West Bend Air Crazy Hot Air Roaster
The West Bend Air Crazy Hot Air Popper is my first home roasting device. I’ve been using it in a modified fashion since October of 2012. I tried a few roasts with an unmodified unit, but found I coulndn’t maintain enough heat to get much past 1st crack. I let a few batches run for more than 20 min and never achieved second crack. I removed the thermal shutoff switch from the side of the can and that let me reach second crack in a reasonable amount of time. Now I’m able to achieve a decent Vienna or French roast in about 10 minutes (bean dependent of course).
The machine has a very nice canister with serrated openings on the side which allows the air to circulate instead of just blowing straight up. This circular air flow allows me to roast with minimal intervention (e.g. stirring or shaking). I’ve also been using it with the plastic top attached. It is slightly curved and this allows the chaff to blow away from the unit and into my collection box.
Things have been working great; until today; I had a meltdown. The air popper has been showing signs of wear and tear from my weekly roast. I have been roasting about 3 to 4 cups of green beans per week for use at home and work. Each roast is usually 1/2 cup and I do back-to-back roasts. Today the temperatures in Denver were high (for January) and this may have attributed to the meltdown.
After the 3rd roast, I picked up the unit to dump the hot beans into my stainless steel bowl and my finger almost pushed through the side of the roaster! You can see the impression of my hand on the side of the unit! You can also see the the next photo that the inside of the unit is starting to melt also.
I really like the way this roaster works due to the circular airflow in the can, so I’m going to try to salvage it as best as possible.
I guess I just need to slow down a bit and let the thing cool down between roasts.