Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®


a recipe by
Lolly St John
Concord, CA

I got this recipe from my Mother-in Law, Kay Cross. She has sadly passed on, but she lives on in our hearts, and her recipes are the BEST! If you like Sauerkraut, you will LOVE this homemade Kraut! If you don't like Sauerkraut, you will find you LIKE this homemade sauerkraut. No store bought Kraut can come close to comparing to the amazing flavor of this homemade Kraut, and it is so easy. Enjoy! PS: You will find the best price on cabbage in late Summer / early Fall.

serves Many all year
prep time 4 Hr
cook time 20 Min
method Canning/Preserving

Ingredients For sauerkraut

  • 18 lb
  • 1 box
    pickling salt
  • 5 gal
    plastic bucket
  • 3
    tall kitchen garbage bags with twisty ties
  • water
  • canning jar grips
  • sauce pan
  • canning kettle or canning steamer
  • 18 pint size wide mouth canning jars
  • wide mouth jar funnel
  • pot holders
  • kitchen towel to set jars on
  • meat slicer
  • marker to identify and date product
  • kitchen scale
  • flower planter base on wheels/casters

How To Make sauerkraut

  • 1
    Measurements: · 5 pounds cabbage per · 2 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 2
    Place the bucket on a Flower Planter Base on casters. (You can find these in any Garden Store)
  • 3
    Line your 5 gallon bucket with two garbage bags stretched over the outside of the bucket.
  • 4
    Quarter cabbage and remove core. Remove dry outer leaves. Weigh 5 pounds on Kitchen Scale.
  • 5
    Chop or grate cabbage, 1/8 to 1/4 thickness, with a meat slicer.
  • 6
    Place cabbage in a large bowl or pan as you chop it.
  • 7
    Sprinkle salt on the cabbage as you go. Knead the cabbage until juices come. (3 tablespoons of salt for 5 pounds of cabbage)
  • 8
    Fill that garbage bag with your salted cabbage, plus all juice in bowl or pan.
  • 9
    Repeat steps 4-8 for the rest of the cabbage.
  • 10
    When you have finished with the cabbage press all the air out of the inner garbage bag and tie with a twist tie.
  • 11
    Add another garbage bag atop the tied cabbage bag. Fill this bag with water to seal to the edges of bucket. Twistie tie this water bag.
  • 12
    Leave the crock to ferment. Store the bucket in a corner of the kitchen or any room it can remain unobstructed.
  • 13
    Check the bucket every few days and wipe any foam or mold you see forming inside the outer bag. (DO NOT OPEN THE INNER CABBAGE BAG)
  • 14
    After 3 weeks lift the bag of water into the sink and open the kraut bag.
  • 15
    Prepare wide mouth pint jars by boiling in water 5 minutes or in the dishwasher to sanitize.
  • 16
    In a sauce pan boil lids and rings 5 minutes to sanitize.
  • 17
    Place water in canning kettle or bottom of steaming canner and heat to a boil.
  • 18
    While jar is hot, fill each jar with Kraut to ½ inch from the top, pressing down making sure liquid covers kraut. (Add boiling water if needed to cover kraut)
  • 19
    Using Tongs, place lid and ring on jar and place in canning kettle, or on tray in the steam bathe.
  • 20
    Repeat until canner, or steamer is filled with jars aprox 6 per steam. (Make sure jars do not touch)
  • 21
    Place lid on canner cover and set timer for 20 minutes. If using steamer place lid on steamer and when steam sprays out hole of steamer set timer for 20 minutes.
  • 22
    After 20 minutes remove jars from canner/steamer, to sit on kitchen towel.
  • 23
    Wait for the lids to make a popping sound, telling you they are sealed (which is really cool to hear). Cool then loosen lids to store.
  • 24
    You can tell they are sealed by indentation on lid. If the lid does not indent you need to remove the lid, clean the rim of the jar, and using a new lid and ring, re-steam for another 20 minutes.
  • 25
    When you want to cook the canned kraut, cook for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.