Sauerkraut for Canning


Step-by-step directions for canning sauerkraut. This big-batch recipe makes 36 pints!

Prep Time:
1 hrs
Cook Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Additional Time:
21 days 12 hrs 50 mins
Total Time:
21 days 15 hrs 20 mins
36 pints


  • 50 pounds cabbage

  • 1 ⅞ cups canning salt, divided


  1. Remove outer leaves and any undesirable portions from firm mature cabbage heads. Cut heads into quarters and remove and discard cores, Cut cabbage into thin shreds about the thickness of a dime with a sharp knife, mandolin, or food processor.

  2. Transfer 5 pounds cabbage to a large bowl. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons salt over top and mix thoroughly. Let stand until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes.

  3. Pack salted cabbage firmly and evenly into a large, clean pickling container. Use a wooden spoon, tapper, or your hands to press down firmly until juice comes to the surface.

  4. Repeat salting and packing of cabbage in 5-pound batches as directed in Step 2 until the container is filled to within 3 to 4 inches of the top. If juice does not cover cabbage, make and add brine (see Tip).

  5. Cover cabbage with cheesecloth and tuck the edges down against the inside of the container. Place a weighted bowl on the cheesecloth to submerge cabbage. Let sit in a 70 to 75 degrees F (21 to 24 degrees C) room for 3 to 6 weeks; remove and discard scum formation daily. The presence of gas bubbles indicates fermentation is taking place.

  6. When ready to can, inspect 36 pint-sized (or 18 quart-sized) jars for cracks and rings for rust, discarding any defective ones. Immerse in simmering water until needed. Wash new, unused lids and rings in warm soapy water.

  7. Transfer sauerkraut and brine to a very large pot. Heat mixture until simmering and 185 to 210 degrees F (85 to 99 degrees C); do not boil.

  8. Pack sauerkraut into hot, sterilized jars, filling to within 1/2 inch of the top. Run a clean knife or thin spatula around the insides of the jars to remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims with a moist paper towel to remove any residue. Top with lids and screw rings on tightly.

  9. Working in batches, place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil and lower jars 2 inches apart into the boiling water using a holder. Pour in more boiling water to cover jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil, cover, and process pints for 15 minutes or quarts for 20 minutes.

  10. Remove the jars from the stockpot and let rest, several inches apart, for 12 to 24 hours. Press the center of each lid with a finger to ensure the lid does not move up or down. Remove the rings for storage and store in a cool, dark area.


If you need more brine to cover the cabbage in Step 4, bring 1 quart water and 1 1/2 tablespoons salt to a boil. Cool to room temperature before using.

Editor's Notes:

Always brine foods in a food-grade, nonreactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot, a brining bag, or a food-grade plastic bucket.

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of canning salt. The actual amount consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

39 Calories
0g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 144
Calories 39
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 1470mg 64%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 58mg 289%
Calcium 64mg 5%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 268mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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