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Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

Does anyone have a recipe for homemade sauerkraut? My husband's grandma used to make it and I would like to do this for him, he would be thrilled.

By Renee from Omaha, NE


Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

There are recipes on the web and you can follow them for amounts of cabbage and salt, which are layered in a clean crock or plastic container.


But these are the things you absolutely must do for it to turn out well. The container must be very, very clean. Like wash it with hot soap and water and a little bleach, rinse very well, turn on a clean towel and let dry overnight. Make sure it's rinsed very well so there is no bleach smell.

Then shred your cabbage and layer as recipe instructs. My sister-in-law layers with a little sliced onion and a slice or two of garlic and it's great kraut. I helped her make it one year and now know why it didn't work for me when I did it before.

It has to be an an area about 70 degrees until it's done, which can be quite a few days. By a sunny window on the floor or near a heating vent is good.

Now they tell you to lay a clean cheese cloth or plain cloth on top and top that with a plate which has a weight on it. No fuzzy towels. It has to be a plain cloth, 100 per cent cotton, like a muslin or cheese cloth. Before you put the cloth on, make sure it is very clean, washed with no scent, and rinsed with boiling water so it too, is sterile. It's okay if it's wet, because it will get wet from the fermenting cabbage. Put on a plate which also was rinsed with boiling water.


Then for a weight you can use a heavy can, wiped free of any dust of course. Every day probably afternoon is best, take off weight, plate, towel and wipe around the edges with a clean paper towel and
once more pour boiling water on plate and the towel which you have rinsed out well. What you will be wiping from around the edges inside the crock is any foam that's gathered there, and also scoop up any foam on top of the cabbage. You want it all to look very tidy and be clean. That's the make or break element.

When it's all fermented: it will look and smell and taste like sauerkraut. Can it in canning jars per instructions from Blue book or something recent on canning. Yes, you have to make it and then can it.

But it's worth it.



Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

And a note about the bleach. Please don't use it at all if the container you're going to be making the sauerkraut in is plastic.


Truly I am completely against the use of chlorine bleach, because of personal health reasons. If you could use dish soap and boiling water to soak the container clean that is a better alternative for your lungs, body in general and the environment. Vinegar will work just as well as a disinfectant if you feel you need extra cleansing.

Here's a video about making sauerkraut: (10/22/2009)

By Deeli

Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

Your husband is going to know you love him if you go to all the trouble of making this. You can can it and I have frozen it. Don't thank me, thank Lena. There are so many people on the internet who have been so free with sharing what they have learned in their lifetimes. Truly our earthly angels to help us like this.


Lena's Home Made Sauerkraut:

by Lena Sanchez

My husband grows a very large garden every year and I have to preserve the it to last through the winter. Since we both love sauerkraut, I make sauerkraut each year. After several trials, I found this to be the best and most certainly the simplest sauerkraut recipe around.

You will need:

  • a very large crock, glass or enamel container
  • minimum of 2 heads of cabbage
  • Kosher salt
  • heavy duty food-grade plastic bags or 2 gallon freezer bags
  • wooden spoon

Some tips here to prevent problems with your sauerkraut:

  1. Never use aluminum utensils.
  2. Absolute cleanliness is necessary for a healthy brew.

I have a very old 5 gallon crock that I use to make my sauerkraut. But you can use a glass or enamel coated container. Clean and scald the container well. I put mine in the dishwasher, but if you wish you can simply scald by pouring boiling water into the container and swishing around for no less than 30 seconds.


To prepare the cabbage, remove and discard the outer leaves. Wash and drain and then cut the cabbages into halves or quarters while removing the core in the process.

  • Step 1) Shred Cabbage: I use my food processor for speed and ease. If you shred by hand, make sure the shreds are no thicker than a nickel or dime.

  • Step 2) Mix, with wooden spoon or very clean hands, 5 pounds of shredded cabbage with 4 tablespoons of Kosher salt (pickling salt will do, but changes the flavor a bit, do not use table salt) and toss and mix thoroughly until kosher salt dissolves. (You can make as much as you wish as long as you use the ratio of 5 lbs. cabbage to 4 Tbs. salt.)

NOTE: If you plan on refrigerating and not canning use 3 Tbs of salt not 4.

  • Step 3) When juice starts to form on cabbage from tossing, pack the cabbage firmly and evenly into a clean crock, glass or enamel container. Press firmly to encourage juice formation. Fill the utensil no closer than 5 inches from the top.

  • Step 4) Make sure juice covers the cabbage completely. This does not always happen unless the cabbage is fresh from the garden. I prepare additional brine by putting 1 1/2 Tablespoons of kosher salt into 1 quart of boiling water. Dissolve salt and cool brine to room temperature before adding to the pot of cabbage.

  • Step 5) Once cabbage is immersed in brine water, place a large food grade, plastic bag filled with brine water and lay on top if cabbage. I use 2 large bags, one inside the other. Sometimes a 2 gallon freezer bag with a couple of quarts of cooled brine water inside. That way if the bag breaks it will not water down the cabbage into a tasteless mess.

    The cabbage must be well sealed all around with the bag, so no air can get in and contaminate the sauerkraut with unwanted yeasts or molds.

  • Step 6) Now cover the container with plastic wrap, then a heavy towel or cloth and tie securely into place. Do not remove this until fermenting is complete.

  • Step 7) Put in an area where the temperature will not be above 75 degrees. Fermentation will begin within a day, depending upon the room temperature.

  • Step 8) If room temperature is 75 degrees allow 3 weeks for fermentation. If temperature is 70 degrees allow 4 weeks. If temperature is 65 degrees allow 5 weeks. If temperature is 60 degrees allow 6 weeks.

    NOTE: If temperature is above 75 or 76 degrees, the sauerkraut may not ferment and could spoil.

  • Step 9) Once fermented taste to see if your required tartness exists. Tartness will weaken as you process in canning so make sure it is a wee bit more tart than you like.

Can be eaten immediately if you desire.

I sometimes mix in 1/2 teaspoon caraway seed into 4 cups, enough for a couple of pints or 1 quart. This makes a tasty variation.

NOTE: if you refrigerate only rinse and toss with cold water to attain the tartness desired.

Lena Sanchez is an Internet great grandmother who has her own home based Internet business center at: and is Editor of "Natural Environmental Health and Business Facts" newsletter. (10/22/2009)

By Lady BE

Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

My mother used to make sauerkraut in the jar. Just chop the cabbage, put it in a sterile jar, add one teaspoon of salt, bring water to a boil and pour over salt and cabbage. Seal jar and wait a few weeks to open. You do not have to do the hot water bath or anything, you might see it bubble in the jar sometimes, but that is OK. (10/23/2009)

By marjordan

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