The RK Drum and its motor assembly is a perfect combination for high quality roasts.
Positive Product Points
. Built like a tank, this drum will last forever . Produces even, high quality roasts . Easy to set up . Support is excellent
Negative Product Points
Drum pin design
I have been roasting for several years, most recently with a one-pound capacity natural gas San Franciscan sample roaster. I needed something that would allow me to roast more product but not cost me an arm and a leg.
The RKDrum is built like a tank--peforated stainless steel, excellent welds. A channel goes through the drum for a standard spit-rod (I use a Char-broil). One end of the drum has a hinged door for charging and discharging beans. Inside the drum are 2" veins that help blow away chaff and keep the beans mixed while roasting. The drum slides onto a spit, secured with two stainless slip nuts.
I also purchased the RK heavy-duty motor and motor mount kit. This is quite a wonderful kit. It is very heavy duty stainless steel, and it has predrilled holes and slots so that it will fit on virtually any decent grill. The motor is a real workhorse. It has no problems turning a full 4# load. The motor and kit is something that anyone buying the drum should seriously consider.
Other reviewers have commented about the difficulty in removing the pin from the very, very hot drum at the end of a roast. I had a problem with the first batch, mainly because I did not have very good gloves. It was more operator error than a problem with the drum. In fact, I have since not had any trouble with the pin and so I do not anticipate changing that in the future.
The drum and motor/assembly is well designed and a pleasure to use. It should be completely level to produce the most even roasts you've ever seen.
Ron Kyle makes purchasing very easy using Paypal. Shipment was immediate, and Ron provided emails regarding when the order would ship, etc. He also refunded $15 because I bought the drum and the motor assemply at the same time. I was not expecting this, and it shows what a gentleman Ron is. His email support was excellent when I had a question about the motor coupling.
Three Month Followup
One Year Followup
The Kyle BBQ Roaster continues to perform well. The roasts are very even, and I am very pleased with their quality. I would downgrade the usability factor to a "7" now because of the hinge/hook structure on the drum. This is the gizmo that allows you to lock the drum while roasting and then unhook it to open the lid to pour out the roast. The hook and chain broke off on my unit a couple of months back and I am using a pin that I've fashioned -- still not great, but it works. Neither the original design choice nor my mod makes getting the beans out quickly much of a pleasure. But with practice . . . no consistent problem. But be aware that when you begin to go into 2nd crack, you probably want to dump immediately, and the hinge-hook system is not ideal for quickness. Otherwise, this unit is fabulous: except for the hook breaking, it's as strong as a tank.