Bokashi composting is a new and quick way to recycle your food waste. It’s becoming very popular in urban spaces. Bokashi is also a great option for composting on a balcony, or as a winter composting bin.
Its speed sets it apart from traditional composting, as well as the fact you can process meat and dairy without the risk of smells or attracting unwanted pests.
To learn more, check out our ultimate guide to bokashi where I answer every question you might have!
So, what’s the best bokashi bin? The best bokashi bin is the Bokashi Living Composting Starter Kit. The kit comes with two bins, triple fermented bokashi bran, a bokashi book, a one-year warranty, and lifetime bokashi support. Spare parts are also available in the unlikely event something does go wrong.
Most people who use bokashi have two bins, which is why Bokashi Living sells their bins in a two-pack.
While one is sealed and fermenting, you can start filling the other one up without interrupting the process.
Bokashi living bins are made with superior materials. This means they’re durable enough to handle prolonged use and will retain their airtight properties. They back this up with a 1-year warranty on all parts and components, and lifetime bokashi support for all customers.
Replacement parts are available too, ensuring that even if your bin does develop an issue in a few years, you can easily fix it for a fraction of the cost (and materials) of buying a new one.
The bins comes with 3.5 lbs (2×1.75lb bags) of bran which should last you a decent amount of time. I’ve found that the bokashi bran from Bokashi Living is extremely high quality. It goes through a rigorous testing process to ensure each batch is as potent and effective as possible.
The All Seasons bokashi bin is my personal choice for the best budget bokashi bin. SCD Probiotics is one of the cheaper brands and offers the most variety of bins.
The bin comes with a built-in spigot that is well-fitted and airtight. Plus 1kg (2.2lbs) of bokashi bran so you can get started right away.
You can pick between a beige or a black bin. Both are made from food-grade BPA-free plastic, and the black bin is made using 75% recycled soda bottles. I’d opt for the black color, as every little helps when it comes to recycling plastic.
You can also pick to have traditional bokashi bran or the liquid version. I haven’t had the chance to test this one yet, but it could be useful if you lack storage space.
For those of you who like accessories, you’ll love this bokashi bin from Sunwood.
The bin comes with:
And if all that wasn’t enough the bin is made using recycled plastic.
Brewing beer is a fermentation process and uses a very similar bucket to a bokashi system. With a few modifications, you can quickly turn this Home Brew bucket into a working bokashi bin.
This particular bucket can hold up to 6.5 gallons which is more than the average bokashi bucket, so this is a great pick if you generate a lot of waste.
It’s also cheaper than buying a bokashi bin making it a bargain. As long as you don’t mind a little DIY.
There’s a small hole in the lid which you’ll need to cover up. Taping over it with a few layers of plastic will do the trick.
I would also put a mesh screen near the bottom of the bin to make sure that my food waste sits above the spigot. This ensures a soggy pile of rotting food waste doesn’t develop under the tap.
If you don’t mind a bit of a home project, then you can make your own bokashi bin.
All you need is 2 buckets, a tight-fitting lid, and a spigot (which is optional, but I recommend).
The main advantage of making your own is that you can pick what size bucket you buy. Most commercial bokashi bins are 5 gallons, but if you’re a one-person household they can take a while to fill up. For people that don’t generate a lot of waste, a 2-gallon bucket makes more sense.
You’ll need to attach the spigot to one bin and drill a few drainage holes in the bottom of the other bin. Then put one bin inside the other and cover the drainage holes with a piece of fabric to stop smaller pieces of food falling through.
I’ll be honest, at first glance most bokashi bins look virtually identical. On some counts they can be pretty similar, but looks can also be deceptive. The quality of the materials used, the durability of the bins, and the quality of the spigot are some of the things to bear in mind when looking for the ideal bokashi bin.
The most common issues I see with bokashi going wrong relate to the bokashi bins losing their ‘air-tightness’. This common issue is either caused by user error, or more likely a worn-out lid creating a gap for oxygen to enter.
In order to minimize the risk of your bin losing it’s seal, opt for a bin made using quality materials. Most of the bins sold on the market today are made using plastic, so it can be a little tricky to tell if a bin is genuinely well made before you receive it in person. Manufacturers don’t tend to elaborate on the thickness of the plastic or any real specifics, so the next best thing is to check user reviews and the warranty (if any) offered on the product.
When shopping for your next bokashi bin, it’s also a good idea to check whether the manufacturer offers spare parts for a small additional cost. In the unlikely event that an item on your bin was to fail at a later date, it’s useful to know that it can be a cheap and easy fix instead of having to buy a new bin.
Bokashi Living sells spare spigots, lids and straining plates, if the worst should happen after the warranty period expires (they offer 12 months as standard). If you can’t find the spares in stock on Amazon, you’ll be able to order directly on their spares page.
I always recommend purchasing two bins initially instead of just one. Having two bins allows you to be fermenting one batch of bokashi, whilst filling up the second bin in preparation. If you do opt for just a single bin, you won’t be able to process any more food waste once your bin is sealed and the fermentation process is underway. Typically the fermentation process lasts around 2 weeks.
As I mentioned above, the most common reason for your bokashi failing is having a leak that allows oxygen into your bin. After all, bokashi is an anaerobic fermentation process (no oxygen). The second most common reason for bokashi failing is the potency of the bran being used.
Signs of a good quality bokashi bran include being double or triple fermented and packaged in a durable, resealable container (most commonly a heavy-duty stand-up bag). Even the best bokashi bran won’t last long if exposed to oxygen.
Most reputable companies such as SCD Probiotics and Bokashi Living ensure that their bran goes through a rigorous testing process before bagging and shipping to customers. You’re more likely to encounter issues if trying to make your own DIY bokashi bran.
I know many people have successfully made their own bran, but it comes with a lot of trial and error. If you’re trying bokashi for the first time, I’d advise going for a tested and high-quality bran such as the ones linked to above. This is especially true if you’re planning on building your own DIY bokashi bin (one less thing to troubleshoot).
If you’re intent on making your own bokashi bran, I’ve found this video from Fraser Valley Rose Farm to be extremely helpful (I personally have never tried using rice wash, you can skip to step 3 if using a starter liquid at 06:45).
For anyone considering using bokashi to recycle their food waste Bokashi Composting: Scraps To Soil In Weeks by Adam Footer is a must-read. It’s packing full of useful nuggets of information to help you get the most out of your bin.
I recommend signing up for a completely free trial of Audible Premium Plus where the book is available without charge.
If you’re able to digest the book in less than a month, you can cancel your trial without any further costs. Win-win.
The best bokashi bins are simple and effective, creating a tight seal to allow an effective fermentation process.
Bokashi pre-compost can be fed to worms, or you can just chuck in your normal compost bin along with the rest of your organic waste.
Veronica has a passion for all things eco-friendly. After growing up on a farm in Ireland, she went on to study Chemistry and Environmental Sciences. Veronica has also volunteered in many sustainability roles, including conservation efforts in Bangladesh and teaching Environmental Sciences to schoolchildren in Kenya.