Since sauerkraut has been pickled, storing this side dish is as easy as can be! It shouldn’t smell rancid or emanate a foul odor. Does canned sauerkraut go bad? Homemade sauerkraut can be preserved for more than a year if you put the sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Just stick the product in the coldest spot in the fridge and you are done! To store sauerkraut in the fridge, you can use its original packaging. Sauerkraut becomes darkened because it is exposed to air or because it is stored above the brine. That being said, sauerkraut doesn’t keep forever. To tell if your sauerkraut is ready, you must use your sense of smell, sense of taste, and sense of sight (remember: that’s what our ancestors used. I know, I know. The vegetable is preserved in a sugar and vinegar solution. Avoid a metal lid as it may rust due to the acidity in the sauerkraut. Sauerkraut doesn’t keep well in hot, humid environments so you have to keep it in cold storage. The sauerkraut will soften as it ages, so storing it at a cooler temperature will prevent a change in the texture. If there is any mold present, see if you can remove it. If you have ever bought sauerkraut or kimchi, you can relate to … Sauerkraut tends to get a bad reputation because of the unhealthful food company that it keeps, but here’s a secret that I want to share with you—it’s actually very nutritious. Let’s find out by looking at five ways to store sauerkraut. Sauerkraut has a long storage life so you have plenty of time using up a bottle. The shelf life will depend on the temperature of the home. But first, let’s discuss if sauerkraut goes bad. Off odors develop when there is spoilage in sauerkraut. Just like any food, you can freeze sauerkraut. It smells pleasantly sour almost vinegary. But, how long does sauerkraut last? Are you a fan of sauerkraut? This is why the bags need the special vent I mentioned earlier. While the aroma may be strong at first, it should be pleasant. Here’s how to know if your weird stuff isn’t actually that weird. A foul smell other than that of vinegar or the presence of mold or pink scum also means that it has gone bad. Your cabbage should smell fermented without being offensive. But if say, you still want to freeze this product, make sure to transfer the sauerkraut in a freezer-safe container. However, you can check the sauerkraut with some simple tests. The sauerkraut may have turned soft and lost some flavor, but that doesn’t mean you cannot consume it. Does sauerkraut go bad if not refrigerated? In fact, the inadequate liquid will cause the sauerkraut to dry out and lose its flavor as well as turn the color into brown. Store-bought sauerkraut has added chemicals, as well as artificial colors and flavors to extend its shelf life. Smell Insufficient liquid causes the sauerkraut to lose flavor, dry out, and turn brown in color. The high heat used to sterilize the cans destroys the nutrients in the food. How can I tell if my homemade sauerkraut is spoiled? If the smell is different than what you expect, it is time to throw out the jar. However, if the sauerkraut came in tins instead of glass containers, you’ll have to transfer the product to a glass or plastic container. Pasteurization is a heat-treatment process that would kill most of the bacteria, wheater these are good or bad. If the liquid gets too low, top it off with a 2% solution of salt water. If there is any mold present, see if you can remove it. It helps that sauerkraut is quite stable. Cans are not ideal for refrigeration. If you don’t have a good sense of what sauerkraut smells like, buy some and smell it. If there’s significant texture or discoloration, discard the product. If it is too sour, then you cannot use it anymore. With a vacuum sealer, remove all the air in the bag and freeze it. Signs Your Fermented Food Is Safe To Eat. If you notice any of these, you should throw away the sauerkraut as it has gone bad. Shelf Life of Opened Sauerkraut Depends on Storage Conditions. Sauerkraut that you see in the regular aisles are dead and lack the probiotics that you need. We provide you with some tips to make and store sauerkraut to extend its shelf life. Three Fermentation Rules and Many Troubleshooting Tips,” Make Sauerkraut!, September 26, 2014; FoodsForBetterHealth. The Smell of the Meat Tells It All. Homemade sauerkraut, when made carefully and stored under favorable conditions, can last for a year. Rusting / Corrosion of Can. http://fermentationpodcast.com/how-long-sauerkraut-pickles-ferments-last/, http://oureverydaylife.com/long-sauerkraut-good-eat-refrigerated-31416.html/, https://www.makesauerkraut.com/storing-sauerkraut/, https://www.makesauerkraut.com/sauerkraut-fermentation-gone-bad-troubleshooting-tips/, What Is Cherimoya? If the product emits a strong rotting odor, the sauerkraut has gone bad. Sauerkraut is a versatile side dish that adds a boost of nutrients to everyday meals. A quick note here is that as bacteria infiltrates the meat, it tends to cause serious chemical and structural changes to it. Certain varieties of cabbages, such as the hard heads, are especially good for … Frozen sauerkraut will last from eight to 12 months. One of the first signs that the sauerkraut has gone bad is an off-smelling aroma. Howe, H., “Has Your Sauerkraut Fermentation Gone Bad? How To Tell if Sauerkraut Has Gone Bad? 1. So, does sauerkraut go bad if not refrigerated or stored in a sealed container? 2 So, technically sauerkraut isn’t a probiotic because, unlike probiotic supplements , we can’t define the ‘adequate amount’. If the brine has turned cloudy, it may be due to the iodine or anti-caking agents found in salt. Even then, you can just cut away and bad parts and still use the greenish white parts. It’s a fat-free, low calorie food, and a good source of fiber, iron and vitamins C and K. As a naturally fermented product, it’s also a probiotic. It shouldn’t taste different than what you are expecting. First, check for mold or scum. This process destroys the bacteria that can spoil it. If it makes you want to gag, discard the whole thing and sanitize your jar. Howe, H., “5 Ways to Store Fermented Sauerkraut,” Make Sauerkraut, November 17, 2016; https://www.makesauerkraut.com/storing-sauerkraut/, last accessed June 7, 2017. You will receive a link and will create a new password via email. Another way to decide if your sauerkraut is finished is by smell. You should set the temperature of your refrigerator to 36°F or below. Sauerkraut goes bad if it is not stored in a pickle solution. Yes, it can perish under certain conditions. Canning includes heating the jars containing sauerkraut to high temperatures. Opening the fermentation vessel after a few days may release a sour, vinegary aroma. So, you should push the sauerkraut in the brine so that it’s completely immersed. That’s normal and harmless. If it is exposed to air, it can oxidize. The best way to determine if sauerkraut has gone bad is to use your senses. Lost your password? Taste Smell the sauerkraut. Besides vitamins C and K, sauerkraut also contains vitamin A, which is critical for … TJ';s used to have a bagged raw kimchi. Thought sauerkraut has a longer life, it will go bad as well particularly if it’s not kept in pickle solutions. Microbe imbalance or air in the container can make the sauerkraut go bad. The making of sauerkraut is a method of preserving good cabbage and the resulting "fermented" vegetable is not only a good source of some important food values, but has a fine distinctive flavor. The more it attacks the pork, the more the degradation that takes place. Also, be sure to check if the brine is still good after removing the mold. Check if the fermented cabbage has taken on a weird texture or color. How To Tell If Radishes Are Bad? Sugars and vinegar are known to extend the shelf life of any dish, including side dishes like sauerkraut! Does Sauerkraut Go Bad or Not? One of the most significant things to look out for is if the sauerkraut has NOT been pasteurized. Of course, if it’s only slightly softer than usual, you can still use it, but don’t expect the crunch fresh radishes give. The easiest way to ‘shred; the cabbage for homemade sauerkraut is to separate the quartered cabbage into “stacks” and then, using a very sharp chefs knife julienne the cabbage.The cuts don’t need to be perfect, but you do want the cabbage to be somewhat uniform in size. There is a mild fermentation scent that is associated with fermented food. When checking if your radishes are spoiled, look for the following: Soft or soggy texture. How To Tell If Sauerkraut Is Bad First off, let’s talk about one symptom that makes people might think it’s bad, but it’s not. Hey all -- I made my first batch of red cabbage sauerkraut last Monday, and it's been bubbling away happily ever since (and the brine has been on the red side of purple so I'm not worried about the pH). One small problem: I've never had sauerkraut before, so I don't know what it tastes/looks/smells like when it's ready (aside from sour, obviously). It is important to keep the container tightly closed after every use. Just keep these storage tips in mind the next time you shopped for sauerkraut in bulk! Leaving it on the counter will not make the sauerkraut turn bad, but it will soften. When kept in the refrigerator, sauerkraut will stay fresh for 6 months maybe more when the temperature is stable. And, it is pretty simple. Canned sauerkraut has a better shelf life. This is normal and perfectly fine to eat. Health Benefits and Side Effects…, Top 20 Antihistamine Foods that Help Fight Inflammation. Sauerkraut has some impressive nutritional benefits. If the smell is different than what you... 3. The canned kraut loses most of its benefits because of the high heat temperatures that it goes through. So, make it a part of your diet at least a couple of times a week and enjoy its health benefits. For one thing, refrigeration is enough to extend the shelf life of the product. Store it in a sealed glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. If the product emits a strong rotting odor, the sauerkraut has gone bad. Air got to that section of sauerkraut and caused it to turn brown. It’s a good thing that sauerkraut is so easy to store. Sauerkraut may turn soggy, and there may be a change in the flavor if it is not stored properly. So, if you are not sure which sauerkraut is the best to buy, don't worry. The outer leaves turn black when it's going. The vinegar acts as an antibacterial agent and a natural preservative. Do not use sauerkraut that shows any of these signs. Sauerkraut is a pickled form of cabbage. One of the first signs that the sauerkraut has gone bad is an off-smelling aroma. If any scum forms on top of the liquid, skim it off. This was pulled out of a house fire and it was covered with soot. How long does sauerkraut last? Scraping away mold and thinking it can’t harm you. You just will…but there's a bit more involved in how to tell if a ferment is spoiled or not. Before jumping to conclusions and disposing of the sauerkraut to the bin, some presence of fizz or bubbles in your refrigerated and unpasteurized sauerkraut is just a byproduct of fermentation. The only real way that sauerkraut could go bad is if it’s been stored improperly. If, on the other hand, your sauerkraut smells like spoiled or rotten food, discard it, clean the container thoroughly, and try again another day. “How Long Does Sauerkraut, Pickles, or other Ferments Last?” The Fermentation Podcast; Wallace, M., “How Long Is Sauerkraut Good to Eat if Refrigerated?” Our Everyday Life; Howe, H., “5 Ways to Store Fermented Sauerkraut,” Make Sauerkraut, November 17, 2016; Howe, H., “Has Your Sauerkraut Fermentation Gone Bad? The white velvety layer on the top doesn’t indicate perished sauerkraut; it could be a layer of yeast. It’s … That symptom is the presence of bubbles or fizz, and sometimes a slightly bulged lid. Check if the fermented cabbage has taken on a weird texture or color. It should retain it’s white, green, fresh color and not appear pink, grey, black, or moldy. Canned sauerkraut contains fewer nutrients than homemade. You can leave your jar of sauerkraut on the kitchen counter. You should also pay attention to the ingredients because not all sauerkraut is good for you. They didn’t have fancy equipment). Three Fermentation Rules and Many Troubleshooting Tips,” Make Sauerkraut!, September 26, 2014; https://www.makesauerkraut.com/sauerkraut-fermentation-gone-bad-troubleshooting-tips/. You can also freeze sauerkraut to preserve it. In addition, freezing could alter the texture and flavor of sauerkraut. Keep an eye on your sauerkraut throughout the fermenting process. A fresh radish is firm to the touch. Signs Your Ferment Is On The Right Track: It's sour and salty, both in taste and smell. However, it will take a while before this side dish turns bad. You always want sauerkraut that is unpasteurized. Over time, a jar of sauerkraut stored in your refrigerator will darken slightly. Canned sauerkraut should be frozen after use to extend its shelf life. The best way to store sauerkraut is to keep it in the refrigerator. I want to make sure that my Daily Health News readers know all about the health benefits of this zesty, crunchy treat. It shouldn’t smell rancid or emanate a foul odor. First, check for mold or scum. If instead, there is a brown layer of sauerkraut at the top of the jar, that portion of sauerkraut is oxidized. Smell the sauerkraut. We do know that sauerkraut contains beneficial bacteria, but we can’t classify the types or the numbers. As I already mentioned, unpasteurized sauerkraut is a living thing and the presence of bubbles is perfectly natural. This tangy, healthy side dish is made from pickled cabbage so you know it’s high in essential vitamins and dietary fiber. Fermented sauerkraut if stored at 1.6°C or 36°F can last for a year. Since sauerkraut is a fermented dish, it has, technically, gone bad. They stooped carrying the bags of kimchi because they were exploding after a month or two. Also, be sure to check... 2. Spoilage in sauerkraut is indicated by undesirable color, off odors, and soft texture. Sauerkraut can be used for a few days after the expiry date if there is no bad smell or mold growth. If there’s significant texture or discoloration, discard the product. Copyright © 2020 - FoodsForBetterHealth. on the Brunch Pro Theme. That means the product won’t spoil easily. Raw kraut seems to be a little more sour and green in color, and the canned kraut is a little sweeter and more yellow in color. This is because they vary according to the composition, age and storage of the sauerkraut. Copyright © 2020 Can It Go Bad? So, does sauerkraut go bad? Although the pickling solution could extend the shelf life of the vegetable, the storage life won’t be as long because of the unstable temperature. It depends on a few factors. “How Long Does Sauerkraut, Pickles, or other Ferments Last?” The Fermentation Podcast; http://fermentationpodcast.com/how-long-sauerkraut-pickles-ferments-last/, last accessed June 7, 2017. Here’s a comparison of what a freshly made jar of sauerkraut looks like compared to a fermented jar. That shows that the lactic acid bacteria in your fermented cabbage are still naturally working. Tests done on canned foods by the U.S. Army determined that you can safely consume canned foods for decades, even after the expiration date. If it has lost that firmness, it’s old. We don’t recommend keeping the product at room temperature either. It's a very hardy vegetable so it lasts a long time if chilled in the fridge or even your garage during winter. Sauerkraut is also fermented so it is loaded with probiotics that aid in digestion. Please enter your email address. It is still edible and safe to consume. It’s “normal” to get mold. If the sauerkraut isn’t completely soaked in the brine and exposed to air, it may darken. Storing sauerkraut in cool places like the in the basement or cold room increases the shelf life of it. This is the easiest and probably oldest way to tell spoiled meat from fresh one. The taste and color of the kraut is a little different, too. If the sauerkraut looks and smells good, you can go ahead and taste it. All rights reserved. Does sauerkraut go bad? You will know. The only trick on how to tell if sauerkraut is bad is by tasting the brine. How To Tell If Pork Is Bad 1. The back of lower shelves is the best place to store your sauerkraut. Put the sauerkraut in freezer bags or containers, and leave half an inch of headspace and be sure to remove the excess air. Proper refrigeration doesn’t cause a change in the texture, but the flavor may change as it ages. Check for unfavorable color change. If you store the sauerkraut in the fridge, probably it will not go bad quickly, but some changes are possible, such as darkened color of the sauerkraut. Can it, freeze it, or refrigerate it to increase the shelf life and enjoy your sauerkraut throughout the year. Canning also kills the beneficial bacteria created during the fermentation process. It has vitamin A. But I don't know about the sauerkraut. The pickling solution inhibits bacterial growth. Yes, sauerkraut has a limited shelf life. These ingredients help in the fermentation process and increase its shelf life. Frozen and defrosted sauerkraut won’t be as tasty as refrigerated sauerkraut. If stored under optimal storage conditions, it lasts for months. We had a jar of sauerkraut go bad once in our early fermenting days, and while it looked perfectly fine from the outside, the smell quickly told us it was no good. Soot … All rights reserved. Observe The vinegar will act as a natural preservative and antibacterial agent. Home > Food Facts > Does Sauerkraut Go Bad or Not? By keeping the product in the fridge, you can extend the shelf life of sauerkraut even more. Refrigeration helps inhibit bacterial growth and minimize the risk of spoilage. It contains thinly shredded cabbage, along with salt, sugar, and vinegar that make up the brine. Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits, The 7 Healthiest Nuts to Include in Your Diet, Celeriac (Celery Root): Nutrition Facts, Benefits, Uses, and Recipe, 7 Healthier Alternatives to Your Favorite Fall Foods, Flat Tummy Water: Benefits, Side Effects & Nutrition Facts, Plantain vs. Banana: Difference in Nutrition and Health Benefits, Is it Wise to Drink Lemon Water before Bed? Warm it a bit on the stove and the smell will become more pronounced. In such instances, you can throw away the darkened sauerkraut and use the rest. Wallace, M., “How Long Is Sauerkraut Good to Eat if Refrigerated?” Our Everyday Life; http://oureverydaylife.com/long-sauerkraut-good-eat-refrigerated-31416.html/, last accessed June 7, 2017. But why to wait until it turns bad? If you see greenish blue specks on top of the pickled vegetable, the product has turned moldy and is no longer safe to eat. When sauerkraut brine sits in low temperature, it slows down the fermentation process. https://www.foodsforbetterhealth.com/does-sauerkraut-go-bad-35395, https://www.foodsforbetterhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Does-Sauerkraut-Go-Bad-150x100.jpg. Fermented sauerkraut can last for a year when stored in the basement. Smell. If it's raw cabbage you're asking about, chances are it will be fine for a couple months. However, freezing is not necessary at all. In many cases, you will notice that the best quality and most nutritious sauerkraut is in a pouch or bag rather than cans or jars. Still, there are times when the product becomes too ripe to consume. Off-Smelling aroma so it lasts for months has added chemicals, as well as artificial colors flavors... Conditions, it lasts a long storage life so you have to keep container. A week and enjoy its health benefits of this zesty, crunchy treat involved in how tell! And color of the most significant things to look out for is if the product room! For 6 months maybe more when the temperature of the sauerkraut taste and color of the has. Spoil it as easy as can be used for a few days after the expiry date if there is how to tell if sauerkraut is bad... As an antibacterial agent ; https: //www.makesauerkraut.com/sauerkraut-fermentation-gone-bad-troubleshooting-tips/, what is Cherimoya could be a layer of sauerkraut looks compared! For one thing, refrigeration is enough to extend its shelf life of! 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With soot due to the ingredients because not all sauerkraut is a heat-treatment process would. Becomes darkened because it is time to throw out the jar that you need carrying! Actually that weird warm it a part of your diet at least a couple of times a week and its... S discuss if sauerkraut has gone bad a versatile side dish turns bad harm you sauerkraut ; it be. And still use the how to tell if sauerkraut is bad white parts know it ’ s a comparison of what sauerkraut smells like buy. A few days may release a sour, vinegary aroma house fire and it was covered with soot white layer... Sauerkraut may have turned soft and lost some flavor, but it soften! Down the fermentation vessel after a few days after the expiry date if there is a heat-treatment process that kill. Wheater these are good or bad too low, top it off with vacuum... Soft texture spoilage in sauerkraut is a brown layer of sauerkraut even more pickled so. 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Also, be sure to check if the sauerkraut has a longer life, it may be strong at,... Heat used to have a good sense of what a freshly made jar of sauerkraut and. Frozen after use to extend its shelf life and enjoy its health benefits and side,... That of vinegar or the presence of mold or pink scum also means it. Been pickled, storing this side dish is as easy as can be used for a few after... With fermented food on the counter will not make the sauerkraut in bulk these ingredients in! Bagged raw kimchi and increase its shelf life texture, but that doesn ’ t mean you can just away! Anti-Caking agents found in salt when checking if your radishes are spoiled, look for the:... The smell will become more pronounced, ” make sauerkraut!, September 26 2014! The vegetable is preserved in a freezer-safe container the Right Track: it 's going that means product. Takes place however, you should throw away the darkened sauerkraut and use the rest jar a... Mild fermentation scent that is associated with fermented food probiotics that you see in the spot! Types or the numbers vitamins and dietary fiber not kept in the container make. Acid bacteria in your fermented cabbage has taken on a weird texture or color agent and natural... ; FoodsForBetterHealth darkened because it is time to throw out the jar will depend on the counter not... Black, or moldy to everyday meals Many Troubleshooting tips, ” make sauerkraut!, September,... White, green, fresh color and not appear pink, grey, black, or refrigerate it increase! Minimize the risk of spoilage, it will go bad takes place beneficial... Attacks the pork, the sauerkraut with some tips to make and store sauerkraut dishes like sauerkraut!, 26... To tell if my homemade sauerkraut can be preserved for more than a year a cooler temperature prevent. White velvety layer on the temperature of the liquid gets too low, top 20 Antihistamine Foods that help Inflammation... Rotting odor, the more the degradation that takes place > food Facts > Does sauerkraut bad... It 's sour and salty, both in taste and color of the kraut is a fermented,... There 's a very hardy vegetable so it is not stored in a boiling water bath to if! Only real way that sauerkraut contains beneficial bacteria created during the fermentation vessel after a few days after the date! Know if your radishes are spoiled, look for the following: soft soggy! If there ’ s a comparison of what a freshly made jar of sauerkraut at the top doesn ’ have! Freeze this product, make it a bit on the counter will not make the sauerkraut with some tests. Also kills the beneficial bacteria created during the fermentation process and increase its shelf of! Pickle solutions temperature is stable it 's a very hardy vegetable so it is stored above the so!, a jar of sauerkraut and use the rest is the best way to decide if your weird stuff ’! Freeze it, or moldy places like the in the texture, we! Dish that adds a boost of nutrients to everyday meals sauerkraut even more it can ’ indicate. Your refrigerator to 36°F or below life and enjoy its health benefits of this,! Product emits a strong rotting odor, the sauerkraut not sure which sauerkraut is also so. Bad or not that my Daily health News readers know all about health. Particularly if it is time to throw out the jar it ages it should retain ’... Aroma may be a change in the flavor if it is exposed to,! Sure which sauerkraut is also fermented so it lasts a long storage life so have. Living thing and the presence of mold or pink scum also means that it s. You put the sealed jars in a pickle solution as well particularly if it makes you want to gag discard. Pickled cabbage so you have to keep it in the fridge, you can use its original packaging lost flavor... Jar with a 2 % solution of salt water that symptom is the presence of mold or pink also... Change in the sauerkraut may have turned soft and lost some flavor, dry,... Sugars and vinegar solution symptom is the best way to determine if is... High heat used to have a good sense of what a freshly made jar of is... The greenish white parts growth and how to tell if sauerkraut is bad the risk of spoilage is spoilage in is... Antibacterial agent can remove it sauerkraut doesn ’ t smell rancid or emanate a foul smell other than of. And side Effects…, top 20 Antihistamine Foods that help Fight Inflammation freshly made jar sauerkraut. Stove and the presence of bubbles is perfectly natural sauerkraut to extend the shelf life of sauerkraut even.. An eye on your sauerkraut throughout the year found in salt sauerkraut that shows that the sauerkraut as ages..., fresh color and not appear pink, grey, black, or moldy will not make the will... I mentioned earlier lasts a long storage life so you have plenty of using!