This make-ahead German Style Sauerkraut recipe will take your camping hot dogs to a whole new level!…
Hot dogs are a camping favorite, but they don’t have to be as simple as ketchup and mustard. You can easily elevate your hot dogs with New York-style toppings, including this homemade German-style sauerkraut.
Sure, you can buy sauerkraut from grocery stores, but you won’t get the crispiness you get from homemade sauerkraut. And canning your own sauerkraut is easier than you think!
All you need is two ingredients and 1-3 weeks of patience for the fermentation process to do its thing. Then you can enjoy and show off this easy recipe as the best-tasting sauerkraut your camping buddies have ever had.
(Not to mention enjoying the beneficial probiotics!)
We have a few quick tips and important info for you if you’ve never canned sauerkraut before. If you’re already a big fan of canning, feel free to jump to the recipe by clicking the button below.Jump to Recipe
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Quick Tips & Important Info
This is a very easy sauerkraut recipe, but these tips will ensure you have nice sour tartness and avoid any bad mold growth.
- While fermenting, keep the jar at room temperature (65 F to 72 F) and out of the sun. Keep it loosely covered with the mason jar’s lid (without the sealing ring). Place it in a deep dish to catch any overflow that may occur from fermenting.
- It’s important to keep the cabbage submerged. If the salt brine (liquid) evaporates to nearly exposing the top of the cabbage, top the jar off with filtered water. Some German sauerkraut recipes say to top off with salt water, but salt stays behind when water evaporates. So, why add salt if it’s still there?
- When fermenting, you might see white spots or film at the top. These are harmless. Just skim it off the top before sealing the jar and refrigerating it.
- If you see any mold above the water line, simply wipe it away. Sometimes a little mold might occur at the top of the jar because the fermenting bubbles splashed out. However, if you see fuzzy, black, or colored spots in or below the water, that’s not harmless, and the batch must be thrown out. This happens if the jar and utensils weren’t properly sterilized or if the loose covering is too loose.
- Use WOOD utensils and GLASS cookware during prep, NOT METAL. Metal can react with the acids and leave a metallic flavor behind.
- How long to ferment sauerkraut depends on the weather and personal taste. Sauerkraut takes longer to ferment in the cool temperatures of winter and less time in hot summer months.
- The longer it ferments, the stronger the sour flavor. So, you’ll want to taste it after the first week and every few days thereafter until it reaches your desired level of tartness. Then seal and refrigerate it to maintain that level of tartness.
- The best way to start is with small batches (staggering 1 mason jar at a time). This helps you get the hang of it and narrow in on your ideal timing. So, if you accidentally leave it out too long and it’s past your tastes, you’ve only wasted one small batch of sauerkraut.
- Once sealed and refrigerated, homemade sauerkraut stays fresh in the fridge for about 4-6 months. It’s a good idea to tape a “sealed date” on the jar.
- You can also freeze sauerkraut if you use freezer-safe mason jars. If frozen immediately, it’ll maintain peak freshness in the freezer for 4-6 months, then another 4-6 months once you move it to the fridge. It’s a good idea to tape a “sealed date” on the jar when freezing and another “thawed date” when you move it to the fridge.
Health Benefits of Sauerkraut
Saurkraut is not only a tasty addition to New York-style hot dogs, pork chops, Reuben sandwiches, and other dishes, but it also comes with a host of health benefits!
It’s made by fermenting cabbage with salt and water, allowing the good bacteria to grow and multiply. This lactic acid fermentation uses the cabbage’s natural sugars to make the sour cabbage we all enjoy. As a result, it’s a rich source of vitamin C and probiotics, the good bacteria that live in your gut and help keep your digestive system healthy.
Probiotics boost your immune system, aid digestion, and even improve your mental health. Studies have shown that a healthy gut microbiome is linked to reduced risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.
So, by adding delicious sauerkraut to your diet, you could be improving your overall health! Granted, we mostly use it on hot dogs when camping, but let’s not focus too hard on that fact 😉
Ready to Make Sauerkraut?
If you’re making homemade sauerkraut, you gotta put it to good use in this New York Style Hot Dog Recipe! But first, the sauerkraut…
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