Besides sausage beer, German locals also conquered many foreign diners with the specialty sauerkraut.
It’s simple in processing but attractive in the direction of rich flavor when enjoyed. The flavor will explode when you combine it with roasted meat dishes or Salami served on the eating table.
Yet, how long does sauerkraut last? Since this is a fermented dish, the shelf life of sauerkraut usually lasts longer than other dishes. Keep reading to uncover your wonder at once.
How Long Does Sauerkraut Last?
The room temperature enables the unrefrigerated sauerkraut to maximize for around one week. The fridge’s cool environment, in contrast, offers you up to 6 months to enjoy the dish.
For canned sauerkraut, it is good to go for 3-5 years if stored unopened in the fridge.
At room temperature, the sauerkraut gets dried out easier. Plus, it is hard to retain the freshness and high-seasoned flavor.
How long is opened sauerkraut good for when it is out of the fridge? 5-7 days are its prime time.
If you decide to keep this pasteurized sauerkraut in the cupboard, find an airtight glass container for a longer storage time.
Ensure not to put it in humid environments and use it up before the expiry date.
For a long time usage, we highly recommend the refrigerated sauerkraut. The quality still stays safe and delicious regardless of several months later in the cool temperature.
Plus, all the remaining beneficial bacteria will do wonders for your body when eating.
How long does refrigerated sauerkraut last? Refrigerated sauerkraut is good to go within 4-6 months.
How To Tell If Sauerkraut Is Bad?
How long will fermented sauerkraut last? For this question, now you can answer. But sometimes, it is not always 100% accurate.
The sauerkraut may go bad anytime, depending on many other factors.
We mean the cabbage quality, the acidity, or the storage approach will lengthen or shorten the shelf life. Thus, it would help if you usually kept an eye on the storage jar.
However, how can you detect whether the sauerkraut deteriorates in quality? The following signs of spoilage will inform you quite precisely.
Storage Too Long
Sauerkraut will spoil if it exceeds the expiry date. Although we know it, some rare cases may happen out of the blue.
Maybe you have left it at the end corner of the refrigerator and forgot to check. At that point, you’d better throw away that batch of sauerkraut at all costs.
The harmful probiotic bacteria have changed all the texture of the food, thereby harming your health.
Away from that case, suppose you have already prepared much homemade sauerkraut but could not eat it within the fermentation process.
Take it easy by throwing it in the freezer utilizing the freezer container or bag. The storage time will last for an extra few months. For the next use, defrost the frozen sauerkraut thoroughly.
Once you open the lid, you can smell the gasses released immediately. Take a sniff and sense if there is any different smell you cannot stand with.
The unpleasant odor means that it is no longer edible. The cabbage then may have some weird texture and taste.
Avoid tasting directly by your mouth, which can cause some detriments to your well-being.
Change On The Surface
Another sign to realize right after you open the glass jars of sauerkraut is the change on the surface, specifically the mold appearance.
Take a closer look at the top of the food to check carefully. If you see a strain of small white spots, they indicate a sign of food contamination.
That issue means that there is the possibility of spoilage, and eating moldy food does no good.
On the other hand, the mold grows only on the surface but not on the brine.
When you spot the strange substance in the brine water, you will see a type of yeast called Kahm. Sometimes you may feel confused due to their similarity.
Kahm, however, does not harm our health. It just causes some off smell for the sauerkraut, but you can proceed with eating the remaining fermented cabbage.
The last hint you can take advantage of is the color change. The fresh edible cabbage will maintain the green color during the fermentation process.
If suddenly you find the fresh cabbage switching to a darker shade like brown or black, the quality has started decaying.
Stop eating and toss that batch of sauerkraut into the wastebasket. You can’t imagine how poisonous the harmful bacteria will damage your whole immune system.
Way To Store Sauerkraut Properly
How long does sauerkraut last in fridge? 6 months at maximum, and this is also the longest shelf life possible.
So, putting it in the refrigerator is considered the optimal storage conditions for sauerkraut as well as other kinds of fermented food like claussen pickles. There are two crucial steps to prepare for the storing process:
First, keep the cabbage immersed below the brine line.
Once you take out some upper layers of cabbage, use a spoon or any possible utensil to push down the remains. You do it carefully until there is no air exposure to cabbage.
Keeping all the leftover sauerkraut submerged helps avert the oxidation and growing mold. Also, the salt in brine prevents sauerkraut from bacterial growth.
Then, close the jar lid or the plastic container as tightly as possible.
This very first step is extremely important. It may affect how long is sauerkraut good for.
Second, adjust the temperature to a suitable level.
For fermenting, keep the sauerkraut jar at 70 to 75 degrees F. After all the pushing-closing process, let’s store it in the cool compartment of your refrigerator.
Noticeably, don’t forget to check the fridge temperature before putting it in. To store pickled food like sauerkraut, you need to set the fridge volume at around 35 degrees F (2 degrees C) or below.
The cold temperature will kill lactic acid bacteria, which is not good for our health. The fermented cabbage will remain a good quality as normal at that level.
Does Sauerkraut Go Bad In The Fridge?
This issue may always happen. After reaching the best-by date, it will become spoiled sauerkraut.
As for the pasteurized sauerkraut, you can use it within a week. Otherwise, the quality will get worse quickly after that point.
On the other hand, you can preserve unpasteurized sauerkraut in cold storage for up to several months.
Make sure to store it properly for a slower deteriorating process. Otherwise, it also goes bad as fast as the pasteurized one.
Is Sauerkraut Good For Health?
There is a wide range of sauerkraut benefits for our health.
- It offers us essential vitamins, dietary fiber, and many beneficial minerals.
- It improves the digestive system. Enzymes in food being fermented will help our body to aid in digestion. Also, they select and keep the needed nutrients for our health benefits.
- It strengthens heart health. The fiber of beneficial bacteria in sauerkraut helps to balance the cholesterol amount. Especially the potassium and probiotic rate will reduce the high blood pressure.
- It decreases the impossibility of cancer. Sauerkrauts contain a high amount of valuable compounds, typically sulforaphane. This element mainly protects our body against the risk of oxidative attack, thereby avoiding cancer.
- It enhances our mood. Two beneficial bacteria directly improve our mental state, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. They create a healthy and balanced environment in which there is no inflammation. Therefore, the sense of stress or anger will disappear in a while.
Do We Need To Keep The Cabbage Submerged In Brine After Opening The Sauerkraut?
The answer must be, of course, yes. Fermented food must soak completely in brine. And not except for sauerkraut.
The salt in brine water keeps the cabbage continuously fermented and edible. If you do the opposite, some damaged signs will appear immediately.
Small white spots will cling onto the unfermented part after several days. They may turn out to mold and ruin the whole jars of sauerkraut.
When scooping some out of the jar, use the ladle or spoon to press down the cabbage.
Keep the whole leftover immersed in the brine before closing the lid tightly. Then, just put it neatly into your cupboard or fridge.
If the left brine is not enough, feel free to make extra brine yourself to add in.
How long does sauerkraut last? Now you will no longer worry much about it. It depends mostly on how you keep and use it after storage life.
More importantly, remember to follow the exact directions for long and safe storage. Simultaneously, avoid eating if you notice any moldy signs
Thank you for reading until this very ending point. Hope that the information above has improved usefully for your pantry.