How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut

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Every year we eat pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s day for good luck. I usually buy canned sauerkraut from the grocery store. This year I decided I would try to make my own, using fresh cabbage and a mason jar.

Here’s my tutorial for how to make homemade sauerkraut.

Making Sauerkraut in Mason Jars ~

First make sure you are working in a clean area and start with a large head of cabbage. Peel off some of the outer leaves, remove the core, and slice thinly.

Homemade Sauerkraut with Cabbage and Salt ~

 You also need a clean quart size mason jar, some kosher or sea salt, and if you’d like some caraway seeds.

How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut tutorial ~

 Layer the cabbage with a couple of teaspoons of salt, and let it sit for about an hour.

Learn how to make homemade sauerkraut ~

 Once it starts to break down start packing the cabbage in the jar and using a wooden spoon. Really  pack it in. Add the juices on top and make sure there’s enough to cover. If not, make a brine, by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water.

Making Your Own Sauerkraut ~

You need to make sure the cabbage stays below the liquid. Many fancy crocks have special ceramic plates for this purpose, but I used a plastic bag filled with a little brine and it did the trick.

Making Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar ~

Next find a cool dark place to keep the jars for about three to four weeks. I placed mine in a loaf pan in a lower cabinet. After the first week the jars had bubbled up and leaked into the loaf pan. Just loosen the lids slightly, and let a little air out, and then tightened them up again. Then wipe down the outside of the jars and clean the pan before setting the jars back in the cupboard.

Mason Jar Sauerkraut Recipe ~

 Just as day or two shy of a month, and we had lovely fermented sauerkraut. The little seeds are caraway seeds, which we like, but are optional.

DIY Sauerkraut ~

We cooked this yummy sauerkraut with some ribs and a small pork roast in the crock pot. It was really good. Now I think I’m going to have to make a few more to keep on hand. I may never go back to store-bought again.

If you enjoyed this article you may be interested in reading my article about why eating pork & sauerkraut brings you good luck in the new year.

Need another reason to make homemade sauerkraut?

Check out this article from Health Impact News about just how good sauerkraut is for your health.

How to Make Sauerkraut at Home ~

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About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. Earlene Ginter says:

    We love krut,so will try this, I often put it in the crock pot with pork roast also have a salad krut recipe. I did about 2doz padded hangers, with old nylon hose now to cover them I have been very ill,so am doing small projects that donot take much thinking and can stop in the middle.

  2. You make it look so easy!!! I never knew that about eating it on New Years Day.

    • Hi Heather,

      I can’t say whether it’s an old wive’s tale but we do it out of tradition and we like the taste too!
      THanks for stopping by.

  3. A great recipe tutorial and one day I will have to try to make this but already know hubby won’t eat it LOL

  4. Hi. Can’t wait to make the raspberry schrub. I’ll have fresh raspberries from my garden soon, perfect for the schrub. So refreshing on a hot summer day. Thanks for the recipe! Have a great day. Kim

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