Compost grinders are new to the world, with a few old designs of kitchen waste shredders completely pushed out of the market by the latest designs, which pulverize, grind, and dry out your food waste for compost in less than eight hours.
While there aren’t many competitors, there are some great brands that have started producing these ingenious countertop food grinders that grind and prepare compost without the need for a compost pile at all. In this article, we will look at how they work, and their potential uses in your home.
Compost Grinders Product Ratings
1. Sage FoodCycler Compost Grinder
2. Vitamix Foodcycler Compost Grinder
Compost Grinder Buying Guide
What is a Compost Grinder?
Compost grinders turn food waste and kitchen scraps into dehydrated, ready to use, compost. For gardeners with small spaces, or balconies, there has been no way to make your own compost without losing space in the garden, until now.
Compost grinders take up a tiny portion of kitchen countertop, and can even live under the sink, making them an excellent option for gardeners who are sick and tired of their food scraps going to waste, simply because they don’t have anywhere to process their left-overs.
Why do you need a compost grinder?
Compost grinder machines are ingenious gadgets that turn food waste into compost. While they are primarily aimed at homes without large gardens, with limited composting space, or even apartment dwellers, they are a much more efficient way to create usable compost for dedicated gardeners too.
With removable buckets and easy to clean filters, they are super convenient ways to create plant food, whether you’re using them to create compost or just a mulching fertilizer.
Compost Grinders vs Food Shredders
Compost grinder machines work differently from traditional food shredders, which essentially just pulp your food waste. The old fashioned way still works, but only by speeding up the natural composting process, which can still take up to a year to break down into usable compost.
The biggest advantage of compost grinders is that, by dehydrating everything before grinding, they produce a finer end result with no odors, and don’t attract vermin.
What to Look for When Buying a Compost Grinder
It’s important to say that there isn’t much choice between brands right now, with two very similar owning 100% of the market, but keep an eye on this space over the next few months or years, as there are emerging brands coming out of Denmark and Malaysia that should start offering budget models online pretty soon.
As compost grinders become more commonplace, the chances are that they have varying capabilities. Some of the newest models which have yet to reach the US include fast drying models which won’t break down bones. The best compost grinders can break down bone, and eggshells – which even waste disposals won’t do.
How a Compost Grinder Works
The two leading brands of compost grinders both have a three-stage system, which removes moisture, grinds, and then cools the dry waste into usable EcoChips.
- Step 1: Dehydration (4-8 hours depending on moisture content)
- Step 2: Grinding (5-10 minutes depending on materials)
- Step 3: Cooling (30 minutes)
Once the machine has stopped, you’ve got EcoChips ready to use as compost, mulch or fertilizer in the garden, hanging baskets, or containers.
How to Use a Compost Grinder
Composter grinders are easy to use, and give great quality results. Their biggest asset though in our opinion is that they are capable of storing food waste until you’ve got enough to grind. So if you don’t make much waste, but still want to make your own compost, you can store scraps in the odor blocking compost caddy.
When you’ve got a full compost caddy, you simply load up the compost grinder and set it off. The clever machines do the rest.
Using EcoChips from a Compost Grinder
When your compost grinder turns off, your EcoChips are ready to use. EcoChips are the dehydrated and ground food waste from your kitchen, with all the nutrients, but none of the smell.
They make incredibly fast-acting fertilizer for houseplants, or hanging baskets, and are particularly great for tropical flowering plants thanks to their ability to include eggshells and bones, which provides plenty of calcium to your compost.
There are three simple ways to use the EcoChips from a compost grinder machine:
- Mix into the existing compost pile to add nitrogen and carbon to a green mix.
- Use directly as a mulching fertilizer.
- Mix into potting mixes to provide great moisture retention and for nutrient hungry plants like tomatoes or basil.
Compost Grinders Safety Guide
It’s essential to clean the components after each use to stop blades jamming up. Still, thankfully all the removable parts are dishwasher safe, making them easy to maintain.
The machine itself is incredibly safe, with low energy consumption, heating rather than cooking your food waste. It’s not advised to check on the process while the machine is in operation but it doesn’t reach any great temperatures so is safe to open if there is a problem.
Best Compost Grinder Reviews
Compost Grinder FAQs
Can you dehydrate your own kitchen scraps?
Dehydrating kitchen scraps is easy, but inefficient. Modern technology, and recently launched products like Compost grinders make light work of reducing your kitchen waste down, reducing odors and even making it compostable in under eight hours.
Dehydrating your own kitchen scraps in the oven takes just as long but uses more energy.
How do you grind down kitchen waste at home?
You can use all sorts of gadgets to grind down kitchen waste, helping it to compost faster, or simply take up less space in the trash.
Using your existing blender is a great quick way to reduce the volume of waste you produce or using an apple grinder, or leaf mulcher can make light work of heavy loads that can go straight on the compost.
For bigger composting needs, see our buying guide and product review on the best garden composters for 2022.
Wrapping Up Our Compost Grinder Guide
It’s not easy finding kitchen compost grinders, but they are worth the effort and will save you time and space too. If you’re starting a garden in an apartment, or have a small urban space to keep green, then a kitchen compost grinder machine is the perfect way to stay eco-friendly, make your own compost, and reduce your waste at the same time.