People around the world waste over 1.3 billion tons of food every year. Composting your kitchen waste helps cut down on how much food decomposes in landfills. It allows you to use your food scraps to nourish your garden.
Many people throw away food scraps because they don’t know what else to do with them. You can decompose some food into compost, but you need outdoor space for a compost bin or pile.
Electric composters have solved many compost problems. They’re small enough to use for your apartment composting, don’t release odors, and keep bugs out. Because they have a motor, they do all of the work for you.
What is Electric Composting?
Electric composters are innovative alternatives to traditional composting. Since they’re about the size of a trash can, they allow you to compost inside your home.
These machines reduce odor and emissions so they’re safe to use inside. Contrary to traditional composting, you can add meat and dairy products into the machine to create rich compost.
The motors inside of electric composters do all of the work that you’d normally have to do yourself with an outdoor compost pile.
Electric Composting vs. Traditional Composting
Traditional composting takes months to create nutrient-rich compost. Because you have to add so much brown and green organic material, you need a lot of outdoor space. When you add grass clippings, food scraps, leaves, and branches, you turn the compost to aerate it.
It can be hard to create indoor compost. Trying to use a compost bin made for outdoor use will release odors into your home. It also takes up a lot of space.
Electric composters are small. Many models will fit on your kitchen compost counter. Others are the size of a garbage can, so you can store them in a cabinet.
Electric composting takes all of the work out of the chore of composting. It takes only 48 hours to turn food scraps into compost. You can even add meat and dairy products to the indoor composter, along with fruit and vegetable scraps.
While traditional composting relies on worms to help aerate the material, electric composters have lids to keep odors in, and fruit flies out.
There’s a thin line between allowing the compost to dry out or keeping it so moist that it molds, and electric composters balance it just right. They cycle through three phases to create compost.
How Do Electric Composters Work?
Electric composters have three phases to break down food waste and turn it into compost. Depending on your indoor composter, the process can take as little as five hours. Most take up to 48 hours to complete.
The first phase uses heat to dry the compost. Outdoor compost piles often reach anywhere from 120 to 170℉ due to sun exposure. Electric composters reach an internal temperature of 160℉ to dry the organic material.
As the electric kitchen composter heats the compost, it gently turns it to sterilize all of the material. Drying the food waste reduces the volume,, so you can add more to your electric composter.
The second phase is grinding, which is similar to turning a traditional compost pile. The electric kitchen composter uses grinding gears to turn the reduced material, breaking it down into smaller particles.
Grinding happens quickly, with most machines completing one revolution per minute. Since electric composters make such small pieces of compost, they break down easier in the soil to immediately deliver nutrients to your plants’ roots.
The last cycle of the electric composter is the cooling phase. The internal temperature of the machine decreases until the compost is safe to handle.
The machine is still working during the cooling phase. Electric composters are always aerating and dehumidifying the material so it won’t mold or rot.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Composters?
As with any gadget, there are advantages and disadvantages of electric composters.
Not only do these machines do all of the work for you, but they do it quickly! You can add food waste and have fresh compost in anywhere from 3 to 48 hours.
You can use electric composters inside, so you don’t have to consider the weather.
These bins are compact and fit in small spaces. Many models can sit on your kitchen counter, while you can store others in a cabinet like a trash can.
Odorless and Pest-Free
These kitchen composters have lids to keep pests from getting into your food waste. They also prevent odors from entering your home.
Electric composters take more food waste than traditional composting can handle. You can add meat, dairy products, processed food, small bones, and more.
Electric composters can be expensive, especially when you compare them to traditional composting, which is close to free.
If you’re composting to help the environment, you might not like that you’re using more electricity to run the machine. It can also raise your utility bills, adding to the overall expense.
Noisy Operating Time
Since these are electric machines, you’ll hear noise when they’re running. Depending on the model you buy, the noise might not be too loud or disruptive, but it’s something to consider.
How to Choose an Electric Composter
Most electric compost bins on the market are similar in the phases they go through to make compost. They have competitive outputs as well. So what should you consider when you’re choosing an electric composter?
Because these appliances are small, you can keep them on your kitchen counter all of the time. If that’s your plan, you might want to choose a machine that fits in with the rest of your kitchen decor.
Different models come in various colors with sleek finishes. Choose something eye-catching so your guests will ask about your nifty new appliance!
Indoor electric composters can cost several hundred dollars, so you want to find one that fits in your budget. Keep in mind that composting pays off, and you’ll spend less on fertilizer and have a more robust garden or flower bed as a result of this investment.
Best Electric Composters Review
These three electric composters are the best available. Read the specs on each to decide which will suit your needs.
The Vitamix FoodCycler is one of the easiest electric composters to use. There’s a fill line on the inside so you won’t overfill the machine. Beyond that, all you have to do is press the power button, and the composter does the rest.
You don’t even have too long to wait because the machine completes the cycle in 4 to 8 hours. You can remove the electric compost bin to take the compost outside and mix it with your soil. Cleanup is a breeze because the bucket is dishwasher-safe.
- 2.5 liter capacity
- Processing time is just 4 to 8 hours
- Removable bucket for easy compost removable
- Interior compost bin is dishwasher-safe
- Only comes with one bucket, and extras are very expensive
- Regularly replace the carbon filter to ensure no odors escape
The KALEA Automatic Kitchen Composter is the size of a kitchen trash can. It’s sleek and white and fits next to your cabinets without taking up too much space.
Put your food scraps in the machine and turn it on. The first chamber shreds the material before funneling it to the composting chamber. This increases the temperature and drops the finished compost in a small bucket at the bottom of the machine.
Downsides include that it’s more expensive than other options and takes longer. You still get compost in 48 hours, so it’s much quicker than traditional composting. It’s also larger than other models, holding 10 liters of waste.
- Unique app to control your KALEA and learn about composting
- Holds up to 10 liters of food scraps
- You can store the resulting compost for two years
- Removable compost bin allows you to easily take compost outside
- Takes 48 hours—much longer than the Foodcycler
- More expensive than other options
The Lomi Electric Composter is so simple that there’s only one button on the machine. After you fill the container with up to three liters of food scraps, turn on the machine. In just four hours, you’ll have compost.
This machine is unique because it has an option to break down compostable plastics. It takes up to 10 hours, but it’s a great way to use things you might otherwise throw away. Select your option by holding down the power button longer.
The Lomi composter has a unique look, but because of its rounded shape, it might not fit well on your kitchen counter. It takes up a lot of room, so you might store it away and only bring it out when you need it.
- Holds three liters of food waste
- Can break down compostable plastics
- Makes compost in as little as four hours
- Interior bucket is dishwasher-safe
- Rounded shape makes it harder to keep out of the way
- Must preorder a machine before it ships in 2022
After learning about electric kitchen composters, you might have some lingering questions. Find your answers here before you buy your own machine.
1. Are Electric Composters Worth It?
Yes! It might seem strange to buy a machine to do what you can do for free in nature, but it’s worth the investment.
You’d keep larger, traditional compost bins outside. You can only add certain green and brown organic wastematerials to the mix. You have to turn it yourself so air can reach every inch. Sometimes you have to add water to keep it moist, but if you add too much, you can cause the pile to mildew.
Electric composters fit inside your house and don’t take up much space. Best of all, they do all of the work for you. You can put almost any type of food waste and organic matter in the machine and have nutrient-rich compost in as little as 48 hours.
2. How Much Electricity Does a Foodcycler Use?
A Vitamix Foodcycler uses about one kilowatt hour (kWh). This isn’t much electricity—it’s equivalent to how much a desktop computer uses in the same amount of time.
A complete cycle to create compost lasts anywhere from four to eight hours. The average cycle for 2.5 liters of food waste is about five hours.
That means running the Foodcycler is the same as keeping your computer on for five hours. You probably already do this without noticing a major increase in your utility bill, so the Foodcycler won’t be too expensive to run.
An interior sensor detects how dry your food scraps are. When it feels like the compost has reached the right levels of dryness and humidity, the machine stops running.
3. Is Lomi Composter Legit?
Yes. Because you have to pay a deposit and wait for a model to ship, many people aren’t sure about how legit Lomi composters truly are.
Early adopters of this appliance share online reviews raving about this product. It’s small and stylish and they love how it looks in their kitchen. Elements are dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
People especially love that the machine can handle compostable plastics. This is a unique feature for electric composters. As more companies use compostable plastics for straws and disposable cutlery, it’s a great idea to get a machine that can make the most out of this potential waste.
Not everyone has the time and space to create a traditional compost pile outside. Electric composters give everyone a chance to reduce food waste.
Because these appliances are so small, you can keep them on your kitchen counter or in a cabinet. Choose from different colors and finishes so it looks great with your decor.
The electric composters on this list are some of the best available. Press a single button and you’ll have fresh compost in as little as four hours. Your garden will love you for it.