Are you a prepper? If so, have you heard about the Firehouse Subs pickle buckets? If not, I’m here to give you the inside scoop! You can thank me in the comments. Just kidding, but I hope you are excited for the information in this article.
Being a prepper, I am always looking for food grade buckets. However buying them even through Amazon can cost a small fortune for just three of them. That would be why I hadn’t purchased any yet. My budget is at cheap and free most of the time. I love being prepared, but that doesn’t mean I have an endless supply of money to throw at being a prepper either. The money tree is experiencing a drought.
Recently I had come across someone mentioning that Firehouse Subs sells their food grade buckets for $2 each. Now that is an excellent deal! It had been on my list of things to check out, and made a stop in last week.
Food grade buckets are important in prepping and even just food storage in general because they have a million uses. For me, I love the lids and how tight they seal. This keeps oxygen and any other contaminants out of the buckets, keeping foods safer and more secure.
Food sealed in mylar bags can be stored anywhere and in traditional plastic buckets. However the general consensus among many preppers is to add that extra layer of protection by using food grade buckets. I agree with this because food is expensive and waste is just throwing money away. Do it right and do it right the first time around.
These specific buckets are home to the Firehouse Subs pickles before being emptied, washed, and sold to the public. The problem here is these buckets smell like pickles! The car ride home was great because I could smell them. I love pickles, so it was a good smell. Then I got them home and opened the buckets.
I love pickles, but oh my word. My office reeked of pickles. Nathan called it the pickle room for two straight days. He announced he was going into the pickle room when he needed something in my office.
I washed the buckets with dish soap and even soaked them before thoroughly drying and allowing to sit out. They still smelled. I researched possible options for removing the smell so I can use them. I came across several options and picked what I thought would work best.
Let them sit out in the sun for a month or two and air out naturally after rinsing thoroughly with hot water. I live in Oregon where we have two seasons. August and the rainy season. Not exactly a viable option. Plus sunlight degrades plastic to cause it to become brittle and crack. I wasn’t a fan of this choice and I don’t have months to babysit buckets waiting for them to cease smelling of pickles.
Baking soda and newspaper. Now this one I could work with! I have both of these easily available and it doesn’t break the bank. Fill the bucket with crumpled up newspaper and some baking soda and let it sit to absorb the smell for 1-2 weeks.
This is a very viable option in terms of availability and cost. There is a ton of availability and very little cost. I didn’t try this one personally, but it would be a good choice. If you have tried this specific method, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Coffee. This is the one that makes the most sense to me, and also had the shortest turnaround time for removing the smell. Think about visiting a perfume store or counter in a department store. Right next to the little paper or cardboard sample strips is usually a bowl of coffee beans. In between sampling perfumes, we smell the coffee beans to remove the previous smell, right? That is why this option made perfect sense to me, and I wanted to give this a try.
The best option for this would be whole beans. However grounds work just fine as well. Work with what you have, and don’t spend anything extra. The only whole beans I had were from Black Rifle Coffee and a limited edition blend. I wasn’t using those just for a pickle smell! Instead I was able to find a can of cheap store brand grounds in the pantry, and that was perfect for this project.
I didn’t measure this at all when putting them in the buckets. In all of the articles I read, there were no measurements listed in any. I went with enough to cover the bottom of each bucket. Once the buckets were sealed, I stacked them up in my office again to let them sit.
The one big thing I did was flip them over each day. Day 1, sitting upright. Day 2, sitting upside down. Rotating this each day was helpful because I noticed the lids were the biggest source of the pickle smell.
Once they sat for a week, I soaked them in hot water with the coffee grounds for about 4 hours, and then washed thoroughly and allowed to dry overnight. After airing out, they were good to go. There may still be a faint pickle smell, but even Nathan had to really look for it. Or sniff, I suppose.
My favorite things about these buckets are:
Price. At $2 per bucket, it is not breaking the bank to buy these. I will be buying more very soon too. But keep in mind that these are grabbed up quickly. It may be a toss up if they’ll have any when you go. Keep trying whenever you are in the area and have time to stop in to Firehouse Subs. I felt extremely lucky that I got three of them in one visit.
The buckets are easy to open. Some food grade buckets are almost impossible to open. Like breaking into a jail cell would be easier than opening a plastic bucket. Even I could open these with minimal effort because of the lid design.
Multiple uses. The buckets can be used for storing my food, and pet food inside as well. I have a bunch of individual freeze dried meals that came in a box or are loose that will be going in one of these buckets. I’m a stickler for organization, and this is a perfect solution!
Last week I had a massive ant attack in my house. Cue the swearing here. Because they went after Tigger’s food, which was kept in a really old cat litter bucket, with a sketchy lid. It was easy for the ants to get in, and let me tell you, they did! After an emergency trip to Costco, his food is now kept in a pickle bucket. The ants aren’t getting his food again. That was a very costly mistake for me. Side note, an entire bag of cat food from Costco (25 pounds) will easily fit into the pickle bucket, and it is perfect.
Have you used these buckets? If you have, I would love to hear about the uses you’ve found for them so I can learn more and put them to even better use around the house.