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Canning Cabbage: Step-By-Step Guide

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If you’re looking for a step by step tutorial for canning cabbage, this is it! Cabbage is a an easy addition to your home food preservation routine. 

canning cabbage tutorial

Right out of the gate, let’s talk about why you might or might not want to can cabbage.

As with most vegetables, there are pros and cons, but with cabbage, even more so.

One reason you might not want to can cabbage is because it intensifies in flavor after canning. We all know that cabbage is pungent, and the flavor isn’t for everyone.

Solution: Drain and rinse canned cabbage before using.

Other solutions for improving the flavor of canned cabbage are seasonings. I personally stick mostly to plain cabbage and don’t do a lot of pickled cabbage, or other seasonings, because it cuts down on the versatility, but there’s not rule that you can’t add what you like. common additions to cabbage are pepper, caraway seeds, celery seed, mustard seed, onions, vinegar, or using chicken broth instead of water for your canning liquid.

You can also make sauerkraut. While I personally don’t prefer canning sauerkraut, it’s a great option for storing large amounts, especially if you heat your sauerkraut before serving anyway.

Reasons you might want to can cabbage

Convenience, and preserving food. Cabbage is one of those vegetables known for its storability. When root cellared properly, it can stay fresh all winter, but make no mistake, some of it will go to waste as the outer leaves discolor and dry out at time goes by, the usable head shrinks.

Not to mention, most of us don’t have a storage space for root cellaring. Especially those of us in the south where basements aren’t common, and attics don’t stay cool throughout the winter.

As for convenience, nothing beats being able to open and can and go. Canned cabbage is great for adding to a pot of soup, or casserole.

Ingredients for canning cabbage

All you need for basic canning is cabbage, salt, and water. As discussed above, you can add any seasonings you prefer, but those are the only necessities.

I typically use Redmond’s Real Salt, but any non-iodized salt works. Kosher salt is an affordable canning salt option available at most grocery stores.

As for cabbage, Green produces the best results, purely aesthetically. Red cabbage tends to discolor when canned.

cabbage in jars in front of a pressure canner

Other tools needed for canning cabbage

As cabbage is one of the low acid foods,  that requires a pressure canner to safely can. This is simply because a boiling water bath canner doesn’t reach the high temperature that a pressure canner does, so the odds of bacteria being properly neutralized is lower.

If you’ve never pressure canned before, don’t worry! It’s very easy. You just need a canner (I like this one for its simplicity), some water, and a stove.

Aside from the canner, you need canning jars. For cabbage, I usually use pint jars. This is purely personal preference. As a small family, we rarely need more than a pint’s worth of cabbage at a time.

When I buy new jars, I just use whatever lids come with them, but after that first use, I switch to Denali canning lids. They have a 30 guarantee, and haven’t failed me yet!

How to Can Cabbage

There are two basic processes for canning – hot tack, and cold pack.

For cabbage, I like to use the cold pack method to keep things simple.

  1. Cut your cabbage into your preferred size – I like to go on the smaller side.
  2. Pack into canning jars. Pack it tight. Keep squeezing cabbage in there – it’ll shrink.
    putting chopped cabbage in pint jars
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to each quart jar, or 1/2 teaspoon to a pint.
  4. Fill with water leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace.
    jars of cabbage with salt on top
  5. Screw on lids and bands.
  6. Place jars into prepared pressure canner and heat.
    jars of cabbage in pressure canner ready to can
  7. Let canner vent steam for ten minutes, then set weight to 10lbs of pressure.
  8. Bring to pressure and process quarts for 30 minutes, or pints for 25 minutes.

One the cabbage is done processing, remove canner from heat, and let return to zero pressure naturally. After the pressure is down, you can let the jars continue cooling. If you need to remove them from the canner while still hot, be sure to protect jars from drafts with a kitchen towel or something of that nature. I also recommend covering hot jars with a towel once out of the canner until they’re cooled.

How to use canned cabbage

Canned cabbage is great for adding to soups such as this stuffed cabbage soup, or casseroles such as unstuffed cabbage casserole. It’s also good for adding to stir-fries, or seasoning and serving as a side dish.

Other canning recipes for you:

 

Print

Canning Cabbage

  • Author: Elise New

Ingredients

  • Cabbage – about 1 pound per pint
  • Canning Salt – 1/2 teaspoon per pint
  • Water

Tools needed: 

Instructions

  1. Chop or shred cabbage. I like to chop it to about 1 inch pieces to make it easy to stuff in jars, and bit sized
  2. Stuff cabbage into canning jars, packing it firmly leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace
  3. Top with salt – 1/2 teaspoon for pints, 1 teaspoon for quarts
  4. Fill with water – again leaving a 1/2 inch of headspace
  5. Screw down lids and rings firmly
  6. Process in pressure canner for 30 minutes (quarts) or 25 minutes (pints) (see how to use a pressure canner)

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One Comment

  1. Elise’s dedication to sharing expertise in a clear, accessible manner embodies the spirit of community and self-sufficiency, making her tutorial an invaluable resource for anyone looking to explore the world of home food preservation.

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