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Bokashi / Buying Guides / Composting

My Honest Bokashi Bin Review + Personal Tips

A firsthand, comprehensive bokashi bin review is the best place to start when you’re looking to purchase your first bokashi kitchen composter. In this buying guide, I’ll be covering the pros and cons of four bokashi composting systems, so you can be confident in your choice and get started on your bokashi journey!

The method of bokashi composting is a proven process that has been around for decades. What I love most is how it enables people to compost food waste and minimise the amount of unavoidable kitchen waste ending up in a landfill.

You may be wondering, ” does bokashi work for everyone? ” No matter the size of your house and whether you have a garden or not, it’s possible to utilise a bokashi system to dispose of food scraps.

I’ve written a complete guide on how to successfully do bokashi composting as well as the benefits and differences between bokashi vs traditional compost bins and worm farms.

bokashi vs composting. a full bokashi bin next to a traditional compost bin

The method of bokashi originated in Japan and translates to ‘ fermented organic matter ’. Where composting allows organic matter to break down and decay, bokashi essentially ‘pickles’ kitchen scraps to bring it to a pre-compost state. This fermented waste can then be added to garden soil (or compost bin or worm bin) creating rich compost for plants.

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Bokashi Bin Review – My Top Picks

OVERALL
BUDGET – BUCKET SYSTEM
BUDGET – SPIGOT SYSTEM

OVERALL – Bokashi Living

This starter set ticks all the boxes for me including being locally made. It’s also the only company that offers a 1yr warranty and lifetime customer support.

BUDGET BUCKET SYSTEM – ZingBokashi

If you’ve no preference between a spigot and bucket system then the Zing Bokashi Bucket system is an excellent, durable, well-made product.

BUDGET SPIGOT SYSTEM – SCD Probiotics All Seasons Indoor Composter

For a basic setup without all the bells and whistles. This is all you need if you’re wanting to give bokashi composting a try and start with just one bokashi bin.

MOST RECYCLED MATERIALS – Skaza Bokashi Organko Set

This comprehensive bokashi starter set includes two bins and all the optional extras. Made from recycled and environmentally friendly materials.

COMPOST IN A DAY – Compost Grinder Machine

If you’re looking for an easy, completely done-for-you composting alternative, then check out this revolutionary machine! A countertop compost grinder machine turns food scraps and other waste materials into dry, ready-to-use compost in less than a day! Perfect if you’re after convenience or are limited on space by gardening in an apartment.

What to Look for in a Bokashi Bin

Quality of Materials

Bokashi Bin

The quality of the bin and lid are most important when comparing bokashi bins. A thick plastic will mean the bin is more durable and won’t bend out of shape when it gets too heavy or you’re separating an outer bin from its nesting bucket.

Common bokashi problems people have is the seal losing its airtightness and letting oxygen into the bokashi bin. As you know, bokashi is an anaerobic process so doesn’t require oxygen to ferment.

For those who are environmentally conscious, look out for brands that use recycled materials to create their bokashi bins, like the Skaza Bokashi Organko Set.

If you decide on a bokashi bin with a spigot or tap, it’s really important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach this to prevent potential leaks.

The other thing to bear in mind is whether the manufacturer sells replacement parts. Worst case scenario you can purchase a new part without having to purchase a whole new bin.

full bokashi bin with lid off resting beside a bag of bokashi bran in the bokashi vs compost debate
A full Zing Bokashi Bin ready to ferment for two weeks before being dug into the soil – Bokashi Bin Review

Bokashi Bran

The second most common reason for bokashi failing is the potency of the bokashi bran being used (something to bear in mind if you find you’re not having much success).

Check out the reviews on different brands and whether they offer information in the description as to their processes. Bokashi Living Bran for example is double fermented, using high quality bacterial cultures. This means it’s teeming with billions of live microbes. Their bokashi bran is one of the best you can buy.

Or, if you’re keen to make your own bokashi bran, give this homemade bokashi bran recipe a try.

How Many Bins Do I Need?

I recommend purchasing two bins so that when one is full and left to ferment for two weeks, you’re able to fill the second bin and continue the process.

In saying this, if you’re just starting out and want to trial bokashi composting, then buying one bokashi bin is a good option. Then you can purchase another one down the track when you realise how awesome bokashi composting is!

Purchasing a Bokashi Bin Online

Bokashi Bin Review – Summary

BrandImagePrice RangeSizeDimensionsNo. of BinsWhere to buy
Bokashi Living
bokashi living bin in a bokashi bin review $$$5gal/19L12 x 12 x 20inches
(30 ×30 × 51cm)
2View Online
SCD Probiotics All Seasons Indoor Composter
all season indoor composter set in a bokashi bin review$$5gal/19L12 x 12 x 18 inches
(30 x 30 x 45cm)
1View Online
Zing Bokashi Composting SystemZing Bokashi Composting system in this bokashi bin review$4gal/15L1 or 2View Online
Skaza Bokashi Organko SetSkaza Bokashi Organko Set bokashi bin review$$4.2gal/16L10 x 12.4 x 20.5 inches
(38 x 27 x 32cm)
2View Online

Bokashi Bin Review

Bokashi Living

Size: 5gal/19L | Spigot | Bran Included | No. of Bins: 2

Pros:

  • A complete starter system so no need to buy anything else to get setup
  • Spigot makes draining quick and easy
  • Includes a full 1yr warranty
  • Lifetime customer support from Bokashi Living

Cons:

  • Slightly pricier than other options

The first thing I love about this Bokashi Living option is that it’s a complete bokashi starter set. It takes out the guesswork when you’re considering how to make bokashi compost.

Most people who use bokashi opt for having two buckets so that they can continue refilling one bucket while the other is full (the fermentation process takes 2 weeks). This is why Bokashi Living has included two buckets in their complete starter set.

In addition, Bokashi Living offers a full 1yr warranty on all their products – including the lids, spigots and drain plates. They also offer lifetime bokashi composting support to their customers. If you ever need help they’re only a phone call or email away.

The quality control is strict with both the bucket and bokashi bran itself. This is why Bokashi Living can confidently offer their warranty. It’s also worth mentioning that they’re the only North American company to make their buckets in-house rather than outsourcing overseas.

SCD Probiotics All Seasons Indoor Composter

Size: 5gal/19L | Spigot | Bran Included | No. of Bins: 1

Pros:

  • Black bucket option is made from recycled BPA-free plastic (uses 75% recycled soda bottles!)
  • Spigot makes draining quick and easy
  • More budget-friendly option

Cons:

  • Only comes with one bin. Ideally, you want two bins but it’s still workable with one

The first thing that stands out to me about the black SCD Probiotics Bokashi Bin is that it’s made from 75% recycled soda bottles! I love that! Any opportunity to recycle and I’m there, so this gets a big tick from me. (Note: this set also comes in tan which isn’t made from recycled bottles. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the listing to find the black colour option).

When you get into the rhythm of bokashi composting you’ll find you need two bins – one on the go and the full one left to ferment for 2 weeks. In saying this, when I first started bokashi I bought one to just try it out first before purchasing a second. So this provides that option.

This bokashi bin set is basic (without the extra cups and levelling trowel) but it has everything you need to get started when looking at how to make bokashi.

Garden Tower Project

Zing Bokashi

Size: 4gal/15L | Bucket | Bran Included | No. of Bins: 1 or 2

Pros:

  • A bucket system means the tea doesn’t need to be drained as often as a spigot
  • High quality, durable plastic buckets with a well-sealed lid
  • The most budget-friendly of all the options

Cons:

  • A little less convenient than a spigot, requiring more strength

This is the first bokashi bin set I purchased. It fueled my love for the whole bokashi process and using bokashi in my vegetable garden!

The bokashi bucket is different from one with a spigot. Two buckets are nested one inside the other. The outermost bucket has a tight-fitting lid. The inner bucket has holes in the bottom to allow for drainage of any liquids into the outer bucket. During the fermentation period the bucket is drained regularly

I didn’t want to muck around with spigots and draining the tap every day or second day, so the bucket system worked well for me. It’s recommended to drain it every 3 days but to be honest I sometimes left mine for 5…

Spigot vs Bucket

The benefit of the spigot system is that you just need to open the tap to release the liquid. With the bokashi bucket, the top bucket is lifted out of the bottom bucket then set aside while you tip the liquid out of the bucket below.

When you’re comparing bokashi bucket reviews, the Zing Bokashi Composting System is a really cost-effective option with less to worry about (e.g. leaky spigots or extra parts). The seal on the bucket lid is excellent and you can feel the suction each time you go to remove it. I also like that the heavy-duty buckets are strong and durable; they’re not made of thin plastic that bends out of shape.

If you should need a replacement lid, then these are sold separately so you don’t have to go to the expense of buying another whole bucket system.

Comes with a comprehensive instruction booklet on everything you need to know on how to make bokashi.

sprinkling bokashi bran on bokashi bin food scraps
Sprinkling bokashi bran over the contents of a full Zing bokashi bin

Skaza Bokashi Organko 2 Review

Size: 4.2gal/16L | Spigot | Bran Included | No. of Bins: 2

Pros:

  • A complete starter system so no need to buy anything else to get setup
  • Spigot makes draining quick and easy
  • Comes with a dedicated levelling trowel to make compacting simple
  • Available in two colour combinations
  • Made using recycled, environmentally friendly materials

Cons:

  • Not very comprehensive instruction booklet

I know aesthetics aren’t the most important thing, but I do love the olive green/white colour option! I especially love that this set comes with a dedicated levelling trowel (this from someone who has been using their kitchen potato masher!) and a cup for collecting bokashi tea.

The instruction booklet is not very comprehensive, so be sure to refer to my bokashi guide if you find yourself needing further advice.

Again, by having the two bokashi bins, you’re able to continue discarding your waste while the fermentation process is taking place in the other composter.

Made in the EU, this company claims its products are made from recycled, environmentally friendly materials.

What I Learnt From My First Bokashi Bin 

  • It’s important to minimise the amount of oxygen that gets into your bokashi bin. I was careful to only open my bokashi once a day. I collected scraps in an old ice cream container then at the end of the day added it to my bokashi bin and sprinkled 1Tablespoon of bran over the top. 
  • For the same reason, it’s important to press the contents down flat to expel all oxygen that might be trapped around the food. You can do this with a potato masher as I did, or some kits come with a dedicated levelling trowel (see earlier bokashi bin review). You could also keep an old plate sitting inside the bin for this purpose. 
  • If your garden is full of plants when the fermentation process is finished, you can add the bokashi directly to your compost bin.
  • Your bokashi bin shouldn’t smell like a bed of roses but it isn’t a horrible smell. To me, the best way to describe it is sour ginger beer!
Vegetable garden after bokashi has been dug in
My vegetable garden after digging in fresh bokashi compost

Best Bokashi Composting Bin

At a very basic level, all you need to get set up for bokashi composting is a good quality bokashi bin and bokashi bran. When considering bokashi compost reviews, the best bokashi bins are ones that create a tight seal, allowing an effective fermentation process.

After this, it comes down to personal preference when considering whether you’d like the optional extras such as the cup for catching tea and the levelling trowel. You’ll also need to decide whether you’d rather start with just one bokashi bin or go for two.

I trust that this bokashi bin review has been informative in helping you find the bokashi bin that best suits your needs. Feel free to pop any comments or questions in the section below.

Happy shopping!

FAQS: Bokashi Bin Review

What are the disadvantages of bokashi?

There are two disadvantage of bokashi. The first being that in order for the process to work, you need to have a regular supply of bokashi bran or another EM inoculant on hand. This needs to be purchased or it is possible to make bokashi bran at home.

The other potential disadvantage of bokashi is that the bokashi bin is not large enough to handle grass clippings, leaves or yard waste. Its primary use is for household food scraps.

Is bokashi better than composting?

There are pros and cons to both methods so it is difficult to say that bokashi is better than composting. My article on bokashi vs compost is a great place to understand the benefits of both and which compost solution is right for you.

Although not the ultimate composting solution, bokashi composting does provide a faster, high-quality pre-compost compared to traditional composting and worm farming.

Is bokashi composting smelly?

Bokashi composting shouldn’t be smelly when done correctly. There will definitely be an odor when lifting the lid, but it isn’t offensive, rather a slightly sweet, pickled or fermented scent.

If it starts to smell rotten or unpleasant, something might’ve gone wrong in the process. Always make sure to use enough bokashi bran and seal the bin tightly!

What can and can’t be added to a bokashi bin?

You can read more about what can be added to a bokashi bin, but in general, bokashi bins love a mix of fruit and veggie scraps, meat, fish, cooked foods, dairy, eggshells, and your morning coffee grounds or tea bags.

In terms of what can’t be added to a bokashi bin, avoid large bones, liquids, plastics, metals, or diseased plants. Remember to keep a balanced mix with bokashi bran (sprinkle a generous tablespoon after each addition). You’ll soon be on your way to composting success!

profile picture of Gabrielle

About the Author

Elle Reed is a passionate gardener and advocate for teaching beginner gardeners how to grow their own food. Elle’s mission is to inspire and empower people to get back to basics, grow their own produce, and embrace a sustainable lifestyle. “Whether it’s a few herb pots in an apartment, a potager or a full garden plot, we can all ‘start somewhere’ to grow our own food, and in doing so, provide healthier food for ourselves and those we love”.

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In this Bokashi Bin review I compare 4 great bokashi bin options and what to consider before you buy. I also include some of my personal tips on how to make bokashi. #bokashibinreview #howtomakebokashi
In this Bokashi Bin review I compare 4 great bokashi bin options and what to consider before you buy. I also include some of my personal tips on how to make bokashi. #bokashibinreview #howtomakebokashi

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