Fermentation creates us all sorts of delicious foods. It’s the power behind wine, cheese, kimchi, tempeh, sauerkraut, pickles and kombucha. Buying the best fermentation crock will help you eat healthy, probiotic rich foods your whole family will enjoy.
We can thank modern science for helping us understand how the fermentation process works. In the 1850s Louis Pasteur began a scientific exploration of bacteria.
He figured out that micro-organisms, like bacteria and yeast, work to convert carbs into alcohol or acids. The alcohol and acids give fermented foods their pungency and tartness while also naturally preserving them. So with a little attention and care, humans can manage this process to create all kinds of fermented foods.
So let’s get started on your fermenting journey.
The main things to consider as you’re choosing a fermenting crock are budget and size. You may want a simple, small crock or you may be looking for a bigger one to make large batches of food.
Whatever your preference, there are many choices on the market. We’ve taken a close look at 10 of the best to help you make your decision.
- Fermenting Crocks Comparison Table
- Our Reviews: Top Fermentation Crock Pots
- 1. Best Pick-Humble House “SAUERKROCK ” 2 Liter (0.5 Gallon)
- 2. Humble House Stainless Steel Spigot Kombucha Crock SAUERKROCK “Tap” 5 Liter (1.3 Gallon) Jar
- 3. Kerazo K&K Keramik-German Made Fermenting Crock Pot 7 L (1.9 Gal)
- 4. Ohio Stoneware 2 gallon Small Bristol Crock
- 5. Ohio Stoneware 3-Gallon Fermentation Crock Complete Kit
- 6. TSM Products Polish Fermenting Crock with Stone Weights, 5 L
- 7. Kenley Fermentation Crock Jar 5 Liter (1.3 Gallon)
- 8. Best Budget Pick-Seeutek Fermentation Crock Jar 2 Liter(0.5 Gallon)
- 9. Kerazo 10 L FORM 1 (2.6 Gal) K&K Keramik German Made Fermenting Crock Pot
- 10. TSM Products German Style Fermentation Harvest Pot, 5-Liter
- Fermentation Crock Buyer’s Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
Fermenting Crocks Comparison Table
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Our Reviews: Top Fermentation Crock Pots
The following crocks listed below are great options for home fermenting of your favorite foods.
There a few brands that stand out as top quality. Among those brands, there are a variety of sizes to choose from. We’ve included some with tools, some without—there’s even a kombucha crock on this list with a spout on it. Whatever your needs or budget, there are plenty of great options on this list to choose from.
This white, German-style crock from Humble House is a small, 2 Liter (.5 gallon) option. It’s perfect for fermenting pickles, kimchi or sauerkraut. It comes with a jar, lid and weights. This brand is a great option if you’re looking to ferment foods for the first time.
This crock relies on water sealing, the traditional method of fermenting. You just fill up the gutter with water when you’re done prepping your pickles, for instance, and cover them with the weights. This seals out dust and other contaminants, keeping your foods fermenting without a problem.
At 6 inches wide and 8 inches tall, this pickling crock will make about 4 mason jars worth of pickles, kimchi, or kraut. That is enough to last the occasional user for quite some time.
However, it may not be enough if you love fermented food. If you like to use kimchi to garnish several meals a week, you might want to consider a bigger option on this list.
If you don’t have much storage space in your kitchen, this is a great option for you. It’s a high-quality, thick-walled crock that will make delicious fermented foods without taking up a lot of room.
This crock’s dimensions are 6.2 x 6.2 x 8.5 inches and it weighs 4.4 pounds. So it’s not too heavy to lift, even full of pickles. The ceramic pot has a great glaze on it that is lead and cadmium-free.
Apartments may not have room to leave a larger 5 or 10-liter crock sitting out for the time it takes to ferment. With a .5 gallon crock, you won’t have to worry about finding a large area to store it.
It is also easy to clean by hand. We do not recommend using your dishwasher. Just use a clean cloth with warm soap and water to clean the pot.
If you need extra cleaning power, try adding some vinegar to warm water. Do not use soap to clean the weights as they are unglazed. Instead, use warm water and vinegar to clean them. If necessary, you can boil them for deeper cleaning.
There is no written warranty for this product. But Humble House’s customer service rep said via email “we always work with our customers on a solution to make them happy”. So you can reach out to them directly if you have any issues with their product.
- Small, 2 Liter option.
- Lead and cadmium-free glaze.
- Easy to store and lift.
- Might be too small for some.
- No written warranty.
- Unglazed weights cannot be washed with soap.
This 5 Liter crock from Humble House is ideal for the kombucha home brewer. If you love drinking kombucha and want to try making it at home, this is a great way to get started. This is a continuous brew crock.
The spigot is plastic-free, unlike many other kombucha crocks. Instead, it’s made from 304 stainless steel and comes with a BPA-free silicone washer. You should tighten the spigot before your first use to ensure a good seal.
You can make 10 mason jars worth of kombucha per batch. The glaze is food-safe and lead and cadmium-free. It’s ideal for families of 2-4 who drink kombucha every day.
This product weighs 6.35 pounds when it’s empty. So be sure to plan for the added weight of 5L of liquid if you plan to move this crock once it’s filled. It could be quite heavy for some.
This 7.9 x 7.9 x 8.7-inch crock has thick walls. You can still use a thermostat strip to monitor the temperature of your liquid though. This crock will also work great for fermenting vinegar when you’re not using it to brew up delicious, healthy kombucha.
There is no cover for this crock which helps with fermentation. However, you can use a cheesecloth to cover it and allow it to breathe. You can try holding it in place with an elastic band.
Additionally, you should avoid using the dishwasher to clean the spigot. We recommend cleaning it at least monthly with warm water and vinegar.
Lastly, there is no written warranty for this product. You can reach out to Humble House directly with issues. They said that they will work with their customers to keep them happy and find a solution to their issues.
- Ideal for kombucha brewers.
- BPA, plastic, lead and cadmium-free construction.
- Makes 10 mason jars of kombucha per batch.
- Only for kombucha or other fermented liquids.
- No written warranty.
- Cannot be washed with soap and water—must use water/vinegar solution.
This 7 Liter crock pot from Kerazo is German-made and premium quality. Its crock body was formed in a single piece and fired at 1260 degrees Celsius.
It has a gorgeous copper-speckled glaze that’s lead and cadmium-free. It’s a well-made fermenting pot with a deep gully designed to make delicious fermented foods.
It has two handles positioned on either side so it’s easy to lift. Additionally, it weighs just over 10 pounds when empty so it will be a bit heavy when full.
This crock is 9.1 x 8.8 x 13.5 inches and will be a tad tall to store on standard sized shelves. So make sure you have the right amount of space to store this pot.
The K&K Keramik comes with weights that you should put on top of your food once it’s loaded into the crock. This will ensure your food stays submerged during the fermenting process. This size fermentation pot is ideal for families of 3-4 people.
In addition, you should be able to put about 6lbs of cabbage in the pot to make delicious kimchi or sauerkraut. To help keep your cabbage submerged, try covering your shredded cabbage with two full leaves of cabbage. Then put the weights on top.
This will prevent stray shreds of cabbage from sifting to the top of the brine. That way everything will stay submerged.
Warranty information is difficult to determine for this product. However, it is a high-quality, durable product that should last you for years. You should contact the manufacturer if you have any questions or problems with it.
- Handles for easy lifting.
- Comes with weights to easily submerge food in brine.
- Makes enough food to serve a family of 3-4.
- May be too heavy for some.
- Will not easily fit on all countertops.
- Warranty information difficult to determine.
This lead-free crock from Ohio Stoneware is a great, compact budget option. It will get you started pickling in no time.
It should fit on your countertop or on a shelf in your pantry while you wait for your food to ferment. It weighs 12 pounds empty, so it should be easy to manage.
However, it does not have handles for easy lifting. You’ll want to be certain you can get a firm grip on the sides or base of the crock as you lift it.
This crock is small at 9.8 x 9.8 x 9 inches. The inside diameter of this product is 8 ¾ inches. You can ferment a whole cabbage in this pot. Be aware that this pot does not come with weights or a lid. It’s a budget crock. Therefore, you will have to purchase those pieces separately.
Warranty information is difficult to obtain for this product. You should contact the company directly with any questions or issues.
However, it’s US-made in Ohio by a quality company. You’re getting great craftsmanship and a chemical-free, food-safe glaze with this product.
- Lead and chemical-free glaze.
- Small enough to fit on a shelf, yet big enough to ferment a whole cabbage.
- Budget option can feed a family of 2-3.
- Not ideal for feeding a large family.
- Warranty information difficult to determine.
- Does not come with weights or a lid.
This 3- gallon fermenting crock from Ohio Stoneware is a quality, premium option. It’s slightly larger than the 2-gallon crock above. So you’ll have more room for pickling your favorite foods.
If you choose this crock, you get a full kit. It comes with a recipe book, lid and weights. It’s made with a water trough design to keep your food safe as it ferments.
You’ll want to rely on the small knobbed handles to lift it when it’s full of brine and food. It’s got plenty of room for lots of shredded cabbage or cucumbers.
This crock is 12″ W x 15″ H with a 6″ diameter opening. The water trough airlock makes the opening smaller.
You should remember to take this opening into account when you’re planning what to pickle. It’s a larger crock so it comes with grips. It weighs 22 1/4 lbs empty.
Warranty information is difficult to determine for this product. You can reach out to Ohio Stoneware directly if you have any questions or issues with this crock.
- Weights and lid included.
- Handles for lifting.
- Can make 11 quarts of Sauerkraut, or 22 standard sized mason jars.
- 6-inch diameter opening may not be large enough for some.
- Handles may not be as large as some prefer.
- Warranty information difficult to determine.
This 5 Liter crock from TSM Products has a beautiful burnt sienna glaze on the outside. The glaze is high quality and it’s lead and cadmium free. This is a premium crock for a mid-range price.
It’s got cupped handles to make it simple to pick up. The lip on the lid of this crock is glazed. This prevents moisture from getting into the ceramic from the water trough or brine.
This is evidence of a well-crafted crock. This pot will produce at least 5 pint-sized mason jars full of kimchi.
This model weighs 11 pounds which is lightweight for its size. Most will find it easy to lift even when full. It also comes with weights and a lid. At 9.4 x 10.5 x 12.5 inches, it’s a bit tall though.
Therefore, it may not fit on some countertops with cabinets overhead. The diameter of the opening is 5 inches. If you want to ferment a whole head of cabbage or other large food item, try a different option on this list. It also has a water trough design to keep your food safe.
Warranty information is difficult to obtain for this product. Check with the manufacturer if you have any questions or concerns.
- Makes 5 pint-sized mason jars of sauerkraut.
- Cupped handles are easy to grip.
- Comes with weights and a lid.
- Coned lid may make it taller than some prefer.
- Warranty information difficult to obtain.
- 5-inch diameter opening is too small to pickle a whole head of cabbage.
This 5 Liter fermenting crock from Kenley can hold up to 8 pounds of vegetables. It comes with weights and a water-seal lid. In addition, it also comes with a 12-inch long tamper.
It’s about 1.5 inches in diameter and will help you pound your cabbage and spices. It’s got a great user’s guide that will help answer any questions you might have about this crock.
Its dimensions are 11.5 X 11.5 X 16 inches. The knobbed handles should help with lifting this 11-pound pot. They are not large, cupped handles though.Therefore, some may find them difficult to use. It will be a bit heavy to lift when full but most find it easy to manage.
The unglazed base may scratch some countertops. We recommend setting it on a kitchen towel to avoid any potential scratches.
Kenley reportedly has great customer service. So you can reach out to them if you experience any issues with your product. Warranty information may be included in your product manual.
Below is a video on how to make milk kefir if you’re looking for a tasty probiotic drink.
- Can hold 5 pint-sized jars of sauerkraut.
- Weights, lid and tamper included.
- Knobbed handles to make lifting easier.
- Unglazed base may scratch some countertops.
- Warranty information not readily available.
- Knobbed handles might be hard to grasp for some.
The Seeutek is a budget-friendly, quality option. It comes with weights, a lid and a pickle tamper. If you’re looking for a small crock to test out a recipe, this might be an ideal option for you.
This crock pot has what you need to ferment and pickle everything from garden vegetables to kombucha. It’s also small enough to still make your own sourdough starter.
You can lift this crock from the knobbed handles or from the bottom. You can rest this crock on a cork trivet while it ferments. This will make it easy to slide the crock across the counter when you want to check the progress.
You should definitely check on your food periodically during the fermentation process. If you keep the water trough full, you will have no odor with this crock. It does the job to keep your food sealed away.
The water seal trough is designed to let the gas produced during fermentation escape as needed. You may need to occasionally refill the water in the water seal trough.
It’s 8.2” D x 13” H so it can sit right on your counter while it ferments. This crock holds .5 gallons and weighs about 5 pounds empty. It will be easy to lift when it’s full.
It also has a natural glaze which means it’s non-toxic, lead-free and alkali-free. This glaze also makes it easy to clean.
You can use the dishwasher to clean the pot but it’s very easy to simply clean it by hand. However, you should never put the porous weights in the dishwasher because they will absorb the soap. You should just rinse the weights instead.
Warranty information was hard to find. You can check your product manual for more details. Otherwise, you should reach out to the manufacturer if you have questions or issues with this product.
- Can hold two medium sized heads of shredded cabbage.
- High-quality, non-toxic glaze.
- Weights, a pickle tamper and a lid are included.
- Too small for some families.
- Warranty information difficult to identify.
- Water trough needs occasional refilling.
This German-made 10 Liter crock from Kerazo is a thick-walled, high quality, large option. You’re getting a heavy-duty pot that’s worth its premium price.
The walls of this crock are thick, .4 inches to be exact. It has a thick base of .6″(1.5 cms) that keeps it stable.
In addition, it also has great handles that will make this crock easy to lift when full of food and liquid. You’ll be able to get a firm grip on this pot.
You can stuff this crock full of 8 heads, or 20 pounds, of cabbage. The weights are a great size to keep everything submerged without requiring cabbage leaves to sit underneath them.
This fermenting crock is 12.3 x 12.3 x 15 inches and weighs 16 pounds empty. It comes with a lid and weights. It’s also lead and cadmium-free.
Additionally, it’s finished with a gorgeous, speckled brown glaze. If you have a place to leave it out, it will add a bit of style to your kitchen.
When you’re done using it, you can put the whole crock in the dishwasher if you’d like. It’s also easy to hand wash too. The construction is so well-done that there are no nooks and crannies for food or mold to get trapped.
Lastly, we recommend reaching out to the manufacturer if you have any questions or issues with this product. Warranty information is uncertain.
- Holds 8 heads of cabbage for sauerkraut—enough to feed a family of 4-6.
- Premium quality, German craftsmanship.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Warranty information difficult to obtain.
- Very heavy to lift, even when empty.
- Requires a large storage space.
This 5-Liter crock from TSM Products has a beautiful brown color and design. You could make it the centerpiece of your kitchen.
You should be aware that this product is painted rather than glazed. So it should not be exposed to heat. Instead, you should hand wash it when you’re done using it.
If you’re a veteran at fermenting, consider buying more than one of these. With a couple on hand, you can make multiple batches of kimchi, sauerkraut or pickles with different flavors.
This is a great sized crock that will feed a family of 3-4. It’s also a nice price for those trying fermentation for the first time.
This crock measures 10 x 9 x 12 inches and is a nice option for smaller families. It comes with a lid and weights. Additionally, it has knobbed grips to help you lift it. It weighs 11 pounds when empty.
The stone weights can be placed in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. This helps the brine rise to the surface of the stone so you can be sure to get them clean. You might have to repeat this process a couple of times to remove all the brine.
It has a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects. If you have any problems with it, reach out to the manufacturer. Hang on to your receipt so you can show proof of purchase if you need to.
- Makes 5 pint-sized jars of kimchi.
- Great option for smaller families.
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty against defects.
- Painted rather than glazed—can’t be exposed to heat.
- Hairline cracks may appear over time.
- Some may find it difficult to use the knobbed handles to lift the crock.
Fermentation Crock Buyer’s Guide
Having the best fermenting crock in your kitchen opens up a whole new world of home cooking. You can make cheese, sauerkraut, sourdough starters, yogurt, kimchi and so much more. Whether you’re a pickling veteran or brand new to fermenting food, there’s a lot to consider before making your purchase.
Pickling vs. Fermenting
There’s a difference between pickling and fermenting. Pickling is easier. All you have to do is submerge your cucumbers or food of choice in an acid solution, like vinegar. You leave it in the fridge for a few days and voila—tasty, tangy, pickles.
Fermentation takes longer but it comes with a lot of benefits. The probiotic bacteria in fermented food is said to promote good digestion and overall good health.
Whether you choose to pickle or ferment in your crock, it’s important to be safe. Always follow recipe instructions exactly. There’s science behind why recipes do certain things in the fermenting process.
How to Select a Fermentation Crock
Choosing the best crock for your needs can be tricky. Many crocks look very similar and it’s hard to know what you need, especially if you’re new at fermenting.
So you should think about how much food you want to make, what type of food and what you plan to spend. Once you have those things in mind, read through the rest of this guide to help you decide.
Quantity and Size
You need to think about how much food you’d like to make as you consider the right crock for your needs. The top choice on this list is 2 Liter and will make about 3-4 mason jars of pickles. 5 Liter choices on this list will make about 5 pints of sauerkraut.
The 7 Liter and 2-gallon choices can fit about 6 heads of cabbage in them to feed a family of 3-4. The 10 Liter choices can make 22 mason jars worth of kimchi.
You should also think about what kind of food you want to make. Many of these choices have narrower openings because of the water trough at the top. These are great for smaller foods like pickles and sauerkraut.
If you want to be able to fit a whole head of cabbage in your crock, choose one without a lid. The Ohio Stoneware 2-gallon crock might be the best choice for you.
The 2 Liter choice from Humble House comes without a lid and will be small enough to make a sourdough starter in. You can get it going and cover it with a cheesecloth or towel as it grows.
If you’re concerned about lifting your crock when full, stick to the 2-5 Liter options. Bigger crocks can get very heavy to lift.
Most of the crocks on this list come with knobbed handles. That’s because without great construction, larger handles could crack under the pressure of lifting them. The 7 Liter K&K Keramik crock does come with large handles to make it easy to lift.
The top-quality crocks on this list will last you a long time. The thickness of the base and sides, the quality of the glaze and depth of the trough are all factors that can enhance the quality of your crock.
The K&K Keramik Crock is German-made with thick walls. Nik Schmitt 10 Liter and TSM Products 5 Liter are made in Poland. Ohio Stoneware products on this list are made in the USA. These countries offer the highest quality construction for your crock.
TSM 5 Liter German-Style and the Humble House crocks on this list are made in China. These are still nice quality crocks that will get you fermenting quickly. They’re a little more budget friendly than the German, US and Polish-made choices on this list.
A couple of products on this list are standout choices for their unique look. The TSM Products crocks each have gorgeous looks that can add a bit of style to your kitchen. The K&K Keramik 7 Liter also comes with a beautiful, brown, speckled glaze.
Most of the crocks on this list are standard jars with water seal lids. A couple have no lid so you can cover them with a cheesecloth as they ferment.
If you’re interested in fermenting kombucha or vinegar, try the Humble House crock that comes with a spigot. This will let you ferment and serve your product all in one jar.
Most of the crocks on our list are made of stoneware. By nature of the material, they’re at risk of cracking or breaking. So you should handle them with care.
Therefore, most of these crocks do not come with a warranty. However, they are quality products that are built to last. Many of the companies also provide great customer service. If you’re interested in a product with a warranty, try the TSM Products 5 Liter crock.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best crock for fermenting foods?
A: Our top pick is the 2 Liter crock from Humble House. We’ve chosen this one because of its quality, size and accessibility. If you’re new to fermenting, this is a great size for trying it out.
If you’ve been fermenting for a while, this is a great size to test new recipes. Even if you already have a 10 Liter crock, it’s great to have a small one on hand too. This crock will fit in small storage spaces. It will also be easy to lift, even when full, because it’s lightweight.
Q: How do you clean fermentation crock weights?
A: You can try a few methods depending on how dirty your weights are. You can simply wash them with very mild dish soap and warm water. In addition, you can wash them in a vinegar solution if you’re concerned about using soap on the stone.
You can also bake them in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. This will help pull the brine and coloring from recipes like peppery kimchi out of the weights. Repeat this process until you’re satisfied your crock has returned to normal, then rinse them with warm water.
Q: Can you ferment in plastic?
A: Plastic can get scratched more easily than traditional crocks. This can lead to tiny holes that can allow bacteria, mold and dust into your food. We don’t recommend fermenting in plastic. Try one of the crocks on our list instead.
Q: What is the best size fermentation crock?
A: If you’re just starting out, try our 2 Liter top pick from Humble House. It won’t make a huge batch of pickles, but it will be enough to try new recipes. For families of 2-4, try the 5 Liter options on our list from Humble House, TSM Products and Kenley.
If you’re looking to feed 3-4 people, try the 2 gallon or 7 Liter choices from Ohio Stoneware or K&K Keramik. If you’re interested in bulk pickling, check out our 10 Liter choices from K&K Keramik and Nik Schmitt.
Q: Do you need an airlock for fermentation?
A: An airlock is not required for all fermentation methods. One of the best ways to keep your food safe is with a water trough lid. Many of the crocks on our list have this type of seal. You’ll want to check your trough daily to make sure it has enough water in it to maintain the seal.
Fermenting your food is a great way to eat healthier and try new flavors. All of the crocks on our list will help you get started fermenting your food.
Fermentation crocks come in lots of sizes and price points. Choosing the best one for your kitchen is a matter of deciding what kind of food you want to make, how much of it you need and what you can lift/store.
If you’re trying out fermenting for the first time, then our best pick from Humble House is a great option. You can easily make kimchi, sauerkraut and pickles. It is also small enough to maneuver, store and lift.
We hope that after reading our detailed reviews and comprehensive buying guide, you’ll have all the information you need to select the right fermentation crock that is perfect for your kitchen.