How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut – Oma's Easy German Recipe

Homemade sauerkraut recipe. There's nothing quite like it. Amazingly delicious and wonderfully healthy. You'll be amazed how easy this is to make with Oma's tips.

You can use mason jars or the E-Jen container with the inner vacuum lid so no odors waft through your kitchen for weeks during the fermentation process.

Prep Time

50 minutes

Fermentation Time

1 - 4 weeks

Total Time

1 - 4 weeks


Makes 12 servings


  • 3 pounds (1.3 kilograms) green cabbage 
  • 1½ tablespoon (30 grams) sea salt, finely ground


  1. Wash cabbage, remove outer leaves and cut in quarters. Cut out the core and using a large knife or a mandolin, thinly slice each quarter.
  2. Weigh the cabbage and use the above ratio to calculate the amount of salt to add.
  3. Put the sliced cabbage into a large mixing bowl and add the salt. Mix and let stand for about 15 minutes. With clean hands, vigorously massage and squeeze the cabbage for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. The cabbage will release its juices, the more the better. This is the brine that will cover the cabbage during fermentation.
  5. Pack the cabbage into your container(s), pressing down with your fist or a wooden spoon to push the cabbage under the liquid and no air bubbles  remain. If you have fermentation weights, use them. If you don't and are using a mason jar, fit a zip-top freezer bag into the jar, making sure it covers the entire surface of the cabbage. Fill the bag with cool water and seal, pressing out as much air as possible. Tuck the top into the jar and cover with a towel. If you are using the E-Jen, open the air lock, press down on the inner vacuum lid until the brine starts to bubble out of the air lock hole, and press the air lock in place. Place the lid on.
  6. Set your jars/container on your kitchen counter (cover with towel to keep jars dark) at around 65 to 75℉ for at least 1 week. You can taste it and see how you like it. Ideally, keep it fermenting for 2 to 4 weeks. 
  7. When the sauerkraut is sour enough to your taste, place it in the fridge to store. It will keep for up to 1 year.


  • If there is not enough brine to cover your cabbage, mix 1½ teaspoons of salt into 1 cup of water. Pour enough of this brine over the cabbage to submerge it.
  • If your jar is very full, place it in a shallow bowl because there will be bubbling going on for the first week. You will need to 'burp' the air lock on the E-Jen during this time.
  • Add a few bay leaves or ½ teaspoon caraway seeds to the top of the cabbage in the jar/E-Jen before closing.
  • For greatest health benefits, eat this raw, perhaps in the sauerkraut salad. To cook, see Oma's German sauerkraut recipe, sauerkraut soup, and this amazing sauerkraut casserole.

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