The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Large plastic tub source?

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MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

Large plastic tub source?

Does anybody have a good source for food-grade plastic tubs or bins? I'm looking for something that will hold at least 10 Gallons, maybe up to 15. Ideally round with rather large diameter (for easier dumping of the dough), Rectangular would also work. My two options locally are 50 bucks for an 18x24x9 inch tall rectangular tub (+ 15 bucks for a lid), or a 10-Gallon Rubbermaid trash can for 20 bucks (and a few more bucks for the lid).

Is there anything else out there that would work well for holding larger batches of dough? I have officially outgrown my 13-quart stainless steel bowls...

Stephan

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Try searching for "bus tub".

Like these: http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/kitchen/bus-tubs/c14405.aspx

This one will hold 19 gallons: http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/intermetro/mb34240g/p346965.aspx

$42.49 for 6 ($7 each). With shipping to zip code 55992, $65.41 for 6 ($11 each).

Is made of polyethylene, which is generally food-safe, but I'd call the manfacturer to be sure.

 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Any large city will have a commercial kitchen supply house that sells Cambro containers.  They are polypropylene and have extremely smooth interior surfaces.  More scratch resistant than the LDPE.  Also more expensive.  Also available on line - just shop around as the price varies a lot.

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I couldn't find any Cambros in the size (10+ gallon) he needs. The Camsquares and Camrounds top out at 22 quarts (5.5 gallons).

The Cambro poly boxes go up to 22 gallons, though. (link) They have lids too (link). They're unfortunately not cheap (link).

MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

The Cambro Poly boxes are actually the ones I'm mentioning above... Yes, they are not cheap - but it looks like I might be leaning towards them. I like the bus tub idea (if I could make sure they-re food-safe), but IIRC, bus tubs have a "ribbed" bottom - I don't know how easy it would be to get the doughs out and the tub cleaned.

I had bought a smller Cambro Poly box a while back and liked how the dough came out easily. Especially after leftovers dried, they would practically just flake off the plastic. With my SS bowls, once the sourdough dries on it, it takes a jackhammer and a good assortment of German profanity to get them clean again...:)

Thanks for the tips, guys.

Stephan

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I used to have the same problem with my 20 qt SS bowl.

I found a tip online that said to fill it with water, add a bit of dishwashing liquid (not regular soap), and soak overnight.

Works very well; no profanity required.

:D

MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

The problem is that I have twelve dirty bowls by the time I'm done...:)

The French and Corn Bread bowls clean pretty easily, but the Whole Wheat Sourdough, Sourdough Baguette and Whole Wheat Flax require some elbow grease. I usually pour in some hot water and soap, make sure to get everything wet, then scrape with a solid curved scraper and (now) use a steel wool pad to get the rest... it gets the job done, but I sure won't miss this chore once I switch to plastic.

Stephan

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Time to hire a dishwasher!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

http://rmn.craigslist.org/bfd/

Look for restaurant/bakery auctions.

This auction from yesterday (in St Paul, MN) had just about every Cambro form one can buy.

You'll find containers for pennies on the dollar.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

cold dissolves the flour   

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

I just baked 6 loaves (4.5 kg) of sourdough this morning that I prepared in a big food safe bus tub with ribbed bottom that I got at the local Cash and Carry store (big brother to Smart and Final stores, both share a common owner).  That batch of bread was only about half the capacity of the tub too.  The ribbed bottom is only a pain during the very first mixing stage.  Once the autolyse is completed and the dough comes together, it is much easier.  After adding the salt and moving on to the rest of the stretch and folds it is not an issue.  I find that it takes me a couple of extra minutes with a plastic board scraper/dough knife to clean it out well enough to satisfy the "neat freak" in me.  I scrape it out onto my bench for the first fold, then I just rub out the rest with some bench flour, oil the tub and return the dough to the tub for bulk fermentation.  MNBacker is correct about the dried residue just flaking off, too.  Piece of cake to clean at that point. 

The only other drawback I find, in a home kitchen, is that the tubs are too big for the sink.  Fortunately it fits down into the opening of mine like a false-sink insert though, so I can wash it out there.  I still have to lift it, and the water, up and carefully dump it, or I sluice water all over the place.

Both Cash and Carry and Smart and Final carry the tubs as well as many other Cambro tubs and barrels.  I store my flour in big Cambro poly buckets with lids.  Each bucket will hold about 30 pounds, so a 25 pound sack fits easily.  Two buckets will hold more than a 50 pound sack, so I don't have to be completely out before refilling.

wally's picture
wally

WalMart stocks 15-18 gallon Rubbermaid rectangular bins and lids.  Pretty cheap - about $9 for bin and lid.  I purchase them for our bakery.

Larry

MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

Larry - are those NSF-approved? That'd be a huge money-saver!

Stephan

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I saw a similar post re:Walmart containers when searching yesterday.

Here it is: http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/food-grade-buckets-walmart/

Quote about color of container and food safety (although not sure its globally applicable (might be just that brand)):

The receptionist at the company stated “Yes. If the buckets are white, transparent, or natural (beige), the buckets are 100% FDA- approved food grade. If they are other colors, they are rated food-safe, not food grade.”

Tried searching the FDA's website for more info., but after about 3 minutes, decided I'd prefer to jump into a volcano full of molten lava than spend one more minute on that website.

wally's picture
wally

I don't think the roughneck totes are NSF approved, though not 100% sure about that.

Larry

MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

My local restaurant supply store offered me the Rubbermaid trash cans as an options, stating that they are approved for food - that's why I am seriously curious about the totes. My local Menards had light green 18-Gallon Rubbermaid Staorage totes (#5 plastic) on sale for 6 bucks with lid. I bought ten at that price - now I'm waiting to hear back from Rubbermaid if I can have doughs in them without concerns.

Stephan  

MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

Here's the reply I got from Rubbermaid regarding their CleverStore tote:

"Products intended for use in contact with food comply with all applicable United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Food contact products are identified as such by wording and illustration on their packaging. Products without such designation should not be used for food contact purposes."

This one, though #5 PP, is marked for general storage, not food storage. Even though it might be perfectly fine, I can't, with a good conscience, take that chance. Cambro containers it is (at a significantly higher cost).

Stephan

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

:)

How do you plan to tip such a heavy tub without injury?   Kitchen crane?  Cart with a drop side?  

MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

Mini,

my heaviest batch of dough (18 2# loaves of Whole Wheat Flaxseed) weighs roughly 36 pounds - maybe 38 with the tub. I'm still young and strong enough to lift that weight and put it onto the kitchen counter...:)

Stephan

www.firebrickbread.com

 

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

Watch your back, but it is not as heavy as a 50# sack of flour, and when the truck comes you have to handle more than one of those.

Once a week it makes for a good workout.

And it will help you feel young (until you feel old).

MNBäcker's picture
MNBäcker

When I was an apprentice back in Germany, flour would come in 50 KILO bags (that's about 110 pounds). We didn't have to haul the bags up the stairs into the attic (the delivery guys did that), but every time we needed a new bag, it was a trip up the stairs, throw one onto your shoulder and back down the stairs. Those were the days... (of course, I also was an "indestructible" teenager then:).

Today, I buy my grains in 25 pound bags. I usually get 20 at a time and carry them in 2's into the basement. When I need one, at least I have to carry only one at a time up the stairs into the kitchen.

Oh, and the sugar came in 100 kilo bags - at least that we stored on the first floor.

 

Stephan

AlexLe's picture
AlexLe

How do you plan to tip such a heavy tub without injury?   Kitchen crane?  Cart with a drop side

Harry Weaver's picture
Harry Weaver

Nay Bakery or Butcher's supplier will have what you need.

Plastics ain't plastics, Sole.

There is a distinct difference between plastic and food grade plastic and I seriously doubt garbage bvins work in that parameter. I have used them in the past. to keep flour, caster sugar, etc, but kept the ingredients in the bag still.

 

If you get butcher's meat tubs, for example, thay come with lids, are stackable and made from food grade plastic.

This sort of thing:

http://www.butcherathome.com.au/shop/general-meat-preparation-meat-tubs-c-6_39.html?zenid=cegdd8ued8bgvs02qpohqivmm0

But, of course, pick a supplier to suit you locale.

 

Red5's picture
Red5

38 pounds is not a lot to lift. Bakers have to lift 50 to 100 pounds bags of flour repeatedly during 8-10 shifts.

Many bakeries do use 55 gallon rubbermaid bins or smaller, it's common practice. 

polo's picture
polo

Check Sterlite products. It is what I use to mix my 24Lb batches. Internet searches and company website claim that they are safe for food storage.

http://www.sterilite.com/general_info.html

Scott Wooten's picture
Scott Wooten

If you have a local supplier for home brewing.....they will have A LOT of food grade buckets that malt, barley, and liquids are shipped in. They divide the products into smaller quantity and will have the bulk contaners as leftovers. They should sell them pretty cheap. Stick with food grade!!!