How to Make Sauerkraut: A Complete Guide to Fermenting Cabbage


Sauerkraut is a traditional fermented food that has gained popularity in recent years due to its health benefits and unique flavor. Making sauerkraut at home is surprisingly simple and requires only a few ingredients and basic equipment. In this article, we will provide a complete guide on how to make sauerkraut from scratch, including step-by-step instructions, expert interviews, easy recipes, and health benefits.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Sauerkraut From Scratch

To make sauerkraut at home, you will need cabbage, salt, and a fermentation vessel such as a glass jar or ceramic crock. It’s important to use the right ingredients and to follow the right steps to ensure your sauerkraut comes out delicious and safe to eat.

Start by shredding your cabbage and adding salt. You will then pack the cabbage tightly into your fermentation vessel, including any additional vegetables and spices you desire. The fermentation process will take 1-4 weeks depending on the temperature and desired taste. Be sure to taste your kraut periodically and check on the vessel to ensure it’s fermenting properly.

Interview with a Sauerkraut Expert

We talked with sauerkraut expert and author Sandor Katz to discuss the history and cultural importance of sauerkraut and its various health benefits. According to Katz, sauerkraut has been a traditional food for centuries and has unique gut-healthy properties due to its fermentation process. Katz also shared tips on different methods of making sauerkraut and the benefits of incorporating various vegetables and spices.

Easy Sauerkraut Recipes

Making sauerkraut at home allows you to customize and experiment with different vegetable and spice combinations. Here are a few easy recipes to try:
– Classic Sauerkraut: Cabbage, salt, and caraway seeds
– Kimchi Sauerkraut: Cabbage, garlic, ginger, and Korean chili flakes
– Beet and Apple Sauerkraut: Cabbage, beets, apples, and cinnamon
– Pickle Kraut: Cabbage, dill, and garlic

Uses of Sauerkraut in Cooking

Sauerkraut can be added to a variety of dishes to add a delicious tang and a probiotic boost. Try adding it to your salads, sandwiches, tacos, or even scrambled eggs. You can also use it as a condiment, such as in a Reuben sandwich or atop a hot dog.

Health Benefits of Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a powerhouse of nutrition, containing high levels of vitamin C, fiber, and beneficial bacteria. The fermentation process creates probiotics that support gut health, digestion, and immune function. Sauerkraut has also been linked to potential cancer-fighting properties.

Troubleshooting Guide for Common Sauerkraut-Making Problems

During the fermentation process, there are several issues that can arise, such as mold or spoiled kraut. It’s important to know how to address these issues and prevent them in the future. According to experts, keeping a close eye on your kraut’s progress, using the right ingredients and equipment, and practicing good hygiene can prevent most common problems.


Making sauerkraut at home is a fun and rewarding way to add a healthy and flavorful food to your diet. With the right ingredients, equipment, and knowledge, anyone can make delicious and safe kraut at home. Try one of the recipes above or experiment with your own flavor combinations.

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