We only get a few months of summer before the long winter hits. Most of the fruits and vegetables that are available in summer are unlikely to be available during the cold days. So, whether you follow passed-down traditions on fermenting food or just want to enjoy the summer fruits and vegetables all year round, you might want to stock up on them for making kimchi, pickles, or other types of fermented treats. These fermented foods are rich in antioxidants that may help to improve your digestive health.
Instead of buying store-bought fermented vegetables that are likely to contain a lot of preservatives, artificial flavorings, and sugar, you can easily make your own at home using a fermenting crock. The best fermenting crocks allow you to make a large batch of fermented vegetables without needing to add any preservatives or artificial flavorings. Plus, you can place them anywhere since most have a solid construction so exposure to UV rays is unlikely to hamper the fermenting process.
Our best pick is the Ohio Stoneware Bristol Crock because it offers a large capacity that allows you to make your desired fermented vegetables in large quantities, the high-quality stoneware construction that enables it to perform well for several years, and the large opening that makes cleaning and fermenting a breeze.
Our budget pick is the Seeutek Fermentation Crock Jar because it comes with useful accessories such as stone weights and a pickle tamper that enable you to ferment vegetables with ease, it is equipped with a water seal around the mouth that helps to keep out impurities, and it has an eye-catching red exterior that makes it look quite elegant.
Quick Comparison: The 8 Best Fermenting Crocks
|Product Name||Weight |
|Ohio Stoneware Bristol Crock||12.0||9.75 x 9.75 x 9||2.00||A|
|Seeutek Fermentation Crock Jar||4.41||8.2 x 8.2 x 13||0.50||A|
|Humble House Fermentation Crock||4.40||6.25 x 6.25 x 8.5||0.50||A|
|Kenley Fermentation Crock||11.0||11.5 x 11.5 x 16||1.30||A|
|Humble House SAUERKROCK Fermentation Crock||5.79||7.87 x 7.87 x 8.66||1.30||B|
|K&K Keramik Fermenting Crock Pot||10.3||9.1 x 8.75 x 13.5||1.90||B|
|NIK SCHMITT 3210 Fermentation Crock||0.02||10.6 x 10.6 x 10.6||2.60||A|
|HomeBuddy Fermentation Crock||8.82||12.2 x 11.4 x 7.68||1.00||B|
1. Ohio Stoneware Bristol Crock
Whether you are making pickles or kimchi, the Ohio Stoneware Bristol Crock makes fermenting vegetables a lot less hassle-free. It offers a spacious capacity of 2 gallons so you can easily ferment a large number of vegetables in one batch. This fermenting crock is extremely sturdy and durable to provide you with the best possible experience every time you want to ferment vegetables.
Both the interior and the exterior have a glossy texture. The interior is black while the exterior is white. The fermenting crock has a simple design that looks good in all types of settings. The body of the crock is extremely thick and so, it has the ability to withstand a high temperature.
This means that the crock is unlikely to warp or become damaged when you use it in the oven, microwave, or even in the dishwasher. It can withstand a temperature of up to 200°F so you can use the crock to make other types of food.
The fermenting crock has a height of 9 inches. The outer diameter is 9.5 inches while the inner diameter is 8.5 inches. The wide opening allows you to press down the vegetables under brine water easily using weights or a plate made of glass or ceramic. The wide opening also makes cleaning easier as there is enough space to put your hands inside to get rid of the leftover or unwanted pieces of vegetables. What’s great about this fermenting crock is that it can be used as storage containers for various food.
What we liked: The Ohio Stoneware Bristol Crock does not contain any lead or other harmful chemicals so you do not have to worry about your fermented vegetables becoming contaminated.What we didn’t like: It does not come with weights so you might need to use your fists, a marble slab, or a pickle tamper to keep the vegetables submerged in brine water.
2. Seeutek Fermentation Crock Jar
The Seeutek Fermentation Crock Jar lets you ferment any type of vegetable with ease. It is a heavy-duty crock jar that offers a capacity of 0.5 gallons or 2 liters. It is perfect for making fermented vegetables, pickles, kimchi, or sauerkraut in small batches. It is well-designed and comes with useful accessories such as stone weights, a pickle tamper, and a lid with a water seal.
The fermentation crock has a bright red exterior with a glossy texture. The crock is made using high-quality ceramic that is unlikely to flake or become discolored with frequent use.
The inside does not include any lead or cadmium, which makes it safe for consumption. The crock is unlikely to release any toxins or harmful substances while fermenting the vegetables. Plus, you do not have to worry about the ceramic glaze ruining the flavor of the fermented vegetables. You can be assured that your pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, or other food will turn out to be delicious.
You will receive two stone weights along with your fermentation crock jar. The stone weights allow the vegetables to be submerged in brine water throughout the fermentation period. You do not have to resort to other alternatives such as using a glass plate or marble slabs. Each stone weight has the shape of a half-circle and has a small opening in the middle that allows you to pick it up easily. Moreover, the stone weights cover the area well so you can expect all of the vegetables to be submerged in water efficiently.
You can use the pickle tamper to push down the vegetables evenly inside the crock jar. You can use this tool to keep sauerkraut and other veggies submerged in fermenting liquids or brine before putting the stone weights on top. In most cases, individuals do not even feel the need to put the stone weights on top after using the pickle tamper. Moreover, it is made using premium-grade wood that is unlikely to have splinters or become soft with daily use.
The lid is extremely helpful in keeping your fermenting vegetables fresh and safe for a very long period of time. It is equipped with a deep water grove that helps to prevent oxidation. The lid also aids in maintaining proper air circulation throughout the fermenting process.
What we liked: The water channel on the cover allows the fermented gas to pass through so your vegetables are unlikely to produce a bad odor. This means that your whole house is unlikely to smell like fermented vegetables.What we didn’t like: The water channel is quite shallow so you might need to fill it up with water from time to time. Moreover, the small opening may make it difficult to clean the inside of the crock jar properly.
3. Humble House Fermentation Crock
This Fermentation Crock by Humble House has got to be one of the best fermenting crocks in the market right now. It features a deep water channel that not only helps keep out insects, dirt, and other contaminants but may also act as a one-way CO2 valve. This system aids in increasing the production of good bacteria while minimizing the production of bad bacteria, giving you delicious fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickles each time.
The fermentation crock has a width of 6 inches and a height of 8 inches. It offers a spacious capacity of 2 liters so you will be able to make a large batch at once.
You no longer need to ferment vegetables in multiple mason jars, allowing you to save time and effort. The fermentation crock is made using high-quality ceramic materials that help to prevent sunlight from passing through. This means that even if the crock jar is placed on a sunlit surface, your vegetables are unlikely to be affected. You can store the crock jar anywhere, be it next to a window or on top of your kitchen countertop. You no longer need to keep it in a dark place.
The crock jar is unlikely to flake or become damaged quickly, thanks to the thick ceramic construction. This high-quality construction enables it to be extremely sturdy and long-lasting. The glossy surface does not contain any lead or cadmium so your food is likely to be safe and free from toxins while it is fermenting. You will receive some handy accessories such as a cabbage tamper and two ceramic weights with a glazed finish.
The cabbage tamper is quite long. It has a length of 11.75 inches so you might be able to squash cabbages and other vegetables comfortably. It is made using solid beach wood that is considered to be durable and sturdy. The ceramic weights cover a decent portion of the inside of the crock jar so most of your cabbages, sauerkraut, and other vegetables are most likely to be submerged in the brine. This method helps to enrich the flavors of your fermented veggies.
What we liked: Both the fermentation crock jar and the weights have a glazed finish that makes cleaning easier. All the stains and pieces of vegetables wash off quickly.What we didn’t like: The cabbage tamper is quite thin and lightweight so you will need to use a lot of pressure to pound the cabbage and other food. This may be quite an exhausting process for some individuals.
4. Kenley Fermentation Crock
The Kenley Fermentation Crock is really a game-changer when it comes to fermenting vegetables. The 5-liter capacity allows you to ferment vegetables in large batches, making it suitable for commercial use as well. The fermentation crock comes in a complete package, too. It includes a pounder and weights that help to make things easier.
This fermentation crock is made using high-grade ceramic so there are very low chances of the ceramic crazing. Both the interior and the exterior of the crock jar have a glossy brown surface, which makes the jar look aesthetically pleasing.
The fermentation crock has a food-safe coating which means that your fermented vegetables are unlikely to pick up the metallic taste from the ceramic material. Moreover, the food-safe coating also helps to prevent oxidation, resulting in delicious, antioxidant-rich foods every time. Oxidation is unlikely to affect fermentation, which helps to restrict the movement of free radicals in your body that are responsible for cell damage.
What prevents oxidation further is the fact that this fermentation crock is completely airtight. This means that you can ferment any type of vegetable without needing to add any preservatives or artificial additives. You can easily ferment onions, beans, beetroot, cabbage, and lots more using brine water only. The fermented vegetables are likely to taste good for several weeks or even years in storage. The large capacity allows you to make around 8lbs or 3.5 kgs of fermented vegetables at once.
On the other hand, this fermentation crock is very easy to clean. The smooth surface enables you to wash off the stains and remaining bits of vegetables quickly. All you need to do is clear out stray vegetable pieces using your hands and wash the crock jar with regular dish detergent. You should dry the fermentation crock completely with a towel before keeping it in your kitchen cabinet.
What we liked: This fermentation crock features a deep water grove that helps the CO2 gases escape without letting oxygen in. This helps to keep out bad odor and prevent oxidation.What we didn’t like: The weights are not glazed so there is a very high chance of the weights smelling like the fermented vegetables.
5. Humble House SAUERKROCK Fermention Crock
Another beautiful creation from Humble House is this SAUERKROCK Fermentation Crock. It is perfect for individuals who are interested in keeping their gut healthy by drinking fermented beverages and liquids. The attached spigot allows you to pour your kombucha, kefir, Shalgam juice, or boza into your cup or bottle easily.
This fermentation crock has a very elegant design. It has a white ceramic construction with a wide opening. The wide opening allows you to pour the liquids and other fermenting liquids into the crock jar without making a mess.
The spigot is made using 304 stainless steel that does not contain any harmful toxins. It is extremely durable and long-lasting. Moreover, this fermentation crock jar also comes with a silicone washer that is completely free of BPA. The silicone washer helps to prevent leakages. All the materials used are natural and 100% safe for consumption.
You will also receive a cotton cloth cover that can be used to keep out dirt, dust, insects, and other types of contaminants. Although it is tightly woven cloth, it is still breathable to let the gases produced during the fermentation process escape. You will also receive a strong, oversized rubber band for securing the cloth over the mouth of the crock jar properly. This further ensures that your fermented liquids do not come in contact with any foreign matters such as dirt and others.
What we liked: This fermentation crock has a capacity of 1.3 gallons which equals 10 standard-sized mason jars. So, fewer dishes to clean!What we didn’t like: You will need to tighten the spigot from time to time. So, if you do not want your homemade fermented liquids to be leaking all over the place, remember to tighten the spigot properly before use.
6. K&K Keramik Fermenting Crock Pot
If you are looking for fermenting crock pots with a traditional design, the K&K Keramik Fermenting Crock Pot might be perfect for you. It is a simple fermenting crock that is handmade by German craftsmen using premium-grade ceramic. The ceramic has been treated at a temperature as high as 1260°C so you can be assured that this crock is free of lead and cadmium.
The fermenting crock has a thick ceramic construction so it is likely to be extremely sturdy. It is unlikely to craze or shatter easily. The exterior has a combination of earthen brown and copper hues that make it look vintage.
It also has a shiny, smooth surface that makes cleaning easier. On the other hand, the inside of the fermenting crock is very spacious. It can hold up to 7 liters or 1.9 gallons of cabbages, carrots, and other types of vegetables. You can easily make enough sauerkraut, pickles, or kimchi for around 5-6 people in one single batch.
It also comes with two wooden weights that cover most of the inside part of the crock jar. So, you can expect about 90% of your cabbages or other vegetables to be submerged in brine water or in other fermenting liquids. You do not need to push the veggies down from time to time during the fermenting process. Since most of the vegetables are likely to be submerged in water, your fermentation has higher chances of becoming more flavorful and delicious.
The top part of the crock jar has a deep water channel that allows the gases produced during the fermentation process to escape. At the same time, it also prevents contaminants such as dirt, dust, and insects from entering the crock jar. The deep gully may also prevent oxidation. This enables the fermented vegetables to be rich in antioxidants and other nutrients.
What we liked: The fermenting crock pot has handles on both sides of the body, which makes the crock a lot more portable. You can easily carry it from one place to another. Moreover, it comes with a detailed instruction manual and a recipe booklet.What we didn’t like: The weights may be too small to cover the entire area of the inside of the crock jar. You might need to use a pickle tamper before using the weights.
7. NIK SCHMITT 3210 Fermentation Crock
The NIK SCHMITT 3210 Fermentation Crock has a sleek brown exterior that makes it look modern and in style. The inside of the crock is very spacious. It offers a capacity of 10 liters so you can easily fit around 15lbs of shredded cabbages, carrots, onions, and other vegetables inside. The fermentation crock also comes with useful accessories such as two fermenting weights.
The fermentation crock is handcrafted from stoneware using extreme temperatures. The stoneware was fired at a temperature as high as 2,300°F so you can expect the crock to be extremely sturdy and durable.
It is said to have a scratch-proof surface, which makes it perfect for everyday use. The crock is also said to be able to withstand high temperatures so exposure to high heat or humid conditions is unlikely to deteriorate its quality. On the other hand, the fermentation crock is completely dishwasher-safe so you will be able to save time and effort on cleaning.
The glossy exterior is completely free of lead and cadmium, which makes this fermentation crock safe for consumption. This is a well-designed fermentation crock that enables you to make pickles and other food with ease. The handles on either side of the body allow you to carry the crock from one place to another easily. What makes this crock more portable is that it weighs only 0.352 ounces. You can easily place it on the top racks of your kitchen.
The fermenting crock is manufactured in Germany so you can be assured that the crock is constructed using high-quality and safe materials. You might be able to use this crock for several years without looking for any replacement.
What we liked: The label on the body can be taken off without leaving any sticky residue. Moreover, it comes with a detailed instruction manual so there is no scope for confusion.What we didn’t like: The fermenting weights are pretty lightweight so you might need to use a glass plate or marble slab on top to keep the vegetables submerged in brine water.
8. HomeBuddy Fermentation Crock
The HomeBuddy Fermentation Crock has a tall, narrow structure that offers a capacity of 1 gallon. It does not take up much space so you can easily store it in tight spaces. Both the fermentation crock and the lid have a solid black exterior, which gives it a very sleek design. You can also use this fermentation crock as an Onggi kimchi pot, pickling crock, or even as a sourdough crock.
The fermentation crock is made using high-quality, food-safe ceramic that is 100% natural. It has a double-glazed coating which prevents the fermented food from tasting or smelling metallic. The double-glazed coating also makes cleaning easier.
All the stains and bits of vegetables and fruits wash off quickly. The crock is unlikely to be still smelling like fermented food after washing. You can easily make kimchi, sauerkraut, or pickled cucumbers in this crock. You will also be able to make fruit kombucha and other fermenting liquids.
The fermentation crock has a deep water channel around the opening of the crock. This deep-grove water channel allows the gases inside the crock to escape without any restrictions. It also prevents oxygen, dirt, dust, insects, and other contaminants from entering the crock. You do not have to worry about mold or bacteria affecting the smell or taste of your fermented meals. Moreover, the crock has a raised internal ring that prevents excess water from entering inside while filling up the water seal.
Although the fermentation crock weighs 8.82 pounds, it has ergonomic handles on the side that make it easy to carry from one place to another. The handles are quite sturdy and are unlikely to break apart any time soon. On the other hand, you will receive fermenting weights and a pounder. The weights cover a large portion of the inside so you can use them to keep the vegetables or fruits submerged in the brine water. You will also receive a recipe booklet.
What we liked: The pounder is made using natural acacia wood so it can be used to crush hard vegetables and fruits with ease. The opening is wide enough to put your hand inside so you might not face much trouble while cleaning the crock.What we didn’t like: Many users have said that the ceramic tends to craze after a few months’ use. Moreover, the water channel is very thin so, if you live in a humid place, you will need to refill it from time to time.
Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Fermenting Crocks
Most fermenting crocks have a similar design and structure. They tend to have a solid-colored body, a ceramic or stoneware construction, and an opening wide enough to put your hand inside the crock comfortably. Some may even have a water channel around the mouth of the crock. This water channel allows the gases produced by the fermented food to escape freely while preventing bacteria and other impurities from entering the crock. This water channel may also help to prevent oxidization, which enables your fermented food to be more flavorful and rich in antioxidants. On the other hand, some fermenting crocks come with handles that enable you to carry the crock from one place to another comfortably. The handles allow you to easily pick the crock up or take it down from the top shelves.
If you want to make a large batch of fermented vegetables at once, you might want to invest in a fermenting crock that offers a large capacity. Instead of fermenting vegetables in 8 or 10 different mason jars, you can easily do it at once using a 1 or 2-gallon fermenting crock. This way, your fermented food will have a uniform flavor and aroma. Plus, you will not need to wash multiple jars anymore. All you need to do is wash a big fermenting crock, which is likely to be less time-consuming than washing multiple jars.
On the other hand, if you usually make fermented food for only a few people or if you have small amounts in a given period of time, you might not need a big fermenting crock. A small one, of say ½ or 1 gallon might be suitable for you. Most people prefer small fermenting crocks over big ones because they tend to take up less space and hence, they are easier to store. You can easily keep it in a corner without having anyone notice. Moreover, they may be easier to clean in the sink due to their compact sizes.
Most fermenting crocks you will come across in this article are made of either stoneware or ceramic. While they may look quite similar, fermenting crocks made using stoneware are likely to be more durable and sturdier than the ones made using ceramic. This is because stoneware fermenting crocks are fired at extremely high temperatures and so, they tend to have a thicker build. Plus, most fermenting crocks made of stoneware are safe to be used in the dishwasher, which makes cleaning a lot less hassle-free. They are unlikely to craze or flake with frequent use. However, if you prefer fermenting crocks with a ceramic construction, it might be best to go for ones that have a double-glazed coating. This not only makes cleaning easier but also enables the crock to last for a longer period of time.
Some fermenting crocks come with useful accessories such as a pounder, fermenting weights, and recipe booklets among others. You can use the pounder to squash or crush the vegetables easily. You no longer need to use your fists, which can turn out to be an exhausting process for most individuals. The pounder should be made of high-quality materials, such as acacia wood, to be able to pound hard vegetables and fruits. It should be long enough to reach the bottom of the crock and wide enough to provide a comfortable grip. On the other hand, the fermenting weights help to keep the vegetables and fruits submerged in the brine water without needing to use any glass plates or marble slabs. A recipe booklet will come in handy, especially if you are new to fermenting food.
How can I tell if fermentation is complete?
There are a couple of ways you can tell if fermentation is complete. You will most likely notice a change in color. Since most fermenting crocks do not have a clear structure, you might need to use a torch or check by other means. The texture of the vegetables and fruits is going to change as well. So, for example, if you are making pickled cucumbers, the cucumbers are likely to become much softer than before. Moreover, the color of the vegetables and the brine water is likely to change as well. The vegetables tend to become darker while the brine water or other fermenting liquid is likely to turn cloudy. You will also notice that the fermented food will produce a sour smell.
How much brine water should I pour into the crock jar?
You should put enough to submerge the vegetables and fruits in the brine water. It is best to not fill up the crock entirely. This is because, during the fermentation process, the water may start bubbling and rise upwards. So, if you do not want a mess, make sure to fill it up to a moderate level.
Is it a wise decision to eat fermented food daily?
In most cases, eating fermented food daily is unlikely to cause any severe problems. Since fermented fruits and vegetables are a high source of probiotics, eating fermented food daily may help to improve your digestive health along with your heart health. However, some people may suffer from gas pain and bloating if they consume large amounts of fermented food on a regular basis.
Tips And Tricks To Follow To Ferment Mold-Free Vegetables:
Most people tend to make a few mistakes while fermenting fruits and vegetables and hence, they end up with moldy ferments. Eating moldy fermented vegetables can cause serious health complications and so, it might be best not to consume them. If you are tired of seeing the grey, black, pink, red, or blue fuzzy materials on top of your fermented vegetables or do not want to waste food like that, you might want to follow these simple steps to prevent mold from ruining your ferments.
The first step is to use fresh produce. If your cucumbers, cabbages, carrots, and other vegetables are soggy, old, and/or almost rotten, there are higher chances of mold forming during the fermentation process. So, you should always use fresh and crunchy fruits and vegetables.
You should also ensure that the other ingredients are fresh and safe for consumption. Most people prefer sea salt over table salt. This is because table salt is said to contain artificial preservatives that may cause mold to form.
Speaking of fresh ingredients, you might want to use filtered or distilled water rather than tap water as tap water contains chemicals such as chlorine that are likely to kill the good bacteria produced during the fermentation process. So, if you do not want to end up with moldy ferments, you might want to switch to purified water.
If you are using too little salt, your vegetables may turn soggy very quickly and the harmful bacteria may not be destroyed. So, you should use a moderate amount of salt to keep the mold off. However, you should not use too much as your pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, or other fermented food may turn too salty.
Another effective way you can keep mold off is by ensuring that the vegetables and fruits are completely submerged in the brine water. You can use weights or use a pickle tamper to squash the vegetables and hence, keep them underwater.
You can ferment almost all types of fruits and vegetables. You can make pickles, sauerkraut, or even kimchi. You may be able to make kombucha and other fermenting liquids as well. So, if you are looking for fun ways to preserve your seasonal fruits and vegetables for a long period of time, you might want to get your hands on the best fermenting crocks. A fermenting crock is a great way to experiment with fruits and vegetables. You may be able to improve your food-fermenting skills and take up new hobbies.