Sauerkraut in a wooden bowl

How To Fix Sauerkraut That’s Too Salty?

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Let’s say you’re at home trying to make sauerkraut from scratch for the first time. Everything, starting from the preparation to the fermentation, went well. Then you try it for the first time. Unfortunately, it turned out to be way too salty. Throwing all your hard work away is not an option. So what can you do to fix over-salted sauerkraut? Let’s find out!

Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to fix sauerkraut that’s too salty. The easiest method is to dilute the brine with purified water and regulate the salt content. You could also try to rinse the sauerkraut before consumption. Lastly, you can mix it with other unsalted foods to decrease the intensity of the salt.

In this article, I will talk about a few tried-and-tested tips and tricks on how to decrease the saltiness of your sauerkraut. Sauerkraut lovers all over the world use these methods. I hope by reading this article, you will be able to fix your over-salted sauerkraut. You will also gain some insight into how you can avoid some common errors in making sauerkraut.

What Can You Do To Fix Over-Salted Sauerkraut?

Your first instinct may tell you to throw away the extremely salty sauerkraut. It may seem impossible to salvage it. Furthermore, you might feel some hesitancy about consuming the over-salted sauerkraut. However, I’m here to tell you that your sauerkraut can be saved.

Contrary to what you might think, fixing over-salted sauerkraut is not that hard. All you have to do is follow a few steps. You can revive your sauerkraut from the verge of over- saltiness if you use the tips that I’ve listed below. You’ll be eating properly salted sauerkraut in no time, and most importantly, you won’t have to throw it out!

Rinse the Sauerkraut

The quickest way to fix extremely salty sauerkraut is to simply rinse it. You can use a colander to do this. Rinsing can be done right before eating it. You can also rinse the sauerkraut and store it in a different container for later use. 

If you’re about to eat the over-salted sauerkraut, try rinsing it beforehand. To do this, place the portion of sauerkraut you want to eat in a colander. Then, rinse it using clean water. This removes some of the salt from the surface of the sauerkraut.

Rinsing sauerkraut to get to an acceptable salt level requires some trial and error. You may need to do several rinses to match your salt preference. Rinsing also comes with the risk of removing some of the good bacteria from the sauerkraut. However, you’ll still have some probiotic goodness after repeated rinses. 

If you choose to store the sauerkraut after rinsing, use a different jar. You can add some purified or filtered water to the brine as well. The combination of rinsing and diluting the brine adjusts the salt content. 

Dilute The Fermentation Brine

Diluting brine is the most popular way to decrease the saltiness of sauerkraut. It’s one of the most effective methods as well. All you need to do is add purified water to the brine and voila. You now have sauerkraut with the perfect level of salt.

First, you have to remove some of the brine from the jar you’re using. You can do so by pouring a little bit off the top. You can try to eye-ball the measurement by directly pouring it out. But using a utensil might give the best results. Using a large spoon or ladle, take out about an eighth of the total brine solution from the jar. 

Next, you will have to pour in some purified water. It’s recommended to avoid using regular tap water for this step. Purified water processing removes any chemicals, minerals, or foreign particles. On the other hand, tap water contains many different minerals. These minerals can compromise the dilution process. 

After adding the purified water, let the sauerkraut rest for about a week. Make sure the sauerkraut is fully submerged in the brine. Try adding a small ceramic ramekin on top of the sauerkraut to act as a weight. Check the taste of your sauerkraut after a few days and repeat the process if necessary.

Mix with Unsalted Food

Mixing over-salted sauerkraut with unsalted food is a quick method of salvaging it. It may not be a long-term solution. But it is an effective way of using your sauerkraut without wasting it. You can mix it with unsalted food and have a delicious meal in your hands. 

Since the sauerkraut will be the main salt agent, make sure to remove the salt from the recipe you choose. Combining sauerkraut that’s too salty with an already salted dish can be a disaster. If used in moderation, your overly salty sauerkraut can bring amazing flavors to the dish.

Keep in mind that cooking sauerkraut can remove some of its probiotic properties. It will still keep some of the good bacteria. But the probiotic will be lower than before. Experimenting with sauerkraut is worth it. Try adding your over-salted sauerkraut to your soups, broths, pasta, or even smoothies. Trust me, it’s to die for. 

How Can You Prevent Sauerkraut From Becoming Too Salty?

Now that we’ve gone over the fixes, it’s worth looking at what causes sauerkraut to become too salty. The most obvious answer is that you added too much salt. However, the quality of the salt can play a huge role, too. Another important factor is using an amount of salt that’s suited to your liking.

In most cases, prevention is better than cure. Your sauerkraut is no exception. Thus, using the following tips can give you the perfect sauerkraut on the first try. 

Get Yourself A Good Quality Salt

The type of salt you use in fermentation can have a big impact on the sauerkraut. It is generally advised to avoid table salt for this. Regular table salt contains high amounts of iodine. This can mess up the fermentation process. If you use table salt for fermenting cabbage, you’ll get way too salty sauerkraut.

Dry, mineral-rich salts work the best for fermenting. So, I highly recommend using Himalayan pink salt for your fermentation needs. It’s enriched with minerals that will ferment your cabbages into delicious sauerkraut. Furthermore, it’s fairly inexpensive and available in bulk sizes. 

Grind The Salt For Even Fermentation

Using coarse salts can create irregularities in the brine. As a result, some parts of the brine will be saltier than others. If that’s the case, your sauerkraut will not undergo even fermentation.

The simplest way of avoiding uneven fermentation is to grind the salt. If you’re using coarse grain salt, grind it beforehand. Fine, ground salt will easily dissolve into the brine solution. This will give you uniformly fermented sauerkraut. 

Taste As You Go

The safest way to ensure that you get the salt level right is to taste the fermentation brine. I would recommend adding a teaspoon and a half of salt to the brine first. It is better to add little by little and adjust accordingly.

You can taste-test the brine by tasting the liquid directly. Additionally, you can also eat a small piece of the liquid-soaked cabbage. Tasting before fermentation takes place will give you a good indicator of how salty it may end up being. 

Taste tests allow you to make changes accordingly as well. If it’s too salty, add some filtered water. If it’s not salty enough, add another half teaspoon of salt. 

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