HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Electric Table-top grill as roaster (15 msgs / 436 lines)
1) From: Bob Trancho
This talk about the Rosto 1500 got me thinking.   Though really designed
for outside use, a table-top electric grill such as the Meco might make
a reasonable large(er)-batch roaster.  They have temperature control and
come with rotisserie units that could easily be adapted like one of the
several wood/gas grill roasters that are in use by members of this list.
The advantage would be the ability to run it in the garage/workshop or
even basement (with proper venting) during cold seasons.  The fact that
you can vary the heat would be a plus for profile roasting. 
Has anyone ever looked into these?http://www.electricgrilldepot.com/electric-tabletop-grills.aspBob Trancho
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2) From: John Abbott
I'm already waiting on some specs regarding maximum heat, and cavity sizes.
They have a bunch of really great looking, yet compact grills. I would think
that they would easily adapt if they can reach and maintain the right
temperature. HOWEVER I don't see how one could control the chamber heat for
a ramped profile... but maybe??
John - peaked MY curiosity!

3) From: Mike McGinness
From: "John Abbott" 
Did a "meco 9309w" web search found some other sites - from another website:
Variable thermostatic controls with a 1670 watt UL-listed heating element
specifically designed for barbequing with an On/Off light (Canada: variable
1500 watt, CUL-listed heating element.)
Three heating element positions, including vertical for indirect rotisserie
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Miss Silvia brewin'
Limping along with Solis Maestro grindin'
Christmas is coming!!!
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4) From: Bob Trancho
They do have thermostatically controlled heating elements that can be
adjusted to differing positions.  The top has a glass window for viewing
the roast.  Here's a better web site: http://www.bbqcenter.com/MECO_ELECTRIC_CART_GRILLS.HTMThis is the same as the table-top, but on a cart.
Unfortunately, the Meco site is very spare, with no description or specs
for the table-top line.
I just bought an Alp and am in no position to buy one of these to start
to play (for a while) but it is intriguing.
Bob Trancho
<Snip>http://www.electricgrilldepot.com/electric-tabletop-grills.aspBob Trancho
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5) From: floyd burton
Looks interesting-go to a big box store that has lots of appliances and you
can see similiar grills in the flesh-looks to me like this maybe a possible
route to a DIY roaster.  Now if we can find a premade SS cannister to fit on
the rotisserie similiar to the one Ed used-might be cool.
winter project here

6) From:
Quoting Mike McGinness :
That must be after converting to Canadian watts. I'm not sure what the exchange
rate is today :-)
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7) From: Bob Trancho
I just called Meco and got the following (still somewhat sparse) info:
16 3/8" high by 26 1/8 wide - the cooking grid is 12" x 17".  The
customer service woman was very sweet but had access to very little
information.  She didn't know the maximum temperature. 
She told me that they are sold at Lowes and Home Depot, though the
season for stocking these is past, there might be one back in storage so
I might swing by my local Home Depot this weekend to see if I can find
one to inspect.
Floyd is right - maybe a good winter project...
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8) From: Jim Garlits
I modified a George Foreman rotisserie grill to roast coffee, but gave up
the project when my Diedrich (no longer mine) came in.  What you have to do
is replace the middle element in the bottom with the one on top so that all
three will heat when the basket is spinning.  You also have to take a wet,
rolled up towel and place it over the vent.  I also took out the paddles in
the basket so the coffee would stay closer to the heat source, but you could
experiment with that.  The three biggest problems were
1. There is too much space to heat in the roasting chamber.  Should be a way
to reduce it.
2. The basket doesn't turn fast enough
3. There is no air flow whatever in there.
Since this method is simulating drum roasting, you can imagine the problems
I never got solved, since drum roasting is mostly about air flow when it
comes right down to it.  The chamber doesn't really pressurize, its not
air-tight enough for that, but the results I was getting was a slightly
baked taste, though I had gotten my roast times down to about 14-15 minutes.
For a hundred bucks, its worth monkeying with, though you will smoke the
place up.  One thing it had going for it, nothing ever melted.
Jim G.

9) From: Ed Needham
Why did you think the drum didn't turn fast enough?  What was the batch
size?  Did you try different amounts?  What temp range were you roasting at?
OK...enough with the questions.  I roast on a propane grill, use a 13oz.
batch and roast at or near 500F.  Fingers inside the roast drum agitate the
beans as it turns, and the slowness does not seem to have any negative
effect.  Typical roast is about 20 to 22 minutes to second crack.  No oil.
Very good roast in my opinion.  The only time I got a roast that tasted
baked was when I lowered the temps.  Any ideas why the differences?
Ed Needhamhttp://www.homeroaster.comed
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10) From: Jim Garlits
I thought the drum didn't turn as fast as a drum roaster.  Maybe it doesn't
make any difference.  We tried batch sizes from 1/2 lb. to 2 lbs.  The
larger batch was not a problem.  There are settings for up to 525 degrees, I
believe.  We cranked it all the way up.  Some beans would get stuck in the
basket's mesh, and some would actually drop out, but that was okay, there's
a pan underneath to catch, and you can put a shallow bed of water in it if
you're worried about fire.  The chaff would fall onto the elements and
"flash" but we never had a fire.  The easiest way to separate the chaff was
when cooling the beans.  Just leave them in the basket, put on oven mitts,
and shake madly over a garbage can or outside.  That was the main reason I
took the paddles off (carefully with pliers), to aid in chaff removal.
Jim G.

11) From: David Lewis
At 12:17 PM -0400 10/24/02, Bob Trancho wrote:
There's a link on Ed Needham's site, at  
on the use of one of these along with a stainless mesh wastebasket 
from Frontgate as a roaster.
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or 
that we are to stand by the President right or wrong, is not only 
unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American 
     -- Theodore Roosevelt
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12) From: Ed Needham
Looks like I need to buy an electric model and do some experimenting.  I've
gotten so lazy with my roaster building since I made the BBQ grill roaster
that I can't seem to get motivated to get out to the shop and finish two
other roaster projects I've got going.  I've got a stainless cylinder (the
Frontgate waste can) to use for my next grill project.  Maybe I'll use an
electric model with that one.  Thanks for the info.
PS...For cooling, I shake my stainless wire mesh colander over a box fan
pointing up.  It blows the chaff everywhere.  My three golden retrievers play
in it like brown snow .
Ed Needhamhttp://www.homeroaster.comed

13) From: Angelo
A while back, I mentioned the Ultrex Convection Oven with Rotisserie as a 
possible candidate for 1 lb. roasting. Reading the very good article on the 
Mecco, which is on the link below, made me think of the Ultrex oven. It 
comes with a mesh basket, it a convection oven, so the fan is included, and 
the temperature goes up to 500F w/o a blanket. The best part is that they 
can be had on ebay for $59 - $89
The negative points that were made for it: what to do with the chaff and 
smoke, would be the same for the Mecco. Because of the hot air going 
through the beans, I would imagine even more chaff would be taken off the 
beans and onto the floor of the Ultrex. One could stop the roast for a few 
seconds to shove a vacuum cleaner wand in and suck up most of the discarded 
chaff(and possibly some smoke?)
I would check out one of these before the Mecco, if I were interested in 
roasting a larger quantity of beans....
Has anyone messed with one of these??
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14) From: Owen Davies
Among other comments, Ed Needham wrote:
I just checked the Frontgate Web site.  Unfortunately,
they don't seem to have the waste can any more.  There
was a utensil canister from similar material, but the
page didn't say anything about its size, and the holes
looked like they might be a bit big, given a reasonable
guess about how large a utensil canister must be.  If
anyone finds a replacement for this, it would be good
to know about it.
Owen Davies
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15) From: Ed Needham
Yeah...my link to the page where they used to be was a  "sorry, we don't have
that item..."  type of thing.  I emailed them to see if it was temporarily
out of stock or discontinued.  I'll let y'all know if I get a reply.
As an aside, I did a search on +stainless +cylinder +perforated and got a
number of hits that 'could' be usable for a roaster drum.  It really
shouldn't be that hard to find a perforated stainless cylinder.  The problem
is finding one at a reasonable price.
Ed Needhamhttp://www.homeroaster.comed

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