Weekend Project: Kraut!

I recently bought a Harsch Gairtopf fermenting crock and it has been turning over excellent batches of Kraut. I highly recommend it, but if your on a budget then shown below is how you can make it with darn near anything. Here is a recipe for sauerkraut:


5 pounds of cabbage and 3 tablespoons of salt (non-iodized). Sea salt works great.


A Harsch Gairtopf Crock or

A ceramic crock or gallon bucket, a plate that fits snugly inside the bucket, a gallon of water and cheese cloth or a pillow case to cover the crock/bucket.

1. Go to the farmers market and get about 5 pounds of cabbage. I’ve been told that it is important to get cabbage from the farmers market because for the most part, it isn’t sprayed with a ton of chemicals. These chemicals can affect the way the sauerkraut ferments. This is coming from Grandma Ruth, so if you have a better explanation for why this happens, then fill me in.

2. Shred up or slice the cabbage up thinly.

3. Layer a few inches of cabbage and sprinkle some salt over it. After the salt is layered, then smash the cabbage down using a potato masher or your fist. Pack it down hard and as you do this water should be pulling from the cabbage.

4. Continue step #3 until all the cabbage and salt is used. Let it sit for a few hours, maybe even over night. Letting it sit will allow you to asses the water level in the crock. The water that is pulled from the cabbage should cover the cabbage. If it doesn’t cover the cabbage than add 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of boiled water. Let this mixture sit and cool, then pour over the cabbage. Use as much as you need to make sure the cabbage is fully covered under the brine (about 1-2 inches over). If you have the Gairtopf crock then all you will need to do is put the stone weights on top of the mixture, press down, put the lid on, seal it with water and then leave. If not, see below.

5. Once the water level is accurate, place the plate on top of the mixture and press down. This should press some more water out, which is fine.

6. Place the gallon of water on top of the plate. This acts as a weight, helping to keep the cabbage submerged under the brine.

7. Cover the crock with the cheese cloth or pillow case, to keep everything but air out.

8. Check the cabbage ever so often and expect it to be finished in three to four weeks. I like to taste the sauerkraut throughout the process. It changes flavors as it goes so enjoy it. Once it gets to your liking, scoop it out and put it into the fridge. This slows down the fermenting process and should allow you to keep your sauerkraut for some time.

Enjoy this super simple gut healing food! For more information and more elaborate details on fermentation check out click here. This is where this sauerkraut recipe was found. Also, be sure to check out Sandor Ellix Katz’s book, Wild Fermentation. I have gotten tons of cool ideas and information from his work!

Here is a link to the Crock Pot I bought!






Written by Katie

Katie DeLuca is a native of Durham and has been involved with sports for the majority of her life. In addition to playing basketball at both the high school and junior college level, she also has experience with Cross Country, volleyball, and softball. Although her hunger to compete is still strong, Katie yearned for more than what competitive sports had to offer, and after her 8th year of playing basketball, she made the transition from competitive athlete to coach. For the last five years, she has been under the tutelage of NorCal Strength and Conditioning gym owners and head coaches Robb Wolf and Nicki Violetti, honing her coaching skills and developing an ever increasing knowledge of fitness and nutrition. To help expand her knowledge of exercise and nutrition, Katie has attended several coaching seminars and has received numerous certifications, including: Paleo Solution Nutrition Certification through Robb Wolf, CrossFit Level 1 Certification, CrossFit Kids Certification, Olympic Weightlifting Certification through Catalyst Athletics, Kettle Bell Certification, and an ASEP Certification. To improve her understanding of barbell exercises, she worked with world-renowned strength and conditioning coach Mark Rippetoe and was featured in his bestselling DVD Starting Strength. With the goal to share her unique knowledge of exercise and nutrition with kids, DeLuca coached both basketball and volleyball summer camps, as well as helped train the Durham High School football team in strength and conditioning. Through her experience as an athlete and coach, she has developed a firm understanding of the Paleo diet, as well as zone requirements as it relates to weight loss and performance. And as a frequent contributor to the NorCal SC blog, she is always cooking up new Paleo friendly recipes to share with her clients and coaching staff. As a personal trainer, Katie maintains a positive attitude and keeps her clients performing at their best by programming challenging yet enjoyable workouts. With a keen eye for movement, she spends an ample amount of time dialing in technique, giving her clients the tools they need to reach their full potential. With a rich background in both competitive sports and general fitness, Katie is equipped with the necessary tools to coach a variety of clients. Whether your goal is to lose weight and get fit, or make gains in your respected sport, she is an excellent coach to have in your corner. Although Katie is currently working for her Bachelors degree in Kinesiology at Chico State, she is available in the morning and evening for private training sessions.

Meet our other coaches.


  1. Katie, u and ur kraut!

  2. heheh you said “cock pot”

  3. Nicki bought me one of these Kraut pots for my b-day (nothing say’s lov’n like kraut!) and I worked up the first batch last week.

    AMAZING!!! Not only does it taste great, my digestion rocks eating a little kraut before most meals.

    It’s almost like this stuff works! Great post Katie.

  4. Lyle – I don’t know what you’re talking about smile

  5. I agree Nicki! Looked for it but you found it first. Thank you

  6. Katie D.

    I know Beth, I’ve gone over the edge:) I love it!

    Thanks Robb! I can’t wait for my batch of red and green kraut to be done!


  1. CrossFit Intrepid » Wild Fermentation - [...] Wolf had been talking up eating kraut with his meals and I saw when one of the trainers at …

Leave a Reply