BBQ Coffee Roaster

I've never roasted my own coffee, but I'm game to try it. The GEN2 Coffee Roaster drum kit is an aluminum cage and rotisserie you place on a standard bbq. Seems like a simple, potentially useful way to heat your beans. Then again, it costs $110. Not terrible, but that's several times the price of an old popcorn popper, which can roast just fine and doesn't require manual turning. Aside from handling larger batches, I'd love to know why the bbq roaster is preferable. [via Cooking Gadgets]
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9 Responses to BBQ Coffee Roaster

  1. Vivo en Mexico says:

    I’ve seen some USA Mexican restaurants have this kind of thing for roasting chiles, but the basket is a lot coarser and is rotated with the flame touching the chiles and basket. I haven’t seen any here in Mexico. Seems one could use this for that purpose pretty well, but most would not want to use it for chiles and coffee, unless spicy coffee or salsa with coffee undertones is your thing.

  2. PaulR says:

    I have a Gene Cafe roaster. It’s very consistent, and quiet, and it looks like it’ll last for a while still. It was money well spent. I had another roaster before that I wore out after two years: it was noisy and only did small batches. The Gene Cafe’s coffee is better tasting than that from my old roaster. I suspect it’d outperform a popcorn roaster too.

    Since green coffee is cheaper, you do get a ROI on whatever you spend on a roaster. Drink enough coffee and the roaster is free.
    But mostly, let me tell you, there’s nothing like “Oh, I roasted this five minutes ago” espresso!

    This barbecue roaster should also be quiet. Just make sure you can hear the beans’ cracks or judge the colour while it’s roasting – with the cover closed, somehow.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Does the coffee aroma stay and over power your grill?

  4. JHP says:

    You could also use the drum of a washing machine. It spins, and can take some heat, if you remove all the plastic parts of course…
    I use this as a mobile fireplace, since my grill fits neatly on it an it builds ab quite some heat.

  5. swag says:

    Good god… it must be Wednesday. Time for another gadget post on somebody who reinvented the coffee roaster for the 10,000,000th time.

  6. feedingfashionistas says:

    Drum roasters offer a really uniform, quick roast and a lot of control over the results. Generally, the faster you can get your coffee to the correct roast level, the better. Many air poppers lack the chutzpah to really power a darker roast through without “cooking” the beans.

    The advantage of a large drum roaster like this is that you can roast large quantities at once- several pounds in this case. Poppers and most home roasting devices are good for a few ounces at best. If you’ve got a (very) coffee-hungry household, are supplying a small cafe, or simply don’t want to have to roast as often, a big drum can be a great thing.

    Also, electric, stand-alone drum roasters like the HotTop and Gene Cafe (which have a higher capacity than most) go for $5-600, and many folks already have a dependable BBQ, so the cost of this drum + a cheap rotisserie motor is less, and less room taken up on the kitchen counter, etc.

    If only I had a yard… ;)

  7. MattM says:

    What? A popcorn popper can roast fine with no manual turning? What exactly is the rotisserie doing that is different than the air from the popper? Using that logic I can say why roast with an air popper when a rotisserie can do the same with no blowing of air?

    I’m always amazed how some people cannot stand to see coffee fans spend money to make a better or cheaper cup of coffee. If you have a grill and the rotisserie (and roast your own) this is no brainer and a great value. I wish I had a rotisserie for my grill. I paid $150 for a home roaster that only does 4oz at a time. It’s good but I’m roasting several times a week.

    At 5x the price of a popper this will go up to 5 lbs in one batch and allows me to control the heat and will probably last a lifetime. Again, if you have the grill and rotisserie and roast your own the only reason to not seriously look at something like this would be to avoid going outside.

  8. dr says:

    Just a correction to the above, “faster”!=”better” for roasting. The fastest roaster I know is the Fresh Roast, a popper-like fluid-bed roaster that roasts in around 4 minutes. This is too fast for real control, and many FR owners mod the roaster to extend the roast time to 10 minutes or more.

    Surely most readers of BB interested in BBQ roasters would prefer to build their own; Ed Needham’s hosts some nice plans and lots of links.

  9. Astin says:

    The problem with popcorn roasters is that they can’t handle the constant use for roasting coffee. To get a medium to dark roast in a popcorn popper requires much longer than popping corn, and the plastic top shield starts to melt and warp after a few uses.

    Also, the chaff from the beans ends up everywhere with a popper.

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