The Ultimate guide in how to make Sauerkraut at home! Russian’s love sauerkraut and you can see how it’s done with a step-by-step photo tutorial and helpful tips! It’s easy, versatile and a great way to use up cabbage!
This sauerkraut recipe comes from my older Ukrainian aunt who married off 10 children now! So she knows how sauerkraut needs to be! Making this perfectly tart sauerkraut is super easy and hassle free. No fancy equipment or barrels needed and it’s been said to be one of the best tasting sauerkraut from the ones made! The only labor in making sauerkraut is the prepping then the cabbage just sits to ferment and it’s done! It’s packed cold and no heat or hot syrups involved! Just basic ingredients and a few days of patience in creating the simplest sauerkraut!
- Mandolin to shred cabbage- Same one I used to shred my cabbage.
- 4 quart-sized mason jars
- Extra large mixing bowl
- 3 kilograms cabbage (6 lbs)
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 1 carrot
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 6 cups cold water
- 2 Tbsp salt
How to make Sauerkraut:
- In an extra large bowl mix together the cabbage, salt, carrot and sugar and pack into a large pot.
- Stir cold syrup together and pour over cabbage.
- Press cabbage mixture down with a heavy plate and make sure liquid covers cabbage completely to prevent any browning. Let sit at room temperature 3 days. Then dump mixture out into a large bowl to air out bitterness (about 2 hours.)
- Pack into jars with the liquid and keep refrigerated for upto 3 months.
- Properly fermented sour kraut should look white and crisp. If any browning or dark discoloration occurs disregard.
- This sour kraut can keep for up-to 3 months.
- 3 kilograms is about two large heads of cabbage.
- This recipes makes 4 quart-sized jars.
Nutrition per serving
How does sauerkraut keep so long without rotting?
When making sauerkraut the water and salt help ferment the cabbage. During fermentation a good bacteria produces known as lactic acid which later preserves the cabbage from rotting. However there are rules to go by for a successful batch of homemade sauerkraut!
How do I make sauerkraut more sour?
The longer cabbage ferments the sour it will get. Two days is ideal but a three day mark is best! Less fermentation=less sour. Longer fermentation= more sour.
What ingredients are needed?
The salt, sugar and water all play important roles in making sauerkraut. The salt works as a preservative and the sugar slightly breaks up the sourness. The water binds this combination together to ferment the cabbage without browning it, which is why it’s important to keep the cabbage completely covered in this liquid during the fermenting process!
What can go wrong?
- Not covering the cabbage with liquid can brown your cabbage before its fermented properly!
- Lack of salt.
- Not enough fermenting time to produce proper bacteria.
How long should sauerkraut ferment?
Three days! Cabbage is perfectly tart on the 3rd day!
What is the difference between Russian sauerkraut and others?
Russian sauerkraut is pretty basic when it comes down to sauerkraut. The commonly known difference between other recipes is the addition of grated carrots which don’t really effect the flavor. It’s also very similar to German sauerkraut and unlike other sauerkrauts it’s unseasoned with caraway seeds or other spices.
- Skip the carrots for a basic sauerkraut.
- Add onions, oil, vinegar and sugar to make a quick salad from sauerkraut!
- Serve as a side to mashed potatoes.
- Best ferment flavor is at 3 days.