Fermentation has made a big comeback over the last few years.
More and more people want to learn this ancient art of preservation for the depth of flavor these foods add to a meal and to support their gut health.
Offer your friend or loved one the gift of fermentation! Set them up for success with the right gift(s) that will have them taking care of their health for years to come.
I have used just about every item on this curated list for countless batches of sauerkraut, pickles, kimchis, pastes, and more. Rest assured that your money will be well spent.
There are gift ideas for beginner fermenters and pros alike, from budget-conscious to splurge-worthy. Selections range from my favorite fermentation weight for less than $20 to the Cadillac (Tesla?) of fermentation vessels.
Dive now into my 2024 Fermentation Gift Guide.
- 1. Jar(s) of Homemade Sauerkraut
- 2. Fermentation Weight
- 3. Super-Slick Fermentation Kit for Care-Free Fermentation
- 4. A Case of Mason Jars
- 5. Fermentation Salt
- 6. Digital Scale
- For the Love of Kimchi
- Perhaps a Fermentation Book? My Top 8 Picks
- 18. A Water-Sealed Fermentation Crock
- 19. Mandoline
- Stocking Stuffers
1. Jar(s) of Homemade Sauerkraut
If you already make sauerkraut or other ferments, you could share a few sample jars of your stash.
If your friend could taste some of your homemade sauerkraut, you know they would be hooked. It really does taste spectacular!
The small 4-ounce (125 ml) jelly jar that I recommend as a weight for first-time fermenters works great for sharing sauerkraut. Pack a few jars with some sauerkraut you already have stashed in your refrigerator.
2. Fermentation Weight
One of the key factors for successful fermentation is keeping everything below the brine and away from airborne molds and yeast.
Over the past fifteen years, I’ve tried every weight on the market.
The one I reach for each and every time I ferment something is a fermentation spring.
Here’s what it looks like in a jar of honey-fermented garlic cloves.
The spring is a coil of stainless steel that exerts downward pressure on what’s packed in your jar to keep your ferment safely under the brine.
It takes up very little space in your jar, leaving plenty of room for brine, and works like a charm, as demonstrated in my month-long experiment to find the best fermentation weight.
The springs by Trellis & Co. were the first kids on the block. Ball followed with a “copy-cat” version. They both work splendidly.
The Trellis lids are stainless steel, but the silicone airlock valve easily pops out and can get lost if you don’t watch things carefully when washing them.
Ball uses BPA-free plastic for its lids; the airlock stays secure in the lid. No worrying about it getting lost.
3. Super-Slick Fermentation Kit for Care-Free Fermentation
I’ve highlighted three fermentation kits for you.
The first kit by Ball has my favorite fermentation spring and includes jars, a nice perk for someone brand new to fermentation.
The airlocks in the second kit by MasonTops give nice visual feedback as they puff up to indicate the fermentation gases are being produced. It includes a glass weight.
Some enjoy using the vacuum extractor pump in the last kit to remove air from the jars during the later stages of fermentation. It includes a glass weight.
For my Canadian readers who get frustrated trying to find many of the items I’ve shared, please be aware that you can purchase some of the MasonTops products and Ball Fermentation Springs online at Walmart.
4. A Case of Mason Jars
A one-quart wide-mouth jar is the perfect fermentation vessel for use when learning the fermentation process.
Many fermentation projects are done in Mason jars. Wide-mouth jars accommodate airlock lids. They are a nice size for most projects. In my house, you can never have enough jars.
- Ball wide mouth quart jar
- Ideal for preserving jams, jellies sauces, mustard & flavored vinegar
- Custom time tested ceiling compound help ensure a quality seal with each lid
5. Fermentation Salt
Just about any salt can be used for fermentation, but I have the greatest success when using a mineral-rich salt, such as Redmonds Real Salt or Himalayan pink salt.
I love the depth of flavor that a mineral-rich salt imparts to a batch of sauerkraut. This is the only salt I use in my home and is what was used for all my recipes on my website and in my book.
- Our Sherpa Pink Himalayan Salt is Kosher Certified, Non-GMO, and does not contain any MSG, Soy,…
- This Sherpa Himalayan pink salt is in our slightly larger than standard table salt Fine Grain.
- Our 100% pure Himalayan Pink Salt is the perfect addition to any meal! Sherpa Pink Himalayan…
- FLAVOR – Real Salt is unlike any salt on earth. It’s subtly sweet, never bitter sea salt…
- NATURAL – Unrefined, unprocessed and ancient sea salt with trace minerals and no additives….
- HEALTHY – Recommended by doctors! An ancient sea salt recommended by doctors and health…
6. Digital Scale
The best sauerkraut is made when you can weigh your ingredients and add in just the right amount of salt.
Not everyone has a digital scale. Help your friend get started on the right foot by gifting them a scale.
A simple, inexpensive scale, like the Ozeri shown below, does the trick.
However, they will really appreciate the KD8000 shown next. This gem is the Cadillac (Tesla?) of scales. I love that it doesn’t automatically shut off and has a percent key to make calculating salt concentration easy peasy. I reviewed the MyWeigh KD8000 scale here.
- Accurate, elegant, easy-to-use digital kitchen scale for your largest and smallest cooking…
- Unit Button instantly converts between 6 units of measurements (g, lbs, lbs:oz, oz, ml, kg) and…
- Precision Tare Button calculates the net weight of your ingredients by automatically…
- PERCENTAGE: Percentage weighing function great for baking and soap making
- MODES: Large, 8000 gram capacity / 4 additional weighing modes: lbs, lbs/oz, oz and kg
- EASY CLEAN: Easy to clean stainless steel platform
For the Love of Kimchi
These next few gifts are perfect for someone who is into kimchi.
7. Gochugaru—Korean Red Pepper Powder—for Kimchi-Making
The key to kimchi success is using the correct red pepper powder. I recommend using gochugaru, Korean red pepper powder.
This much-coveted, flavor-enhancing pepper powder is traditionally used to flavor and add some heat to Kimchi as in my Kimchi-Style Sauerkraut Recipe [A SPICY DEPTH OF FLAVOR!] or Traditional Square-Cut Napa Cabbage Kimchi.
When I made my first batch of Kimchi-style Sauerkraut over ten years ago, Korean Gochugaru red pepper powder wasn’t readily available, so I substituted red pepper flakes which worked fine. Now that gochugaru is available in Asian stores and on the internet, I’ve started using it instead of the red pepper flakes, and there is no going back.
Gochugaru is a coarsely ground red pepper with a texture between flakes and powder that disperses throughout your sauerkraut, coloring it beautifully and adding a complex flavor not found with red pepper flakes. The highest quality Gochugaru is made from sun-dried chili peppers.
I don’t think buying 1 pound (454 g) is too much. Some recipes call for ¼ cup (30 g).
Here are some popular, high-quality Gochugarus, or Korean red pepper powders. Supply for these peppers comes and goes on Amazon, so if the selections below aren’t currently available, search for “gochugaru flakes.”
- SWEET HEAT: Our Korean Chile Flakes are made from premium peppers, offering a fruity spiciness…
- NO SEEDS: As a symbol of quality, Mother-in-Law’s gochugaru flakes contain almost no seeds,…
- FLAVOR NOTES: The unique balance of earthiness, spiciness and complexity, along with medium…
- USDA certified organic 100% Sun-dried (Taeyangcho) Korean red hot chili pepper flakes
- New Harvest every year. Grown in Korea, Processed and packaged in Korea.
- Packaged in HACCP certified safe and clean manufacturing process
8. The Kimchi Cookbook
The kimchi lover on your gift list would appreciate a book detailing the traditional kimchi process.
This bold, colorful cookbook walks you through how to make robust and lighter kimchi. Lauryn Chun explores various flavors and techniques for creating various kimchis.
- Hardcover Book
- Chun, Lauryn (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
9. Kimchi container
I bought some of these containers a few years ago while learning to make kimchi. They have an inner lid that does a great job of keeping the ferment safely below the brine. They come in a wide variety of sizes.
- Easy to Use! Essential product for storing and fermenting kimchi, pickling vegetables, and…
- Simplicity! The combination of ancient Korean earthenware principles and modern technology with…
- Healthy! Adjustable inner pressing plate minimizes air inside container, promoting an anaerobic…
Perhaps a Fermentation Book? My Top 8 Picks
I love to learn from a book I can hold in my hands. Here is a handful that I have put to good use.
10. Fermentation Made Easy! Mouthwatering Sauerkraut
My book, Fermentation Made Easy! Mouthwatering Sauerkraut is a great gift for someone just starting out with fermentation or for someone who has never made sauerkraut.
Not only is it fun to learn how to make sauerkraut, but this probiotic-rich ferment tastes fantastic with any dish or meal, and there are endless ways in which you can vary the flavor.
- Howe, Holly (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 157 Pages – 04/01/2019 (Publication Date) – Library and Archives Canada (Publisher)
11. Fermented Vegetables
Fermented Vegetables by Kirsten & Christopher Shockey is the book I reach for when I get a question from a reader wanting to know if they can ferment beans, cauliflower, basil, okra, or whatnot. It is especially great for a gardener or that foodie who makes regular trips to the farmer’s market and wants to know how to ferment what is currently in season.
Their Fermenting Vegetables A to Z chapter comes in really handy. Just harvested a bunch of beets? After sharing their knowledge of beets, recipes for Simple Beet Kraut, Curtido Rojo, Curried Golden Beets, Beet Kvass, and Golden Ginger Beet Kvass with Meyer Lemon follow. Endless inspiration with recipes that work for any vegetable under the sun. Review here.
- Fermented vegetables creative recipes for fermenting 64 vegetables herbs in krauts kimchis…
- Language: english
- Book – fermented vegetables: creative recipes for fermenting 64 vegetables & herbs
12. Fiery Ferments
Fiery Ferments by Kirsten & Christopher Shockey is a great choice for someone who is into hot sauces or other spicey ferments.
The book contains recipes for hot sauces, mustards, pickles, chutneys, relishes, and kimchis from around the globe.
- Language: english
- Binding: paperback
13. The Art of Fermentation
For the person who likes details, historical insights, and coverage of every ferment conceivable, The Art of Fermentation “encyclopedia”—500 pages—on anything and everything that can be fermented will be greatly appreciated.
Author Sandor Katz was instrumental in getting fermented foods on the map. Though his recipes are not often detailed, there is plenty of in-depth information to get you headed in the right direction.
- This is so much more than a cookbook – it’s an in-depth exploration of fermenting techniques…
- Clear, practical instructions enable and inspire you to ferment fruits, vegetables, grains,…
- Detailed information on fermenting sugars into alcohol; making sour tonic beverages; and…
14. WECK Small-Batch Preserving
WECK Small-Batch Preserving by Stephanie Thurow covers preserving not only by fermentation but also by canning and pickling.
I love her set of fermentation recipes, and I just finished a lunch salad topped with Brussels sprouts kimchi. Delicious! And, would you believe this was the first time in my life that I’ve ever tasted Brussels sprouts? I can’t wait to try her set of fruit-infused Kvass recipes.
In addition, I’m honored to have my recipe for fermented Thyme and Leek Paste included in her book.
- Hardcover Book
- Thurow, Stephanie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
15. Ferment Your Vegetables
Ferment Your Vegetables by Amanda Fifer has a wide range of flavorful and well-researched recipes. Sauerkraut Pickled Eggs? Japanese Tsukemono Pickles, Polish/Ukrainian Sauerkraut Steak (Fermented half or quarter heads of cabbage.)
- Hardcover Book
- Feifer, Amanda (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
16. The Big Book of Kombucha
The Big Book of Kombucha by Hannah Crum is a great choice for a friend who may already enjoy kombucha. Learning to make their own would be a fun and money-saving project.
- 268 flavor combinations!
- In-depth brewing techniques
- Recipes for cooking with kombucha, smoothies, cocktails, and more
17. Fermented Foods: A Practical Guide
I have been enjoying Fermented Foods for the past couple of years.
Fermentation specialist Caroline Gilmartin delves into the processes and mechanisms involved in wild and cultured fermentation, examining the microbes involved and sharing parameters for optimal fermentation.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Gilmartin, Caroline (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
18. A Water-Sealed Fermentation Crock
A water-sealed fermentation crock is a perfect gift for someone who has already learned to ferment and is ready to take it to the next level. For thorough instructions on how to make the best use of their new fermentation crock, be sure to point them to my recipe, How to Make Sauerkraut In a Crock in 7 Simple Steps [Healthy, Flavorful, Easy]. Here are a few choices.
Here are my top recommendations for fermentation crocks.
Stone Creek Trading
This Water-Sealed Ceramic Fermentation Crock direct from Stone Creek Trading is handcrafted with the rich, abundant clay by local artisans in the Boleslawiec region of Poland; those with 60 years of experience craft this crock.
In addition, these crocks come with lead-free glass weights—heavier than any other weights I’ve seen—and recipes for pickles and sauerkraut. Impeccable customer service as evidenced in this message just from one of my readers:
“Well, you were right about Stone Creek. They are the best people I’ve had the pleasure of crossing paths with in a long time. I sent Emily 2 photos of the salt line circling my crock and that was enough for her to send me a new pot with no other questions asked. I can’t really say enough good things about them.“
Read my in-depth review of the Stone Creek Crocks here.
To purchase it, buy directly from Stone Creek Trading, where they hand inspect each crock before shipping.
Mark Campbell Ceramics
The crocks from Mark Campbell Ceramics are wheel-thrown and made to order with your choice of glaze colors.
Design one to sit on your kitchen counter to daily add beauty to your home and inspire you to make sauerkraut! More about Mark Campbell Ceramics here. Be sure to check out his beautiful bowls.
He totally gets how flavor-packed sauerkraut can dramatically and effortlessly shift the flavor of a meal which is why I’m always creating new recipes.
Available in three sizes and four colors, this Humble House crock is a good pick. A 5-liter crock can be packed with 10 pounds of cabbage to make 5 quarts (liters) of sauerkraut.
- 🌱 START FERMENTING TODAY: Ferment food the traditional way with our water channel crock jar,…
- ✅ SELECT YOUR SIZE: Our 5L Sauerkrock is 10 in. wide and 12 in. tall; Makes up to 10 standard…
- 🙏 STRESS FREE FERMENTATION: Fill the gutter with water to seal food from foreign matter like…
A mandoline is a plastic or stainless steel device for slicing vegetables and fruit. It has interchangeable blades, the best one being made of surgical steel. I have never had to sharpen or replace the blade on the Benriner mandoline I received as a gift 45 years ago! It’s a workhorse and far easier to set up and clean than a food processor.
A mandoline is a great way to slice cabbage, especially when filling a crock efficiently. Learn the many ways to slice cabbage here.
My favorite mandoline is the Benriner mandoline super slicer.
- Benriner’s Mandoline Slicer quickly and easily slices medium-sized fruits and veggies into…
- Made from handcrafted Japanese stainless steel blades and BPA-free plastic; large open handle…
- 4 interchangeable blades (straight edge, coarse, medium and fine tooth); make wide slices,…
And it doesn’t hurt to throw in a pair of protective gloves to ensure extra safety when using a super-sharp slicing device like the mandoline.
- 4X STRONGER THAN LEATHER — Made from the highest level of cut resistant material on the…
- 100% FOOD SAFE — Superior grip and a snug fit keep sharp blades securely in your hand —…
- AMBIDEXTROUS — These cut gloves food grade can be worn on either hand, making these…
Fermentation ideally takes place within a set temperature range. It’s nice to monitor temperatures in case you need to adjust fermentation length, especially warm or cold temperatures.
- Air Comfort Indicator: This humidity meter with humidity level icon indicates air conditions -…
- High Accuracy & Quick Refresh Rate: This inside thermometer features a high accuracy of…
- High & Low Records: This hygrometer digital thermometer displays high/low temperature and…
21. pH Test Strips
Some new to fermentation want to know for sure that their ferment is safe to eat. You might not trust your nose, especially if you’ve never smelled or eaten sauerkraut before. Enter one little fermentation tool to add to your arsenal:
- These papers will enable you to detect 0.5 pH unit differences with unprecedented sharpness…
- Hydrion Brilliant pH Paper is a general use pH paper.
- Distinct and easily read color seperations
Head to My Fermenting Supplies Page for More Gift Ideas
If you still don’t know what you want to gift, I have a comprehensive list of fermenting supplies, which is complete with product reviews and shopping tips:
That’s it for this Fermentation Gift Guide. Do you have a favorite to add?
Last update on 2024-03-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API