Condiment/ Do It Yourself/ Recipe

Homemade Sauerkraut

November 7, 2015 (Last Updated: February 11, 2019)

Making your own sauerkraut is possible to do at home

Sometimes I truly surprise myself….making this sauerkraut is a complete and total surprise.  

Don’t get me wrong.  This didn’t happen accidentally.  I knew I was making homemade sauerkraut.  I even planned it out.  The complete and total surprise comes from the fact that I’ve never liked sauerkraut.

 In fact I always made horrible faces whenever someone would simply mention the word sauerkraut.

My mom is a  sauerkraut fan and buys it from the grocery store from time to time.  My husband also loves sauerkraut! I didn’t like it.  I wouldn’t touch it.  I wouldn’t even buy it for my dear sweet husband!

Sauerkraut in a small crock

Then slooooowly things started to change.  My brother made the first batch of homemade sauerkraut.  He stated it was quite good and unlike anything you could buy in the store.  I was not convinced.  T

hen we were given a couple of old ceramic crocks from Rod’s grandmother, along with her recipe for sauerkraut!  No way was I going to use it, but the crocks looked great in our living room!  Finally my sister decided to make it!  What was going on here?

 I decided to get on the band wagon and  start reading up on this strange fermented cabbage.  I became intrigued….but still wasn’t going to be a fan!  No Way!!!cabbage sliced for making sauerkraut

For this batch, I used a huge cabbage…a 3 pounder.  You can use any size cabbage you want.  You are only limited to the size of your container.  

I used one of the old sauerkraut crocks that I was using as decoration in my living room.  You can find new crocks here. You start by cutting up all your cabbage.

making sauerkraut

Once your cabbage is cut, you begin layering it into your crock.  Between each layer, you sprinkle salt.  I used canning salt because it doesn’t have any additives like a non-caking ingredient or iodine.

 The absolute hardest part was getting all the cabbage into my crock.  The picture above shows just half the cabbage.  I had read that a 3 pound cabbage could fit into my crock, but it was full at just half way!

The trick….pushing it down.  I had to use my fist and push, and push, and push….. you get the idea.  Finally I was actually able to get all the cabbage into the crock.  Then the waiting…..

a crock full of cabbage for making Homemade Sauerkraut

Cabbage after a couple of days.

You need to check your cabbage every couple of days.  Slowly the liquid will start to be released from the cabbage.  You want your cabbage covered with this liquid after two to three days days.  If it hasn’t you will need to create a brine (water and salt) to cover the top.

My cabbage had drastically decreased in size after two days, but it took three days for the liquid to reach the top.  I then added a weight to keep the cabbage from floating up. I used a glass dish with a quart jar filled with water to give it some weight.  The entire top of the crock was kept covered with a clean dish towel.

Weighting down the sauerkraut

At the beginning you do need to check your crock every couple of days and remove any scum that may appear.  You can see in the pictures some whitish bubbles.  I removed those bubbles each time I saw them.

You also want to check for mold or discoloration.  Mine did not have an issue with mold or discoloration.  Wild Fermentation states it isn’t a problem and can simply be removed.

making sauerkraut

Your sauerkraut is ready whenever you think it tastes good.  The longer it keeps, the stronger the taste.  I kept mine going for 4 weeks.  

Once done, I simply transferred the kraut into clean quart canning jars and put into the fridge.  I decided not to can the kraut. You can, and it will keep for a long time in your pantry, but heating it kills all the probiotics that naturally occur in homemade sauerkraut.

 The only problem…I have 8 quarts of sauerkraut in my fridge!  I’m not certain how quickly we can eat all that kraut!

 8 quarts of Sauerkraut

My husband says the sauerkraut is great.  And I must admit, I do like it!  There is a nice crunch to the cabbage still and a tang from the fermentation.

 I eat it as a small side salad.  I’m still not certain I could slather a hot dog with sauerkraut, but I definitely don’t make faces at this delicious transformation food!  

So tell me…..Do you love sauerkraut?

Homemade sauerkraut. in a glass jar

5 from 7 votes
Homemade Sauerkraut
Prep Time
7 d
Total Time
7 d
Homemade sauerkraut.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, German
Keyword: homemade sauerkraut, how to make sauerkraut, sauerkraut, sauerkraut recipe
Author: Kathy
  • 2-3 pounds Cabbage
  • 2 Tablespoons salt non-iodized
  1. Chop up cabbage
  2. Layer into a ceramic crock or other food grade container.
  3. Sprinkle salt between layers.
  4. Push each layer down so the cabbage is compacted.
  5. Cover with a clean cloth, check daily to make certain liquid starts to cover all cabbage.
  6. Place a clean weight on top. Keep covered with cloth.
  7. Check every few days to remove and scum or mold.
  8. You can begin tasting kraut after a week. The longer it keeps, the stronger it gets.
Recipe Notes

My sauerkraut took about 4 weeks to ferment. Store in glass jars in the refrigerator. This recipe can be adjusted using a smaller cabbage or a much larger one. The process is the same.

Are you looking for other homemade ingredients?

You might want to try How to Render Pork Fat Into Lard

Homemade Lard

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  • Reply
    Sauerkraut Billy
    August 15, 2017 at 11:49 am

    This seems like such a great recipe Kathy! Thanks so much for your recipe! I love seeing such helpful and aesthetically pleasing photos to go along with the recipe as well. Can’t wait to give this one a shot the next time I make a batch of kraut!

  • Reply
    Katie @The Semisweet Sisters
    January 17, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Looks delicious! I love homemade sauerkraut & I love the health benefits it has.

    • Reply
      January 18, 2017 at 7:06 am

      Thanks, Katie!

  • Reply
    November 20, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I’ve been dying to try my own Sauerkraut recipe!!! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try <3

    • Reply
      November 22, 2015 at 6:32 am

      If you are a sauerkraut fan, you’ll want to make your own. So good!

  • Reply
    karrie @ Tasty Ever After
    November 11, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Love sauerkraut so much and I eat it with/on everything! I’ve been thinking of making my own for a couple of years now but never got the nerve up after I read some stuff about the mold that can grow on top. Now that I’ve seen how you have successfully made it, and checking out that Wild Fermentation site, I’m going to try it too! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Kathy!

    • Reply
      November 11, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      Time to give it a go! You will love it!!!

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