Why buy a noisy, smokey starter roaster when you can get a Behmor for less than twice the price, which will certainly last more than twice as long and produce much better results.
Positive Product Points
Infinite options for creating your own roasting curves. Easy to program. Doesn't take up much counter space. Did the job as I learned how to roast for the first time.
Negative Product Points
VERY LOUD. Fills the house with smoke, even with a vented range hood fan. Can only roast 150 grams at a time, and at most twice a day. Short lifespan (for me, 1 1/2 years of daily use).
The I-Roast2 was my first roaster. I just bought a Behmor 1600 this week and NOW I KNOW. If I had been able to see both units in operation before I purchased, I would have sprung for the Behmor in the first place. Wow, roasting at home doesn't have to sound like you're running the vacuum and the kitchen doesn't have to be sprinkled with chaff and covered with a layer of smokey residue!
The IR2 does the job well enough, given the noise and smoke. It was fun to play around with the various options for roasting curves, although in the end, I settled on a basic pattern with small variations (335/3 min; 375/2 min; 415 for 1.30-2.00 min). Maybe my ears are bad, but it was impossible to hear the crack, which is easily and pleasurably audible with the Behmor. As my wife said from the other room, the only way she knew the Behmor was on was the sound of first crack. With the IR2, EVERYONE knows it's on. Conversation in the same room is impossible. Did I mention that it is LOUD?
During the warranty period, the base unit failed, which Hearthware replaced. Just past the warranty period, the top lid cracked and broke, which Hearthware replaced (for a fee). The past two weeks, the unit began to stop intermittently during a roast, apparently overheating. The timer still ran, but there was no power. After about 5 minutes, the power would come back on. I tried various options for working around this, but nothing worked enough to solve the problem. It was time for a new roaster.
I enjoyed the IR2 for the most part, but am very glad now to have a "real" roaster.
Purchased from Sweet Maria's, who are great. Warranty service was through Hearthware, who are not so great. The folks who answered the phone were courteous, but not very knowledgable. I learned more about how to work around the IR2's limitations here at CG and elsewhere online than through the folks on the phone. Turnaround for replacement parts took two weeks.