Before You Start

How Fast Can I Learn to Roast Coffee in an RK Drum?
The RK Roasting Method: Targeting Time, Not Temperature
Why Shouldn’t I Use the Thermometer that Came with My Grill?
Why Don’t I Need to Directly Measure the Temperature of the Beans?
How Much Green Coffee Do I Need?

Get Comfortable Handling the RK Drum

This video shows how the latch works and shows how to use the door to help funnel the green coffee into the RK Drum. It is a good idea to be comfortable placing the drum into the grill and unloading the RK Drum before you take the RK Drum up to temperature. Make sure you know now to slide the rotisserie and motor couplers together, and that you are comfortable opening the latch with your gloved hand.
Note: This video shows loading the green coffee into the un-heated RK Drum. Your roast will work if you start with an un-heated drum, but your roast will follow a more predictable timeline if you get in the habit of preheating your RK Drum. Preheating, then loading the green coffee is shown in the following video on this page.

Preheat the RK Drum

Loading the RK Drum

  • Preheat Empty RK Drum
  • Stop Roaster and Set it Down, Latch-Side Up for Loading
  • Use Gloved Hand to Open Latch, and Use Foot to Hold the Roaster Stable
  • Pour in Green Coffee Beans
  • Close Latch and Re-Load RK Drum in the Grill
  • Turn on the Motor and Close Grill
  • Don’t Forget to Start Timer
  • Get Temperature Back to Target Temperature (see Roast Profiles) Within 4 Minutes

The Approach to 1st Crack

  • Monitor Temperature and Adjust Knobs to Hold Steady
  • Wait Until the 1st Crack Time Approaches
  • Watch for Signs that 1st Crack is Approaching
  • Pungent Aroma that Burns Your Eyes and Nose
  • Steam Coming Out of the Back of the Grill

1st & 2nd Crack and Finishing the Roast

  • Make sure gloves and cooler are ready
  • Note time at 1st crack – If early, let out some heat. If late, turn up the heat.
  • Listen for lull between 1st and 2nd crack
  • Turn on cooler
  • Listen for 10-in-10. When you start to hear 2nd crack, watch the timer, and count the number of cracks/snaps. When you count 10 snaps in 10 seconds, stop the roast
  • Open grill and stop motor.
  • Roll the drum, so that the latch is facing up. Pop open the latch.
  • Hold the rotissier rod, keeping the door closed with your thumb.
  • Carry the RK Drum over to the cooler. Pull open the door with your thumb and dump into the cooler.
  • Stir the coffee to evenly cool
  • 1st Crack sounds like popcorn popping
  • 2nd Crack sounds like the snapping of toothpicks
  • If you are roasting too hot and fast, it is possible for 1st and 2nd Crack to run together. In this case, you can slow down the roast by opening the grill and letting heat out.

How did your roast go?

Let us know how your roast went. Did you have a problem with any of these steps? We are constantly working to improve our site, so if there’s anything that needs additional explanation, please let us know. Comment below or send us an email at