Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe


This homemade sauerkraut recipe shows you how to make your own fresh and crunchy fermented cabbage at home using just cabbage and salt. The easy step-by-step guide covers all the details for you to safely brine cabbage into a probiotic-rich condiment to enjoy on sandwiches, with sausages and more.

What if my cabbage doesn’t release enough liquid?

  • If the sliced cabbage isn’t completely submerged, dissolve 1-2 teaspoons salt in 1 cup water and add enough brine to cover.

Is it safe to use conventional cabbage instead of organic?

  • Yes, you can use regular cabbage. Thoroughly washing will help remove pesticides. Avoid cabbage with signs of mold.

What causes white film yeast growth on top?

  • Harmless yeast can develop with exposure to air. Simply skim off and discard the film, repack cabbage underneath if needed.

Why is my sauerkraut turning pinkish or black?

  • This harmless discoloration can occur when cabbage hasvitamin C oxidation after chopping. It’s still perfectly safe to eat.

What should I do if I see mold?

  • Discard entire batch of sauerkraut if blue, black, green or white mold develops, as it likely penetrated below the surface.

Can I use a water-filled zip-top bag instead of jar weights?

  • Yes, a plastic bag filled with water works well to keep cabbage weighed down below the brine.

If I don’t finish my sauerkraut, how long does it last refrigerated?

  • Properly fermented and stored, sauerkraut lasts 6-12 months refrigerated. The flavor may intensify over long storage periods.


  • 1 head cabbage (about 1.8 kg or 4 lbs)
  • 36 grams (about 2 tablespoons) kosher salt


  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Food scale
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mason jar (1⁄2 gallon size)
  • Small plate that fits inside jar
  • Plastic wrap


  1. Remove outer leaves from cabbage head. Slice cabbage in half through the core, then quarter each half. Slice out and discard tough core from each quarter.
  2. Thinly slice cabbage quarters lengthwise into strips. You want the strips to be approximately 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick.
  3. Place sliced cabbage in a large mixing bowl. Weigh cabbage on a food scale – you should have around 1.8 kg or 4 lbs of sliced cabbage.
  4. Calculate 2% of the cabbage weight by multiplying the weight in grams by 0.02. For 1.8 kg cabbage, that would be 1,800 grams x 0.02 = 36 grams salt.
  5. Sprinkle the calculated amount of kosher salt over the cabbage. Toss and squeeze the cabbage for 2-5 minutes, crushing it firmly with your hands, until it releases a lot of liquid.
  6. Pack sliced cabbage firmly into a 1⁄2 gallon wide-mouth mason jar, pressing down hard to expel juices. Make sure liquid covers cabbage completely. Leave about 1 inch of headspace at the top.
  7. Place a small plate that fits just inside the jar over the cabbage to keep it submerged under the brine (the released cabbage juice).
  8. Seal the mason jar with plastic wrap secured tightly around rim. This helps prevent outside contamination while allowing gases to escape.
  9. Store jar at room temperature away from direct sunlight for 2-3 weeks to ferment, opening daily to “burp” and release built up gases if you don’t have an airlock system.
  10. Start taste testing sauerkraut at 2 weeks. When it reaches desired sourness (recommended around 2 weeks), seal jar with metal lid and move to refrigerator.
  11. Once refrigerated, sauerkraut keeps for at least 1 month. Enjoy on sausages, sandwiches, with pork roast, or anywhere you want tangy, fermented flavor!


  • Use fresh, crisp cabbage – Older, wilted cabbage may not ferment as well. Choose heads that feel very firm.
  • Pack it tight – Getting the sauerkraut tightly packed into the jar helps ensure the cabbage stays submerged under the brine as it ferments.
  • Weigh your ingredients – Using a food scale helps eliminate the guesswork and ensures you get the salt percentage right for proper fermentation.
  • Filter your water – If you fill a zip-top bag with water to weigh down your cabbage, use non-chlorinated water to avoid inhibiting bacteria growth.
  • Mind the temperature – Keep your fermenting sauerkraut at cool room temperature, between 60°F – 75°F is ideal. Too cold and fermentation slows, too hot and undesirable bacteria could multiply.
  • Taste frequently – Test your batch every few days to catch it at peak tartness. Waiting too long can result in overly soft texture.
  • Store properly – Make sure your fermented sauerkraut is always fully submerged under brine, even when jostled in the fridge. Keeping air away preserves quality.
  • Enjoy the probiotics! – Once ready, the live cultures in this raw sauerkraut offer digestive and immune boosting health benefits.
  • Experiment with flavors – Try adding minced garlic, caraway seeds or other spices to your batch for your own signature flavor.
  • Make ahead for holidays – Sauerkraut takes 2-3 weeks to ferment, so plan batches in advance when you know you’ll need extra on hand.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You cannot copy content of this page