Thursday, February 25, 2010

Kraut Pot


This was an idea I had some time ago fiddling around with clay. The idea is a pot big enough to fit a whole big head of cabbage with a wide mouth for easy access. Then the invention is a lid smaller than the upper rim, perforated with holes so it sinks below the level of the liquid. So we have access to good bacteria without any cabbage floating up. The best batches of sauerkraut I've ever made come from this pot.


This batch is just 4 days old. After a week or more I put it in a big covered jar in the wine fridge or the regular fridge if I want to keep it around for a while. Why don't they sell contraptions like this?
Next up some pastrami to go under it.




18 comments:

Jeremy said...

What a brilliant idea! I've been toying with the idea of making my own sauerkraut and kim chi, but lack of a suitable crock has been one of the things holding me back.

Karen Resta said...

I knew there was a reason for stopping by here today. The Kraut Pot was calling my name.

I like the idea of a head of kraut.

Ken Albala said...

Well Karen, I guess that's better than Crack Pot. Or Pot Head. I'll have to post somewhere this lovely painting called the Bakers of Eeklo in which people get to choose which head they want at a Bakery where they make them. But while people wait around without a head, a head of cabbage is put on. Totally Bizzare!

Heather said...

Good god! Bubble, bubble , toil and trouble indeed.

History of Greek Food said...

In N.Greece, the cabbage head is fermented in a small wooden barrel or in a clay pot similar to yours. People place a plate over the cabbage, instead of the lid,but nobody ever thought of making a lid smaller than the upper rim.

lostpastremembered said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lostpastremembered said...

I have an old ceramic cheese container that does the trick... I was so happy I gave the other one I had to a friend.. but it had a tiny crack and leaked all over... BOO! Yours is a brilliant idea... the sinking part is genius instead of the bag o water with a rock!!! Do you put cheesecloth over the top? Add extra water?

Ken Albala said...

I usually put nothing on top for a day or so, then just a cloth after that to keep dust out.

I'm thinking there must be an even better way to do this, a sunken lid with holes and then maybe another lid to go on top.

Maybe I should market them! My son turned to me as I was hanging on the fridge door looking inside and said "Why don't they make fridge doors glass so you can see in without opening it?" Indeed! Invent it!

Artemis Cooks said...

Have you seen the "German Fermenting Crocks" at Lehman's? Particularly see the 2-piece 'stones' they sell with them.

Juana Isabella/Donna said...

Hi Ken, lovely pot and great idea. I agree that you should market them.

We Are Never Full said...

omg. awesome... and kind of rustic/pretty! love this.

知道 said...

幽默並不是諷刺,它或許帶有溫和的嘲諷,卻不傷人,它可能是以別人,也可以用自己為對象。........................................

Jim said...

I'm sorry . . . that just looks disgusting . . . and I love sauerkraut! Must be in the category of not wanting to see how the sausage is made, as the saying (and accompaniments) go, lol.

Random suggestion for a future post . . . red velvet cake. What are the origins of this thing, and why the vinegar in it? To get extra poof out of the baking soda?

Ken Albala said...

Hey Jim, Sorry to disgust you. The icky looking dribbles are actually the glaze on the pot, not the kraut! The cabbage looks pristine and lovely. I moved it to the fridge in a glass jar and trust me, it is VERY appetizing!

peter said...

They do sell them... I have one. Look up Gairtopf (Gärtopf) Harsch. Amazon has them in a variety of sizes. They have weights for the food, and a lid with a moat in it to add a seal.

Having said that, though, I'm loving your homemade one.

Patrick said...

Ken,
Beautiful pot! There's a company called Harsch that makes crocks very similar to yours for kraut - they're especially effective because there's a water seal that keeps air out of the pot. But, they're quite expensive. I use Lake Superior rocks to weigh down the lid in my big stoneware crock.

seersucker suit said...

Nice idea good point using this pot,.

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