The Behmor 1600 is a great machine and it’s what I’ve been using for my home roasting for several years now. If you are using an electric popcorn popper and are tired of roasting tiny batches 3-4 times a week, the Behmor 1600 is a great option.
This home roaster can handle large batches of up to a pound, though it might take 20-25 minutes to fully roast. The Behmor 1600 is decked out with safety features to ensure that it doesn’t catch fire, and those safety features sometimes get in the way of a perfect roast.
It can be a bit difficult to get the exact roast profile you’re looking for with the Behmor 1600, but I’ve figured out a few simple hacks that will help you boost the temperature early on.
Other than that, the Behmor 1600 is a fantastic option for the home roaster who is only looking to roast once a week or week and a half. There are several preset roast profiles you can choose and five different temperature (or intensity) settings you can use.
The Behmor 1600 should be cleaned every 4 or 5 roasts, just to make sure there isn’t too much build-up on the inside of the roaster, and I recommend doing a deep clean of the machine every few months to keep the dust buildup down.
- High Capacity
- Multiple Temperature Settings
- Smoke Suppression
- Ineffective cooling system
- Safety Features get in the way
- Can not reliably roast to French roast level
The Behmor 1600 boasts roast loads of up to a pound. The machine can certainly take the full pound, but roast times can start to creep beyond 20 minutes, which is well in the zone where you are starting to get baked flavors in your coffee rather than any bright acidity or full, sweet body.
I recommend (link) roasting a half-pound at a time, or 250 grams. With this load, you have more control over the roast and can use the power settings to change the roast profile. At a full pound, you are more or less forced into roasting at full power just to get to first crack before the safety timer shuts your roast off.
Presets and Control Panel
The presets on the Behmor 1600 are an interesting concept: there are five different “roast profiles,” such as 1/2 time @ 50% power, 1/2 time @ 75% power. It’s a nice idea, but I’ve only tried these presets once and I was shut down by the safety feature.
The control panel addition on the Behmor 1600 Plus is excellent because of its ability to manually select the power, or intensity you roast at. I’ve found that for most specialty grade beans (which is what you should always be roasting at home), there is rarely a reason to start your roast at anything other than 100% power.
That being said, if you start your roast at 100% power, you’ll have to be careful not to trip the temperature safety setting later on in the roast. But when you start to creep up toward the safety setting at 325 degrees, just bump the power level down to 50% or 25%, and you’ll avoid a shutdown.
The smoke suppressor is great on the Behmor 1600. I still wouldn’t recommend roasting indoors, though I have done it with fans and windows open. I would make sure you have an outdoor space with a direct electrical outlet (rather than an extension cord) before investing in a Behmor 1600.
As you continue to roast more and more, the suppressor begins to lose its smoke scrubbing capability. If you clean it out every 3-6 months, it’ll keep smoke levels down. The smoke suppressor isn’t perfect, but it certainly helps, and I’ve added it as an upside to the Behmor 1600.
The Behmor 1600 should be cleaned every 4 or 5 roasts. Cleaning regularly will help you bring the roaster up to temperature more quickly and will help keep buildup off the walls of the roaster.
I clean with vinegar and water, though many people use Simple Green. Simple Green has a strong smell that I don’t want in my roaster, so I stick with my simpler solution. Water with a bit of vinegar is perfectly fine for removing the buildup.
Every 3-6 months, I get the motivation to do a deep clean of my machine. Using a screwdriver, I undo the back panels and the smoke suppressor screen and remove the dust using a paper towel or a can of compressed air.
Removing the dust every so often helps keep your Behmor 1600 running as hot as possible and will increase its lifespan.
Who Should get a Behmor 1600?
If you’ve been using a popcorn popper for a while and you’ve decided that you want to step up your home roasting game, I recommend the Behmor 1600. There are a few tips and tricks to avoid some of the cons I’ve mentioned above.
Overall, it’s a great machine that allows enough variability that you can really learn how different roast profiles affect the flavor of the bean. While you might struggle getting in to French Roast territory, most home roasters don’t go for this roast level anyway.
The boost in capacity compared to a popcorn popper is awesome, though I wouldn’t say it’s worth it unless you know you’re committed to home roasting your own coffee. For around $400, the Behmor 1600 is an investment. Make sure you enjoy roasting coffee first before throwing that kind of cash down.
When you do make the investment, you’ll be happy with this sturdy and versatile machine!