How to Make Sauerkraut

Recipe by Aroostook
READY IN: 1hr 30mins
YIELD: 16 quarts


  • 50
    lbs firm mature cabbage, quartered and cored,outer leaves discarded (about 10 gallons)
  • 3
    cups pickling salt, about


  • Late cabbage is best for sauerkraut as it is higher in sugar.
  • Take care to measure the salt accurately- use a knife to level the tablespoon.
  • The cabbage will not ferment properly if you add too much or too little salt.
  • With a shredder or sharp knife, shred 5 pounds of cabbage to the thickness of a dime.
  • Place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle 3 1/2 tablespoons of salt over the cabbage.
  • Mix well with your hands.
  • Wash a 10 gallon crock with soapy water, rinse, and scald it with boiling water.
  • Drain thoroughly.
  • Pack the salted cabbage, batch by batch, into the crock.
  • Juices will form as you pack and press the cabbage down.
  • Repeat the shredding and salting of the cabbage until the crock is filled to within no more than 5 inches from the top.
  • Press firmly with a masher to extract enough juice to cover the cabbage.
  • Cover with 2-3 layers of clean white cotton cloth, tucking edges down against side of jar.
  • Place a heavy scalded plate (that fits snugly inside the crock) on top of the cloth.
  • Fold the cloth over the plate.
  • For a weight, fill clean glass jars with water; cap with the lids and screw bands, scald the jars before setting them on the plate.
  • This weight should be enough so the juice comes over the plate.
  • Use enough weight to bring the brine 2 inches above the plate- this makes daily skimming easier.
  • Fermentation will begin the day following packing.
  • Keep at a cool 70 F (Fermentation will take about 3 weeks.).
  • Temperatures above 75F will result in premature fermentation and possible spoilage.
  • Give the sauerkraut daily care.
  • Remove the film as it forms-- wash, scald the cover as often as needed to remove mold and film.
  • Fermentation is complete if bubbling has stopped and no bubbles rise when the crock is tapped gently.
  • When the sauerkraut is ready to can, bring it to a boil in a large saucepan, then bottle in hot quart jars.
  • Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes to seal.
  • You can also add caraway seeds, cranberries, apples and even some garlic to achieve the taste you like.