Tips for successful pickling of food scraps aka bokashi can come down to six key principles.
And you know your bokashi is healthy when it smells like pickles!
TIP 1: Add cardboard or wood chip mulch to the bottom of your pickling bucket
- Add enough to cover the bottom of your bucket
- This will help absorb any liquid from the pickling process
- Step not necessary if you have a traditional bokashi bin
TIP 2: Add food scraps in 2 litre layers
- This volume meets the needs of 1-2 T of Pickled Flakes (Bokashi inoculant)
- However, double the amount of flakes if adding high protein foods such as fish and meat scraps
TIP 3: Squash food scraps to remove air pockets
- Use a potato masher or something with a flat surface (or your hands with gloves on if need be!) to compact each layer of scraps.
- This helps create a favourable environment for your anaerobic ‘pickling’ microbes to successfully pickle your food waste.
TIP 4: Open your bucket 1x a day
- This helps to maintain an anaerobic environment for your pickling microbes
- Opening your bucket more than this can potentially put your pickle at risk
- It’s another good reason to collect kitchen food scraps in a caddy to avoid having to open your bucket so much
TIP 5: Drain the Bokashi liquid every 2-3 days
- If using a traditional Bokashi bin (with a perforated bottom that collects liquid), this liquid can smell if not emptied every 2-3 days.
- Not an issue if using a bucket with cardboard or wood chip in the bottom to absorb this liquid.
TIP 6: Rinse + scrub bucket with water ONLY
- Don’t use detergent or harsh chemicals such as bleach to clean your bucket. This is likely to remove the anaerobic microbes altogether, putting your next pickle at risk of failing.
- If necessary, soak bucket in hot water with a tablespoon of baking soda to help remove any leftover contents.