinart

      Has a lower price point than the PRC-12 percolator

      Features a heat and hold setting, which the Classic doesn’t have

      If this Cuisinart percolator doesn’t brew enough coffee for you, you may want to consider a Coleman Coffee Percolator. It brews twelve 8-ounce cups, for a total of 96 ounces. That’s considerably more than the Cuisinart model.

      It’s also crafted from stainless steel, but is over one pound lighter. The Coleman percolator is a stovetop model, and it’s designed with portability in mind. If you like to take your coffee maker on camping trips, this can be a great choice. Especially since it resists corrosion.

      Unlike the Cuisinart, the Coleman is a stovetop model

      More expensive than some stovetop models, but still costs less than this Cuisinart percolator

      Weighing 2.3 pounds, it’s lighter than the Cuisinart


      If you don’t have enough time to keep a careful watch on brewing your coffee, a Cuisinart Classic Percolator is one great option for you. This electric percolator takes care of everything once you add the coffee and water.

      Because it’s electric, you don’t need an external heat source for it, plus its electric cord can easily be detached when you’re ready to pour that cup of joe. Whether you only want one or two cups or more, this up-to-12 cup percolator can accommodate that.

      Its body is stainless steel, and the bottom uses stay-cool plastic that won’t damage any surface that it’s set on. And, the reusable filter basket is also stainless steel, so you won’t be creating any waste with paper coffee filters.

      With a timed brewing cycle, this coffee maker will never scorch your coffee, and your cup of joe will be ready quickly. In my opinion, the Cuisinart Classic 12-Cup Percolator can get your morning started right, so it’s worth checking out.

      Cuisinart Classic Percolator FAQs

      Is Percolator Coffee Better than Drip?

      It’s a personal preference. Both brewing methods are quick and let the machines do their thing after you add coffee and water. Many people enjoy the percolation process, and the gurgling sound that can be heard.

      Is a Percolator the Same as a French Press?

      No, a percolator is not the same as a French press. The percolator relies on hot water that’s forced up a tube and over coffee grounds repeatedly to brew coffee. A French press immerses the coffee grounds in hot water, then uses a plunger that extracts flavor from the grounds.

      How Do You Clean a Cuisinart Coffee Percolator?

      This Cuisinart percolator cannot be immersed in water. Its filter basket and cover, percolator lid, and pump spring are dishwasher proof. The outside of the percolator should be cleaned with a damp cloth. Its internal chamber can be cleaned with a washcloth and mild soapy water.

      Where Are Cuisinart Percolators Made?

      Most Cuisinart coffee makers, including this percolator model, are manufactured in China.

      What Is the Percolator Method?

      The percolator method has been around for quite some time. Water is heated, then forced up through a tube until it pours over coffee grounds in a filter basket. The water then travels back to the bottom of the percolator, and the process begins again.

      What Kind of Coffee Goes in a Percolator?

      A medium roast, with a grind that’s medium to coarse, is recommended. However, you can experiment with different kinds of coffee in your percolator.