Freezing sauerkraut - when the frost doesn't hurt

Freezing sauerkraut - when the frost doesn't hurt

Why fresh sauerkraut is so healthy

Sauerkraut is made through a natural fermentation process. All that is necessary for this is fresh white cabbage or pointed cabbage and a little salt. Over time, living lactic acid bacteria provide the typical acidity by themselves. They are also what make sauerkraut so healthy. However, only living lactic acid cultures develop this desired effect.

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Lactic acid fermentation is one of the oldest methods of preservation and basically eliminates the need for freezing. Correctly manufactured and stored airtight and cool, sauerkraut can be kept for several years. Even the contents of opened glasses can still be enjoyed in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Lactic acid bacteria and cold

Fresh sauerkraut, which still contains plenty of lactic acid bacteria, experiences a large change in temperature in the freezer. The freezing temperatures have a particularly devastating effect on lactic acid bacteria. At least 50%, if not 90%, will be killed. Other healthy components of sauerkraut, on the other hand, survive the frost well.

It is therefore clear that at least part of the healthy effects of sauerkraut is irrevocably lost in the freezer.

Lactic acid bacteria and heat

Knowing about the effects of heat on lactic acid bacteria can help to clarify in which cases it is still worth freezing sauerkraut.

Just like extreme cold, extreme heat, such as that which regularly occurs when sauerkraut is heated, can kill most of the lactic acid bacteria.

If sauerkraut is heated for a dish anyway, it makes little sense to worry about preserving the lactic acid bacteria.

In the end, it does not matter whether these are killed in the freezer or in the saucepan.

Freeze sauerkraut without hesitation

Sauerkraut is already well preserved thanks to its natural acidity. However, if the container has already been opened, it may be necessary to store the unused remains in a safe place. The freezer isn't always a bad choice. You can safely store sauerkraut in it if the following conditions are met:

  • the sauerkraut has already been heated
  • the sauerkraut is heated up before consumption
  • no other alternative for storage is available

This is how sauerkraut is frozen properly

Freezing sauerkraut is relatively easy, as no elaborate preparation steps are necessary.

  • Let the heated sauerkraut cool down completely
  • Divide large quantities of sauerkraut
  • Pack in suitable freezer cans or bags
  • close airtight
  • Label with content and date
  • Put immediately in the freezer


You can also put leftover food with a portion of sauerkraut in the freezer.


Frozen sauerkraut has a long shelf life. Only cooked food should be consumed within six months. Here it is also important to consider the possibly short shelf life of other ingredients.

Thawing sauerkraut

Give the sauerkraut enough time to thaw. You can put the freezer container in the refrigerator overnight and process it as desired the following day.

Many people even taste defrosted sauerkraut dishes much more delicious than immediately after they were prepared. In any case, it doesn't lose much of its taste and texture.

Conclusion for quick readers:

  • Health value: Live lactic acid bacteria make sauerkraut so healthy
  • Preservation: acid makes the sauerkraut long-lasting; Freezing is not required
  • Cold: Frost in the freezer kills most of the lactic acid bacteria
  • Heat: High temperatures also destroy most lactic acid bacteria
  • Freezing: Suitable storage method for opened sauerkraut stocks
  • Prerequisite: If the sauerkraut is heated later anyway or has already been heated
  • Steps: portioning, if necessary let cool down; fill in tightly fitting containers; label
  • Durability: Long lasting; use up prepared meals within six months
  • Thawing: Gently in the refrigerator overnight

The garden journal freshness-ABC

How can fruit and vegetables be stored correctly so that they stay fresh as long as possible?

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