We are basing our new homemade sauerkraut how to on Leda Meredith’s new book, Preserving Everything, which shows how one can make sauerkraut in a mason jar. We talked with Leda recently on GF Radio: listen here. Links to buy book at end of post ↓
I like this mason jar sauerkraut method, it makes it less daunting than having to go find or buy a big glass jar or crock. Most of us already have a couple of mason jars somewhere. I might have too many jars, according to some family members…
But this is pretty simple, chop up cabbage, add salt, put in jar, wait.
I couldn’t find the shredding blade for my food processor – not surprising – so I cut up the cabbage by hand. Its my experience that shredding with a food processor will yield a much more shredded cabbage, and that will start fermenting much faster than cabbage cut up with a knife.
The reason for this is that with a food processor, the cabbage is cut finer, exposing more leaf surface area to the salt. The salt draws some moisture out of the cabbage, and the brine starts to form. With the knife sliced cabbage, this process is much slower. Its also important to basically massage or kinda crinkle the cabbage to break down some cell walls and allow the salt to do its work.
After your cabbage in a jar has let out enough water to create a brine that covers all the fermenting kraut, we will let it sit in a dark place for a few days. We’ll be looking for bubbles, a sign that the lacto fermentation has kicked in.
In our case, because of the knife cut leaves, I had to add salt brine to the jar. I set out a pint of water overnight – because our water is chlorinated – and then added a teaspoon of kosher salt to it, and topped off the kraut so that all the leaves were covered in liquid.
You can get Leda’s Preserving Everything book here: