Canning Sauerkraut

canned-sauerkraut
Remember my pink sauerkraut experiment? It worked! And it’s delicious! And it made 2 1/2 quarts! Fortunately, sauerkraut cans well, so it’s now safely tucked away in jars. It will also keep well for months in the refrigerator if you have enough space.

Pink Sauerkraut (can be canned)

5, 10, or 15 pounds of red cabbage
lots of salt
a big jar or crock
a large plastic bag

1) Shred the cabbage very thin. If you don’t have a kraut board, a mandoline is your next best bet. If, like me, you’re frightened of mandolines, you can use a very sharp knife.

2) Combine each 5 pounds of cabbage with either 3 T of pickling salt or 4 1/5 T of kosher salt. Using your hands, make sure it’s evenly distributed.

3) Pack the cabbage as tightly as possible in large jars or crocks. The tighter it is, the better the fermentation will be. As a guideline, I was able to fit 8 pounds into a 3/4 gallon jar.

4) Move it to a cool dark place and wait one day. By now, the cabbage will have started forming its own brine. If the cabbage is not yet covered in liquid, make a new brine by dissolving 1 1/2 T pickling salt or 2 1/4 T kosher salt in 1 quart of water. A trick to keep the cabbage submerged is to insert a food-grade plastic ziplock bag in the jar and fill it with brine.

5) Wait patiently for 2 to 5 weeks, depending on the temperature of your basement or other cool place. It will ferment faster at higher temperatures, but you’ll get a better flavor in the 50 to 70°F range.

To can:

Pack as tightly as possible into clean, sterilized jars. Process pints in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes, quarts for 20 minutes.

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3 comments to Canning Sauerkraut

  • [...] Update: It worked! Recipe and canning guidelines are here. [...]

  • Hi! I made some sauerkraut this summer from green cabbage, and it went well, too! When mine was done fermenting, I packed it into sterilized jars to store in the fridge. “Live” kraut is a probiotic food, much like yogurt. (Canning is better for long-term storage at room temp.)

  • Rob

    While I have made pink kraut just for kicks, I’m a purist and prefer it made with green cabbage. While canning is convenient for storage, the flavor and crunchier texture is far better if it is kept in jars in a refrigerator. For the fermentation I use a large jar with a lid which I found at WalMart for less than $20. I weight down the kraut with a plastic bag filled with brine and keep the lid on and have never had any problems with mold forming at the top.

    Thanks for a very informative and entertaining site.

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