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How to Make Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is the perfect topping or a great complement to any side dish. Control the salt and the flavor by making your own sauerkraut at home using this recipe.


  • Step 1: Shred cabbage; mix with salt Shred the cabbage in the food processor, working in small batches. Then place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl and add salt. Use clean hands to mix it well.
  • TIP: Add juniper berries and caraway seeds to the salted cabbage for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Step 2: Pack cabbage into plastic container Add a batch of salted cabbage to a large plastic container. Use your hand to press it firmly into the bottom. Continue adding and pressing cabbage in batches, leaving at least 5 inches of clearance between the cabbage and the top of the plastic container.
  • Step 3: Add weight and cover cabbage Cover the cabbage with a plate that fits snugly into the plastic container. Then fill the Mason jar with water and place it on top of the plate to add weight. Cover the container with a towel.
  • Step 4: Check to make sure brine is produced Let the cabbage sit for 6 hours, and then check to make sure brine is being produced. You should find at least 1 inch of brine covering the plate. Press down on the plate or add more weight if the cabbage isn't producing enough brine.
  • Step 5: Store; check brine level Store the container in a place where the temperature is 70 degrees. Check the sauerkraut every two days, and skim any foam from the top of the brine with a spoon. Rinse and replace the plate and jar, and keep the brine at 1 inch above the plate. Add more weight if the brine evaporates.
  • Step 6: Taste cabbage after one week Taste the cabbage after it has been fermenting for 1 week. Allow it to ferment until it reaches the density of flavor you like -- anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks.
  • TIP: The longer the sauerkraut ferments, the stronger the flavor. Can the sauerkraut sooner for a mild flavor, and allow it to ferment longer if you want a stronger taste.
  • Step 7: Add to jars and refrigerate Add the finished sauerkraut to jars, filling them with the cabbage and brine and leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Store the jars in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 3 to 4 months. Enjoy your crunchy and tangy treat as a side with your favorite dishes.
  • FACT: After being handmade and marketed on a small scale for four years, the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were introduced to a worldwide audience in 1982. In the first year of sales, nearly 3 million dolls were sold.

You Will Need

  • 5 lbs. green cabbage
  • 3 tbsp. kosher salt
  • Water
  • Food processor
  • Crock or plastic container
  • Mason jar
  • Towel
  • Storage jars with lids
  • 1 tbsp. juniper berries (optional)
  • 2 tsp. caraway seeds (optional)

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