Some coffee lovers prefer grounds from a container, others go for grounds in single-serving pods. Still, many coffee connoisseurs prefer to grind their own beans. Some even begin their processes by roasting coffee beans in the privacy of their own homes.
Where do you fall?
If you’re looking for ways to roast your own coffee beans, look no further. Iced Coffee Recipes is here to help! Together, we’re about to explore the most popular methods of roasting coffee beans at home.
Heat Source: Open flame
Time: 10-15 minutes
We’re going primal here. Okay, maybe not as far back as pre-wheel invention…but pretty far.
Back in the “olden days,” people used to roast coffee beans in a pan over an open flame. In attempts to keep the coffee beans evenly heated, the roaster would occasionally stir the beans. Some people still use this method. Those who do tend to prefer roasting their coffee beans in cast iron skillets.
To avoid freaking out your significant other while they’re in the shower, cut smoke detectors out of the equation by roasting your coffee beans outside. A grill or fire pit would be an ideal heat source for this age-old tradition. If you’re brave enough to try this method, check out our article on the coffee roasting process and see what it takes to make your perfect coffee roast.
Heat Source: Oven
Time: 5-10 minutes
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and grab your closest cookie sheet to get this coffee roasting party started! The raised edge of the cookie sheet helps contain the coffee beans while allowing them to remain evenly exposed to the oven’s heat.
This method may be the most effective on this list for ensuring an even heat distribution among the coffee beans. Slap some parchment paper on the cookie tray and evenly spread your coffee beans across it. Even though they’re flat on the sheet, it’s important to stir the coffee beans every one to two minutes with a wooden spoon while they’re in the oven.
If you want your coffee beans to cool faster when removed from the oven, lightly stir them in a metal bowl.
Heat Source: Stovetop
Time: 5-10 minutes
The internet is swarming with articles on how to roast coffee beans in a popcorn machine, so it’s really not the most creative method. But it can still work.
If you’re into antiquing, keep your eyes peeled for an older popcorn popper. Older popcorn makers are more effective at roasting coffee beans, because they typically reach higher temperatures than newer models. Keep in mind that popcorn makers were not designed for roasting coffee—the mesh screen that comes with many poppers is a fire hazard and should be removed before you use the machine to roast coffee.
Once you put the green coffee beans in the popcorn popper, be sure to stir them continuously until you notice them start to move freely on their own. This helps evenly distribute the heat. Don’t get too discouraged if the color of your beans isn’t consistent when complete—it’s tough to make sure they’re all evenly heated when you’re working with a popcorn machine!
Be sure to clean your machine thoroughly after you roast your own coffee beans. Chaff leftover from the roasting process is another fire hazard.
A standard stovetop popcorn maker runs between $25 and $30. Add the price of your American-grown or imported green coffee beans for an idea of how much this method will cost.
Heat Source: Electric (air fryer)
Time: 9-10 minutes
Air fryers are all the rage these days. They’re multifunctional, easy to use, and the results are (usually) absolutely delish. It’s no wonder people are beginning to experiment using them to roast coffee beans at home.
Add your green coffee beans after preheating your air fryer for approximately three minutes. Be sure to stir them occasionally to help heat them more evenly. When they reach your preferred roast, be sure to put them on a cool surface or stir them in a metal bowl to help speed up cooling.
Using an air fryer to roast your own coffee beans is handy if you prefer medium roast, like most Americans. Some people have reported that dark roasts are more challenging to achieve when roasting coffee beans in air fryers, since heating them even up to 15 minutes doesn’t seem to make the beans darker.
Heat Source: Electric (coffee roaster)
Time: Varies per machine
Whether you’re not in to taking risks or you don’t have time to get creative, you can always play it safe and roast your own coffee beans with a countertop roaster. Sure, it’s a bit pricier and it takes up more space in the kitchen. But if you plan to roast your own coffee beans regularly, a piece of equipment specifically designed to do the job is worth the investment.
Despite their innovative designs and function, you should never leave coffee roasters unattended. It’s a good idea to linger in the kitchen while your beans are roasting. Maybe start your weekly grocery list (they make apps for that now), wash any bowls or containers from midnight snack monsters, or just enjoy the scented pleasures of this simplified roasting process.
Keep an ear out for those coffee bean cracks, too, no matter what coffee bean roasting method you choose. The first crack indicates the beans are at the light roast stage, while the second crack is a signal that they’ve reached medium roast.
Which of these coffee bean roasting methods are you brave enough to try? Share your results on the Iced Coffee Recipes Facebook page!