Grate, Slice, or Chop: How to Prepare Your Vegetables for Fermentation



Preparing vegetables for fermenting in different ways adds variety to the list of recipes available, even if the number of available vegetables is small. Whether you grate, slice, or chop, you can prepare some amazing krauts, relishes, and snack-sized fermented foods.


Grating a vegetable for fermentation can be done either in a food processor or by hand. This method works well most often for hard or crunchy vegetables:

  • Carrots
  • Radish
  • Turnips
  • Beets
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage

Grating vegetables for fermentation creates the most surface area of any of the preparation techniques. This increased surface area allows salt to penetrate the vegetable more quickly, which draws out the moisture, creating a brine for the vegetable. They often have the texture of a relish when finished.


A chopped vegetable is simply one that has been cut to small bite-sized pieces. When you chop a vegetable for fermentation it can be that small or much larger, like carrot sticks. Many recipes will specify size. If not, chop to suit the family.

Chopped vegetables almost always require a salt brine. 

Good candidates for chopping include:

  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Summer Squash
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Asparagus
  • Green beans


Chopped vegetables, depending on their size, usually take much longer to culture than grated or thinly sliced vegetables.


Slicing thinly is much like grating in that it increases the surface area. While you might simply throw together thinly sliced cabbage, sea salt, and some juniper berries to create a simple sauerkraut, a thick cucumber slice would need a brine in order to culture properly and maintain its crunch.

Good candidates for slicing include:

  • Cabbage
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers
  • Celery


Sliced vegetables are generally right in the middle in terms of a culturing time. 

No matter how you prepare vegetables for fermentation, tasting along the way can ensure a flavor that is just right for you and your family. Experiment with different sized pieces and just have fun! 


Ready to Get Started Culturing Vegetables?


Grate, Slice, or Chop: How to Prepare Your Vegetables for Fermentation

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