I love pairing sauerkraut with any dish that I prepare. I only recently learned how to make it, so now I go ahead and prepare huge batches for me to enjoy! As a result, I get a lot of leftover sauerkraut – even when I share with neighbors and friends. I would love to keep my sauerkraut to enjoy at another time.
It’s completely understandable to go a bit overboard when learning a new recipe! While sauerkraut can be a condiment or a side for different dishes, sometimes, we really end up with more than we can serve for the moment. You can avoid wasting food by preserving the sauerkraut.
You can freeze it so you can serve it at a different day. You can freeze both homemade and commercial cans of sauerkraut. Freeze it on the day it is made, or if store-bought, on the day you opened the container. Avoid freezing sauerkraut that has been left for several days in the refrigerator or on the countertop.
Can you Freeze Sauerkraut?
When freezing sauerkraut, be aware that the flavor and texture will change. Oftentimes, the sauerkraut becomes watery as it thaws. The frozen sauerkraut will also have a mushier texture than the fresh ones.
It is best to freeze traditional sauerkraut than the “quick” versions of it. The different ingredients might cause it to become soft and less flavorful after freezing and thawing.
If you don’t have space in your freezer, you can choose to store the sauerkraut inside your refrigerator. This only allows for about five to seven days of extra storage time, but is useful when you only have a small batch of sauerkraut.
You can also opt to can the sauerkraut instead of freezing it. This is a great solution for those with larger batches or those with smaller freezer storage space. Canning preserves the sauerkraut for about a year.
Frozen sauerkraut can stay in the freezer for about eight months to a year but it is best to consume it within a month of freezing. Keep your containers labeled with the date of preparation to keep track of its shelf life.
Avoid refreezing sauerkraut that has been defrosted already. If you end up with soggy or tasteless sauerkraut, you can add them in soups and other side dishes instead.
How to Preserve Sauerkraut
You can preserve sauerkraut in two ways: freezing and canning. Both methods allow the sauerkraut to be stored for about a year.
For freezing the sauerkraut, follow these steps:
- First, place the sauerkraut inside a plastic zipping freezer bag or a freezer-safe container.
- Next, make sure that there is no excess air inside the container then seal it tightly.
- Label the containers with the date of preparation then place them inside the freezer.
- To defrost the sauerkraut, move the freezer bag or container to the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
For the canning procedure, follow these steps:
- Prepare the sauerkraut as usual. After bringing it to a boil, remove from the heat.
- Fill the jars with sauerkraut and the juices, making sure that there is enough headspace in the jar.
- Clean the edge and sides of the jars then properly add the lids and scream bands.
- Can the jars using a water bath canner with the water boiling for 15 to 20 minutes a quart.
- After canning, let the jars to stay in for about 5 minutes.
- Allow the sauerkraut jars cool for around 12 to 24 hours in room temperature.
- Check the lids and seals of the sauerkraut jars for proper canning.
- Label the jar with the date of preservation. Keep the jars in a cool dry place and use within a year.
Make delicious cabbage rolls with this traditional Transylvanian recipe, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls with Sauerkraut Hungarian German Rice. You can opt to add parsley and bacon for a tastier treat.
A classic pairing of sauerkraut and sausage is served in this Fried Sauerkraut and Sausage recipe. Perfect for the holiday season, this meal is better when shared with loved ones.
For a quick and easy sauerkraut dish, try the Crockpot Bratwurst with Sauerkraut recipe. With just a few ingredients, you can create a snack that’s great for even outdoor get-togethers!