How To Roast Coffee In An Oven (A Complete Guide)

Nothing rivals the quality of home-roasted coffee beans. This joyful activity can be carried out in many different ways. One of the most convenient and least expensive methods is by roasting in an oven. This article will fill you in and allow you to better understand how to roast coffee in an oven in the comfort of your own home. 

It might come as a surprise for beginners that coffee beans can also be roasted in the oven. However, once you comprehend the full procedure, you’ll realize how easy and time-efficient it is. 

You have the absolute freedom to roast it as light or dark as you prefer, and the coffee is as fresh as it can get. 

How To Roast Coffee In An Oven

How To Roast Coffee Beans In An Oven (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Preheat the oven to a temperature of approximately 475-500℉. 
  2. Spread the coffee beans evenly over the perforated baking pan to avoid overcrowding.
  3. Open doors and windows so that the smoke produced during the roast can be ventilated.
  4. Set up a place for cooling (somewhere outside if possible).
  5. Place the tray in the oven.
  6. Carefully monitor the beans while they are in the oven and take note of the changing colors.
  7. If there is an uneven color change, then take the tray out and stir the beans with a wooden spatula.
  8. Once the desired color is reached, take the tray out and head straight to the cooling area.
  9. Pour the beans into the metal colander.
  10. Moisten the beans a little bit (if required).
  11. Remove the chaff.

Let’s talk about these steps in a more detailed way.

1. What Is Needed To Get Started To Roast Coffee Beans In An Oven

  • Stopwatch or timer
  • Spatula (preferably a wooden one)
  • A baking tray with small perforations 
  • Raw green coffee beans 
  • A decent oven capable of holding enough beans and reaching high temperatures 
  • Strainers
  • Metal colander for cooling
  • Oven mitts to avoid getting any burns from the high temperatures while roasting 
  • Water bottle

2. Choosing The Right Oven To Roast Coffee

How To Roast Coffee In An Oven

Ovens come in a variety of feature sets. However, you should go for one that can heat up to at least 500℉ for optimal results.

It is more convenient to roast coffee in an oven with a working light. If your oven does not have a light, you should keep a flashlight handy to get a better look at the roast. 

Roasting coffee can produce a lot of smoke. So, I suggest roasting coffee in an oven with good-quality ventilation to prevent your kitchen or room from turning into an oven itself. 

The time your oven takes to heat up also plays a crucial part in the process. Modern ovens come with temperature gauges that let you set a constant temperature for consistent roasting. Going with a larger volume will allow you to finish a larger batch quicker than prepping in small batches. 

Some people argue that home-roasting is a toxic process due to the dangerous chemicals and smoke that are released. However, this can be avoided by taking preventive measures, such as wearing a mask. 

3. Where Can You Find Green Coffee Beans?

Finding green coffee beans is not an easy task. They are not something you can easily find in any grocery store. You may have to look online for stores near you that carry green coffee beans.

However, you may start with these samplers with several types of coffee to choose from.

Fresh Roasted Coffee, Unroasted Adventurer Home Roasting Starter Kit, Kosher

Fresh Roasted Coffee, Unroasted Adventurer Home Roasting Starter Kit, Kosher
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  • The starter kit contains four 16 ounce bags of unroasted high quality green coffee – just right for roasting and blending. Suitable for beginners or experienced roasters
  • It is 100% Arabica coffee beans. A variety of Single Origin coffee beans from the finest farms and co-ops from around the world.
  • ALL FRESH ROASTED COFFEE IS Kosher Certified, Sustainably Sourced and Packaged in USA.

NOTE: Before you get started with roasting, always wash and rinse your beans. This cleans the surfaces and also increases the moisture content so that they crack quickly. 

4. How To Prepare The Roast

smoking
  • The roast produces a lot of smoke. The darker you want your coffee beans, the more smoke there will be. 
  • To avoid any mishaps, make sure that you open your windows and doors before starting the roasting procedure. That way, you can avoid suffocating yourself or others in your house. 

How To Prepare An Oven And Coffee Beans For Roasting

  1. Turn on the oven and set the temperature to moderately high. I would tell you the exact temperature that you should set your oven too if I could, but each oven works differently. While some need very high temperatures for the perfect roast, others do just fine at lower temperatures. It also depends on whether the oven is electric or runs on gas. 
  2. In most cases though, 475℉ is ideal for gas ovens, and 500℉ is ideal for electric ovens. 
  3. Most people prefer using a perforated baking pan for roasting coffee beans in the oven. However, you have to ensure that the pan does not have large holes. The holes should be small (less than 0.5 inches) so that the beans do not fall through. 
  4. Avoid stacking the coffee beans on top of each other. Spread them evenly so that they get enough heat. 
  5. The last step that you will have to follow while preparing the roast is an exit strategy. The beans will be smoking hot right after you take them out of the oven. You will have to be able to cool them down.
  6. When you take the beans out of the oven, you will notice chaff on them. Chaff is delicate tissue-like skin that you’ll have to remove before you start grinding the beans. The best way to ensure that all the chaff is removed is by dumping the coffee beans straight into a colander. 
  7. Once they are in the colander, use your utensils to stir them for five to ten minutes to get rid of the chafing.

5. Monitoring What Goes Inside The Oven

timer

As soon as you have transferred the beans onto the tray and have figured out both the ventilation and exit strategies, it is then time to place the tray into the oven. Once you have placed the tray inside the oven, start your timer or stopwatch. 

The main indicator of progress is the color of the beans. They typically go from green to a shade of yellow/light brown followed by a darker shade of brown. You will have to be very attentive in the last few minutes to avoid burning your coffee beans. 

In case of uneven distribution, some beans might start cracking earlier than others. If you notice unevenness in the roast, then, slowly take the tray out of the oven and spread the beans uniformly over the area using a wooden spatula. Try to do this quickly in order to keep the temperature profile constant. 

It is advised to only redistribute the beans once, as doing so multiple times may cause temperature alterations. If you have a gas oven with low wattage, then you should avoid this step if possible, as the temperature inside the beans falls rather quickly when exposed to air. 

6. Listen To The Roast Like It’s Your Favorite Song!

The beans produce a few cracking sounds while roasting, so listen to the sound of the roast closely. This happens due to the air that escapes the beans during heating. These air columns group together to form steam, thus forcing the beans to crack open. 

The first crack usually begins within five minutes of putting the tray into the oven. Then, there will be complete silence for a while until the second crack begins. The first crack sounds more like popcorn popping while the second crack produces the conventional crackling sound. 

After the beans have gone through the first crack, they will have more brown patches throughout. If you want your coffee to be in the light-to-mild range, then I recommend you stop roasting after the second crack. 

7. Temperature Tuning

This is the only disadvantage of roasting beans in the oven. That is, you cannot quickly change the temperature. Usually, coffee roasters begin with a minimum temperature which is gradually increased throughout the process. This allows the beans to develop the perfect flavors and taste.

Unfortunately, that is not how roasting beans in an oven works. Here, the temperature is high throughout the entire process. 

This is why it does not take long to roast beans in an oven. It usually takes between ten to fifteen minutes for the perfect roast. 

8. The Final Step On How To Roast Coffee In An Oven

mitten

Once the beans have turned into the desired color and the timer that you had set has gone off, carefully take the tray out of the oven. Always use oven mitts to avoid getting any burns. Be prepared to face a cloud of smoke as soon as the oven door is opened as well. 

When the beans are out, take them quickly to your designated cooling area. It would be wise to spray some water on the beans if the place where you live is extremely hot and dry. Be careful though, as drenching the beans will ruin them. You have to make sure that you only moisten them a little. 

Shake the beans gently while they are in the metal colander. You might also want to leave the beans in an airtight container afterward for 12-36 hours in order to get a good flavor. 

Voila! Your beans are now ready.

Now that you know all about this roasting technique, the only step you need to master is brewing. To improve consistency, many people switch to air roasters which cost around $100-300 depending upon the build materials. Hone your skills with this easy-to-learn method and then move to more complex and expensive techniques. 

Have fun making the best cup of coffee with your own hands in the comfort of your home.