How To Make Sauerkraut

Making Homemade Sauerkraut

Making homemade sauerkraut is easier than you may think. I was very surprised to discover that all you need is cabbage and salt. Yes, you heard right –  JUST cabbage and salt. Sounds crazy right? My family loves sauerkraut – especially my husband and my youngest son.

Besides the cabbage and salt, you will need a crock type container with a lid. I found a ceramic crockpot crock with a glass lid at a thrift store and that’s what I use. I’m sure other things would work – possibly a pyrex or corningware casserole dish with a lid. Also, there are actual crocks that are made for making sauerkraut in.  Besides that, you will need a small plate to place over your cabbage and a fairly heavy, clean rock to place on top of the plate.

Here Are The Steps:

1. I started with 2 smallish heads of green cabbage.

2. I peeled off about 2 or 3 outer leaves from both heads and set them aside.

3. I grated my cabbage in the food processor with the thinnest slicing blade. A mandoline or other type of hand grater or  thinly slicing with a chefs knife would work too.

4. I put the thinly sliced cabbage in a large stainless steel bowl

adding salt (1) resized 250ALT=adding salt to cabbage for sauerkraut5. I then sprinkled 1 Tablespoon of salt over my thinly sliced cabbage . I used pink Himalayan salt, but any salt will do. Note: If my heads of cabbage were really large, I would add almost 1 Tablespoon of salt per head of cabbage. My 2 heads were the equivalent of 1 large.

6. At that point, I washed my hands really well and dried them. Then the fun began.workin in salt (2)resized 250ALT=squishing cabbage to make sauerkraut

7. I dug both my hands in the bowl of salted cabbage and started squishing it in each of my hands. I heard one lady refer to it as “massaging” the cabbage. I guess it’s what you could call a very deep massage!

8. Continue squishing firmly with each hand. The point is for the cabbage to start releasing its juices. It may take 5 – 10 minutes depending on how much cabbage you have and how hard you releasing juices (3) resized 250ALT=releasing cabbages for sauerkrautsquish!

9. When you notice a lot of juices being released, lift up a large clump over your bowl to see if you have dripping juices – this is a good sign that you are ready to move your cabbage to the crock.pressing down (4)resized 250ALT=pressing cabbage down to make sauerkraut

10. Spoon your dripping cabbage into  your crock and then begin pressing small batches down very firmly with your fist – keep adding and press firmly showing juices (5) resized 250ALT=pressed juices released when making sauerkrautuntil done with all your cabbage.

11. I took my open hand and pressed down really firmly to see the juices between my fingers!cabbage leaves on top (6) resized 250ALT=outer cabbage leaves covering sauerkraut

12. At that point, when I was satisfied with that, I layered the outer cabbage leaves that I had set aside at first, on top of the cabbage. Make sure plate with rock (7) resized 250ALT=plate and rock on top of sauerkrautyou totally cover it.

13. I then found a small plate that fit into my crock and covered the cabbage.

14. I then topped the plate with a fairly heavy “clean” rock. I scrubbed mine with a stiff brush and dawn dish soap and water – rinsed and patted dry.crock in cupboard (8) resized 141x250ALT=crock with sauerkraut in cupboard

15. Lastly, I put the lid on and put it up in the cupboard above my refrigerator where it was warm and wouldn’t be disturbed. I then left it undisturbed for 5 – 7 days. At that point, check it by removing the lid, rock, plate and cabbage leaves. If you like what it tastes like, it is done. I like it at that point personally but it can be left longer if you want a more sour taste. If you see a little mold around the edges on your cabbage leaves, just gently scrape it off.

16. Here is your finished product. Fresh, homemade sauerkraut! Wasn’t that easier than you expected? I thought so!finished sauerkraut (9) with watermark17. Put your fresh, homemade sauerkraut in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it should keep for several weeks.