Good Ol' Homemade Sauerkraut

Homemade sauerkraut is one good way to preserve all that cabbage exploding from your garden.

| July/August 1980

Making sauerkraut is a delicious, traditional way to preserve all that extra cabbage your garden produces... and krautmakin' is a remarkably quick and easy process, too!

As a matter of fact—when you combine shredded cabbage and salt in a nonmetal container—it's almost impossible not to make a success of this tasty staple. The two ingredients provide the necessary brine ... and bacteria (which are naturally present on cabbage leaves) will initiate the fermentation process that allows you to store the kraut through the long winter months.

First, The Utensils

To start your homemade sauerkraut, you'll need to gather up a sharp knife, a kraut (or slaw) shredder, a large pan, scales, a measuring spoon or cup, a nonmetallic vessel that's large enough to hold your cabbage supply, a pencil and a notepad, a wooden tamper or "stomper," a pressure plate (this can be a wooden disk or dinner plate) to fit inside the crock or jar, a heavy rock to weight the plate, and a thermometer to measure the air temperature. Add a nice clean work area with plenty of elbow room to cut and "stomp" ... and you're set to go!

The only ingredients required for your homemade kraut are firm, fresh heads of cabbage and "pickling" salt ... a flavoring which has none of the chemical additives that can affect food color and taste. (Some folks say that sea salt also works fine.)

Slice the cabbages in half and remove their hearts (save these to marinate in oil, vinegar, and spices for some delicious "refrigerator pickles" ... a real treat!), then shred the vegetable with a slaw cutter, catching the chopped leaves in a large pan.

When all your cabbage is shredded, weigh it on the scales (taking into account the heft of the pan it's in), and record the weight of each batch before mixing the vegetable and salt in a large earthenware pot or a jar.

Mimi Winter
3/19/2011 11:32:37 PM

Funny, I make home made "saurkraut" by shredding a head of cabbage with a knife, then cooking the cabbage in vinegar till it's the tenderness I like. Works like a charm for a quick and cheap kraut!

Mike Snyder
11/14/2010 1:12:07 PM

Great sauerkraut article! I love making sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi. I use the pickling crock pots and the Pickle, Sauerkraut, and KimChi Maker from The Raw Diet Health Shop. They work great and the sauerkraut always turns out delicious. With The Raw Diet's pickling crocks, you don't need to skim the scum off the top layer. The pickling crocks keep it airtight and it prevents the scum from growing.

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