How to ferment your own sauerkraut

Southern Kitchen
Homemade sauerkraut.

About the recipe

Forget that stuff in the plastic pouch — making your own sauerkraut is easy and a great way to preserve any leftover cabbage you may have on hand. Salting the cabbage creates a brine which, in an anaerobic environment, produces a natural fermentation that lends this classic condiment its distinctive tang.

For a more Southern interpretation, you can add some diced green tomato or peaches to the mix. The added sugar shouldn’t impact the fermentation process, so long as enough brine is present to cover the cabbage.

Serves: 8

Hands On Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 120 hours and 20 minutes


1 (2 1/2-pound) head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons caraway seeds


In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, salt and caraway seeds. Use your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage until the cabbage is tender and has given off a significant amount of liquid, about 10 minutes.

Divide between glass jars and press down to slightly cover cabbage with brine. Loosely seal the jars and let sit at room temperature until bubbles begin to form inside the jars and the cabbage has softened and begins to taste tangy, about 5 days. (This time will vary depending on the ambient temperature in your kitchen; warmer spaces will ferment the kraut more quickly than cooler spaces. We recommend beginning to check the kraut after 3 days.) Once you’re happy with the flavor and texture, firmly seal the jars and refrigerate until ready to serve.