This Fermented Sauerkraut Is The Best Summer BBQ Side Dish |

This Fermented Sauerkraut Is The Best Summer BBQ Side Dish [Recipe]

I love a good summer cookout, and this fermented sauerkraut is the best addition I’ve made so far. It takes some time, but it is worth the wait!

You will never want to buy pre-made sauerkraut once you taste how delicious the homemade one is. Plus, soon your friends will want in and you may be making some money out of this wonderful hobby.

Try This Fermented Sauerkraut For Your Next Cookout!

Are you wondering, why sauerkraut?

Simply, sauerkraut is a great food to have with many different types of meat. I use it as a topping on my hot dogs, as a side dish when I grill burgers, and if you are having a summer spread, it mixes well with everything.

Keep in mind that you are fermenting food, so you should be aware of how to keep the process safe. I have practice, and it’s become second nature to me, so it will surely be for you after a bit of time.

Photo of text area that says "This Fermented Sauerkraut Is The Best Summer BBQ Side Dish, vegan & gluten-free, 4 simple ingredients, quicj and easy," followed by a photo of sauerkraut in a clear glass jar

One thing to look out for once you start fermenting is the change in color for your cabbage. It will be evident once the process is successful because your cabbage will become tan-yellow and translucent.

I suggest you allow at least 2 weeks for the process to work. The flavors will be complex, tangy, and sweet, all at the same time.

You can also add some spices; I like using peppercorn, a bit of cumin, and maybe even hot sauce for those that dare. This is an all-time favorite for summer BBQ and every get-together that involves grilling.

While I usually start eating my sauerkraut at 2 weeks, some people prefer it stronger, so you can wait a few more weeks. It’s a learning process at first, but if you are like me, you’ll want to make it better and better every time.

Get ready for a big summer celebration and start making this fermented sauerkraut soon!

Fermented Sauerkraut

Recipe by Gillian Lightman


  • 2 lb (900 g) napa cabbage

  • 1 cup (240 ml) non-chlorinated water

  • 1 1/2 tbsp pickling salt

  • For additional brine, dissolve a half teaspoon of salt for every half-cup (120 ml) of water


  • Dissolve 1 tsp of salt in a cup of water to make brine, then set aside.
  • Remove undesirable outer leaves from the cabbage then slice it into quarters. Dispose of the core.
  • Slice cabbage thinly and put it in a large mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle then massage a tablespoon of pickling salt into the cabbage, make sure to squeeze to release liquid.
  • Cover mixing bowl and leave it for a minimum of 1 hour.
  • Toss and squeeze cabbage a few more times to release more liquid.
  • Pack the cabbage into a glass jar and firmly tamp it down with a spoon. Make sure to leave 2 inches of headspace.
  • Pour the liquid collected from squeezing cabbages into the jar. Make sure cabbages are completely submerged by firmly pressing down on it.
  • Put spring on top of the cabbage then twist the lid on.
  • Wipe jar, cover it with a cloth, and store for 24-36 hours in a cool place (68 F or 20 C).
  • By this time natural brine should have covered the cabbage, if not, remove spring and lid and then pour in some additional brine to cover.
  • Wipe jar rim then replace spring and lid.
  • Check jars daily to make sure vegetables remain covered with brine.
  • As it ferments, cabbage should become slightly yellow and translucent.
  • Ferment for 2 weeks then check taste for a mild tangy flavor.
  • If a stronger flavor is preferred, ferment for 1-3 more weeks until you reach the desired flavor.
  • Once the flavor is all right, remove spring and pour in more fresh brine to cover vegetables.
  • Wipe glass jar rim, replace lid, and refrigerate for up to 6 months.


  • The spring keeps food submerged under the brine and is very easy to remove after the fermentation process is complete.