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Sauerkraut Crocks: How to Choose the Best Crock for Your Kitchen

By on June 12, 2012

Our Bolsaweic stoneware fermentation crocks on parade: 5, 10 & 20 liter sizes.

In our video you’ll learn how to make superb sauerkraut.

We carry the original Bolsaweic fermentation crocks because they’re the best for step-saving, clean fermentation, and an appealing sauerkraut.

Why did we select the Bolsaweic crocks?

*  The crocks are easy to clean.

*  The stoneware absorbs hardly any water, so mold cannot build up. Mold would affect the taste and preservability of fermented vegetables.

*  Bolsaweic crocks come with weighting stones, instead of a wooden board with a cloth. The weighting stones are made of stoneware and are cut in two halves for easier handling. The stones have the right weight to hold vegetables under the liquid during the fermentation process. If you don’t have weighting stones you have to use a board or other weight, covered by a cloth (the cloth will need to be cleaned and replaced during fermentation).

The most important feature of the Bolsaweic crocks? The water groove that holds the lid. Fill the deep water groove before setting the lid in place. The resulting seal is airtight and it prevents the undesirable formation of a film of yeast.

If you don’t have the water groove seal of a Bolsaweic crock you will have to check the container daily and skim off yeast or mold from the liquid.

The lactic acid develops its full preservation properties in the airtight environment.

How much sauerkraut do you want to make?

Remember, you should only fill the crock to 80% of its capacity.

We carry the three sizes of crocks shown in the kitchen photo above: 5 liter/1.32 gallons, 10 liter/2.64 gallons, and 20 liter/5.28 gallons.

For sauerkraut details and recipes, enjoy our specialty book, Making Sauerkraut and Pickled Vegetables at Home. For more on sauerkraut and other fermented foods, try Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning, and Preserving Food at Home.

Find tips on sauerkraut in our accompanying blog post, Make sauerkraut in a fermenting crock.

  Comments (19)


Awesome video!  Always felt a little guilty for lacking the know-how to make sauerkraut, I mean, I’m German, how is it possible that I can’t make sauerkraut????  Thanks for remedying this!

Posted by Sabine on Jun. 17, 2012 at 11:38:50 AM

Sabine, Wendy and Joe are good teachers, aren’t they? Now, get back to your roots wink

Posted by on Jun. 22, 2012 at 8:51:52 AM


Do you have the 5L in stock? I live in G.V.

Posted by Beth Boehlke on Jun. 23, 2013 at 7:59:13 AM


Any tips on cleaning the Harsch crock and weight stones?  I just received one as a gift and was surprised by the limited instructions for sanitizing everything.  I have always fermented in large sterilized glass jars, but the crock looks like a cool alterrnative as long as it is absolutely clean before use.  Thank you in advance….Jim

Posted by Jim on Jul. 13, 2013 at 11:19:09 AM

Jim, The staff here wash their crocks and stones with hot, soapy water—and some set them out in the sun to dry. Enjoy your fermenting!

Posted by on Jul. 15, 2013 at 5:00:06 PM


Now that Harsch has closed its factory, what crock do you recommend?

Posted by Allan on Mar. 31, 2014 at 7:47:38 PM

Hello Allan,

We’ve started carrying the Boleslawiec crocks made in Poland. They have a similar design.

Posted by on Apr. 01, 2014 at 10:15:46 AM


I could use some advise on choosing the size of fermenting crock, I have been considering a 10 L and a 20 L.  Would it be better to have two 10 liter vs one large one?  Looking in to making Kraut, pickles, etc.  I am new at it and just learning.  Are you able to can the Kraut and pickles to eat later or does one have to eat the whole batch?  I have 6 at home.

Thank you!

Posted by Tim on Apr. 27, 2014 at 7:52:01 AM

Hello Tim,

Yes, fermented foods can be canned for later eating. They can also be refrigerated. Canning will kill the beneficial probiotics, refrigeration will keep them alive but they won’t keep as long. The smaller crock is easier to move and deal with. The 20L is very heavy when it’s full. I hope this helps, happy fermenting!

Posted by on Apr. 28, 2014 at 8:17:34 AM


I am pretty amazed that I cant find Harsch Gairtopf Miracle Fermenting Crocks any place whatsoever, including online. Does anyone know where I could get one at, preferably at least 5 gallons. Although, Id take less. If this brand isn’t available, is there any on the market that 100% Clay, lead free. Id appreciate any help.

Posted by stevie on May. 11, 2014 at 7:03:46 PM

Hello Stevie,

Unfortunately the reason you can’t find Harsch crocks is that the factory closed. We searched far and wide for a crock of the same quality and settled on the Boleslawiec fermenting crock to carry. These crocks are also lead free and manufactured in Boleslawiec, Poland. This area has been producing quality ceramics since the 13th century.

Posted by on May. 12, 2014 at 9:01:50 AM


I am debating what size crock to buy.  It’s just 2 of us at home but we would like to keep steady supply of sauerkraut for daily consumption.  Can you explain how much sauerkraut will 5 liter crock yield.  I know it all shrinks down once the fermentation is completed.  Secondly, does it take the same time for the kraut to be ready if it is made in smaller vs larger crock?  Thank you in advance. 

Posted by Margie on Sep. 11, 2014 at 1:04:11 PM


I own a 20L Harsch Gartopf fermentation crock, but the lid has broken.  Do you know where I can get a replacement lid?

Posted by Linda Taulbee on Oct. 04, 2014 at 7:58:24 AM

To make kraut, the cabbage is shredded, then pounded and finally added to the crock. Theoretically, you can put in 5 L of cabbage to the small crock. You will have a little settling once more liquid is released from the cabbage. Seems like the 5L crock will be a good size for 2 people, but if you want to eat it every day then maybe the 10L since there is 3-4 weeks before the kraut is complete.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Oct. 07, 2014 at 11:38:54 AM

Please contact our call center for information about replacing a broken lid.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Oct. 07, 2014 at 2:23:36 PM


I am also looking for a replacement lid for my Gartopf Harsch 5 litre crock.  Where can I call to try and find item?

Posted by Shirley Lowe on May. 10, 2015 at 7:29:31 AM

We no longer carry that brand, Gartopf Harsch, but we can check to see if the one we do carry will fit. I will need some time to get an answer for you Shirley.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on May. 11, 2015 at 1:18:56 PM


I also have a Harsch (7.5ltr) but the lid has a small chip and crack on the inside lip of the lid (unglazed section). Will I still be able to usr this? I could send you a pic if it helps.
Appreciate any help.

Posted by Matt on Aug. 30, 2015 at 8:33:11 AM

Matt, my suggestion would be to seal the crack with some sort of epoxy, glue gun… or something that would work for ceramic and be food safe (even though the lid does not come in contact with the food). That way you will hopefully prevent further cracking and seal the existing crack. After that you should be able to use it.

Posted by Suzanne at Peaceful Valley on Sep. 01, 2015 at 9:44:39 AM

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