How to make crispy sauerkraut – step by step recipes with photos

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For home preservation, it is important that products rolled up in jars maintain a state close to fresh – this ability is called aerobatics. Crispy sauerkraut is the best marker for the professional level of the cook: with the apparent ease of work, this task has many pitfalls. How to make fermentation correctly?

How to make sauerkraut

This healthy vegetable is a storehouse of trace elements and vitamins, especially pectin with ascorbic acid. All recipes for sauerkraut look approximately the same, if we talk about the algorithm of work. First, the products are cleaned and shredded, after which they make a normal brine, and the preparation is infused. How long the fermentation process will take place depends on its catalyst. You can make sauerkraut tasty and crisp both in a couple of hours and in a week. The price of an ideal dish is knowledge of the basic rules and a couple of hours in the kitchen:

  • According to Soviet GOST, cabbage is used for cabbage weighing from 700 g.
  • Be sure to remove the foam that will stand out from above, otherwise self-destruction of vitamins.
  • Do not abuse salt – it is taken less than with classic salting, because it stops the production of lactic acid. Do not forget to mix it with spices, and not put it separately.
  • During the first days, gases will escape from the workpiece, so you need to pierce it daily with a long arm, otherwise you will ferment a crispy, but bitter product.

Sauerkraut with carrots and cranberries

Souring cabbage at home

The abundance of recipes for this traditional winter treat for the festive table can be divided into several groups according to the methods of work and composition. If we talk about the dishes in which the cabbage is fermented at home, then this:

  • wooden barrels / tubs – ideal, but not always feasible for a city dweller;
  • glass jars, preferably small;
  • enameled bucket / basin.

You can ferment this product in several ways, differing in the chemical composition of the liquid:

  • in own juice, i.e. water and some spices.
  • with the addition of salt – so the cabbage will be crispy;
  • using vinegar.

If we talk about crisp cabbage, then ferment it to obtain such a result:

  • heads of cabbage (in a tub and if they are not large);
  • quarters of forks (for huge specimens from 1 kg or more weight);
  • straws (not always the vegetable remains dense);
  • chopped pieces (square shape, size up to 12 mm).

Sauerkraut with carrots in a bowl

How to ferment cabbage

In addition to the basic points already listed, the difficulties of the housewives who decided to try for the first time to master the fermentation of white cabbage, causes the choice of additional components. According to the old GOST, carrots (100 g per kilogram of the main product), caraway seeds, sour apples (ideal antonovka), fresh lingonberries, cranberries and bay leaves were always present here. Properly ferment cabbage, which remains crispy, you can even without salt.


  • cabbage forks – 5 kg;
  • carrots – 0.5 kg;
  • caraway seeds – 1 tbsp. l .;
  • bay leaves – 3 pcs.;
  • small green apples – 2 pcs.;
  • a handful of cranberries and cranberries.

Cooking method:

  1. Remove the top sheets from the forks, cut the stump, cut the rest into quarters
  2. Grate carrots.
  3. Knead both vegetables a couple of minutes with your hands – this should form a juice.
  4. Wash and cut the apple into several slices, lay, alternating with dense layers of cabbage-carrot mixture, in a tub.
  5. Add spices, berries. Pour hot water, put the load – the amount of liquid is calculated so as to cover the pickled vegetables completely.
  6. You need to monitor the process and do daily punctures. The first 5 days, while bacteria are actively working, cabbage is warm, after which it goes into the cold for 2 weeks to complete fermentation. Willingness is determined by the color of the juice made – it becomes transparent. After that you can lay out crisp cabbage in small containers.

Sauerkraut with apples

How to ferment cabbage to be crispy

Even if you follow all the recommendations described above, you can miss some nuances and get not quite the result that is expected. Professionals are ready to give some tips on how to ferment cabbage, so that it is crispy, not lose vitamins:

  • Take non-iodized salt – soft cabbage pieces and slimy brine come mainly from iodine.
  • If you added a lot of sugar, there’s no point in thinking about how to make sauerkraut crispy, it will soften it.
  • It is advisable to use varieties of medium ripening and later – they are more dense.
  • If you are interested in how to make crispy sauerkraut, never use frozen forks.

Souring cabbage in a jar

Most housewives do not have the opportunity to take a wooden tub and try to ferment the cabbage in it, so they are looking for an affordable alternative that will not affect the taste and quality of the dish. You can take an enamelled basin for a replacement, but a more convenient option is the fermentation of cabbage in a jar. To do this, heads of cabbage must be chopped, while maintaining a straw width of 3 mm. The work process looks the same as described above in the frame, but there are several nuances:

  • It is difficult to place oppression in such a dish if it is not a small granite stone that will fit the width of the throat. There is an alternative – fill a regular bag with water about half the volume, expel the air, tie it tightly. The load will put pressure on the cabbage mass and help fermentation.
  • You can add salt, but its maximum content in brine is 20 g per 1 liter of water.
  • The shredder is carried out across (!) Veins, while the width of the straw is standardized and ranges from 2 to 4 mm.
  • It is necessary to fill the cabbage mass so that a high slide forms above the edge of the can. Every day they press on it, compacting the workpiece, and it will settle. In this case, the fermented container must be put in a basin so that the juice flows there.

Jars with sauerkraut

How to ferment cabbage for the winter

Those who prepare such a dish for storage, you need to consider a few more subtleties associated with the extension of the fermentation period:

  • To choose for starter culture “in reserve” you need only thick heads of cabbage.
  • The period of stay of dishes with pickled product in the heat is reduced to 3 days.
  • Later varieties for the winter should be prepared with sugar (20 g per liter jar).
  • It’s not enough to know how to ferment crisp cabbage, if you don’t understand how to store it: the air temperature should be between -2 and 0 degrees, and the place should be dark.
  • Do not try to ferment cabbage with onions – it will not last a month.
  • If you decide to ferment cabbage correctly for the winter, the first days it should stay in a room with a temperature of 18 degrees, and only on the 3rd go to the cold.
  • Before closing and removing sauerkraut, pull gauze soaked in alcohol over the throat of the can.

How to quickly ferment cabbage at home

If you do not plan to store this harvesting all winter, but intend to put it on the table in the coming days, you need to be able to quickly ferment cabbage at home. Such a dish is more likely to remain crunchy, since the fermentation process is short, although here you can make a mistake. About a liter can of sauerkraut will come out of the quantity of products that are given in this recipe: just for a one-time serving of snacks and storage for a couple more days.


  • cabbage head – 550 g;
  • carrot – 250 g;
  • caraway seeds – 1 tsp;
  • black pepper peas – 5 pcs.;
  • boiling water – 350 ml;
  • sugar – 1/2 tsp;
  • salt – 2/3 tbsp. l .;
  • vinegar 6% – 2 tbsp. l.

Cooking method:

  1. Dissolve salt with sugar in boiling water, pour vinegar. Stir until the granules of bulk products disperse.
  2. Chop cabbage and carrots the same way: the straw should be thin and short.
  3. Fill the selected container with cabbage and carrot mass. Tamp well with a wooden pestle
  4. Carefully pour in the brine – do not do it too quickly, otherwise it will penetrate the lower layers for a long time.
  5. Pierce the product ready for pickling with a knife or spoon twice, reaching the bottom. Cork with a lid or tighten securely with cling film. After a day, you can try crisp cabbage.
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