Pressure canning cabbage is possible but the cabbage must be pickled or fermented first. Raw cabbage isn’t suitable for canning because of its low acidity and the thickness of the leaves. Many canners prefer to make sauerkraut to safely preserve cabbage.
Is it Possible to Can Cabbage?
Yes – canning cabbage is possible if it is pickled or cooked first. Cabbage is a low-acid food that requires cooking or fermenting to preserve its color, flavor, and texture.
Raw cabbage should not be canned. There is a high risk of botulism, and neither the USDA nor the National Center for Home Food Preservation provides directions for canning raw cabbage. Even the Blue Ball Canning Guide has removed water-bath cabbage canning recipes from its volumes since 1977.
The Best Way of Canning Cabbage
The best method for canning heads of cabbage is pickling and then pressure-canning them. The vinegar in a pickling solution raises the acidity of your veggies, making them safe to store and eat.
Follow these steps to pickle cabbages and prepare them for canning:
- Choose fresh, crisp cabbages. Remove the thick outer leaves and stem.
- Rinse the leaves with cold water, and cut them into quarters, removing the core.
- Shred the cabbage into small pieces.
- Pack the shredded cabbage in clean, sterile glass mason jars.
- Create a brine with your recipe, using white vinegar or red wine vinegar and boiling water. The vinegar should have an acidity of at least 5%.
- Add 1 tsp of canning salt and 1 tsp of sugar per pint jar and allow the brine to boil for 5 minutes.
- Pour the hot brine into your jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.
- Use a spoon to remove excess air bubbles.
- Wipe the rims of the jars with a paper towel before covering the jars with lids.
- Apply screw bands until they are fingertip tight.
Pressure Canning Pickled Cabbage
Once your jars are filled and sealed, follow these steps:
- Prepare your pressure canner by adding 4 inches of water, ensuring the jar rack is inside. Place the canner on the stove over low heat.
- Using a jar lifter, place your jars onto the rack inside the canner.
- Add more water if required by the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Close the lid to the canner and let it vent steam for at least 10 minutes.
- Adjust the PSI to the appropriate level based on the type of pressure canner you use and your elevation.
PSI for pickled cabbage (pints and quarts) in a dial gauge canner:
|Elevation||0 – 2,000ft||2,001ft +|
PSI for pickled cabbage (pints and quarts) in a weighted canner:
|Elevation||0 – 1,000ft||1,001ft +|
- Once the canner reaches the correct pressure, process the jars for 20 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to return to zero before opening your canner.
- Turn the heat off once the processing time is complete.
- Carefully remove the jars without jostling them, and let them cool to room temperature for 12-24 hours.
- Once cool, check the seals and label jars with dates.
- Store the labeled jars in a cool, dry place.
What is the Shelf Life of Canned Cabbage?
It is recommended to consume low-acid canned vegetables such as canned cabbage within 1-3 years for the best quality. Once canned cabbage has been opened, it should be placed in a refrigerator and used within 2 – 3 days. Be sure to label and date your canned cabbage to know when to consume it.
How to Store Canned Cabbage
Canned cabbage should be stored in a cool, dry place to extend its shelf life. Store sealed jars away from light, heat, and humidity.