Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage that has many health benefits.
Sauerkraut, as we associate it with German and Polish cuisines, is a Chinese dish that originated thousands of years ago.
Sauerkraut can be kept for a long time, but it is also possible to extend its shelf life.
Is it possible to freeze sauerkraut? The short answer to this question is yes.
It is important to consider several factors, including proper storage and the impact freezing has on healthy bacteria in sauerkraut.
You can freeze sauerkraut, which will extend its shelf-life.
Learn everything you need about freezing sauerkraut.
A general overview of sauerkraut will be provided, along with recipe suggestions and answers to the most common questions about freezing sauerkraut.
What is Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is believed to be a product of ancient China.
It was invented in 2000 BC by the Chinese when they first fermented cabbage with rice wine.
It’s a very popular ingredient in many international dishes.
Germans love it with bratwurst and pork, but it’s most often paired in Poland with kielbasa sausage.
It also goes well with Reuben sandwiches made from Irish corned beef or pastrami.
Sauerkraut (or “sour cabbage”) is made from shredded or cubed white cabbage and salt.
The mixture of the two is called a pickle, and it’s been stored in jars for freshness and extended shelf-life as long as possible.
How to Freeze Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is best kept in the fridge, even though it can be left on the counter for a few hours.
Sauerkraut can last up to 6 months when stored correctly in the refrigerator.
You should ensure that your sauerkraut is fresh before you serve it.
You can freeze sauerkraut by transferring it from a glass jar to a plastic bag or other freezer-safe containers.
Allow a few inches between the top and the bottom. The liquid in the sauerkraut may expand when frozen.
Take out all air and seal tightly. If properly stored, frozen sauerkraut lasts longer than refrigerated.
Therefore, freezing is the best option for long-term storage.
Sauerkraut stored properly will keep for between 8-12 months.
Also, you can freeze small amounts of sauerkraut in an individual ice cube tray.
To use this method, freeze tablespoons of sauerkraut in an ice cube tray and, once hardened, transfer them to a freezer-safe airtight bag or plastic container for storage.
This is a good option if you will only be using small quantities of sauerkraut at once.
How to Thaw Frozen Sauerkraut?
There are two options when it is time to thaw sauerkraut once you’re ready for it to be eaten.
First, sauerkraut may be stored in the refrigerator.
Sauerkraut must be used within 3 to 5 days of being transferred from the freezer into the refrigerator.
The following methods will require you to use the thawed sauerkraut right away:
- You can thaw sauerkraut on the countertop by allowing it to cool for a while and then use it immediately once it is thawed.
- Heat the sauerkraut on high power for between 10 and 20 seconds until it is completely thawed. After defrosting the sauerkraut in the microwave, heat it on high power for 10-20 seconds until the product is fully thawed.
- The last option is to add your frozen sauerkraut into a cooked dish like a stew or pork. Frozen sauerkraut can be added to extend the cooking time.
What to Serve with Defrosted Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut can be served with pork, beef, and poultry dishes.
It’s a commonly used ingredient in many international foods, including Chinese stir fry’s, Polish sausages, German bratwurst, and corned beef or pastrami on sandwiches.
It’s also the main ingredient in the traditional American holiday favorite, Thanksgiving Turkey.
There are just so many things that you can do with sauerkraut; it all depends on what you’ll be serving it with.
Some people like to serve sauerkraut or coleslaw along with their barbecue dishes, while others eat it with their hotdogs and sausages.
The possibilities are endless as to what you can serve with sauerkraut.
Whatever it is that you’ll be pairing your sauerkraut with, I’m sure that this slightly sour and salty tasting food will greatly complement the other dish.
Can You Refreeze Defrosted Sauerkraut?
If you’re asking yourself if it’s okay to refreeze defrosted sauerkraut, then the answer is no.
It’s no longer safe to refreeze any food once it has been thawed.
The freezing and thawing process does that food cell damage and adds moisture to already frozen food.
Once you thaw the food and then refreeze it, there’s a great chance that bacteria will grow on it.
So for you to avoid getting food poisoning, do not refreeze defrosted sauerkraut.
How to Tell if Frozen Sauerkraut is Bad?
Sauerkraut is sometimes preserved by being submerged under its juices.
If the sauerkraut is packaged in a jar or plastic bag, you can tell if it’s bad, if there are visible signs of mold growing on it or by seeing any changes in the color of the contents.
If it smells like vinegar and there are bubbles, then it’s fine.
But if the bubble is not in a liquid state, or the sauerkraut doesn’t have any smell, then throw it away immediately since there is a chance that bacteria has already grown on it.
If you do not know how old your sauerkraut is and you’re planning to eat it, you have to check for any visible signs of spoilage before eating this food.
How Long Does Frozen Sauerkraut Last?
The shelf life of frozen sauerkraut is six months to a year, but there are instances when some people stored and consumed it after several years, and they say that the sauerkraut wasn’t spoiled.
If you want to store sauerkraut for a longer period, you have to place it in a tightly closed container or an airtight bag.
Before you eat your sauerkraut, ensure that it is properly stored and out of direct sunlight.
In conclusion, sauerkraut is an amazing food.
It’s a great source of nutrients that will not only keep you healthy but will also improve your immune system.
It is commonly served with dishes such as hotdogs, chicken, and bratwurst.
If you have a jar of your homemade sauerkraut in the fridge waiting to be consumed, then try not to eat it all in one sitting.
It’s best if you refrigerate or freeze it so that you can consume the sauerkraut at a later time.