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Sauerkraut: How to make and live with the smell

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13th November, 2018

Homemade Sauerkraut tastes amazing and is so much nicer than that shop bought rubbish. It goes great with sausages and also is a core ingredient in a Choucroute which you’re going to make some time soon so you may as well make your own Sauerkraut now

Below are some tips, hints and warnings. Be prepared to get intimate with your cabbage.


  • 2kg very firm white cabbage, cored
  • 6 Tbsp Sea salt
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns


    Before you start the journey of making your own Sauerkraut (Go on, it’s a doddle!), I have some warnings for you

    1. It takes quite a while

    2. It smells a bit

    3. Your next few weeks will revolve around a 5 litre plastic bucket with a lid

    4. You have to do weird things to a cabbage

    OK. You've decided to do it

    Shred the cabbage very thin. You can use a food processer for this and I recommend you do to get uniform thinness throughout

    In your lovely new plastic bucket (with lid), add a layer of cabbage and give it a sprinkling of salt. Repeat this until all the cabbage is in the bucket

    Now give the cabbage a massage. Yep. A massage. You want to work the salt and cabbage together for about 20 minutes. This will start to draw the water out of the cabbage and start you on your way to a lovely Sauerkraut

    After your 20 minutes of cabbage relaxing is up, add the caraway seeds and peppercorns

    Using cling film on the top of the cabbage, squash it down to remove air bubbles in the cabbage and weight it down. Pop your lid on the bucket and leave it in a cool dark place like your garage

    If you're impatient; you can eat it after 5 days of fermenting and decant the cabbage into some clean kilner jars and keep it in the fridge

    If you're extra patient though you'll get a better sauerkraut and I'd highly recommend you do wait two weeks minimum

    Things to look out for in your fermenting cabbage quest:

  • Check on your cabbage every other day by lifting the lid. This helps remove the built up gasses in the container.
  • If you see scum on top of the cabbage; remove it, clean your weights and replace the cling film