I’m Almost Embarrassed It Took Me So Long to Buy This $40 Kitchen Upgrade

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Emma Hayes

There I was in a hot yoga studio with plenty of bright natural light and bending myself into pretzel like positions for the very first time.

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If you compost — and here at Kitchn, we recommend that you do — you need a quality compost container. Whether you have a bin or a pile on your property, or drop it off at a local composting service, you’ll need a place to store the scraps during the phase between “food” and “compost.” For most folks, keeping a container on the kitchen counter is easiest. This can be filled as you work and emptied periodically (into a larger bucket kept outside or in a garage until you’re ready to make a trip to the compost heap).

I’ve written fairly extensively about composting and feel passionately that all home cooks should do it. But my dirty secret is that for years, I was collecting food scraps in a random old salad bowl I once “liberated” from a workplace cafeteria.

To be clear, it was not a very refined system.

I’m lucky enough to have a yard, which means I can compost on my property. So, it’s not like carrot peels and old coffee grounds were hanging around for weeks on end. But, still, a bowl of sad, soggy food scraps just chilling on the counter doesn’t exactly say, “Welcome to my kitchen!” 

And, after two months of using it, I’m so glad I upgraded! Of course, it looks nicer next to my sink than an old bowl, but there’s one major feature I didn’t even consider: The Bamboozle container has a disposable charcoal filter on the lid, which blocks smells. This has been a major improvement in my routine. I used to have to dump my compost bowl every evening. Now, I wait until the Bamboozle is completely full before taking it outside. It’s 9 inches tall, so it holds a lot. While you’d think five days’ worth of food waste would get ripe-smelling, I’ve never noticed a foul odor coming from the Bamboozle. Well, until I open it, anyway. But that’s normal; it is compost scraps, after all. 

Now not only does my kitchen look nicer, but it also doesn’t smell like a dumpster! Which, obviously, makes me happy (I recommend this product for kitchen efficiency and just general life enjoyment).

If you’re getting the Bamboozle (because of course you are), here are four helpful tips to keep in mind — especially if you’re new to composting.

1. Don’t let your scraps touch the filter.

The filter should be changed every two months, but if actual food waste gets on it, you’ll notice that it stops working as efficiently. A pack of six replacement filters costs $10.

2. Don’t try to actually create compost in the container.

3. Don’t stress about any food stains. 

After a few weeks, I noticed that tea leaves and coffee grounds left stains on the inside of my container. I wash and dry it after each emptying, but these stains are persistent on the porous bamboo material. Avishai Greenstein, the brand manager at Bamboozle, let me know that they’ll soon be offering a custom-fit liner “for those who really want to keep the inside of the composter pristine.” As for me? Meh. It’s the inside of a compost bucket; I will not die on this hill. You can also get the same bucket in dark gray, which is a tip from Faith Durand, Kitchn’s editor-in-chief. Here’s the link for the white one!

The Bamboozle is made of biodegradable bamboo fiber, which gives it a light, almost delicate feel. The walls are thick enough to withstand any moderate damage, but I wouldn’t bang the bucket against the side of the sink to dislodge sticky food scraps. Although mine is still in perfect condition, I imagine that rough handling could do some damage.

I will definitely be using my Bamboozle compost bucket for years to come. If I ever get sick of the natural color, they also make bins in that “Charcoal” mentioned above and “Honey.” But, for now? I’m just so happy to be rid of that old bowl.

Do you have a compost bin you love? Let us know in the comments!

Rochelle Bilow

Contributor

Rochelle Bilow is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, the former social media manager at Bon Appétit Magazine and Cooking Light Magazine. She has also worked as a cook on a small farm in Central New York, and a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City. Connect with her @rochellebilow.





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Emma Hayes

There I was in a hot yoga studio with plenty of bright natural light and bending myself into pretzel like positions for the very first time.

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