It is possible to roast your coffee beans on your stove top using a good quality stove-top popcorn popper like the stainless steel WhirleyPop popcorn popper that has a crank for stirring the beans while roasting. An electric hot-air popcorn popper is another option. In both cases you’ll need to modify the appliance adding a thermometer to monitor the roasting temperature. There are also some special procedures that need to be observed and limitations of each of these methods. If you want to experiment with either of these we advise getting a good book on Home Coffee Roasting like the one by Kenneth Davids. He has some detailed tips on using these basic methods.

One manufacturer of Home Coffee Roasting appliances has developed a stove-top roasting pan designed especially for coffee bean roasting (Gene Coffee Roasting Pan). We’ve done some testing of it and it does work, but like using the traditional popcorn popper there are limitations. But if you’d like to give home coffee roasting a try and aren’t ready to purchase a specially designed coffee bean roaster with lots of automated features, this would be an economical entry point.

Most people new to Home Coffee Roasting start off with a roasting appliance made especially for home coffee roasting. They want the extra features, controls, and conveniences that will compliment their learning the craft of home coffee bean roasting.

Types of Home Coffee Roasters

There are basically two types of home coffee roasters on the market today: fluid bed and drum.

The most common are the Fluid Bed Roasters such as the FreshRoast SR models and the Nesco Professional . Fluid bed roasters are similar in design to hot-air type popcorn poppers. They have a glass-roasting chamber that allows you to watch as the roast develops, and then stop the roast as desired. These popular roasters are lower-priced, will roast a modest amount of beans per batch, are easy to clean and maintain, and will roast a batch in 7-20 minutes and are easy to clean and maintain.

Drum Roasters such the Behmor Plus and the  Gene Café Coffee Roasters have a rotating screen drum that tumbles the beans as they are roasting. They allow for more even distribution of the roasting and allow for much larger batches to be roasted during a session. In general you have a bit more control over the roasting process than you have with the fluid bed roasters.