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Kyle BBQ Roaster - Glenn Kelly's Review
Posted: May 6, 2008, 12:57pm
review rating: 0.0
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Ron Kyle BBQ Coffee Roaster
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Arrow The Kyle BBQ Roaster has 11 Reviews
Arrow The Kyle BBQ Roaster has been rated 9.05 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 4, 2003.
Arrow Kyle BBQ Roaster reviews have been viewed 68,464 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Shane Lewis 9.20
Tim Eggers 8.83
Les Albjerg 8.50
Charles Cowdrick 8.00
George Holt 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.8
Manufacturer: Ron Kyle Quality: 9
Average Price: $210.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $120.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Self-Made Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 1 year Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: N/A
Bottom Line: If you want to experience the art and science of roasting your coffee beans, this is the only method I would recommend.
Positive Product Points

Manual temperature control, very even roast, professional results, adds the art back into roasting, no smelling up the house, roasting more than 1 pound at a time.

Negative Product Points

No auto-cooling, no chaff disposal, can be time consuming to get the right temperature

Detailed Commentary

While I didn't buy the Kyle roaster, I fabricated my own using lesser materials bought at Home Depot. It works just as well but isn't nearly as pretty or durable as Mr. Kyle's. I angled the vanes inside the roaster to get a "V" shape and got a better oscilation-type mixing of the beans. I also used a fine mesh stainless steel screen rather than perforated steel (saved a few bucks) and used a couple of 6" stove pipe caps for the ends. Since I don't have a welder, I used rivets to hold everything together. So far, it's held up very well.

After using it a few times with the standard 4 RPM rotisserie motor that came with my grill, I decided to heed the advice of others and rigged up a 60 RPM motor as Mr. Kyle suggests. What a difference. The result was very evenly roasted beans as opposed to some beans being city roast, some being full city and others being close to Italian. Now I get them all to a city+ to full city roast.

Getting the temperature stabilized to 500 degrees takes some time with my grill. I have one thermometer on the grill lid and another mounted to the level of the roasting drum. They rarely match so I go by the one mounted at the drum level.

When everything is set up right and the beans are cooperating,  the first crack comes in at about 12 minutes and the second crack starts up just shy of sixteen minutes. Once I hear the first snap into the second crack, I cut the flame, open the grill lid, slip a cookie sheet under the roasting drum and turn the shop fan on high to cool the beans quickly. Within 30 seconds the beans are cool enough to touch. Then the beans are dumped into a screen colander and set on top of the fan (now placed on the ground pointing straight up). With the fan on low to medium, I run my hands through the beans to effectively blow out any remaining chaff.  The down side is that the chaff goes flying all over the place, but I use the fan again to blow it out into the yard.

From there, I seal up the beans and let them rest for at least 8 hours. Here again, rest times vary with different types of beans. By morning, they're ready to be ground and brewed.

As far as I'm concerned, this is the only roasting method I will use from now on. No more fancy Gene Cafe, FreshRoast, Alpenrost, Hottop, etc. From my experience, they all pale in comparison based on either cost, method, or just plain loss of manual control.

Based on my experience with my homemade version, I can fully endorse and recommend Mr. Kyle's drum roaster. Go for the 60 RPM motor as well. It really does make a difference!

Buying Experience

While I may not be the average consumer, I made my own roaster from scratch and bought most of the materials from Home Depot for under $30. The bigger cost was the heavy duty 60 RPM motor and all of the components necessary to modify it for a rotisserie.  I had fun making it and having the neighbors ask what the heck I'm grilling just brings more fun to the whole experience.

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Posted: May 6, 2008, 12:57pm
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