Not really…but it feels that way. Every time I need to learn to do something, I always check with YouTube. So when I needed to find something to start testing coffee roasts, it was no different. So I searched “homemade coffee roaster” and got a long list of search results. This set-up below was the most popular and closest to what I needed.
All you need is:
- A turbo oven (as seen on TV)
- A Stir Crazy popcorn popper
- An aluminum spacer
- A few bolts, nuts and washers from the hardware store.
At the highest level all you have to do is:
- Purchase all the equipment
- Throw away the bottom part of the Turbo Oven
- Throw away the top of the Stir Crazy
- Rip the heater and over temp switch out of the inside of the Stir Crazy
- Replace the plastic motor shaft from the Stir Crazy with metal hardware you purchased from the hardware store.
- Assemble the Stir Crazy, aluminum spacer (I used a modified air conditioning coupling) and Turbo Oven. And there you have it, ready for roasting.
The other things you need are:
- Fan for cooling the beans after you’re done ( just your typical fan)
- Wooden spoon for moving the beans around while cooling
- Scale to weigh out your green beans
- Tongs for removing the metal spacer (it gets hot)
- Oven mitts for handling the Stir Crazy
Total cost (for me): $60
Now this roaster will not get you a Diedrich level (the Cadillac of roasters) roast but with the right bean it’ll be better than anything you’d buy in the grocery store. Now, you might think, if I roast them, I will have a bias but believe me really good coffee is really fresh good coffee.
If you are interested in experimenting with roasting coffee beans, nuts or anything else, without spending a ton of money, I would recommend giving this a try. Like most things food, nothing beats freshly roasted!