Build a roaster at home, and use your BBQ grill!
Article, photos and roaster design by Jim Brockman, August 2002.

All other material Copyright 2002 Ed Needham. All rights reserved.
Great coffee...on your grill.

August 2002

Jim Brockman took a couple of ideas gleaned from alt.coffee and blended them with his own ingenuity to come up with this easy to build home BBQ grill coffee roaster. You can email him at jalabr@earthlink.net
Below are his notes on the project along with a few pictures...
Ed: been reading your notes for several months and this is what I came up with. I have no experience roasting so if I can do it anybody can. I was not impressed with roasting 2-3 oz at a time with small air roasters, so I became interested in the drum.

In Florida, everybody has a BBQ grill (some sort of law), and after having many over the years I purchased a Weber Silver model. Its a great unit but actually works more like a gas oven than most types (Charbroil,etc). It does not flame up and produces very steady heat levels.

I purchased the Frontgate stainless steel wastebasket, then went to a local restaurant supply and purchased an 8" aluminum pan lid (very heavy) for $8.00. It fits perfectly onto the cylinder with no play. Could not find a stainless lid to fit as tight. Drilled and triangle filed square "holes" to allow the spit to penetrate unit and have the two pronged skewers hold the entire unit together. It took about 30 minutes total time to construct. On the first roast, I used a half pound of Guatemalan beans. Started out at 300 degrees and slowly built to 450 at 35 minutes. Coffee was a good looking light city roast with no visible problems. Next batch I'll start at 400 degrees to shorten time. Roasting could not be any easier. Someone suggested a funnel instead of a lid covering the open end. It looks like an improvement but this design, using an aluminum lid takes no special tools or skill. Cutting a sheet metal funnel would add a bit more challenge.

The only small problem I've noticed is that a few beans get caught in the rolled edge at the open end of the cannister. It is just wide enough to trap a few beans during rotation, and I have to take a pick and wedge them out after roasting. I've tried bending the rolled edge but stainless this thick is pretty tough to work with, and I really don't want to mess it up trying to fix it.
(And yes, I took the plastic "feet" off prior to roasting)
Thanks for your inspiration.
Jim Brockman, Orlando Florida.

(Click the pictures to enlarge)
BBQ Grill Coffee Roaster Drum Assembly

Here's a closeup of the drum assembly, with the aluminum lid on one end held on by the skewers. It's a perforated stainless steel wastecan, ordered online from Frontgate.

BBQ Grill, rotisserie, and drum in place, ready to roast

The drum assembly slides onto the metal spit without any grill modifications...nice!

BBQ Grill roaster-front view

Here's the way it looks from the front. The stainless wastecan is the perfect size for a grill roaster. The bottom end of the wastecan has to be drilled to allow the skewer prongs to slip inside.

The Homeroaster™ is dedicated to helping the coffee homeroaster explore, find, acquire, roast and brew coffee to achieve the ultimate coffee experience. If you have suggestions for articles or information concerning homeroasting, please send them to me. Great things are coming in the near future for homeroasting, and I am excited about the possibilities! Please check back soon for great homeroasting information and opportunities for coffee homeroasters!

Ed Needham

Quote of the day..."Money can't buy happiness, but poverty won't buy anything"

Ed Needham 2002

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This page revised August 24, 2002