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How to Can Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut, Wieners

A few years ago I found myself in possession of 5 huge heads of cabbage. Now since I garden having excess of various items simply means more to can. I set out to find the perfect recipe for sauerkraut as I couldn’t think of any other way to preserve the cabbage at the time.

My neighbor friend asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this. “Its going to get real real smelly” she informed me. I patiently trudged on and began the process (my friend brought over several pint sized jars with a request that “as long as you are making sauerkraut can I add another head of cabbage and have you make me some?”

Wash, Quarter and Core

The first step is to wash, quarter, core and finely shred your cabbage (I used green but according to the recipes I read you can use either green or the purple head). Sprinkle 3 and 1/2 tablespoons of salt over your cabbage and mix well.

Let Stand

Let this stand for 1/2 to 1 hour. Now firmly pack your cabbage into room temperature jars. Leave a 2 inch head space and fill with cold water.


Adjust the lids and screw the bands on tightly. Place your jars on either a cookie sheet or a jelly roll pan to catch the brine that will overflow as your cabbage ferments into sauerkraut.

Fermenting Process

As your cabbage ferments, check your jars to make sure that the cabbage is covered with brine, if not, open your jar and add more of the brine (made with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of salt per 1 quart of water).

See also  How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut (Sour Cabbage)

Wait 8 Weeks

After 8 weeks your sauerkraut is cured and ready to can. Open your jars and clean the rims and wipe them carefully down. Replace your lids and tightly screw the jar rings back onto the jars.

Water Bath Can

Set your jars into a cold water bath canner filled with cold water. The cold water should extend to at least 2 inches above your jars.

Bring your water bath canner to boil slowly and when it begins boiling begin timing.

Time It

Time your sauerkraut for 30 minutes whether you are using quarts or pints.

Wipe Jars Down

After your jars have cooled (usually the next day) carefully wipe them down and store them in a pantry, cupboard or dark basement area. Let sit for another few weeks and when you are ready for some sauerkraut and wieners open up one of your home canned jars of sauerkraut and enjoy!

Our family (and my friend) loved this recipe. Its fairly easy, the most time was spent in preparing the cabbage. It did not unduly smell up the house (as my kids were concerned about) and I just set the jars on the cookie sheet out of the way and checked them once daily til they were ready to can.