Homemade Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)


  • 2-quart wide-mouth glass canning jar (or 2 quart mason glass jars) with plastic screw-on lids or glass lids that seal shut (Don’t use metal lids because they may rust.)
  • Large mixing bowl


  • 1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)

1. Make sure glass mason jar(s) and lid(s) are thoroughly washed, rinsed, and dried. 

2. Remove outer leaves of cabbage and any that are damaged. Reserve 1 outer leaf and discard the rest. Remove the core and rinse the cabbage well, making sure the water flows between all the cabbage leaves. Drain well.

3. Thinly shred cabbage (except for reserved outer leaf) with a knife or food processor. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle salt over the cabbage and toss well. Let sit for 15 minutes.

4. Wash your hands thoroughly. Massage the cabbage in the bowl with your hands for 5 minutes. This will help the cabbage release a lot of its liquid. Mix in optional caraway seeds.

5. Pack the cabbage firmly into canning jar(s), and then pour the liquid that was released during kneading on top. Cut a circle the same diameter as your jar out of the reserved cabbage leaf and put it on top of the packed-down cabbage. Place a weight (such as a large glass marble, glass fermenting weight, or clean rocks contained in a zip-lock bag) on top of the cabbage leaf and cabbage to ensure that all the cabbage stays under the brine. Cabbage exposed to air may grow mold, so it’s important the cabbage stays submerged under the brine throughout the fermenting process. If the brine doesn’t completely cover the cabbage, add a 2% solution of salt water (1 teaspoon salt per cup of water) until all cabbage is submerged.

6. Screw plastic lid(s) onto the jar(s). Place the jar(s) in a rimmed pan (to catch any overflow) and allow to ferment at room temperature until the kraut reaches the level of sourness you like. Anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks. Keep checking in on your cabbage throughout the fermenting process. If the liquid gets too low, top it off with a 2% solution of salt water. If any scum forms on top of the liquid, skim it off. After it’s done fermenting, store the sauerkraut in the refrigerator and enjoy!

Adapted from: Kasner E. How to make sauerkraut. 26 Jan 2022. The Pioneer Woman website. Accessed 23 Feb 2022.

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