How to Make Sauerkraut in a Crock: Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome! In this article, we will guide you on how to make sauerkraut in a crock. Sauerkraut is a traditional German dish made from fermented cabbage that is high in vitamins and good for digestion. Making sauerkraut at home is a simple and fun process, and fermenting it in a crock is the perfect way to get the best flavor. So, let’s get started!

Steps how to make sauerkraut in a crock

Step 1: Get your hands on fresh cabbage

To make sauerkraut, you will need fresh cabbage. Choose firm and crisp heads of cabbage with a bright green color and no discoloration or brown spots. Rinse the cabbage under cold water to remove any dirt or debris.

Step 2: Shred the cabbage

Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, shred the cabbage finely and place it in a large mixing bowl.

Step 3: Add salt

Add salt to the shredded cabbage. The amount of salt you use should be 1.5 – 2% of the weight of the cabbage. For example, if you have 10 pounds of cabbage, use 3 – 4 tablespoons of salt.

Step 4: Massage the cabbage

Use your hands to mix the cabbage and salt together. Massage the cabbage for about 5-10 minutes until it releases a lot of water. This is important because the water will help create the brine, which is necessary for fermentation.

Step 5: Pack the cabbage

Take a handful of the cabbage and pack it into the crock until it covers the bottom. Continue to do this, making sure to pack the cabbage tightly until it reaches about ¾ full.

Step 6: Weight the cabbage

Place a weight on top of the cabbage to keep it submerged in the brine. You can use a clean stone, a glass jar filled with water, or a ceramic weight.

Step 7: Cover the crock

Cover the crock with a breathable cloth, like a cheesecloth or a linen towel. This will keep out any unwanted bacteria, while still allowing for air circulation.

Step 8: Store the crock

Place the crock in a cool, dark place, like a pantry or a basement. Make sure the temperature stays between 60-72°F (15-22°C), and avoid exposure to direct sunlight.

Step 9: Check on the sauerkraut

Check on the sauerkraut after a few days to make sure it is fermenting properly. You should see bubbles forming and the brine level rising.

Step 10: Taste the sauerkraut

After a week, take a small sample of the sauerkraut and taste it. If it tastes good to you, then it’s done! If not, allow it to ferment for a few more days until it reaches your desired flavor.

Step 11: Transfer the sauerkraut to jars

Once the fermentation process is complete, transfer the sauerkraut to jars and store them in the refrigerator. The sauerkraut will last for several weeks, if not months.

Step 12: Enjoy your homemade sauerkraut!

Your homemade sauerkraut is now ready to be enjoyed! Serve it as a side dish, on a hot dog, or on a sandwich. You can also experiment with different spices and flavorings to customize your sauerkraut to your preference.

Explanation how to make sauerkraut in a crock

Fermenting sauerkraut in a crock is an easy and traditional way to preserve cabbage. The fermentation process is simple and involves naturally occurring microorganisms breaking down the cabbage into lactic acid, resulting in a tangy and delicious flavor. The crock helps in preventing the exposure of sauerkraut to air and ensures the optimal conditions for fermentation.

The high amount of salt added to the cabbage inhibits the growth of unwanted bacteria and preserves the cabbage. The salt also helps the cabbage release water which, along with the salt, creates a brine that is necessary for fermentation. After the salt is added, massaging the cabbage aids in the water release process.

Packaging and weighting the cabbage in the crock ensures that it is submerged in the brine entirely. The breathable cloth covering the crock minimizes contamination while still allowing air circulation. It is essential to store the crock in a cool and dark location to optimize the fermentation process.

Checking on the sauerkraut periodically to ensure the brine level rises, and bubbles are forming are crucial. Once the fermentation process is complete, transferring the sauerkraut to jars and refrigerating it will halt further fermentation and preserve the flavor.

Tips and Tricks how to make sauerkraut in a crock

1. Use the right amount of salt

It is crucial to measure the right amount of salt for fermenting the cabbage. Use 1.5-2% of the weight of the cabbage.

2. Clean tools and equipment properly

Ensure the crock, utensils, and workspace are clean and sterilized before starting the process. This prevents contamination by unwanted bacteria.

3. Pack the cabbage tightly

Pack the cabbage firmly to prevent potential air pockets.

4. Use clean and fresh water

If using water to weigh down the cabbage, ensure it is clean, fresh, and chlorinated.

5. Quality over quantity

Use fresh and high-quality cabbage for the best results.

6. Experiment with different spices and seasonings

Customize the sauerkraut according to personal preferences by adding different spices and seasonings.

7. Taste regularly

Taste the sauerkraut often to ensure it has the desired flavor, and fermentation is going well.

8. Store the jars properly

Store the jars in a clean and refrigerated location to preserve the sauerkraut’s freshness.

9. Age the sauerkraut

Ageing the sauerkraut for an extended period imparts a deeper and richer flavor.

10. Be patient and relax

Fermenting sauerkraut takes time, so be patient. Enjoy the process, and you will produce delicious homemade sauerkraut.

In conclusion, making sauerkraut in a crock is a fun and easy process that yields delicious and nutritious results. Follow the steps detailed in this article, take note of the explanation and apply the tips and tricks to ensure the best results. With a little patience and creativity, you can customize your sauerkraut according to your preference and enjoy it for weeks or months to come.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Sauerkraut in a Crock

Sauerkraut, a type of fermented cabbage, has been around for centuries and is a popular side dish that adds flavor and nutrition to any meal. Making sauerkraut in a crock is a traditional method that requires a fermentation crock or a large stoneware pot with a lid. While this method has its advantages, it also has its drawbacks. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of making sauerkraut in a crock.


  1. Large Batch: A fermentation crock or a large stoneware pot can hold a large amount of cabbage, which makes it perfect for making a large batch of sauerkraut at once. This can save time and effort in the long run since you won’t have to keep repeating the process.
  2. Traditional Method: Making sauerkraut in a crock is a traditional method that has been used for centuries. It is a natural way of fermenting cabbage and produces a unique flavor that is different from other methods.
  3. Less Work: Once the cabbage is shredded and mixed with salt, it is left to ferment in the crock for several weeks without the need for any further work. This is convenient for those who do not have much time and prefer a hands-off approach.
  4. No Need for Airlocks: Unlike other fermentation methods, making sauerkraut in a crock does not require airlocks. The weight of the cabbage and the lid of the crock create a natural seal that allows the gases to escape without letting air in.
  5. Long Shelf Life: Sauerkraut made in a crock can last for several months if stored properly. This is beneficial for those who like to make large batches and want their sauerkraut to last a long time.
  6. Natural Probiotics: Fermented foods like sauerkraut are rich in natural probiotics that promote gut health. Making sauerkraut in a crock allows for the natural growth of beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion and boost immunity.
  7. Cost-effective: Making sauerkraut in a crock is a cost-effective method compared to buying store-bought sauerkraut. All you need is a cabbage, salt, and a crock, which can be used multiple times.
  8. Fun and Creative: Making sauerkraut in a crock can be a fun and creative project to do at home. You can add different herbs and spices to create a unique flavor that suits your taste.
  9. Rewarding: The end product of making sauerkraut in a crock can be very rewarding. Knowing that you made your own sauerkraut from scratch can give a sense of accomplishment.
  10. Environmental Friendly: Making sauerkraut in a crock is an eco-friendly method since it does not require any electricity or preservatives. This reduces your carbon footprint and promotes sustainable living.


  1. Long Process: Making sauerkraut in a crock can be a long process since it requires several weeks of fermentation. This may not be suitable for those who are looking for a quick and easy way to make sauerkraut.
  2. Risk of Spoilage: Sauerkraut made in a crock is at risk of spoiling if it is not made correctly. This can result in mold growth or spoilage that can make the sauerkraut unsafe to eat.
  3. Space Requirements: A fermentation crock or a large stoneware pot can take up a lot of space in the kitchen. This may not be suitable for those who have limited kitchen space.
  4. Weight: The weight of a full crock can be heavy, making it difficult to move around. This can be a problem for those with limited mobility.
  5. Expensive Initial Investment: A fermentation crock or a large stoneware pot can be expensive to purchase initially. This may not be suitable for those who are on a tight budget.
  6. Requires Maintenance: A crock requires upkeep to ensure that it remains clean and free of mold or bacteria. This can add to the overall time and effort required to make sauerkraut.
  7. Requires Storage Space: Once the sauerkraut is made, it requires storage space in the refrigerator or another cool location. This may be a problem for those with limited storage space.
  8. Not Suitable for Small Batches: Making sauerkraut in a crock may not be suitable for those who only want to make a small batch or for those who prefer to experiment with different recipes.
  9. Requires Patience: Making sauerkraut in a crock requires patience since the fermentation process can take several weeks. This may not be suitable for those who are looking for instant gratification.
  10. Temperature Sensitivity: Sauerkraut made in a crock is sensitive to temperature fluctuations. If the temperature is too high or too low, it can affect the fermentation process and the end product.

In conclusion, making sauerkraut in a crock has its advantages and disadvantages. It is a traditional method that produces a unique flavor and natural probiotics but requires patience, maintenance, and space. Consider these factors before deciding to make sauerkraut in a crock or exploring other fermentation methods.


1. What is sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a dish made of fermented cabbage that has been chopped up and preserved in salt. It originated in Germany and is popular all over the world.

2. What do I need to make sauerkraut in a crock?

You will need a crock or large fermentation jar, cabbage, a shredder, salt, and a weight to press down the cabbage.

3. How much cabbage and salt do I need?

You will need about 5 pounds of cabbage and 3 tablespoons of salt for every 5 pounds of cabbage.

4. How do I prepare the cabbage?

First, remove the outer leaves and core of the cabbage. Then, chop the cabbage into thin slices using a shredder.

5. How do I add salt to the cabbage?

Sprinkle the salt on top of the cabbage after you have shredded it. Use your hands to mix the cabbage and salt together.

6. Do I need to add any other ingredients?

You can add other spices and vegetables to your sauerkraut, such as caraway seeds, garlic, and carrots. This is optional and depends on personal preference.

7. How do I pack the cabbage into the crock?

Pack the cabbage tightly into the crock, making sure to press down on it with a weight to remove any air pockets. Leave about 2 inches of headspace at the top of the crock.

8. How do I ferment the sauerkraut?

Place a clean cloth over the top of the crock and secure it with a rubber band. Let the sauerkraut ferment for 2-4 weeks in a cool, dark place. Check on it every few days and remove any scum that forms on the top.

9. How do I know when the sauerkraut is done?

The sauerkraut is done when it has a tangy, sour taste and a slightly crunchy texture. You can taste test it after 2 weeks of fermentation.

10. What do I do with the sauerkraut when it’s done?

You can transfer it to jars and store it in the fridge to stop the fermentation process. It will keep for several months in the fridge.

11. Can I use a different type of fermentation container?

Yes, you can use a mason jar or any other type of food-grade fermenting container. Just make sure it has a tight-fitting lid or can be covered with a cloth and rubber band.

12. What should I do if my sauerkraut smells bad?

If your sauerkraut has a rotten or unpleasant odor, it may have gone bad. You should discard it and start again with fresh cabbage and salt.

13. What are the health benefits of sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a probiotic food that is rich in beneficial bacteria. It can help boost the immune system, aid in digestion, and improve gut health.

The process of making sauerkraut in a crock is not as difficult as it may seem. With the right ingredients and simple steps, you can make your own delicious and healthy sauerkraut in no time. In this article, we’ve outlined the steps you need to follow to create your own batch of sauerkraut in a crock.

The first step is to gather all the ingredients needed for the recipe. This includes cabbage, salt, and any additional seasonings you desire. After you have these ingredients ready, you can begin by shredding the cabbage finely and mixing it with salt. Let it sit for a few hours before packing it tightly into a crock. Cover it with a weighted lid and leave it to ferment for several days or weeks.

Once fermentation is complete, check the sauerkraut to make sure it has reached the desired sourness and texture. You can then transfer it to jars and store them in the fridge. Your homemade sauerkraut is now ready to be eaten and enjoyed with your favorite meals.

Conclusion how to make sauerkraut in a crock

In conclusion, making sauerkraut in a crock is a simple and rewarding process. By following these easy steps you can enjoy your homemade sauerkraut with your favorite dishes. Not only does it taste delicious, but it is also loaded with health benefits that will help boost your immune system and improve your digestive health.

Closing how to make sauerkraut in a crock

Thank you for reading this article on how to make sauerkraut in a crock. We hope that you found it helpful and informative. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to share them in the comments below. Have a great day and happy cooking!