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  • Writer's pictureTara

How to ferment Sauerkraut: Traditional Gärtopf method.

I have been making this recipe for the last six years and my family absolutely loves it.

The easiest Sauerkraut recipe I've ever tried.

If you love relishes and pickles, you're bound to love sauerkraut!

Living in Germany , I have tasted so many different kinds of sauerkraut as they vary from region to region. This recipe is the easiest to make and relatively gentle on the palette.

How to ferment Sauerkraut in the Traditional Gärtopf method.

Here is a list of Ingredients you will need:

This is a very basic list of ingredients you will need to start off your sauerkraut making adventures. I always make a big batch to last the year, so I have taken the minimum portion in mind.

  • 1 green cabbage, weighing around 1 kilo.

  • 3 medium carrots

  • 1 small ripe Pear

  • Sea Salt

  • 2 mixing bowls

  • masher

  • Container for fermenting

  • Knife

  • Chopping board

  • Shredder


  1. Wash and dry all your ingredients.

  2. Shred the cabbage and make sure the core is removed. It does not break down well in the fermentation process and will be hard to chew. It is also bitter in taste.

  3. Once the cabbage is shredded put it all in a bowl and sprinkle sea salt liberally all over it. Mix it and keep it aside.

  4. Repeat the same procedure for the carrots and leave them aside in another bowl.I usually leave them in salt for 2-3 hours.

  5. Once they have rested in the salt water add the carrots to the cabbage.

  6. Chop the fruit and add to the vegetables.

Now we must break down the veggies so they ferment properly.

I am using this wooden masher that goes well with the ceramic fermenting pot.

If you don’t have that, lightly punch the cabbage with your fist to break it down.

If you don’t have a Gärtopf as shown here, you can sterilise and use a normal glass storage jar from IKEA like I did.

Fill up the container and rest for two days at room temperature.

Do not store in direct sunlight.

Room temperature would be around 22 C.

After two days, I put the ceramic pot in the basement where the temperature is between 10C and 15C.

It will stay here for 5 weeks.

If you are using a Gäretopf make sure it doesn’t run out of water in the rim. That helps to keep it airtight while still allowing the gases to escape.

After 5 weeks, open the Gärtopf and check the contents. There should be no fungus on the sauerkraut.

Transfer to another container and store in the refrigerator. This should keep for a at least a couple of months if stored correctly.

Enjoy as a side relish with your meals. I particularly like to have it with couscous, meats and breads!

If you decide to try it, let me know how it turned out!

Watch the Youtube video to see how I make it!

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