I know they don't specifically say so, but are the orange Homer buckets from Home Depot food safe?
I'm looking at brining fairly large quantities of loins for Canadian Bacon.
If there is any doubt, use a large food grade bag like Ziplock Big Bags XL or Reynolds Roasting Bags. The added benefit is there is no need to mess with weights to keep the meat submerged and because the air can be pushed out less brine can often be used...JJ
Mike, before buying buckets, check out other---often free---sources. I usually get my buckets from the cake-decorators at a big box store. They would otherwise be throwing them out. Icing and other decorating materials come in two-gallon and five-gallon food safe buckets, with hermetically sealing lids.
All you have to do is clean out the residue. But that's just hot water and some elbow grease.
Any clean bucket that is certified HDPE (High Density Polyethyelene) that means it make from a 3408 resin base material is guaranteed food safe due to the density of the plastic. Medium density either can or can not be, and low density I would personally just stay away from. All other thermoplastics can contain fillers which are not conducive to National Sanitation Foundation guidelines.
PE3408 or the old PE8000 resin base materials, or high density PE if clean is great. I use: