I have found a recipe for making sauerkraut in jars that says to pack shredded cabbage into jars, add salt, cover with boiling water, and seal with canning lids. Is this safe?
This method for making sauerkraut cannot be recommended. There are two serious problems with this procedure. First, boiling water should not be used as it might kill the lactic acid bacteria that causes the fermenting process. Second, sealing fresh, unfermented cabbage--a low acid food--into jars essentially by the open kettle method could permit the growth of the spores that produce the toxin that causes botulism. Any sauerkraut made using this procedure could be dangerous. Discard it.
Barbara Willenberg, Nutritional Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009