Homemade sauerkraut

  • Finely shredded cabbage
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 gallon stone crock

Select firm heads of cabbage.  Remove all bruised, decayed and outer green leaves.  Quarter and remove cores, wash and dry thoroughly before shredding finely.  Shred either with a sharp knife or with a kraut cutter.

One type of kraut cutter or cabbage shredder

One type of kraut cutter or cabbage shredder

Place about 3 inches of finely shredded cabbage in the bottom of the crock.  Sprinkle with about 1 Tbsp. salt. Do not use the free running iodized salt, but the medium coarse granulated salt.  Pound with a wooden mallet or hammer, until juicy.  Add another layer of cabbage, sprinkle lightly with salt and pound until juicy.  Continue in this manner until crock is almost full. Stir the mixture from time to time while pounding and taste the juice.  The amount of salt to be used should be governed by taste.  Too much salt tend to harden the kraut.

Place a 2 inch layer of whole cabbage leaves on top of the kraut, cover with a plate and weigh down until juice rises to cover the plate.  A glass jar filled with water, makes an excellent weight.  Set in a warm place, about 70F to ferment for about 1 week.  Fermentation is complete when the juice disappeares back into the kraut.  The cabbage absorbs the juice when properly fermented.  The kraut should be pack in jars and sterilized for 20 minutes.  Or pack in containers and freeze.

The whole cabbage leaves on top of crock should be discarded, also any darkened cabbage, if any, under the leaves.


8 responses

  1. Marg, where did you get your 4 gallon crock? You’re so blessed! My mom has (had?) a shredder like that. We always used it for potato slices. Memories! I want to make sauerkraut soon – and I’m unofficially shopping for a crock.

    • Wardeh, I have a crock collection! The crock I use for kraut is actually 6 gal. that I found at a garage sale (believe it or not) for $6. So check out those garage sales.

  2. I’ll say it again: you’re so blessed! That’s great that you collect crocks. I suppose I could advertise that I want one – on freecycle and in our local shopper and maybe even Craigslist. I don’t get around to garage sales since we live so far out and I only go out on Wednesdays, when there aren’t any sales. Wish me luck (I mean, prayers)!

    • Gosh, I didn’t mean to sound like I was boasting. 😳 Most of my crocks I inherited from family. A couple I was given and then the one I found at a garage sale. I love all things old fashioned so I held onto them.
      Praying you find the crock you need.

  3. Wardeh, most of the crocks around here are ones that people had come from their grandmothers. If you have friends in your area that have lived there most of their life, I would mention to them that you are looking for a crock. They are often collecting dust in people’s basements because they understand they have value but don’t know what to do with them. If they are going to be used for traditional use, not financial gain, they are more likey to part with them. That’s been my experience anyway. So get the word out!

    A word on cracked crocks. A crack doesn’t necessarily mean it leaks, you have to fill it with water to know for sure. I discovered my 2-gal. leaks yesterday. 😦 But my 6-gal doesn’t even though I see a crack on it.

  4. You could say “stone crock” as to not confuse it with a crock pot. If you were going to post on your blog, you could include a picture of one.

    I think most crocks in the olden day (when they were new) included lids? None of mine have their lids, so if you find one with a lid, you’ll be blessed! I use other things as a lid.

  5. Wardeh, at Lehman’s it’s called a German fermenting crock, it doesn’t look exactly the same as the old fashioned stone crocks, but I imagine it works the same.

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