Sign up ×
Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am new to making sauerkraut. I do know the right ingredients for making sauerkraut, based on searching on Google.

My question is what equipment should I use to weight the sauerkraut below the brine?

I am using a Fidos jar as a container. If I were rich, I would buy a fermenting crock that comes with stone weights, see for example this crock. However, since I am not rich, are there stone weights that I can buy?

My current idea is to use ceramic pie weights, but I have never owned any of these before. Would they be sufficiently heavy to weight the sauerkraut down?

share|improve this question

6 Answers 6

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Penn State Extension recommends:

Cover with a plate weighted down with jars filled with water or cover with a large food grade plastic bag filled with salt water (6 tablespoons salt per gallon of water.)

share|improve this answer
This works if I have a large jar, but my jars are pretty small, with a diameter of 3.5 inches. – I Like to Code Jun 8 '13 at 21:24
Zip bags come in many sizes... – SAJ14SAJ Jun 8 '13 at 21:35
That's a great suggestion. Thanks! – I Like to Code Jun 8 '13 at 22:58

I can't see why not, pie weights should be fine. The ceramic weights used in large kraut crocks are unglazed ceramic as are the pie weights. I would place the weights in a plastic zip bag though, to make sure they don't drift downward, maybe even filling the bag with the brine as well. Afterward, you could always bake the pie weights to sterilize them between uses too.

share|improve this answer
The bag of brine is all you actually need. – SAJ14SAJ Nov 26 '13 at 13:42

Get a set of ceramic weights that fit a 1 liter Fido jar.

(disclaimer: this is my own product)

share|improve this answer
This seems like a good solution. Why did someone give a downvote to this answer? – I Like to Code Jun 18 '14 at 23:24
Solicitation is generally not allowed unless disclosed and relevant to the question. This is relevant but I think slightly disingenuous. – logophobe Jun 18 '14 at 23:26
I'm going to assume good intentions here, and just add a disclaimer. It was already pretty obvious that this is Leslie's product, and this is also directly relevant to the question. This is exactly the kind of rare case when we do allow linking to your own products. (The disclaimer does need to be there, but I'm not really worried about a rash of jar-weight spam developing here.) – Jefromi Jun 18 '14 at 23:44
I agree with Jefromi. The Internet has trained many people to have a negative reaction to any form of self-promotion. Here, we are trying to be better than that and not throw out the baby with the bathwater. So, no matter how it "feels" to see a self-promoting link, if objective evaluation shows that it is relevant to the post, I prefer to let it stay, as our rules prescribe. – rumtscho Jun 19 '14 at 15:02

A quick tip: whichever way you weight your kraut, add a piece of outer cabbage leaf (make sure all your veg is organic, not sprayed) under the weights to hold all the bits of kraut under the brine level. It gives you a good wallop of the right bacteria too!

share|improve this answer

I use these glass weights, there are quite a few varieties available but the basic idea behind them is the same: they almost completely fill the opening of a Mason jar or other jar which has the same diameter opening (many do). The stone weights in a dedicated fermentation crock do the same job, minimizing the kraut's contact with the air, but the glass weight is one piece instead of two so it's a little harder to get them in and out of the jar than it is with a stone weight like the one Leslie linked to. There are versions for either standard-mouth or wide-mouth jars.

share|improve this answer

Although weights are highly recommended, I have successfully made cabbage saurkraut without weights. When not using weights you have to make sure you pack down the cabbage nicely, the juices drawn from the cabbage should almost fill the jar. leaving very little air in the jar. Everyday you will have to pack down the cabbage as some of the cabbage bit would be floating and may cause mold formation. This works for me for cabbage and beets.

share|improve this answer
"Packing down daily" means opening the jar daily which means you are much more prone to mold because you are not maintaing an anaerobic environment., not a good plan/method. – Ecnerwal Nov 3 at 15:32

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.