A great easy-to-use roaster that will more than satisfy 95% of home roasters.
Positive Product Points
Easy to use, like driving an automatic transmission automobile Great support! Multi-profile roasting Excellent roasts, usually very even coloring on the beans Easy to clean and maintain Wonderful almond / nut roaster!
Negative Product Points
Voltage sensitive, get a Kill-a-watt Mid-roasting temperature changes are hard to make First to second crack sometimes comes with little lag time
I was one of the early buyers of the Behmor roaster. I have no regrets at all. It came with the large grid drum. Nowadays it apparently comes with the small-grid drum (I've got one) and a lower, improved chaff tray which allows for better seeing the bean color during the roast.
The afterburner died sometime this year but that is not an issue because the roasts all take place outside. Reminder, NEVER leave any roaster unattended, EVER. I've had no fires other than a few chaff flare-ups, which die quickly. Once I didn't have the drum in properly and it wouldn't turn. Good thing I was there.
At first it was not getting the roasts finished in time. It was due to my using (against the manual's instructions) a long extension cord and also an outlet with less voltage than those in the house. Buying a Kill-a-watt device ($20), I found a steady outlet and plug the machine into it, while still being outside. I use a very thick short extension cord so there is no loss of voltage from it. On full power the voltage shows at least 118V, usually 119V which is fine. My variac, which worked perfectly with the Poppery I air-roaster, popped 10A fuses with the Behmor. So I don't use or need it with the voltage figured out anyway.
I wish there were a control to throttle back the temperature once first crack begins. Relying on the (P2) profile to predict the timing is a crap-shoot most of the time. If a person roasts a lot, they will a good idea of how long it will take and adjust the controls accordingly.
If you are roasting 1/2 to 1# of beans and not using (P1), it is wise to set the controls on (1#) and use the (+) and ( - ) buttons as you see fit, before or during the roast. Likewise, if you are roasting 1/4# of beans use the (1/2#) setting. This will ensure your beans finish roasting properly.
One time I accidentally used more than a pound of beans on a (P1) roast, about 20oz, and the Behmor roasted them just fine. The result was 1# of roasted beans. NIce accident!
After the cooling runs for about 30 seconds, I open the door to speed things up.
Since we go through only a 1/2# of beans per week, the Behmor is used for coffee roasting 4 to 5 times a month. I clean it after every roast (only takes a minute) with a mix of 1:5 water:Simple Green (created for cleaning coffee roasting equipment, btw). Doing a dry empty roast after every five roasts is recommended.
I use (P2) to (P4) for most roasts, with (P1) at times. The roasts are logged so previous roasts can be checked before a new one begins.
The Behmor easily does darker roasts. Even with some smoke into the second crack the beans are not as bitter as "Char"bucks coffee. For those roasts, I usually press the COOL button after second crack has been working for 10 to 30 seconds.
The Behmor is a most excellent nut roaster. A half-pound of raw almonds on (P4) for 10:30 will impress anyone. NO salt or oil is needed when the roasts are this fresh. Walnuts release too much "fluff" but young pecans ( (P1) for 7:30 ) are to die for. Cashews are great as are Brazil nuts. If and when Joe Behm releases a new model, this one will be the permanent nut roaster. I roast nuts at least 3 times per week. Nuts are fine for roasting indoors.
Speaking of Joe Behm, he has been incredible at offering email support personally, as well as at the usual Behmor site. You will not find a better support system.
$300 is still an amazing price for the roaster. If and when a new "improved" Behmor comes out I'd buy it at twice the price.
Sweet Marias is always top-notch. The 8# of free green beans was a real plus.
Three Month Followup
The afterburner stopped working long ago. I didn't worry about it since I roast outside. But in an email to Behmor two weeks ago where I mentioned it, they decided to send me one. Wow! You cannot beat this kind of customer service.
The installation went fine, and the Behmor has regained its indoor roasting abilities should I venture to do that.
One Year Followup
The Behmor 1600 continues to roast well. Stopping the roasts just as second crack starts (as suggested in the manual but mostly ignored by me) makes a very smooth coffee. In the colder weather I usually do a 1 to 1.5 minute (P1) roast, stop it, reset it to (P2) or whatever, and continue the roast. That gives plenty of time to finish the roasts. When Joe finally introduces the successor to the 1600, I will buy it. This one will become the best almond/hazelnut roaster you can imagine.