Have your recipes been leaving you with super salty kraut?
I’ve had my fair share of super salty krauts too. When I first started making sauerkraut I tried many different recipes. Some good, some bad and many were just too salty. I tried to save my overly salted krauts with little success.
I tried leaving it out longer to ferment. Supposedly, it gets less salty the longer it ferments, but it never made enough of a difference for me.
I tried using the kraut sparingly as a way to salt my food, but that totally defeated the purpose of getting a good dose of sauerkraut a day.
I tried washing the extra salt off before eating it, but that was a pain in the butt.
Other advice I received included buying a food scale and weighing the salt to the ratio of cabbage each time, but seriously I didn’t want to buy any fancy equipment or do calculations.
So, instead of going through the salty kraut dance again, I learned a method that makes it perfect every time.
Even if you follow a recipe exactly you can still get the salt measurements wrong
Why? Cabbage heads vary in size from small to very large. A small head of cabbage will require less salt than a large head of cabbage. And if you add more veggies to the cabbage mixture like I often do, you may need to add more salt.
The type of salt varies. Course salt is heavier than fine salt. A tablespoon of course salt is not the same as a tablespoon of fine salt.
3 simple steps to make perfectly salted sauerkraut every time
I learned this method from “Fresh & Fermented, 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of Every Meal”, by Julie O’Brien & Richard J. Climenhage.
Step 1 – Prepare your cabbage
Shred the cabbage and put it in a big bowl. Generally there are about 12 cups of shredded cabbage in a 2 pound head. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt to the cabbage and mix it up. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
Step 2 – Your training wheels/ The brine
While your cabbage is sitting, make a brine by mixing 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Mix until it dissolves. Now taste it. This is how perfectly salted kraut should taste like (kind of like the ocean). This brine is like your training wheels and with a little practice you won’t have to use it anymore.
Step 3 – Taste cabbage for salt
Go back to your cabbage mixture and massage and squeeze with your hands. When you squeeze the cabbage and liquid comes out, it’s ready to taste. Taste the cabbage at the bottom of the bowl and compare it to the brine you made. The salt level should taste similar.
If it’s not salty enough, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, massage it into the cabbage and taste it again. Repeat this until it’s salty enough.
If it’s too salty, add 1 – 2 tablespoons of purified water to the cabbage mixture. Mix it up and taste. Repeat until it’s salty enough.
I promise after making a few batches of sauerkraut, you’ll have the hang of this and won’t need to compare it to the brine. I don’t use the brine anymore and have perfectly salted kraut every time.
The Importance of getting the salt right
I can’t stress enough how super important it is to get the salt amount right. Too little salt can cause the sauerkraut to get mushy or moldy and too much will slow the fermentation down significantly. Always start with the least amount of salt required and add more if needed. This will ensure you will get perfectly salted sauerkraut each time.
So, now that you know how to make perfectly salted kraut every time, try this method over the weekend and comment below to tell me what you’re going to make. You can find my popular sauerkraut recipes here.
Please do me a favor and share this with your friends and family if you think they’ll benefit from this advice too.
Happy Fermenting! Danielle
“Fresh & Fermented, 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of Every Meal”, by Julie O’Brien & Richard J. Climenhage.