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Thread: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

  1. #1
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    The drum for this barbecue rotisserie roaster is very easy to make. Fortunately I already had the other essential components: gas barbecue with lid, *battery-operated chicken rotisserie, thermometer. *
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The drum is a Milo chocolate powder tin. As such it has the advantage of being tin-plated steel to minimise rust, and has ends to attach the rotisserie and forks through.
    It is 175 mm long*x 130 mm diameter.
    The most tedious part was drilling about 650 * *5/32Ē holes through it in fairly even rows. The drill bit went blunt and needed re-grinding several times. A blunt bit will create untidy holes with burrs on the underside inside. *Scrape the burrs away with a sharp edged piece of metal. You donít want them dropping off into the beans and then into the coffee grinder.
    I drilled a 10 mm hole through the centre of the bottom of the tin and one through the centre of the lid to take the rotisserie bar. *How does the drum turn with the rounded bar? *There are two steel collars with four prongs which slide along the bar and then held firmly in place with a screw. The prongs normally spike into the chicken to hold it in place. *Instead, I drilled 4 holes into the tin base and lid into which the prongs go.
    "Stirrers" are three pieces of scrap L-section aluminium running the depth of the tin, placed equidistant around it, and riveted on. Aluminium has a melting temperature at least double what the beans need to roast, so its OK to use.
    The motor drive is a reduction one, comprising a very tiny motor with many plastic gears. *Itís meant to take 2 x 1.5 V batteries, but I use a battery adapter which ranges from 3 volts to 12. * Three volts gives a rather slow rotation, six *volts seems right. *

    I remove the centre barbecue grill plate and light the burner underneath only. Preheat the barbecue. While that is happening, pour beans into drum, insert lid, put drum onto rorisserie lining up the holes for the prongs, switch on, and wait. First crack was in about 4 minutes. *The temperature gauge is on the far left of the barbecue lid, and indicated 230 C Ė I imaging itís much hotter where the drum is. *I donít know how the contraption will hold up to weekly roastings. The tin is very thin, but after one use it bears no signs of heat stress. But cost was the best thing about it Ė nothing!

    I have photos, and if someone kindly shows me how to place them here I would appreciate it. It worked in Microsoft Word, but when i cut and pasted to here, pictures didnt come across.

  2. #2
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Wiced - would love to see some picks. Check this post out for that.
    http://www.coffeesnobs.com.au/cgi-bi...num=1099166663

  3. #3
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Thanks Andy. Pics of the homemade drum barbecue roaster are here:

    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/robusto/roaster.jpg
    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/robusto/holes.jpg
    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/robusto/roasterbbq.jpg
    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/robusto/motordrive.jpg
    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/robusto/vanes.jpg

  4. #4
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Great Stuff Robusto.

    I love the holes in the tin... I wonder if you couldnt get a similar result from using a shotgun ;D

    While not an expert, I would have guessed that the 4 minute first crack was a little early and maybe you could try a slightly lower temp. 200-210 seems like about the sweet spot in my roasts.

    Great to see another take on the backyard drum.

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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Thats a great piece of work!

    How do u get the beans out for a quick cool down to stop the roast?

  6. #6
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Getting the beans out and cooling them must be done quickly, and its a little tricky. Wear oven mittens -- mandatory because everything is very hot. Turn off gas, lift off rotisserie, losen screw on prongs so they can slid from the drum, slide off drum, prise lid off with a screwdriver, and empty beans into a colander. Thats the beauty (so far) of having a milo tin -- it has its own lid which snaps shut and prises open.

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Hi All,

    Just wondering if any of you guys have seen the perforated s/s waste paper bins that Aussie Post are selling in their retail outlets? They look like they would be ideal for the purpose as a Roasting Drum and all the holes are already there and probably small enough to allow for roasting Yemeni beans.

    Might be worth a look?

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  8. #8
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    :D Cool Mal, I didnt want to tell you how to suck eggs, more just making a point of stop and consider.

    anyway... I was in the market for a waste paper bin that smelt like roasted coffee so I cannot loose.

    Ill check out our local PO next time in there.

  9. #9
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Are they really stainless or just zinc plate?

    I ask because most of the waste paper baskets that I have seen for sale look great from a distance but are made from some nasty materials that when heated to 200+ temp will give off some nastier gases that I dont want to drink!

    Galvanised steel is one that should be avoided, it is not "food grade" and should not be heated (gives of Zinc Oxide).

    The milo tin is food grade... until you put holes in it and heat it up, then it wont be. The area around the holes will be exposed to air and deteriorate giving off all sorts of airborne nasties.

    Even some of the devices that are designed as roasters are made from dubious materials, my "Aldi Roaster" has a basket that is made from some sort of low grade steel that has been chrome plated (Zinc, Chromium and maybe cadnium traces in the process). I "assume" that quality control has tested the materials as safe but.... you never know.

    I dont want to put anyone off tinkering and trying some different designs but when you have found the "uber roaster" please consider getting it made out of food grade stainless. ;D

    High grade stainless (apart from the fumes given off welding it) is fairly inert and should give you years of healthy roasting!

  10. #10
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeman link=1110494766/0#7 date=1110723508
    Are they really stainless or just zinc plate?

    I ask because most of the waste paper baskets that I have seen for sale look great from a distance but are made from some nasty materials that when heated to 200+ temp will give off some nastier gases that I dont want to drink!
    Hi Andy,

    I appreciate what youre saying, plated cooking utensils can be a real worry where heavy metals and other nasties are concerned. I grabbed one of these units from the display in our local Post Office, and gave it a reasonably close going over while I was waiting in the queue to be served.

    Im not a metallurgist but will lay claim to an engineering background and from that brief inspection it sure did look like s/s. As to whether it could be described as food grade, I wouldnt have a clue but its appearance was very similar to that of a frothing jug. They were very cheap though at less than $20 so maybe someone with an interest in BBQ Roasting could buy one and have it checked out. At worst youll still have a pretty flash Wastepaper Bin and at best maybe a Roasting Drum. Still worth a look I think,

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Hi again Andy,

    I sure didnt think you were trying to teach me how to suck eggs, just thought that I should qualify my reaching the conclusion that I did.

    Let us know what you think if you manage to come across one. All the best,

    Mal.

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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    An easy way to tell if its stainless is see if a magnet sticks to it. SS is not affected by magnetism.

    Regards

    Mick

  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Quote Originally Posted by micstone link=1110494766/0#11 date=1116819922
    An easy way to tell if its stainless is see if a magnet sticks to it. SS is not affected by magnetism.

    Regards

    Mick
    Hi Mick,

    Thats true of course, but I dont usually carry around an under-utilised magnet for those occasions when I might happen to come across some material that could be posing as s/s but might be tin-plated iron.

    Will give it some thought though,

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Tho Im an absolute newb here, thought Id just chip in on this one. *I sometimes carry around a magnet to see if stainless steel pots I spot are okay for my induction stove. *Some stainless *is* magnetic - I gather its all to do with the various metals used in the alloy. *Stainless steel that include nickel content (lots of pots and pans) are non-magnetic, others are magnetic. (Compare your stainless cutlery with some ss pots and pans.)

    Dont think being magnetic or otherwise has much to do with the food safety aspect however.

    BTW - love the roaster and the pics from the OP.

  15. #15
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    Re: Homemade Barbecue Drum Roaster

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    From memory 304 stainless which is the stainless used for say the Rancilio is magnetic. 316 stainless has a higher Chromium content and is more corrosion resistant but less magnetic. 316 is also expensive and is used only where necessary. It probably is also not that hard. Tanks used for corrosive materials are often 316.

    Not sure about other stainless like dive knifes are made of 420 stainless which rusts if you dont look after it but holds its edge very well. Cutlery would most likely be 400 series stainless of some sort.

    I would imagine all these stainless steels would be OK for contact with food.

    Grant



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