Do you hate throwing away food scraps? I do too. That’s why I was really excited to discover the Vitamix Foodcyler. This nifty little appliance can recycle your food scraps into fertilizer in just 5-8 hours.
Vitamix was kind enough to send me a Foodcycler to test in my own kitchen. I’ve been using it for over year now.
How the Foodcycler Works
The Food Cycler works by breaking down the food scraps into smaller pieces and then grinding them into a fine powder. The end result is a dry, compost-like substance that you can add to your plants as a supplement.
To use the Food Cycler, simply add your food scraps to the bucket and then press the power button. The machine will do the rest, breaking down the scraps and then cooling them down. Depending on the volume of food and the amount of liquid, it usually takes 4-8 hours to complete the cycle.
The Food Cycler is also equipped with two carbon filters to help reduce any odors. So you can use it without worrying about your kitchen smelling like a compost pile.
I’ve tested my own Foodcycler on things including raw onions, and remarkably, it doesn’t stink up the kitchen at all.
If you’re looking for a way to reduce food waste and give your plants a boost, the Vitamix Food Cycler is definitely worth checking out.
Where to Buy
I’m Tom from DIY Life Tech, and this is a look at the Vitamix Food Cycler. This is an appliance that kind of blows my mind!
It’s a device that actually will recycle your food scraps in your house. You put food scraps into it and it’s almost like a compost pile – breaks down your food scraps, turns them into fertilizer, but it does it in about five to eight hours instead of the several months it would take to use a traditional compost pile. And it does all of this in this little package.
It’s about a foot and a half tall, takes up just a little space on your countertop, or you could put it out in the garage. And again, it can break down all of your food scraps into a really nice almost like compost for your plants.
So let’s go ahead and try this out.
We open it up, and on the top here I’ve been using it a lot so you can see there’s a little residue. And it basically does this by heating and grinding the food scraps over a long time period.
So we’re gonna go ahead and just take this bucket out. Super solid non-stick coating on the inside. Obviously don’t touch those blades down at the bottom there. And then we’re going to go and fill this with different food scraps.
Okay, so here’s the aftermath of breakfast in my kitchen. And you can handle any kind of organic food scraps, but if you’re going to use it for fertilizer they recommend not using meat proteins or you know animal proteins like eggs. You can use egg shells though. I find that works fine.
So let’s just grab stuff. I’ve got these blackberries that fell out, this is the leftovers of an oat and chocolate bar, some strawberries. Let’s go in here, this bagel. Let’s see, we’ve got our egg shells so I’m gonna go ahead and add these. I recommend using a mix of different items for each batch that you run – just like a mix of foods is healthier for you, a mix of different foods is healthier for the plants that you’re going to feed this fertilizer to.
This clementine looks kind of old, so let’s just check that in. They say not to use too many citrus fruits, but if you mix it with other things it’s fine. It’s a good one. I got some coffee grounds here that adds nitrogen into the soil – so good for plants. So dump those in as well.
Now I’ve spilled some of these coffee grounds, so I’m just going to take this paper towel, clean that up. And then this paper towel is biodegradable, so that can just go straight into the food cycler as well. A flower here that’s shedding a bit – no problem, throw that in.
A little bit more of this leftover fruit, and we’re going to fill this up to the fill line. You can see here they say not to kind of mush the stuff down. You do want to have enough room that the air can percolate through there. So this is a pretty good amount. You could probably put a bit more in, but this takes care of most of my breakfast food scraps.
Now we’ll go back to the food cycler machine. You can see there’s a little arrow on the side here. We’re just going to align the arrow there so that this drops down, the handle folds in, it’s loaded into the machine.
Now another thing to note – if you don’t generate enough food scraps all at once to fill the bucket, you have this extra lid and you can keep the bucket out on your countertop. And this has a carbon filter, so you can put it on top and add to the bucket throughout the day. And this will keep the smells down and keep it covered, keep pests and flies and things out.
I generate so much food scraps that I don’t need this. Loaded that in. Now we’re going to go ahead and put the lid on, lining these arrows, locking it in. And then it’s super simple – we’re just going to press the power button.
You can see that’s about how much sound it makes. First it’s going to dry, then it’s going to grind, it’s going to cool down. Depending on the volume of food and the amount of liquid, it generally takes I find usually about four to eight hours. Usually in about that five hour time frame for me.
You may be wondering if this is heating all those scraps isn’t going to kind of stink, make a lot of smell. The answer is no. It actually has two carbon filters in the back here. And they do an awesome job I find of getting those odors out. So you can use this and you wouldn’t even know that it was running. Even if you’re doing things like onions or garlic – you know, really strongly scented things. I’ve processed those no problem at all. And it just – you want to leave enough room that it’s going to be able to vent the hot air out of the back there.
So let me just let it run. When it gets into the grinding setting you’ll hear a little more noise, but honestly it’s not as loud as you’d expect. It’s not like a Vitamix blender. Very quiet overall. And we’re just going to let this sit again for a couple of hours and then we’ll come back and see what it looks like.
So you can see this is what all those food scraps get reduced down to – this very small amount of super dry compost essentially. You can add this into your plants as a supplement. I’ve got my flower pot and go ahead and just dump that right in there. We go, mix it up. And there you have it. That’ll do a great job adding some extra nutrients to my soil. I can keep doing that with all my food scraps and adding that and amending my soil, making it better over time.
So that’s how you can use the Vitamix Food Cycler. Thanks to Vitamix for sending me one to check out. And again, I think it’s a pretty awesome technology for taking your food scraps and turning them into something you can use right in your own garden.