Canning Cabbage

Do you know why some canning sites tell you not to can cabbage, unless I miss read, but my Kerr canning book says cabbage can be pressured canned?


I did a bit of research on this question. I checked a couple of extension websites and my Ball Blue Book of Preserving.

I could not find any safety information on canning cabbage. I must assume that it is not recommended.

The methods I do see where cabbage being safely canned is making sauerkraut or a pickled product. The vinegar or pickling ads the acid that cabbage needs to be safe for canning.


Edited to add:

It does seem that though I have no experience canning cabbage... others have had success with it. Read the comments for more information.


Comments for Canning Cabbage

Click here to add your own comments

Dec 14, 2009
Canning cabbage
by: Janine J

I have had to find a recipe for canning cabbage this year. I found on in my Kerr and Ball book. I pressure canned at 15 pounds. I will have to look to see how much time. It turned out great. Just pack the cabbage into the jars and add water to 1/2" head space. Turned out great. Use for fried cabbage and adding to soups.

Aug 02, 2010
canning cabbage
by: Anonymous

My southern folks canned cabbage for years...none ever spoiled.

They cut up the cabbage, brought it to a boil and put in jars. Pressure at 15# 25 minutes or put in water bath for 45 minutes I have also canned stuffed cabbage with success.

May 13, 2011
Cabbage Soup Cans Great
by: Wendy in MI

Despite every source of info recommending against canning cabbage throughout my decades of canning everything else, I finally decided to just make my own recipe, and it comes out great.

I start by skinning and chopping tomatoes for my base broth, then I add loads of coarsely chopped red cabbage followed by bits of other veggies from the garden such as beans, corn and carrots. I cold pack it into pint jars and pressure cook at 15 psi for about 15 minutes.

The result is a colorful, robust soup bulging with firm vegetables.

Jul 16, 2011
Did you use pint jars and how much pressure
by: Anonymous

Did you use pint jars and how much pressure?

Aug 23, 2011
Canning cabbage? Of course!
by: Anonymous

There is nothing you can't can, as far as spoilage is concerned. You just have to know the method to use. Steam under pressure kills everything: that means that everything in a sealed jar that has been pressure-canned for the adequate time has no microorganisms in it, and will have none as long as the seal remains intact.

The only other consideration in whether it is advisable to can something is: will the quality of the food be good enough to eat after it it canned. If you don't know the answer to this, the only way to find out is to try canning it.

Aug 23, 2011
Canning cabbage
by: Cheryl

My canner booklet ("All-American") puts all greens under "greens." If you look in a canning book or your canner instruction book, chances are you will find a category under "vegetables" labeled "greens." This is what to go by when canning cabbage.

Cabbage is a good addition in canned soups.

Cheryl... your point made sense to me so I called my extension service. They told me it is not considered the same as greens.

Not sure why..... cabbage is after all a leaf. But just so readers can make informed decisions I thought I'd add that.


Sep 05, 2011
by: Anonymous

I have canned cabbage for years. I cut the cabbage and somewhat blanch it until like rubber, pack in quart jars, fill with boiling water, seal and pressure can at 10#'s of pressure for 45 minutes. This is in my Kerr canning book but can't find anywhere else. I use it in soups, fry it then add a sweet and sour sauce made with vinegar, sugar and a little water, my husband will eat the whole fry pan full.

Sep 11, 2011
canning cabbage soup
by: donna

I have tried canning cabbage soup a couple of different ways. One was to partially cook all the ingredients (I used onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, apples etc. Once I canned it with keilbasa sausage. It tasted OK but the texture was off. Now I add the meat when I warm it up. I think it tastes great and I can make a big batch once and eat it all winter.I used 14 # pressure for 15 min.

Sharon's disclaimer. You need to be sure and use the correct pressure for your elevation. The above information is what Donna uses.

Sep 19, 2011
My canned cabbage always spoils...
by: Anonymous

I keep trying to can cabbage but it spoils... I slightly cook my cabbage, after I cut it in thin strips. I make sure I leave almost an inch before I cover with the lid and make sure there is no air bubbles trapped between the solids. All of the cabbage is covered with liquid. It simmers for 45 minutes. I then let the jar cool and bring it down to the basement and store it on the shelf. A week later, I check and see all the little bubbles trapped inside. I open the jar and gas/stink comes out like one nasty fart!!! Where did I mess up? HELP!!!

Hi there, I do know for sure that IF you try canning cabbage you MUST pressure can it. It sounds as if you are trying to do a hot water bath. This won't work.

I wish I had official recommendations for pressure canning but I don't have any information. If you read through this thread others have posted their experiences.

Jan 05, 2012
What about adding canning salt?
by: Anonymous

What about adding canning salt?

Apr 10, 2012
by: Anonymous

i blanch it in boiling water with salt and then place in freezer bags and put into freezer after it has coooled tasted just like fresh

Apr 13, 2012
canning cabbage - its delicious!
by: Deborah

my husband experimented last year and canned a few quarts, it was fantastic. We used it in soups, fried it and just ate it like fresh boiled cabbage.

Apr 21, 2012
Is it safe
by: Anonymous

I recently made a Russian recipe sauerkraut. I let it ferment for three days before processing using the water-bath method. Now I am wondering after reading various recipes if it will be safe to consume. Normally this recipe says to store the cabbage in the refrigerator, normal sauerkraut recipes say to ferment for at least 30 days before heat processing. So I am wondering if the cabbage that I canned will be safe to consume or if the pH will be off and therefore lend itself to bad bacteria. Pleas help.

Apr 27, 2012
can cabbage
by: Anonymous

i can cabbage and it comes out great i blanch and put in jars and hot pack to seal lids comes out just fine and can be used to fry or just eat

Jun 06, 2012
Pressure canned cabbage
by: Anna

I have canned cabbage with success for the past 3 years. I cut the cabbage up as I would if I were going to cook it fresh, boil it for 15 minutes, pack the jars, fill with boiling water and a teaspoon of salt, vent and can at 10-15lbs pressure for 180 minutes. I have heard it can be done in less time, but better safe than sorry.

Jun 13, 2012
by: debbie

in canning cabbage some canning saids to add salt and some dont say so dose it mater?

Jun 19, 2012
Canning Cabbage.
by: Anonymous

I have canned cabbage for a few years now. I never could find instructions, so I tried using the instructions for green beans. It worked great!

Jun 24, 2012
Canning Cabbage
by: Wendy in NC

My family has made sauer kraut for years, we never pressure the mixture, just pack into jars and allow it to fermit or work for six weeks and the jars automatically seal. I add cabbage to my vegetable soup and pressure, also I mix cabbage, tomato and zucchini pack into jars and pressure. This makes a great soup, soup starter or pasta sauce starter. The options with fresh vegetables are endless, just go with your own taste and enjoy.

Jul 06, 2012
Cabbage Soup
by: Kim

I have canned some cabbage soup this year and want to know if it will turn brown.... I blanche the cabbage along with carrots, peas, corn and onion with some tomato juice and I have had people tell me it will turn brown and the cabbage will not be good.... I heat my jars, boil my lids and the jars are sealing but I am not pressure cooking them.... am I wasting my time?

Jul 06, 2012
Mine doesn't turn brown
by: Anonymous

Hi Kim. Wendy in MI here (scroll down to my May 13, 2011 recipe for cabbage soup). The cabbage in my soup never turns brown. I cold pack and pressure cook at 15 psi. Like you, my broth contains tomatoes which may make the difference.

Jul 22, 2012
Cabbage & Tomatoe Soupn Starter-Grrrrrrreat!qu
by: MaDonna

I canned extra cabbage that would have gone to waste in homeade tomato juice for soup starter. It was great but I'm having trouble remembering the length of time I pressure canned. I could not fine any information on canning cabbage either so it was a gamble that paid off. If it is not recommeded to can cabbage due to low acidity it makes sense that to pickle or add something that contributes acidity like tomatoes makes it doable.

Jul 24, 2012
yes by all means can cabbage and anything else, like water
by: Karen D

Can Cabbage--- yes by all means-- I have canned it for over 30 years-- 45 min at 10 pounds pressure--- I just chop up like would for scallop cabbage, put in jar, add 1 tsp salt fill with hot water, pur seal and rim on and go from there-- I can potatoes, chicken broth, cabbage, green beans, tomatoes, pickles (these are water bathed) fruits, brocoli, asparagus, brusell sprouts, just about anything you grow in your garden, I learned to can as a child and continued while kids were growing up and still do just not as much as use too-- we lived out of our garden year round-- you can even can meat, soups, and WATER for emergency bottled water-- yup anything

Aug 13, 2012
red cabbage
by: Anonymous

I've read the comments on canning cabbage which are very helpful. Does anyone can Red Cabbage? Is there a difference other than color?? thanks

Aug 13, 2012
Red Cabbage
by: Wendy in MI

The cabbage soup that I can (my recipe is down the list at May 13, 2011) is always done with red cabbage. I cold pack it and process at 15 psi for about 15 minutes. It comes out great - firm and still pink.

Aug 19, 2012
Canning Cabbage
by: Connie

I have been canning cabbage for YEARS with NO problems at all.....

Aug 26, 2012
Canned Cabbage is Wonderful!
by: Jo

I have canned cabbage for several years with wonderful results. Please only use pressure canning and NOT water bath, cabbage is not acidic enough to be safe water bathing.

The main reason you don't find it in canning books is some think it gets too strong to taste good, I have never found this to be true. I always drain the canning liquid off when I open a jar, and give it a quick rinse. Fry in skillet with a little bacon grease, touch of sugar, pepper, and it is heaven.

Use it in soups, etc. also. Clean and cut cabbage into desired size pieces, pack into hot jars, fill with boiling water leaving 1 inch headspace.

Add salt if desired, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't - it makes no difference as to it's keeping ability. Process pints for 30 minutes and quarts for 35 minutes at 10 lbs pressure.

For a fabulous site on canning all kinds of unusual things and expert advise, I highly recommend Jackie Clay's Blog,

She also has a wonderful canning book.

Sep 26, 2012
by: Chris

okay, I'm hoping to can my grandmothers Polish Kapusta recipe and looking for suggestions. The original recipe is:
1) boil 1qt sliced cabbage 5 minutes
2) drain
3) add 1T bacon grease, 1/4c vinegar, 1T salt, 2T sugar, caraway seeds, 1/2c water
4) simmer 45 minutes

I'm figuring that the vinegar will drop the pH enough to make it safe regardless so...

is hot sealing them enough? Or how much should I reduce the simmer time to compensate for pressure cooking to seal them?

Chris, I would not recommend waterbath canning this recipe. Yes it has the vinegar... but you still do not know the ph levels.

If the jars seal, that does not necessarily mean the product is safe.

It does sound like a wonderful recipe though. I bet the bacon grease adds a wonderful full flavor. I'd try to freeze it instead of canning.

Oct 10, 2012
Canning Kapusta
by: dj

I would love to hear comments on canning the Kapusta recipe posted by Chris. I want to do the same thing however not sure if the procedure is safe??

Nov 08, 2012
Q: Water bath can Cabbage w tomatoes & vegys
by: The Peach Lady

I made a bucket load of cooked cabbage with tomatoes, celery, onion, green peppers, carrots, margarine. Drained part of it and fried in non-stick skillet w olive oil, seasoned in serving dish with dill and salt. It was delish! Now I want to water bath can the cooked vegys, like tomatoes w half teaspoon of salt on top 45 minutes. Do you think they will preserve?

Dec 29, 2012
Canning Cabbage
by: RocheFarm

I often see sites warning against canning cabbage, green beans, meat, and most-low acid veggies. I grew up canning all of these, and still do, using a pressure canner. When I open my jars of goodies, I always make sure I thouroughly heat anything not pickled or not fruit, though. I really think Ball, etc, recommends against these for novice canners and to avoid any kind of a lawsuit if someone does it wrong and gets sick.

Mar 24, 2013
I bought too much cabbage.
by: Ceashels

It has been difficult to find information on canning cabbage but I can't see how my grandparents survived if they didn't do it all those years ago.

I just pressure canned 8 pints of cabbage and ground sausage for 70 mins at 10lbs.

I precooked the meat then added the cabbage in stages so the larger parts could soften. Once that was heated through, I combined it with the leafier/finer shreds of cabbage and packed the jars, adding water to cover.

It looks great in the jar an we'll see how it turns out.

Mar 31, 2013
Make sauerkraut!
by: Jeff

There's a great recipe for making sauerkraut on P. Allen Smiths site. Aunt Jenny's or something like that. It's simple as pie.
Fill your quart jars with shredded cabbage, then add 1 teaspoon of vinegar, sugar and salt, fill with boiling water, seal tightly and process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes.

Store in a cool dark place for week and 1/2 to allow fermentation. Best kraut I ever had!

Jun 23, 2013
canning cabbage
by: love to can

canning cabbage is an old custom i still use--
cut it up--boil 5 minutes put in jars cover with hot water--seal with hot lids pressure 45 minutes at 10 lbs pressure--walla great

Jun 23, 2013
Canning cabbage
by: Anonymous

I am 60 years old and have eaten and canned cabbage for most of that time. I, raw pack my jars with cabbage and pour hot water into jars. Pressure cook @ 11 psi for 35 minutes. I do the same with many veggies fresh from the garden.

Jul 10, 2013
by: Anonymous

I am very happy to see you all posting the PSI and minutes for your canned cabbage... problem is... it helps me not, as I do not know what your elevation is which is critical as well as mine may not be the same

Jul 10, 2013
My jars of cabbage.
by: Ceashels

My pretty jars are getting used. The flavor is a little dull so I brighten it up with a little acid or a fried egg. Lol. The texture loses a lot as well and I may try not pre cooking the veggie mix next time.

I am at sea level for the time and pressure for my previous post.

Jul 20, 2013
Cabbage canning
by: Anonymous

My husband been canning all his life. He blanches the cabbage and puts canning salt in and boil open canner for 20 mins. He never had a problem. Never heard that pressure canning is a must. He open cans tomatoes to.

Aug 30, 2013
Canning Red Cabbage w/bacon
by: Debi Horne

I'm just getting into canning, and have a great red cabbage receipe that includes bacon. Can this be canned? water bath or pressure?

Thank you

Debi Horne

Sep 07, 2013
Canned Cabbage.
by: Anonymous

I cut up the cabbage and boil it until it begins to wilt and change colors . Then I put it in the jars and cook in a water bath 45- 60 minutes. It all ways has sealed and never went bad. But here is what I don't like,,, in a short time it begins to turn grayish looking and not so pretty to look at . Does any one else have this problem. I wonder If I put a tablespoon of lemon juice to a pint jar if that would help to keep its color? My Grand Mother, Never own a presser Canner in her life. Allof those years she cann green beans and what ever she wanted. none of it ever made any one sick. I do my beans the same way except I add a table spoon of lemon juice to each pint jar., and cook in the water bath for 3 hrs.

Oct 07, 2013
Canning Cabbage Soup
by: Kaye

So I did my first batch of pints of cabbage soup and apparently something 'leaked' inside of the pressure canner - I had a little leakage on the top rack and minor discoloration but the bottom rack has largely discolored to black as has the bottom of my canner - I'm assuming it was the cabbage juice and reaction to my aluminum canner because it is scratching off (UGH SLOWLY)but not completely with a ss wool pad. It looks like the burn on the bottom of a ban after you've burned food in it - does anybody know if this harms the canner OR how you can get it off without a mild sanding in there!?

Oct 08, 2013
Cleaning up the Black
by: Wendy in MI

Hi Kaye. I don't think the black staining is hurting your aluminum canner, but I certainly understand your wanting to remove it. Try Bar Keepers Friend. I have yet to find anything it can't remove. The powder form works better than the liquid form, and it's available in most grocery stores for less than $3. It cleans via a chemical reaction which works on the top couple of layers of molecules, so tough jobs may require several cycles of applying, scrubbing and rinsing. Good luck!

Nov 14, 2013
by: Anonymous

How can you post a web site talking about canning when you have no clue what you are talking about?


You have to go out of your way to create a web site. It costs money. It takes time. And the whole premise is... you don't KNOW?

I am sorry, but this makes zero sense. No human being would spend the time and money required to make a web page JUST to say... I don't think it's safe to can cabbage.

During the first years of the Napoleonic Wars, the French government offered a hefty cash award of 12,000 francs to any inventor who could devise a cheap and effective method of preserving large amounts of food. The larger armies of the period required increased and regular supplies of quality food. Limited food availability was among the factors limiting military campaigns to the summer and autumn months. In 1809, Nicolas Appert, a French confectioner and brewer, observed that food cooked inside a jar did not spoil unless the seals leaked, and developed a method of sealing food in glass jars.[3] The reason for lack of spoilage was unknown at the time, since it would be another 50 years before Louis Pasteur demonstrated the role of microbes in food spoilage. However, glass containers presented challenges for transportation.

You can can anything. People have been doing this for more than 200 years.

Dear anonymous, Well this human being is just trying to share my experience. I will not endorse something that has not been proven safe. If you have a resource that has tested the safety of canning plain cabbage. (not sauerkraut) I'd love to see it. Thank you for sharing if you do.

Feb 10, 2014
Saurkraut Pressur Canner Recipe
by: Cat

I will be using this time table to do mine.

Cat, this is a great source for pickled items and sauerkraut but it is not for canning plain cabbage. The pickling aspect adds lots of acid which changes the canning requirements.

Mar 27, 2014
Science vs. aesthetics. . .
by: ChrisK

Anonymous, there is no evidence to support safely canning cabbage. Period. So, the owner of this website is completely correct when she says that she doesn't know. It's the responsible answer for those who want to know if it is recommended by the experts.

Please sign your real name next time. It will lend to your credibility.

Thank you to the owner of this site for being honest. My question would be is it scientifically unsafe or
aesthetically unsafe. I will call and find out. I would LOVE IT if they said it is strictly aesthetics. :-)

Chris.... thank you for your support! Sharon

Click here to add your own comments

Return to FAQ Canning Vegetables.

Canning Books by Sharon