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How to make sauerkraut

Homemade Sauerkraut

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x


Homemade sauerkraut is easier than you think! You’ll get probiotic benefits and a kitchen DIY project. Here’s how to make sauerkraut: a simplified guide.




  • 1 medium-small head green cabbage (about 3 pounds), at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon per pound)
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds



  1. Shred the cabbage. Place it in a large bowl and mix in the salt.
  2. Get your hands ready! Here’s the fun part: Massage the cabbage with your hands for 8 to 10 minutes until cabbage is limp and large amount of liquid is released (the liquid will be used in the jar during fermenting). The fermenting doesn’t change the texture of the cabbage, so you’ll need to massage until it’s the texture of sauerkraut. Take a break if your hands tire out! You’ll be amazed at how a huge bowl of cabbage turns into just a few cups of sauerkraut.
  3. Stir in the caraway seeds. Then place the seasoned cabbage into a 1-quart mason jar, tamping down the cabbage to stuff it in (we use our cocktail muddler for tamping, but you can also use a wooden spoon). Leave the liquid in the bowl for now.
  4. Pour the liquid released from cabbage into the jar. Top it with the helix weight and the fermentation lid: this holds down the cabbage during fermentation to make sure it stays submerged. Alternatively, you can weigh down the cabbage with a fermentation stone and use a rubber band to secure cheesecloth over the lid to allow airflow.
  5. Place the jar in a dark, room temperature space for 6 to 12 days. Start tasting the sauerkraut on Day 6. Once you achieve a “sour” taste that you enjoy, move the jar to the refrigerator, where it keeps for several months. (We find ours is good around Day 7.) Note: If you notice mold on top of the sauerkraut, scrape it off and keep enjoying the rest of the jar! Make sure all of the cabbage is submerged to avoid the mold.
  • Category: DIY
  • Method: Fermented
  • Cuisine: German
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Fermented Foods