Bring on The Briner

“I should have invented that!” my husband said to himself when he first saw The Briner. People who are handy apparently say this to themselves often, but in this case it’s true: He should have invented that!

The Briner & Briner Jr.He gave me The Briner and The Briner Jr. for Christmas. They are food-grade buckets, 22-quart and 8-quart, respectively, made in the USA. Each comes with a lid and a flat plate that fits inside and locks into place between indentations that run in vertical rows down opposite sides of the bucket. I don’t know how much Robert paid for the set, but on the manufacturer’s website it costs $60. You can get these two buckets with a third, the 3.5-quart Briner Mini, for just $15 more.

The strange thing is that the manufacturer hasn’t figured out that these buckets are good for fermenting vegetables. One photo on the website shows corn on the cob, presumably getting a brief soak in the bucket before grilling. But there are no other photos of vegetables and no mention of vegetables or fermentation. The website is all about brining meat.

weights over brining watermelons
A sorry way to weight watermelons

 

As I mentioned in my last post, I began brining some watermelons in a food-grade plastic trash can in October. Unfortunately, I have no plate big enough to fit inside the trash can. If I had an old-growth tree to cut up, I could create something appropriate. Instead I filled an assortment of food-grade containers with water and used them in place of both a plate and weights. This setup is not working very well.

Brining cabbage

The other day I started brining a single, 2 ½-pound whole cabbage in The Briner Jr. The process was shockingly easy: Insert cabbage, pour over brine, add a few aromatics, insert plate, turn it to lock it in place, snap on lid. The lid may need burping from time to time, though I could avoid that little task by leaving the lid loose. But otherwise I have nothing to do but wait. Once fermentation is underway I may carry the bucket from the kitchen downstairs to the cellar, but that will be easy: The bucket weights little more than its ingredients.

I can’t find the inventor’s name on the website, but I thank him for his ingenuity. I hope he profits well from his invention.

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