Old Fashioned Sauerkraut

old fashioned sauerkraut

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Turn your cabbage into a probiotic powerhouse with this easy fermentation recipe.


Units Scale
  • 5 pounds cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt


  1. Chop or grate cabbage, reserving large outer leaves for later. Place it in a large bowl as you chop it. Sprinkle salt on the cabbage as you chop it.
  2. Add other vegetables, fruits, herbs or spices, if desired. Mix ingredients together and pack into crock with fists, feet, or sauerkraut pounder.
  3. Place outside leaves on top of shredded cabbage, and then add the weights or plate with weight to hold your kraut below the brine. Let rest, if needed, to draw out brine from the cabbage.
  4. If the brine doesn’t cover the cabbage in a few hours, mix about one teaspoon of salt per one cup of water to make additional brine.
  5. Cover the crock with a cloth (or the lid if you have a fermenting crock) and let it ferment for 4-6 weeks.
  6. Once the sauerkraut is as fermented as you like, refrigerate or freeze for longer storage to preserve the probiotics. Can the kraut in a water bath canner for shelf stable storage.


Check the ferment occasionally to make sure that the cabbage is submerged. Add more water if needed (the salt is still there).

When you’re ready to use your sauerkraut, remove the leaves, weights and any discolored kraut near the surface. The kraut will smell a little musty after being covered – this is normal. Serve raw as a condiment to preserve the probiotics, or cook with meat or other in other recipes for a savory meal.

For a quicker ferment, ferment at room temperature. To slow down fermentation, keep your crock in a cooler location. I’ve stashed my crock in an unheated corner of the basement and had it last for months.

Keywords: sauerkraut, fermentation, probiotic