Author Topic: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?  (Read 2803 times)

Coiny

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 33
What food processor or tools can help save time? I made 15 liters (4 gallons) of sauerkraut, but it took forever to finely chop all the cabbages by hand and beat it to get the juice to come out.

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3505
Re: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 10:30:57 AM »
I cut the cabbage by hand and have never considered doing it any other way (though I do own a food processor and a hand food processor).  When you use a food processor, you lose control of the fine detail that's needed for sauerkraut.  I'm concerned that two opposite-seeming things would happen: 

- A motorized food processor tends to pulverize things more than slice them neatly; you don't want cabbage pulp
- With a hand food processor, the cabbage pieces may "turn" in the food processor, leaving you with the large outer leaves uncut ... so you'd have to slice them by hand anyway

To get 4 gallons of homemade food prepared, some significant time is going to be required - you're talking about a lot of food! -- but I think you'd sacrifice quality if you used a food processor.  Homemade sauerkraut is SO GOOD though; it's worth the effort!

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8927
  • Location: Oregon
Re: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 11:08:01 AM »
Sounds like a mandolin is actually a better bet than a food processor in this case. But you'll still have to hand pound to get the juices- like MrsPete says, you don't want to "mash" it in a food processor, it'll affect quality/color/texture of the end product negatively.

sparkytheop

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 990
Re: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 12:18:21 PM »
I agree I'd probably do a mandolin over a food processor.  It would speed up the process some over slicing with a knife.  If you go that route, just be sure to get one that has an adjustable blade so you can get it as thin as you want.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8558
  • Location: Norway
Re: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2017, 12:55:14 PM »
As a student I bought a pretty cheap standard food processor. It still works 25 years later. I can put in a knife blade so that I can stuff in vegetables in the lid and get those rasped into decently sized material. Works well for carrot. Could also work for sauerkraut I think.

Other alternative is a bread slicer or ham slicer, where you manually move the food alongs a rotating knife. We have a pretty cheap slicing machine which works well for slicing ham. Should work well for cabbage.

chrisgermany

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 265
Re: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2017, 01:00:45 PM »
Here in sauerkraut country a bread cutting machine is often used in private homes. Or cut with knife.
Then stomp with potato masher.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 04:13:04 PM by chrisgermany »

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 17428
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2017, 01:08:58 PM »
What food processor or tools can help save time? I made 15 liters (4 gallons) of sauerkraut, but it took forever to finely chop all the cabbages by hand and beat it to get the juice to come out.

As mentioned a mandolin might help you here, but if you don't already have one and you are trying to keep to a minimalist budget (& kitchen) I'd stick to your sharpest chef's knife, and carefully consider your surface prep area. 

For starters, chopping that much cabbage is going to take some time, but it's rather efficient when you consider time spent by the number of liters of sauerkraut made.  Keep that in mind. Making 15L probably takes you only 2-3x more time than making 1L.

Next up is a sharp knife (8" minimum). Learn how to both sharpen and hone your knife, and the job will go must faster and the results will be much cleaner.  For a job like this its helpful to run your knife back over your honing steel after every cabbage or so (5-10 strokes per side - just enough to keep the edge true)

Finally - have a large, clutter free prep area.  Your chopping block/cutting board should be as large as possible, but don't attempt to keep chopping until you are working off an ever-shrinking area of your board.  Instead, chop ~1/2 cabbage, then dump it all into your food bin/bowl.  Repeat.  This is how its done in a commercial kitchen when you have to chop 20lbs of onions or whatever.

As always, with lots of practice comes both speed and precision. Good luck!

DavidAnnArbor

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2266
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Re: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2017, 01:11:10 PM »
I've just used a basic Cuisinart. Works for me. If the cabbage is fresh, then when you beat it down in the crock the liquid starts coming out as long as it's salted.

Linea_Norway

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8558
  • Location: Norway
Re: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2017, 02:13:38 PM »
Here in Norway we have Norwegen "surkål", which is quite different from the German sauerkraut. This is one if the Christmas dishes. Two years in a row this surkål has been on sale for extremely low prices. You can keep it ages, so bulk buying is smart. I am looking foreward to December.

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3505
Re: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2017, 01:55:52 PM »
Sounds like a mandolin is actually a better bet than a food processor in this case. But you'll still have to hand pound to get the juices- like MrsPete says, you don't want to "mash" it in a food processor, it'll affect quality/color/texture of the end product negatively.
Yes, I forgot about mandolins, but -- now that you say it -- I agree.

Laura33

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3444
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: What food processor do you recommend for making cabbage sauerkraut?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2017, 10:35:00 AM »
I don't make sauerkraut.  But IME, cabbage is one of the easiest veggies to cut by hand (quarter, plop quarter on side to slice out stem, rotate 90 degrees, chop, repeat with next quarter; if those pieces are too long, cut each quarter through 1-2 times lengthwise (from outside down toward where the core was) before the rotate-chop step).  Every time I have tried to use a food processor or similar, I either get mush or so many big pieces that need to be individually cut that it takes more time.

For mashing:  once it's sliced, add whatever salt the recipe calls for, mix, and let it sit for an hour.  Then do mashing/stirring as part of the rest of the recipe.