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What makes a food-grade bucket a food-grade bucket?

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by pit 4 brains, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    How are they different from a new bucket purchesed at the local orange bix-box store? I'm looking for a couple to brine with and my local grocery stores get everything in these little pail type things.
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have wondered the same thing. I have used my bucket that I picked up at the local hardware store many times for brining birds. But I know I can pick up a food grade bucket at the local butcher or Sam's club. I don't know what the difference is though.
  3. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I found this, maybe it will help.

    What Is Food Grade Plastic?

    The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) requires that plastics used in food packaging be of greater purity than plastics used for non-food packaging. This is commonly referred to as food grade plastic. Plastics used to package pharmaceuticals are held to an even higher standard than food grade.

    Food grade plastic does not contain dyes or recycled plastic deemed harmful to humans. However, this does not mean that food grade plastic cannot contain recycled plastic. The FDA has detailed regulations concerning recycled plastics in food packaging.

    Another aspect of food grade plastic is matching the appropriate type of plastic to the food in question. Foods that are highly acidic or that contain alcohol or fats can leach plastic additives from the packaging or container into the food. As a result, you should only use plastic containers that are FDA approved for the particular type of food the plastic will come into contact with.

    Finally, it should be noted that a plastic container can no longer be considered food grade if it has been used to store non-food items like chemicals, paint, or detergent.
  4. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanx for the info. Maybe I can find some large food safe bags to line a bucket with for my turkey brines..
  5. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How about using a cooler?
  6. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I got mine for FREE at SAMS Club.  They throw them in the recycling.  I picked up 2 of them and only use them for brining birds.

    Squirrel is correct about the plastic.

    NSF Poly Tubing costs me 2-times as much as Non-NSF.  I asked the rep, and he told me the NSF is made of "Virgin Resin", and NON-NSF can be made with recycled plastic.

    Guys using old paint bucks or drywall mud buckets can be causing chemicals to be absorbed into their food.  Will it hurt you?  I sure don't want to take a chance with my kids!

  7. meatinc

    meatinc Smoke Blower

    You can look on Craigs List for a restaraunt going out of business for some used NSF / Food Grade containers.  Locally in SoCal a food grade bucket or a large capacity container large enough to bring a turkey is about $20.00 without a lid.

    In the past I've just used a large S.S. stock pot.  You can always pick one of these up at the local discount market or Dollar Store pretty cheap too.  S.S. should not impart any off flavors into the brine either.
  8. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     I have that capability. Just didn't want to mess around with ice and whatnot. I want to brine two turkeys, one herbed and one with Jeff's cranberry method. I do have an enamel coated stockpot that I make beer in. I'll have to check if that thing will hold a 12 pound bird. I have a Sam's and a Costco nearby, I 'll have to check with them. Thanx all.
  9. dale5351

    dale5351 Smoking Fanatic

    I hope that when you are talking about putting a turkey in a bucket to brine, you intend to put it into a frig.

    I usually brine my ribs and pork butts in a large tupperware container.  Turkey is too big for them, and so I'll put it into a white kitchen bag with the brine, and then put the bag into a large pan such as you might use to roast a turkey.  The pan is to catch any leaks that might occur.
  10. arnie

    arnie Smoking Fanatic

    I want to smoke two turkeys, one with Jeff's cranberry method, one with a herb brined turkey, and do an oven roasted turkey breast (for the non-smoke whiners) so I just picked up two 5 gal buckets with lids from a local turkey processing plant for a buck a piece. They get them with honey in them, a never ending supply.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  11. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Hope this helps...
  12. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    For brining, I use name brand Ziploc XXL bags. My local grocery sells them in boxes of 3 for about $6. After using them once for food, I wash and dry them thoroughly and use them ONLY for storage, gardening, keeping mice out of my camping gear, etc. Upcycle!!

    Here's why: 

    Using the bag means the meat takes up less room in my fridge than a bucket would. 

    Using the bag means I don't have to "weight" the food down in a bucket.

    Using the bag means I can squeeze out all the air. Meat and brine ONLY.

    Using the bag means I can *SEE* what is going on in there.


  13. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just checked the bottom of a milk carton... #2 HDPE.. If i find an unused bucket with that stamped on it, I'm using it. I survived my canadian Bacon that i hung on coat hangers while smoking it, LOL, so I think 12 hours in a new bucket will be ok.
  14. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ohh yeah, they are going in a fridge. I wouldn't leave them out unless i was gonna make turkey beer..
  15. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like that idea too. I do the grocery shopping for our household and I don't recall seeing anything that big. I'll have to keep my eyes open.. Thanxs

  16. I've lined a lot of buckets with the turkey size oven bags when makin maple syrup.
  17. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    They're usually on the bottom, shoved in a corner with a layer of dust on the box. I may be the only one who is buying them! [​IMG]   Also... Amazon has them, Target has them, etc.  I *also* saw ('cuz i just checkd Amazon) that I can buy them in bulk, which at the rate I use them, I may consider!


  18. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I guess that none of you are coming over to my house and eat turkey or any of my corned beefs or pastrami. Cause I (being an old drywall dude) use an old drywall bucket that has been cleaned out and bleached out too. I have been using it for alot of things and I have an extra refrig that will hold he bucket and alot of those wally waters that we drink to. Sp I hope its food safe because it sure hasn't breed any flesh eating disease for my belly hasn't stopped growing in a while now
  19. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    Stop by and check the bakery department at your local grocery stores they usually have empty icing buckets they'll part with free. 

    I've hunted everywhere for zip-locks larger than the gallon size and I haven't found them yet either.  
  20. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    I use 2gallon bags for SO much stuff I can't even describe it all here. Found them at GFS. (the food supply place)