Fermenting can prove to be a tricky process, but it’s always easier if you have the right tools for the job. With a proper fermentation crock, you’ll be able to make all kinds of vegetables and other foods with the best results and the least effort. There are a lot of different products to consider, of course, and plenty of features to compare. But not to worry – we've taken the hard work out of choosing for you by collecting the best fermentation crocks available today and reviewing them to give you an in-depth look at your options. Plus, at the end of the reviews, you’ll find a handy buying guide to help you understand more about these crocks and how to buy them.Fermentation crocks come in a variety of sizes and styles, but there isn’t that much to learn. Whether you want to make sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, or other pickled or fermented foods, this is a tool that will make your job so much easier. To help you get the best fermentation crock for your needs, let’s start by taking a quick look at the models reviewed and see how they stack up by grade. Then, we’ll get into the detailed reviews and the buyer’s guide.
The Humble House SAUERKROCK is our first choice for fermenting, offering plenty of space with a 5-liter capacity. Plus, this water-sealed crock includes weights for perfect fermenting and pickling every time.
For those on a budget, the Humble House SAUERKROCK TAP Kombucha Crock with Stainless Steel Spigot offers an affordable and yet impressively high-quality solution for fermenting, including a spigot to make dispensing fermented drinks and draining liquids a breeze.
Quick Comparison: 8 Top Fermentation Crocks
1. Humble House SAUERKROCK Fermentation Crock
This fermentation crock from Humble House is a standard unit that offers everything you need for easy fermenting. It includes a water channel crock, lid, and weights, so you can get started right out of the box. The crock is made of high-quality ceramic finished with a lead-free glaze, and this kit will make up to 10 standard mason jars in each batch. Plus, it has the water well to help seal containers to prevent insects, dust, and other contaminants.
If you’re looking for basic fermenting tools in a single package, the Humble House Sauercrock is an ideal choice for making sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and other commonly pickled or fermented foods. The crock measures 10 inches by 12 inches and holds up to five liters, making it ideal for families and small fermenting operations. Plus, the durable design is lightweight enough for easy transport and storage. This high-quality crock comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee and the company is a local, small business that makes all its products in the USA.
2. Humble House SAUERKROCK TAP Kombucha Crock
The SAUERCROCK TAP from Humble House is a great choice for continuous fermenting and brewing if you’re looking to make fermented drinks like kefir and kombucha. The crock is made from durable ceramic and finished with a glaze that is lead-free and cadmium-free. The spigot on the front of the jar is made of food-grade stainless steel (304) and includes a silicone, BPA-free washer to ensure no leakage or drips. This entire unit can be hand-washed with soap and water.
The spigot on this model also makes transferring liquids much easier than a traditional crock. The opening can be covered with a cloth or a paper towel to keep out dust and containments, as no lid is included with this model. The crock holds up to five liters, or 1.3 gallons, of liquid, which is ideal for a small family of 2-4. It can handle producing 10 standard-size jars per batch and is easy to clean. It’s important to tighten the spigot upon receiving this crock, as it will arrive slightly loosened for shipping purposes.
3. HeaBoom K&K Keramik German Made Fermenting Crock Pot
The K&K Keramik German Made Fermenting Crock Pot is handcrafted and designed in true German style for the best of fermenting, pickling, and more. This unique crock features sturdy handles on the outside that make it easy to move and carry around the kitchen, along with a water well on top for water sealing all of your favorite canned and jarred foods. The crock also includes a durable lid and ceramic glazed weights that can help make perfect batches every time.
This larger crock features a large enough capacity for 3-4 people and is crafted as a single piece to ensure the highest quality and reduce the chance of breakage or damage. The crock also has a brown and copper finish that adds a touch of style to any space and looks much more stylish than the many standard black crocks available today. If you are looking for an authentic fermentation crock from a brand that you can trust, this model has everything you need. Plus, it all comes ready to use right out of the box so that you can get started right away.
4. Seeutek Fermentation Crock Jar
The Seeutek Fermentation Crock Jar has its own method of traditional fermenting with water or liquid sealing, and this kit includes everything that you need to produce great fermented foods and drinks, no matter what you have in mind. The crock itself and the lid are made of durable, glazed ceramic that is designed with fermenting in mind. Plus, the weights are made of that same premium ceramic with a glaze that is free of cadmium, lead, and other potentially dangerous elements.
The set also includes a durable wooden tamper that can help hold the vegetables under saltwater or other fermented liquids to achieve a better result by keeping everything compressed and removing as much air as possible. When you really want to make sure that your fermented foods and drinks turn out the best, having these extra tools can make all the difference. This traditional German crock is made with high-quality ingredients and includes a manufacturer’s warranty. Plus, it’s easy to clean with soap and water and will be ready for the next fermentation task in minutes.
5. Kerazo - 5L K&K Keramik German Made Fermenting Crock Pot
The K&K Keramik German Made Fermenting Crock Pot is similar to the model above but offers a smaller capacity that is perfectly sized for 1-2 people. It includes a durable, handcrafted lid and glazed weights made of the same premium ceramic materials as the crock. Plus, it comes with the option of being water-sealed, so there is a gutter around the rim that can be filled with water to help seal in the fermented foods and seal out dust, air, and other contaminants.
This ceramic crock features a smooth, sleek coppery brown finish that adds a touch of style to any space. It also offers convenient carrying handles on the side so that you can move it around the kitchen or get it in and out of storage with ease. These unique crocks are some of the most popular choices in Europe and are perfect for pickling and fermenting a variety of foods. Plus, it only weighs about eight pounds, which means it’s sturdy without being too heavy to carry.
6. Ohio Stoneware 3-Gallon Fermentation Crock Complete Kit
If you’re looking for reliable, USA-made quality, the Ohio Stoneware crock is one to watch. It's easy to make all of your favorite fermented foods in this crock, which includes an airlock and water sealing feature, helping all the gases to escape while keeping air out of the container during the fermentation process. The crock is white with blue accents, giving it an added touch of style that you won’t see on many other models. Plus, it’s from a company that makes stoneware products and knows what it takes to make the best.
This fermentation crock can produce plenty of your favorite pickled and fermented foods and liquids, with a three-gallon capacity that is almost twice what most of the crocks on the list offer. Plus, it includes a lid and weights for traditional water sealing and convenient handles make sure that you can transport it with ease. This model is a bit heavier, too, which means it will be able to handle all of your jobs without compromise, but it may be more difficult to move when it is full. This crock also includes a small recipe book to get you started on fermenting.
7. Kenley Fermentation Crock
Although a lot of these fermentation crocks seem similar, there is something to be said for looking at the small differences. This premium fermentation crock is made from durable ceramic and designed with optimal safety in mind. Whether you are making pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha, or other foods and drinks, you’ll have all of the tools that you need with this set to produce delicious fermented and pickled foods at all times. The crock includes a food-safe ceramic glaze for durability and to ensure that the taste of your foods isn’t affected by its construction materials.
This crock is easy to clean with soap and water and should not be put in the dishwasher. Food doesn’t stick to the crock, even when you use it without canning jars, so you will be able to wash up and store everything in seconds. Plus, the high-quality container includes a deep water well for water sealing to give you a traditional way to ferment all of your favorite foods and drinks. This crock is the perfect companion for beginners and the more advanced alike.
8. Nik Schmitt Fermenting Crock Pots
This 5-liter fermenting crock offers plenty of space for all kinds of fermenting needs. Although it’s a standard size like many on this list, it can handle about 10 jars per batch, and every crock includes a lead-free, cadmium-free glaze that makes the jar slip-resistant, scratch proof, and heat resistant. That means that it will provide you with years of great use for all kinds of fermenting and pickling. The pots are all handcrafted in Germany and fired at 2,300 degrees, ensuring premium durability.
This crock is dishwasher safe, as is the lid that comes with it. You can simply wipe out the crock and throw it in the dishwasher so that it’s ready to go for next time. The included lid and weights ensure that you have everything that you need for the perfect fermenting every single time. Plus, convenient handles make the crock easy to move around the kitchen and get in and out of storage. This container is great for fermenting for 3-6 weeks, making it ideal for sauerkraut, pickles, and other vegetables. Plus, it features a premium 3% density, which means it won’t absorb moisture, mold, or odors from foods.
How To Choose the Best Fermentation Crock for Perfect Sauerkraut, Pickles, and More
Fermenting and pickling at home can be a tricky process without the right tools. Fortunately, technology and innovation have nothing on the traditional tool known as the fermentation crock. These sturdy crocks have been used for centuries and haven’t changed much over the years. However, they are still a bit different than most kitchen tools and many of us aren’t familiar with what they are and how they work. We’ve created the guide below to help you learn everything you need to know about these crocks.
We’ll also discuss the features that matter most when you are buying one of these crocks. From water-sealed vs. open fermenting to the various reasons you’ll be using the crock, there are a lot of things to consider. Read on to get started making your list of factors for buying the best fermentation crock for your needs.
Water-Sealed vs. Open Crocks
There are two main methods of fermenting that are used today. Water sealing is the most common and has been used for canning and jarring foods for centuries. Open crocks are available, although they also have their own applications to consider. Let's start by looking at the uses for water-sealed crocks.
Water-sealed crocks are among the best choice for fermenting foods. These crocks are also referred to as Harsch crocks and consist of a lid and weights that help the fermenting process by sealing out the outside air and compressing the food. There is a water well at the top of the crock, which is designed to ensure that no air gets into the fermenting crock while it is doing its job.
This allows carbon dioxide to form and bubble out, preventing spoilage, and helping produce better results with fermentation. These crocks are ideal for those who want to produce large batches, as well as for those who simply want to prevent mold and yeast from forming inside the crock. In fact, some crocks that don’t use water sealing are notorious for creating mold and yeast and ruining perfectly good foods as a result.
Open crocks also have their place, but they are a much older design, and they don’t have as much predictability. These fermenting crocks are the ones that have been used for generations and usually require the use of a cloth or other object to be placed on the top opening during the fermenting process. These crocks are ideal for whole vegetables, liquids like kombucha, and some even come with weights to help create the barrier.
Typically, you will have an easier time using a water-sealed crock for fermenting. However, open crocks are an option for those who like the traditional style or who want a tool that can ferment whole vegetables at one time.
How Will You Be Using the Crock?
Of course, the primary uses of these crocks are fermenting and pickling. That's not what we mean when we ask how you’ll be using the crock, though. That part is obvious. What you need to consider here is what type of batches and foods you will be making. After all, if you’re only ever going to make small quantities of things, you probably won’t need a large crock.
On the other hand, if you plan on doing a lot of fermenting or you want to make larger batches, you’ll want to purchase a crock that has a larger batch capacity, such as a 3-gallon container instead of most of the crocks that come in at around 1.3 gallons. Keep in mind it’s not just about how much food you want to make, either. There has to be room in the crock for the weights and to allow the foods to expand, as they release gases during the fermenting process.
If you choose a fermenting crock that just barely fits the items that you want to put inside, you won’t have room for the weights or to allow the process to complete as it should. Always make sure that you think about how much food you intend to make or what types of pickling and fermenting you have in mind so that you can choose the crock that is the right size for the job.
The good news is that a single crock can often handle a lot of different jobs. If you want to make both small and large batches, you might want to purchase one in each size so that you aren’t wasting time with the big crock when you want to make a small batch of something. Think about not only the size of the crock but how many foods you can use it for when choosing the right model.
Does it Need to Be Portable?
Most people will set things up so that they don’t have to move their crock any more than necessary. However, there are some cases where you will want to relocate the crock or even just carry it from one place to another. Buying the largest crock available means that you probably intend to do a lot of fermenting, but without moving the crock around a lot.
For those who plan to move the crock or who need something easy to carry, size and weight will play a role in your decision. Besides being big enough to handle all the fermenting that you want to do, most of the crocks on this list include handles for easy carrying. This isn’t required, of course, but it’s definitely something to consider. These ceramic crocks aren’t overly heavy, but when they are filled with fermenting foods, they can get quite weighty.
How Fermentation Crocks Work
The basic premise of a fermentation crock is fairly simple to understand. These pots are designed, in some capacity, to cut off the oxygen supply to the food or liquids, allowing them to break down the lactic acid bacteria in the food that helps ferment or pickle whatever is inside. The vegetables will be cut or shredded, vinegar or saltwater will be added to the crock, and then the weights and/or lid are placed on top of the fermenting foods to secure them and remove excess oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the process.
A fermentation crock is designed to work in a matter of 3-5 weeks for the most part, although they can be used for foods and drinks that take more or less time. Once the time has passed, the process will be completed. It was discussed above how the crocks work based on their style, but be sure to follow all fermenting instructions and manufacturer recommendations when using your crock for the best results. Typically, you will want to check on your fermenting and pickling at least a few times throughout the process to ensure that everything is going as it should.
There are ways to ferment foods without these crocks, but it typically won’t be as easy or as effective. That's why these crocks were created, after all. The entire goal is to make the process of pickling and fermenting easier. Whether you use the age-old open crocks like your grandparents did or you choose a lidded, water-sealed crock that offers better fermenting power for your favorite foods, you’ll be sure to enjoy the process when you have the right tools at hand.
The process of fermenting can be a lot easier and more enjoyable when you have the right tools for the job. Remember to choose a model that ferments in the way that you like, and to look for one that includes weights, the lid, and other necessary elements to make sure that you get everything that you need. If you want the best fermentation crock, look for products made in the U.S. or Europe to ensure the highest quality standards, and always choose a size that will give you more space than you need to allow the fermenting process to work as it should.