I enjoy eating homemade sauerkraut. For years I thought making sauerkraut was a complicated process using special equipment but that’s not true. It’s easy and likely everything needed to make it is on-hand.
- wide-mouth jar
- cutting board
- measuring spoon
- large stainless-steel bowl
- mortar for pounding
- sealed bag to cover jar
1 t salt = 1 pound cabbage
Remove defective or dirty leaves from cabbage.
Cut core from cabbage with a sharp knife.
Using equation of 1 t salt for each pound of cabbage, measure needed salt; set aside.
Cut cabbage into fine shreds, trying to cut it very thin.
Place shredded cabbage in large mixing bowl; sprinkle with salt.
Let rest 10 minutes; it will begin to release juice.
Place several cups cabbage in jar.
I use a potato masher or mortar to pound mine; they both work well.
Pound cabbage down until packed in jar bottom and brine covers cabbage.
Add more cabbage; continue to pack jar.
Leave about 1.5 inches of head space at top of jar.
Juice from cabbage should cover cabbage.
If not enough brine because cabbage was dry, add a few t water.
Fill bag with water; add 1 T salt.
Seal and place in jar to provide airtight seal.
Set jar on plate to catch spills.
Keep jar at room temperature, 68 to 72 degrees.
If film yeasts or molds form on surface, skim off.
In three to four weeks the sauerkraut will be ready.
Taste sauerkraut periodically.
When ready, cabbage will have softened, salty taste will have diminished and it will taste like … sauerkraut!
Note: canning or pickling salt can be used instead of sea salt. Do not use iodized salt; it will prevent bacterial fermentation.
Cherlyn Beachy lives near St. Ansgar in northeast Iowa with her husband, Mervin, and their son and daughter. They have a large garden and raise their own chickens, beef, pork and eggs. She’s a stay-at-home mom who loves to cook and enjoys photography. “I cook like many of you – no special equipment, no exotic ingredients and no one else to wash the dishes,” she says. “I’m always on the lookout for tasty easy-to-prepare seasonal food.”