[Homeroast] Cuisinart CPM-100

Scot Murphy deppitybob at comcast.net
Sat Jun 4 19:35:51 CDT 2016

I hope I’m not covering roads already well-traveled, but…

Recenty, I saved uo the $$ for a Cuisinart CPM-1000. Everything about it sounded good: 1500W motor, decent size reservoir/roast chamber, even an on-off switch. It had a plastic hood with a butter tray. The one problem I saw was that the air came from a singe vent in the center of the botton instead of vents along the sides. If I can fix that, I will. If nor, well then, oy vey es mir. First try: the beans flew EVERYwhere. All over the place. IPlus, I was stirring the beans with a skewer, trying to make sure they were roasted evenly. With all the dance they were doing, that was unnecessary. I was happy to get one pot out of it.

Second try: put the plastic hood on top and the butter top on that, hoping to restrict the airflow.It only worked partially, in that all the beans flowing out the top were now flowing out the front. Not really helpful. I tried putting the butter lid back on in the hopes it would slow down the air output, but as I kind of expected, things became worse.

Then I remembered a mod someone else had done to a Poppery, though I wasn’t sure if it was Mark I or Mark II. All you needed was an empty steel can with both ends cut out. I will spare you the details of trying to find the house’s only pair of functioning lid-severing cutters, relying on a churchkey, until that proved impossible and the search went on for a proper bottomed can. That is to say, I tried a couple of “normal” cans of recent design with rounded edges that defied our electric opener. Sure, it opened up the tomato juice and the red beans from one end but not the other. Useless for my purposes. Finally found a fairly ancient can of pears that seemed to fit just right and had a proper bottom, opened them up, and pouted the pears into a bowl. (It so happens I love pears, so I figured for a snack whilst I roasted. One tentative taste told me they were WAY past their sell-by date.) So I cut off both ends, scrubbed it out, and went back to work.

Lucky me—the can fit *exactly* into the chamber where I needed, not too long and unstable and not too short and useless. It was the exact right height (or so I thought). So, third try: it worked very well at regulating the temperature, but beans were still popping out the can, signifying the force of air in keeping them in. Oh, what to do, what to do? My eyes alit on the mall mesh strainer I had been using to sift the beans and cool them down, et viola, it seemed to work. So for the fourth batch, before I hit the “on” switch—I love this about the Cuisinart—and had everything in place, including the small mesh screen. (Later, I could replace it with something more stable. This doohickey is open to all sorts of tinkering to those who like to do such things.) This time was the charm. The beans danced wildly in the chamber with no interference from me, the screen strainer—of just the right diameter as the chamber, maybe a little narrower so it will sit properly on the tin can—held in ALL the beans, and at the beginning of second crack I took the screen off and ll that rested around the base was chaff.

A little more experimenting needs to be done. Like any popper roaster, it hits first and second crack quickly. Now, the instructions and oft-repeated coffee wisdom says to NOT use an extension cord for lack of power; maybe that’ll help here, delaying the cracks a few seconds and allowing the beans to mature in the chamber a bit. At least, SOME kind of mod between first and second crack seems obviously needed to keep them separated, at least to give some breathing room where a person can tell it’s not just beans rattling in the chamber but has actually settled onto second crack. A longer lapse into second crack would be a good thing too, though I believe this could be done by playing with the on/off switch; obviously a jump right from first to second wipes out a lot of the variety of the bean, which keeps the unique flavors from developing. When your choice is between barely-rosted and burnt, neither are worth it.

That’s why I’m recommending the Cuisinart CPM-100, currently available on Amazon and eBay, each containing their own prices. (I went with Amazon because most of the eBay prices were higher. Then I found a bath of “Buy It Now” ones at almost $10 less each. SUCKER!) They’re moddable—probably easily so for the tinkerer—they seem to be durable, and for the price, they can’t be beat. (For the 1/3 to 1/2 cup range,,,!) If you’re a beginner, pick one up. It’s a decent replacement for the dearly departed Poppery Mark I.

Scot “where does he get all those wonderful toys?” Murphy

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