How To Roast Coffee In A Frying Pan Or Pot

Using a simple frying pan can be a great way to roast your coffee beans!

Most of us have one around, and it saves you from spending the money on a coffee roaster.

However, it’s important to know what you’re doing when you roast coffee beans, regardless of whether it’s in a pan, a popcorn popper or the oven.

That way, you’ll know what to expect and what roast you’re looking for!

Luckily, we’re here to help you get a handle on pan roasting your coffee beans.

We’ll take a look at what sets this method apart, the pros and cons and the process.

Buckle up, continue on and become an expert!

Pan Roasting Vs Other Methods

If you’ve been looking around, you may have seen that there are several methods for roasting coffee beans out there.

Some include high-end coffee roasters like the Gene Cafe or Behmor 1600.

However, not everyone wants to purchase a new appliance for coffee alone.

In those instances, you can also consider using the oven or a popcorn popper.

Still, many choose to simply roast beans in the frying pan.

It’s a simple method, which allows you to keep an eye on your beans the entire time.

Unless you need something extra, you also won’t have to spend much money to get started.

Pan Roasting Benefits

There are plenty of benefits you can achieve when roasting coffee in a pan or pot.

Oftentimes, you can roast more at a time than even with some high-end roasters.

However, this can depend on the size of the pot or pan you have.

On top of that, you can also get delicious results no matter what level of roasting you’re looking for.

It’s also a much quieter option than many of the more coffee-specific roasters out there.

You’ll also get a lot of control, being able to watch over the entire process from start to finish.

Pan Roasting Downfalls

Just like any other method, it’s important to weigh the benefits with the downfalls.

Firstly, it can be a very smoky process so you’ll want to have a solution for that.

The process can also take a little time, however it shouldn’t be an extremely long process.

Just keep in mind that you may need to watch over the pan for up to about 30 minutes depending on how much you’re roasting and how dark of a roast you’re going for.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on the beans and stir them frequently enough that they don’t cook unevenly.

What To Keep In Mind

There are a couple things you’ll want to be aware of as you roast your beans.

The first is the roast you’re going for.

For example, whether you want a darker roast, a lighter roast, or something in the middle.

There are different cracks and levels of cooking to get the results you want.

In addition, know that if you’re going for a darker roast, you’re likely to get a lot of smoke.

It’s a good idea to open up your windows and keep a fan handy to get rid of the smoke.

That way, you can just focus on the roasting.

How To Roast Coffee In A Frying Pan

Your Equipment

Before you get started, there are a few things you’ll need to make sure you have.

Firstly, you’ll need your green coffee beans and frying pan big enough for the amount of beans you want to cook.

Naturally, you’ll also need your stove, or a hot plate may also get the job done too if it’s big enough.

You’ll also want a spoon with a long handle that is meant specifically for coffee.

A spray bottle with a gentle setting is also a highly useful tool.

For when you’re finished, you’ll also want a tray to cool the beans on.

What To Do

This is actually a very simple process.

Place your pan on the stove, and make sure the temperature within the pan is at least 350-degrees.

A food thermometer can be a useful tool for determining this.

Then, add your beans.

Make sure that you use your spoon for constant stirring.

That way, they’ll roast evenly and have a lower chance of burning.

Keep an eye on your beans until they have reached the level you want.

At that point, you’ll be ready to turn off the stove and allow them to cool on your tray.

Getting The Perfect Roast

While it may take some time, you’ll be able to roast your beans using this method to just about any level of darkness you may prefer.

For a lighter roast, it may take as little as 8 minutes, while a longer roast can take 15 minutes or so, depending on your stove.

Just make sure not to let them roast for too long, or you’ll end up with burnt beans.

You’ll also want to consider what to do with the chaff from the beans while you work.

They can become a pretty messy part of the roasting process!

In addition, make sure your area is especially well ventilated if you’re aiming for a darker roast.


Once you’ve reached the ideal roast, you’ll want to make sure the beans cool quickly.

This just helps to avoid the beans roasting too much or becoming burnt.

No one likes the taste of burnt coffee beans!

To accomplish this, make sure that your colanders are ready.

It can help to setup the first colander in the sink.

That way, any chaff that may escape won’t make a mess on your counter or floor.

At that point, you can pour the beans back and forth between your two colanders, or you can simply opt to stir them.

If you want, you can use both methods to help cool the beans and make sure all the chaff is removed.


Storing your beans is essential to keeping them fresh for as long as possible.

Things like moisture, sunlight and heat can cause the beans to lose their fresh appeal more quickly.

As a result, you want to make sure to avoid this issue by using an airtight container.

This could be a jar or plastic bag.

Generally, it’s best to avoid containers that are clear.

However, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue if the rest of the storage conditions are good.

On top of that, you’ll want to store them somewhere cool and dark.

That way, heat and sunlight won’t be a problem for them.

If you can, making smaller batches can also be helpful in maintaining fresh beans.

Is This The Method For You?

Roasting coffee beans in a frying pan can be considered one of the easiest and least expensive methods.

However, remember that it isn’t an automatic process.

Unlike air or drum roasters, this isn’t an option you can just check on here and there.

You’ll need to be with the pan, stirring frequently until the beans reach the ideal roast.

Otherwise, some beans may be cooked more quickly or burnt.

That said, most people who try out this method won’t need to buy much to get started.

As a result, it’s an option that saves money not only by roasting your own beans, but by not having to purchase a roaster.

Brian Mounts

Head blogger, editor, and owner of "Top Off My Coffee", a website that has been educating readers about coffee brewing techniques and equipment since 2012.

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