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  • bbq roaster options

    Getting closer to setting up a bbq roaster and following inspections of various offerings would appreciate some feedback

    Firstly I need to decide if this will be multi purpose unit or dedicated just for coffee, obvious concerns would be food/grease flavours tainting the coffee (make whatever joke you like about hints of bacon with highligts of lamb fat etc etc). I prefer to cook meat with the volcanic or ceramic rocks as opposed to the steel flametamers and I imagine these would be worse for retaining and dissipating food flavours. If it can function as the family barbie as well the I can justify spending more!

    Next is to choose between a stainless steel or black enamel hood, the stainless option seems to add another $100 or so to the price, whilst it should be more efficient at reflecting and retaining heat (cheaper to run?) Im not sure how much diffrerence it woud really make, any thermodyamic engineers in our midst care to comment

    Supplier, Bunnings barbies seem pretty hard to beat for the price, 4 burners hood timber trolley ceramic rocks for $270. If I get 4 years out of it Id be happy. Any bbq snobs out there will no doubt be appalled ;D In my defence I greatly prefer the brick wood fired backyard barbie or for roasting the webber grill with wood chips when time and weather permits


    cheers
    Maurice (looking forward to retiring the heat gun!)

  • #2
    Re: bbq roaster options

    Decisions, decisions, Mauricem. Since my barbecue became a coffee roaster meat has barely touched it. But after the odd occasion when it does, I thoroughly clean the barbecue to remove traces of fat. Meat is barbecued rarely (no pun intended) but coffee is roasted once to twice a week.

    Ideally I would like a much smaller and  dedicated barbecue for coffee. But since the present one is built into a brick surround and plumbed into the natural gas line, I dont relish going back to gas bottles.  So Im toying with the idea of building a metal shroud which will go around the drum and lock in all the heat from the centre burner. With that in place, and the existing lid there too, that should greatly reduce the amount of gas used as well as keeping the barbecue cooler --- it wasnt designed for all burners to be on the go with the lid closed.

    Volcanic rocks etc are there to flare up dripping fat which gives the meat that nice barbecued flavour.  But they are totally unnecessary for coffee.  

    I remove hot plates and rocks for that reason, but primarily because they insulate the drum from the burners below.

    A four-burner barbecue contains  a relatively  large area to heat to about 230C, and because the rotisserie slots tend to be a fair way above the burner, a lot of heat needs to be generated to roast beans within 12-15 minutes or so.

     At first I used to think cast iron hot plates would retain heat -- they do, but theres much more heat rising up without them. (Put your hand over the griller, then over the solid plates, and youll feel the difference).

    The $270 Bunnings unit is cheap, probably too cheap. What  metal is it made from?   Do you get vitreous enamel which is rust-proof and easy to wipe clean, or stainless steel?

    Baked enamel lid is OK --its metal under that coating.

    Hope this helps,

    Robusto

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    • #3
      Re: bbq roaster options

      i cant be bothered being too pedantic about my BBQ, so i use it for both coffee and meat (and even the odd vegetable). I do take the grill plates off, and have tried with and without the heat diffusers, although my diffusers dont seem to do that much so there isnt much difference in roast times or results, so I dont bother taking them off anymore. It would be good to have a dedicated BBQ, but i find Im doing less "artisan" roasting with the BBQ now Im getting more familiar with the 5kg beast.

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      • #4
        Re: bbq roaster options

        I also use my BBQ for both coffee and meat.
        Im a bit the reverse of Robusto with the cleaning.
        Before doing any meat, I do a thorough clean.
        After meat has been on the  BBQ, I do a quick clean and then Im ready for coffee again.
        Mine is a 4 burner. I set up my drum to be over the 2 right burners.
        I remove the grill from the right side, but leave the ceramic rocks in place.
        Its just my routine and it works very well for me.

        As for the hood, I have a Steel hood with heat safe glass in the front which I find does a good job.

        One thing I would suggest is open/close the lid of your chosen model a few times before buying it. Also see if you can get the rotisserie kit set up in it whilst doing the open/close test.
        Check for how well the hood closes, IE: Are there any gaping holes where the precious heat can escape too easily. I saw this on a cheap BBQ a few months back. Would have been fine for normal BBQ operation, but as soon as you needed the hood, it was very flimsy and didnt seem up to the job.
        If you have your drum, or know the dimensions, check for clearance etc. to the burners, plates, rocks etc.
        Also, get one with a thermometer in the hood (should be a given these days).
        It may not be as accurate as a thermocoule, but after a while, you will know how to read your own thermometer pretty well.

        Good luck.

        Brett.

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