December 9, 2013

Sauerkraut two ways

Jar of jalapeno saukerkraut with some being scooped into a serving bowl.

Homemade sauerkraut can be made in small batches using a Mason jar and a few other items.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase an item from these links, a small percentage goes to support the work of this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I tried a couple batches of sauerkraut this fall and recently pulled them out of the back of the fridge to give them a smell and taste. They are good, and definitely have a funk that you expect from ferments and sauerkraut. I think that I still have a way to go before "perfecting" my ferments though. 

I'm finding that so much depends on the temperature when you start the ferment. You need to check it to make sure it's still bubbling and that it's not getting too warm (should be room temperature). I have used the recipes in Nourishing Traditions as a baseline for making my sauerkraut. These recipes make one quart and use 1 medium head of cabbage to two tablespoons of sea salt. 

It can come out a bit salty and I'm hoping to find ways to use less -- you definitely don't want to use a super fine grain salt, it will be too much. I discovered that you can use reCAP Mason jar lids to turn a Mason jar into a fermenting crock (find instructions here). 

It's great! Plus when you finish the fermenting process, you can use them to cover the jars in your fridge, or replace them with a regular Mason jar lid and use the reCAPs to make more ferments. They are also great for using your jars to make salad dressing, syrups, etc. that you can easily pour and store.

The two sauerkraut recipes I made are for jalapeno kraut and caraway kraut. Both make 1 quart of sauerkraut. I'm hoping that these recipes will inspire more people to try fermenting and preserving foods.

Jar of finished caraway sauerkraut.

Jalapeno sauerkraut
1 medium green cabbage, cored and shredded
2 jalapenos, thinly sliced (remove seeds for less heat)
2 tablespoons medium grain sea salt

Caraway sauerkraut
1 medium green cabbage, cored and shredded
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons medium grain sea salt

For both variations: Mix all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Pound with a meat pounder (or similar) for about 10 minutes. You want to do this until the cabbage releases its juices. 

Then pack the cabbage mixture into a quart mason jar. Use the pounder to push and pack the sauerkraut into the jar and ensure the juices come to the top and cover the cabbage. 

Use a whole piece of cabbage leaf (one of the outer layers) to cover the top of the cabbage and keep it under the juices. You can also use a weight. Top with the reCAP lid and your homemade airlock (optional, some people simply use regular Mason jar lids and rings). 

Let sit at room temperature for about 3 days - taste, smell, and watch the bubbles. When the airlock is no longer producing bubbles, or the kraut reaches your desired level of sourness, it's time to remove the airlock, cover the jar, and put it in your refrigerator. 

You want it to reach that "sweet spot" where it tastes funky, but not rotten! Most people I've talked to seem to recommend waiting about 6-8 weeks before eating your sauerkraut.

Jar of caraway kraut with air lock on top.

Caraway sauerkraut above and jalapeno sauerkraut below.

Jar of jalapeno sauerkraut with an air lock on top of the jar.


  1. Hi Amy, happy blog anniversary. Keep up the good job, hope to see more interesting recipes from you.

    Both the sauerkraut look very appetizing.. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a nice day.

  2. I have just begun to appreciate sauerkraut, thanks to trying it homemade! Love your fun flavor twists. And congrats on your anni!

  3. Dear Amy, Congratulations!!! These two sauerkrauts sound wonderful though I am drawn to the one with jalapeƱo. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  4. Happy Blogiversary! I have never made sauerkraut before, but you have inspired me to try!

  5. Happy blogaversary! I love the caraway version of your sauerkraut :)

  6. Hello little sister. I am already a liked and follower. I have pickled cabbage but not made sauerkraut. I have bought a fermenting kit and book, hoping to do so. Val

  7. I was just reading about and talking to my husband about fermenting sauerkraut instead of canning it. He says he's been doing it the same way for 35 years and he doesn't want to change it. I however, am going to experiment and make a quart of fermented kraut. I was reading how canning it actually pasteurizes the kraut and kills off the probiotics. I want to preserve as many of the probiotics as possible. Thanks for posting this! I have only a pint of our homemade canned kraut left and I need to make more so this blog is good timing!

  8. congrats for your blog my friend!
    i guess this saurkraour is just perfect for my homemade schweinshaxe.....
    looks nice and tangy comfort!

  9. happy blogiversary!! Your blog is absolutely fabulous :) as are these saurkrauts - they sound soooo delicious!

  10. I love a good kraut. These look great! Happy blogiversary! :)

  11. Happy blog day! Loving these recipes, sauerkraut is a favorite as a child and still is going strong today!

  12. Happy blogiversary! Four years is great! I've not made sauerkraut before, but I keep reading about the health benefits of fermented things. I should try that! Fun post - thanks.

  13. These krauts are awesome!! I'm super intrigued by the jalapeno version. Happy blogiversary!!


I love to hear from you!