How to Care For Your Pickling 'Bokashi' Bucket

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

cardboard or wood chip to absorb liquid from pickling bokashi process

  • 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

 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

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

Only open your bokashi bucket once 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

Drain bokashi juice 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

Rinse and scrub bokashi 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.
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