Mason Jar Sauerkraut
How to make easy mason jar sauerkraut with one head of cabbage, salt and a mason jar. Fermented and ready to eat in about a week, unpasteurized lacto-fermented mason jar sauerkraut offers plentiful probiotics for optimum gut health, bone-building vitamins C and K, soluble fiber and iron. Also makes a pretty delicious gift in a jar!
Servings Prep Time
4(or more) half cup servings 20minutes
Cook Time
1 week or more fermenting time
Servings Prep Time
4(or more) half cup servings 20minutes
Cook Time
1 week or more fermenting time
Ingredients
  • 1head cabbage
  • 1tablespoon saltSea salt, kosher salt or table salt. I like them all.
  • Small amounts waterSometimes used to top up brine.
  • 1grated carrotOptional
Instructions
  1. Rinse the cabbage then remove any outer leaves that are bruised, discolored or wilted. Save two of the cleanest outer leaves for use later. Place the cabbage on a chopping board, remove the core, then cut into slices about a quarter to a third of an inch thick. No need to be too precise. You’ll be cutting it all down in the next step anyway.
  2. Take two or three cabbage slices at a time and dice them into finer pieces suitable for sauerkraut. Place the chopped cabbage shreds into a medium bowl.
  3. Add one tablespoon of salt and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or spatula. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes then come back and marvel at the sweating cabbage and the brine already beginning for you.
  4. Now get forceful with that cabbage. It’s sauerkraut in the making. Mash the cabbage shreds and salt with a potato masher, or whatever blunt object you have available, for ten or fifteen minutes. Your arms will get tired. Yes, you can take a break! Just keep going until you see a substantial amount of salty cabbage juice in the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Wash a quart mason jar and begin packing in the sauerkraut. Pressing the cabbage down helps remove any air bubbles but do leave an inch of head space at the top.
  6. It’s important that the cabbage be kept submerged under the brine. This produces healthy fermentation and those sought-after probiotics. What you don’t want is mold setting in if the cabbage gets air exposure. Remember those clean outer leaves that you set aside? Cut a generous circle out of a leaf to fit the top of your jar. Press this on top of the sauerkraut, tucking the edges down against the sides of the jar. This ensures that all the sauerkraut shreds are submerged in the brine below.
  7. Screw a lid on the jar, comfortably finger-tight. Place the jar on a small plate or tray because active fermentation will likely cause some leaking. Label and date the the mason jar sauerkraut then set it in a room-temperature location, out of direct sunlight, for at least a week.
  8. Open the jar every other day to release accumulated gasses and check the brine level. If needed, add a little more water to keep the cabbage submerged.
  9. Taste-test the sauerkraut after a week. If it’s tangy delicious, refrigerate and eat as desired. If it’s not tangy enough, let sit for a few more days. Sample every day until you reach the exact level of tangy deliciousness that suits you. Refrigerate until eaten. It won’t be long!