How to Make Sauerkraut Easily at Home

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Sauerkraut and sausage

Sauerkraut and sausage

So you want to learn how to make sauerkraut? In this recipe post I’ll explain how you can make your own healthy, delicious sauerkraut easily at home! It’s a great activity for fathers and kids.

Before you get started, you’ll need a few supplies like a mason jar and an airlock lid to ferment your sauerkraut in. Check out this post and gather your supplies before continuing to learning how to make your own sauerkraut.

Real sauerkraut has only two ingredients:

  1. Organic cabbage
  2. Sea salt

So your shopping list is pretty simple. You need about 2 small heads of cabbage per 1/2 gallon jar, and 2 tablespoons of sea salt. You use about 1 Tbsp of salt per head of cabbage. I like pink Himalayan sea salt or Real Salt, which is from Utah. Go for finely ground salt, not coarse. Now that you have your supplies you’re ready to learn how to make sauerkraut.

How to make sauerkraut

  1. Wash cabbage
  2. Chop cabbage into pieces that will fit into the food processor
    1. Cut around and discard the base and core of the cabbage
    2. If you don’t have a food processor, manually chop cabbage into small strips
  3. Put a slicing blade into the food processor
    1. The kind that goes at the top of the bowl and slices food as you feed it down the chute on top
  4. Turn food processor on low and feed cabbage pieces into the top
    1. It will slice them into strips
    2. When the bowl is full, empty the cabbage into a large mixing bowl
  5. When you have a bowl full of cabbage, sprinkle sea salt on top
    1. About 1 Tbsp of salt per medium size head of cabbage
    2. With smaller cabbage, use a little less – 2 or 2.5 tsp
  6. Using your hands (or your kid’s hands), begin squeezing and mashing the cabbage and mix it with the salt
    1. After several minutes it will soften and reduce in size
    2. It will also produce its own brine, or saltwater solution, as the salt pulls the moisture out of the cabbage
    3. You can let the cabbage-salt mixture rest for a few minutes and chop more cabbage; it will continue to soften and make brine as it sits
    4. After it sits, squeeze and work the cabbage again
  7. You will end up with enough brine that the cabbage can be mostly submerged underneath the liquid
  8. Next, begin packing the cabbage-salt mixture into your jar
    1. Use a wooden spoon or your hand if it can fit inside the jar
    2. Pack the cabbage down into the jar firmly
    3. You want all the cabbage to be completely submerged under the brine (liquid)
  9. Only fill the jar about 2/3 or 3/4 full at most – it will expand over time and can overflow
    1. Make sure all the cabbage is submerged under the brine
    2. Put the airlock lid on the jar
    3. Put a label on the jar with the date you made it
  10. You’re done! Now the waiting game.
    1. It’s a good idea to put the jar in a bowl because the sauerkraut can expand and overflow, creating a big mess
    2. Over the next few days, you’ll want to repack the sauerkraut, as it will expand
    3. Keep the cabbage submerged under the brine – this prevents it from molding
  11. Let the sauerkraut sit for 2-4 weeks
    1. This is the hard part, waiting patiently
    2. Let the bacteria do their thing; this is when the fermentation happens
    3. Keep an eye on it and make sure the cabbage stays submerged
    4. If any exposed cabbage begins to mold, scrape that part off the top and let the rest keep going
  12. After 2 weeks, open the lid and taste your sauerkraut
    1. If it’s sour enough, replace the airlock lid with a regular lid and put the jar in the refrigerator
    2. If you want it more sour, let it go longer and taste again
    3. The longer it ferments, the more sour it becomes
  13. Once it’s complete it will stay good for several months in the fridge!

Now you know how to make sauerkraut! Once it’s ready, try some sausage and sauerkraut or eat it with fried eggs for breakfast.

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