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Regular Storage Container For Meat Mixing??

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by johnh12, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. johnh12

    johnh12 Smoke Blower

    What is the big deal about using a high dollar meat lug instead of a cheaper storage container from the hardware store?
    Are there any significant dangers or will it take awhile to kill me.
    Vietnam, Agent Orange, along with 30 years of Navy chow and, defying all predictions, I'm still here.
  2. Holly2015

    Holly2015 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Food lugs are made with food grade plastics/polymers. Non-food grade items like trash cans and storage totes are not so there is potential to exposed to different chemical/compounds like BPA

    Lots of bus pans are made of food grade plastic and only cost about $6 dollars at a restaurant supply store.
  3. I don't know what a meat lug is
  4. mike243

    mike243 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Lug a load of food
  5. chilerelleno

    chilerelleno Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    A large, lidded container for storing, handling and mixing meat.
    Think big Tupperware tote for meat that'll easily hold 40-50lbs of ground meat.
    Some bigger some smaller.
  6. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I used to use a large (32qt I think) stainless steel canning stockpot to mix my meat. I even used a concrete paddle mixer on a drill with it. Now that I bought a cheap (<$10) buss bin, the drill and stockpot is too much trouble. But I do have my eye out on a real meat mixer- one that attaches to my grinder.
  7. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, I know there are food grade containers, and regular containers.
    So go ahead and try the Walmart specials.
    If we don't hear from you, we can eventually guess you died....

    I don't fry my eggs in a lead frying pan....
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lots of plastic containers are made in China... They don't observe USDA food contact rules... You could be getting motor oil plastic in your Chinese made Kerap.... For a few dollars and years of service.... weigh your options...
    Like butcher paper... Chinese make lots of it... Use recycled paper from the US... no idea where it's been or what it has absorbed.. I only buy USDA certified butcher paper... costs a few buck more but I think it's worth it....
    SonnyE and per2467 like this.
  9. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Anything marked with a foodsafe.jpg is the indicator that it is food-safe. I get 5-gallon buckets from Home Depot and Northern Tool that have that marking and trust that they are safe to cure my meat products in. Also, Tupperware large capacity (2-3 gallon) containers are also food-safe, as well as many dollar store type plastics.
    chilerelleno likes this.
  10. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  11. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Try your local grocery store's bakery. They usually have 5 gallon buckets that held icing. They can usually be had for cheap if not free.

  12. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    #2 HDPE buckets that are not food grade may have been manufactured with a non-food-grade “mold release agent”.

    Safe Plastics For Food and Drink (Food Grade)

    02/02/2018 Updated: 02/01/2018 Ken Jorgustin 46 Comments


    Plastics that come in contact with your food or drink ‘should’ be safe based on the following general information.

    Look for the Recycle symbol (often on the bottom of the container) and read the number located inside the symbol.

    The following list cross-references the recycle number (recycling symbol) with what is generally considered safe for food (or not safe).

    Plastics Considered Safe for Food & Drink
    #1 PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
    #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene) *see note below
    #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene)
    #5 PP (polypropylene)

    Nalgene Wide Mouth 16oz Bottle, BPA/BPS FREE[​IMG]

    Plastic Water Bottles or Soft Drink Containers
    #1 PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) Used for typical water, soda, and juice bottles. They are not designed for reuse however.

    Risky Plastics Not Safe for Food and Drink
    These plastics may leach or have hazardous ingredients:

    #3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride) carcinogens during manufacture and incineration
    #6 PS (polystyrene) possible carcinogen
    #7 PC (usually polycarbonate, sometimes labeled PC) may leach BPA (Bisphenol-A)

    Food Grade Buckets
    5 gallon ‘food grade’ buckets are made of #2 HDPE, and are generally opaque or mostly opaque which minimizes the amount of light penetration. If the bucket is considered ‘food grade’ it is typically marketed as such and / or labeled “Food Grade”, “Food Safe”, etc.

    Some food grade buckets or containers will include a cup & fork symbol as an indicator. A food-grade bucket or container might also be specifically marked as USDA approved (or FDA or NSF approved).

    If you will be storing food directly in a plastic bucket or container, or if you will be using the container for drinking water, you might verify the material is food-safe before you purchase.

    The typical ‘blue’ water storage containers or water barrels are also made of high density polyethylene #2 HDPE and are marketed as food safe.

    Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container[​IMG]


    All food grade buckets are made of #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene),
    but not all #2 HDPE buckets are apparently food grade.

    Buckets that are not food grade may out-gas and leach into the container, as well as into the contents held within the container.

    This is what I’ve read about it:

    #2 HDPE buckets that are not food grade may have been manufactured with a non-food-grade “mold release agent”.

    In some processes, a mold release agent is what is used to help get the newly shaped plastic off of the hard mold that it was shaped from during the manufacturing process. Without the release agent, the new plastic shape will likely stick to the mold. Some mold release agents enable much faster production than others, but may be toxic to your health if later used with food.

    Other processes apparently do not use a mold release agent and only use high pressure compressed air to blow the bottles into shape on the inside. No mold release agent of any kind is used inside the bottles of this process.

    If you are unsure, you might simply contact the supplier or manufacturer to confirm.


    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    chilerelleno likes this.
  13. johnh12

    johnh12 Smoke Blower

    Great info that leaves me with several things to look into.
    Thanks to all.
  14. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I usually mix in quantities of 10-20 pounds or so. I use a 7 gallon food grade bucket, a corded drill, and a steel+aluminum sheet rock paddle to mix meat for sausage.

    If you go this setup you can make mixing and clean up a breeze. If you need to store meat and move it around from table to fridge/cooler, etc. etc. then meat lugs/totes can't be beat.

    I use food grade for both and for buckets a restaurant supply store will have food grade and if you search around for beer brewing buckets they are food grade as well. To get a 7 gallon bucket I had to order it from a "prepper" website to get food grade. The preppers use them for storing all kinds of food in case the world, or their world ends :D
  15. johnh12

    johnh12 Smoke Blower

    Just got a clear 32 quart Sterilite storage container from Walmart for $5.32.
    The recycle emblem shows a #5/PP which, according to the previous posts s/b food safe.
    It fits in my small refrigerator on the bottom shelf.
    Thanks for all the info. I just couldn't see paying top dollar for a designated "meat lug".
    The Sterilite came with a lid also. The lugs I saw didn't.
  16. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Many/most pool chemical buckets are 2 HDPE plastic. (I went looking this morning...)
    Washed out, they make great containers for a variety of uses.
    One very good one is a crab bucket. Drill big holes in one, then the latching lid locks your catch in while it hangs down in the water to keep your crabs alive and happy.
    No pumps to prime, no batteries to die, just keep it on a short rope, and toss it over the side!
    (Don't trust the handle though.)