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I have been exploring roasting methods.  The general consensus seems to be that a rotating drum roaster produces the most uniform results.  It seems that re-purposed coffee machines are common.  Coffee roasters, however, are mega expensive - even used they run $15K and up.

Has anyone tried converting a commercial rotisserie oven into a roaster?  The commercial oven are quite large and should be able to hold a drum with 10 kgs.  The drum would have to be custom made - I have seen some on eBay for about $500.  A used commercial rotisserie is around $1500.  

Any thought, comments are welcome.

Paul Picton

Maverick Chocolate Co. 

Views: 1191

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Paul

I'm sure everyone will have their own opinion on what is best (probably a purpose built drum cocoa roaster!) but the idea of tray roasting seemed like hard work to me so I got one of these second hand and will get a perforated stainless drum made up (by a mate who is an air force engineer):

I think it is the best way to go in terms of roast quality vs. expenditure.


Rik Roper

Maloko Chocolate Co

Auckland, New Zealand

Hi.  This is exactly the idea.  I will have to make sure all the chicken aroma is cleaned first.

Hello Paul, 

I am about to buy a used rotisserie oven and I am little bit worry about the smell. I was wondering if you managed to get reed of the chicken aroma and if yes how did you clean it?

Thank you in advance.


Hi Paul,

I've thought about this a lot and don't see any reason why it wouldn't work. Keep us updated on how it works if you end up going this route!


Hi Paul

I have a rotisserie that I had an engineer convert into a drum roaster which seems to work really well. I also got him to put a sample port into the side of the unit to allow for sampling without having to open the door or stop the roast.


Hi Alison,

Any chance you'd post some pictures of it? I'd be very interested. 

Also, are you able to monitor the temperature of the beans while roasting? 



Hi Ben

It does display actual oven temp as well as the set temp but I wanted to have a reading of the temp in the beans so I also had a static probe put in the sample port. Not sure if that makes sense but I will try put up some pics so you can see it.


Howdy Ben, Below is an image of the drum we had built locally. It is a perforated stainless drum on a nylon bush.

The image below shows the sample port and temperature probe that sits in the middle of the beans whilst roasting

Thanks Allison! That looks awesome. How much cacao can you roast at a time?

It can do 25kg easily but I usually do around 20kg which is a suits the rest of my gear and also keeps it below the sample port.

Looks good Alison, I think our rotisseries may be identical.

Do you not have any baffles to stir the beans up a little as the drum rotates?

To extract the beans do you put a tray in to catch them and then pull the hatch open? I wondered about using the drip tray at the bottom as a way to send them down into a waiting cooling table on wheels.



Hi Rik
I don't have any baffles yet but it is something I am wanting to get done as there are slight differences in the temps between the 2 ends of the drum.
With regards to emptying I just empty straight into a perforated tray underneath. Your drip tray idea sounds like a good idea though.


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