The 10 Best Fermenting Kits

Updated June 18, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Fermentation is one of the oldest and healthiest methods of preserving food. If you've ever fancied trying your hand at pickling vegetables so they're available all year round, then you may want to check out one of these kits. They'll let you enjoy healthy foods at any time of year, including traditional gherkins, sauerkraut, kimchi, and many more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fermenting kit on Amazon.

10. FermentEm Wide Mouth

Make homemade sauerkraut or vinegar without worrying about a frustrating water-filled bubbler by using the economically-built FermentEm Wide Mouth for all your pickling needs. While it's a good value, it's available only in an 8-piece set and doesn't include jars.
  • dishwasher-safe components
  • includes washable storage case
  • waterless air valve is unreliable
Brand FermentEm
Model FE-008
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Ferment N' Joy Lids

With a straightforward design that's free of latex and BPA, the Ferment N' Joy Lids are a budget-friendly solution to home pickling needs. Watch your vegetables cure while the lactobacillus burps through a water-based air valve, just like the ones seen atop carboys.
  • easily sanitized for safe use
  • comes with basic recipe guide
  • no jars or storage lids included
Brand Ferment N' Joy
Model pending
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. FarmCurious Mold Free

Great for batches of kefir, kombucha, or kimchi, the FarmCurious Mold Free is a great value and comes in a classic design that proves versatile and simple to use. Attractive packaging and presentation make this a wonderful gift for the budding home chef.
  • available in three colors
  • easy to take apart and clean
  • seal prone to leakage under pressure
Brand FARMcurious
Model FARMcurious
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Crazy Korean E-Jen

If you need to ferment large amounts of fresh veggies for your restaurant or special event, the Crazy Korean E-Jen is made for you. Available from 3.4 liters all the way up to a huge 45 liters, this choice will help you tackle any size of pickling task with ease.
  • bpa-free plastic and clay blend
  • double-walled lid keeps odors down
  • requires daily burping and resealing
Brand Crazy Korean Cooking
Model EJ-S3.4
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

6. Quality Reliable Products No Weights

If you have several different recipes waiting to be experimented with, it would be a good idea to look at the Quality Reliable Products No Weights. The molded and vented inserts help keep your ingredients below the level of the brine, preventing contamination.
  • sold in packs of 3 to 48
  • choose from standard or wide-mouth
  • very low cost per unit
Brand Quality Reliable Produc
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Picklemeister Glass

The Picklemeister Glass is one of the simplest options around, making it perfect for amateur food preservation enthusiasts who haven't pickled before. It utilizes a classic, bubble-style airlock and comes with instructions and recipe ideas to get you started.
  • available in a variety of sizes
  • includes its own jar
  • made in the usa
Brand Picklemeister
Model SYNCHKG051770
Weight 2.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

4. Trellis & Co. PickleHelix

Using a unique coil system rather than traditional weights, the Trellis & Co. PickleHelix pushes your veggies down constantly to keep them contained within the brine during the pickling process. Plus, the lids are easy to remove, so you can taste-test as you go.
  • surgical-grade stainless steel
  • silicone valves and gaskets
  • comes in a hand-stamped gift box
Brand Trellis & Co.
Model pending
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Masontops Complete

Available in both wide and regular mouth options, the Masontops Complete will suit anyone's needs. The waterless airlock lids vent excess gases automatically, and the included glass weights keep your ingredients submerged to prevent mold growth.
  • sleek modern look
  • easy-to-use set and forget design
  • includes a vegetable pounder
Brand Masontops
Model CFK9W
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. TSM Products Harvest Pot

Sized from 5 to 20 liters, the German-style TSM Products Harvest Pot provides a heavy-duty system for processing medium to large batches of produce. An easily-filled water channel enables one-way air venting for simple, no-fuss cured vegetables.
  • includes weights to submerge food
  • free of harmful cadmium and lead
  • also great for kombucha
Brand TSM Products
Model 31060
Weight 13 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Nourished Essentials Easy Fermenter

Including a hand pump for extracting oxygen during the later stages of the process, the wildly popular Nourished Essentials Easy Fermenter comes with three lids, allowing you to experiment with small batches of multiple recipes at the same time.
  • low-profile tops store anywhere
  • no water-based airlocks to fill
  • works with most standard mason jars
Brand Nourished Essentials
Model EF-1
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Intentional Fermentation Is Preferable

At some point in the life of anyone who regularly eats and stores food, they’ve unintentionally taken part in the process of fermentation. Maybe you’ve left a half-eaten yogurt in the back of the fridge for one too many months. Perhaps it was a smoothie you made and left on the counter, in the sun, for a week. Whatever the food source or length of time, any incidence in which some kind of microorganism goes to town on your food is a case for fermentation. Don’t mistake this for simple mold, however. The two often coexist for a time, but fermenting microorganisms do their best work in oxygen-deprived environments.

In one epic example, my dozen housemates and I threw a massive thanksgiving feast at the large house we shared in college. We fed about 35 people and partied on into the night. The next morning, much of the leftover food lie dormant on the table, probably not quite safe to eat, but not a full-fledged science experiment either. I left to catch an early flight home for the holidays, and a few of my friends told me they’d take care of the table (I’d cooked most of the food, so it wasn’t on me to clean up).

By “take care of,” apparently my friends meant that they would embark on one of the most impressive fermentation experiments I have ever seen. They quite simply left everything on the table in place, and wrapped the entirety of it in shrink wrap. The job was impressive; the barrier was practically airtight. A week later, we returned to find a table free of any interference from insects or other vermin (which, presumably, was their intent). Beneath the sealed wrapping, however, had grown species so advanced they were likely on the cusp of developing their own written language by the time we carried the entire table out to the dumpster and slid its contents — flatware and all — into the trash.

The above are examples of fermentation by human error. The fermentation kits on our list, by contrast, take advantage of much more specific forms of the interaction between certain foods and certain microorganisms. In these instances, you can create foods that you typically don’t think of as having gone bad, but that technically have succumbed to the attack of tiny creatures. Fortunately for our purposes, these creatures have a tendency to improve the foods we place in their path.

All of your favorite alcoholic beverages, for example, are brought to you by fermentation. If you like the taste of anything that’s been pickled, from cucumbers and dilly beans to eggs and pig’s feet, you can thank fermentation. A list of intentionally fermented foods could go on for quite a while, but one thing that most of them have in common is how inexpensive their base ingredients are. For the most part, when you buy a fermented product, you’re paying for the time that the process takes.

As such, when you purchase a fermenting kit of your own, you give yourself the opportunity to save a tremendous amount of money on a lot of your favorite foods. Kosher dill pickles are probably one of the most recognizable fermented foods on the market, so we’ll use those as an example. A jar containing about eight full pickles will easily cost you more than twice what the cucumbers and brine ingredients would run you combined. That can save you a ton of money. You can also reuse brine from previous batches when you make more pickles, so the more you ferment, the more you save.

The other special thing about fermenting your own products is that you can create your own unique flavors. Specialty items like these often suffer massively inflated costs, when adding a few pieces of ginger to your brine will only cost you a few extra pennies.

How To Choose The Best Fermenting Kit For You

There are fermenting kits out there that are designed to let you create a large amount of different foods. Choosing the right one for you will have a lot to do with how much food you want to ferment in a given session, and exactly what it is you want to make.

Most kits allow you to place foods in jars, load them up with included fermenting ingredients, add any extra flavorings specific to your palette, and wait until nature takes its course. These kits are usually used for pickling items like vegetables, eggs, and other simple foods.

If you want to be able to make large batches, but variety isn’t as important to you, look for a kit with fewer jars that can contain more food. You’ll have less work ahead of you in preparation and cleanup, and you won’t have to worry about labeling anything.

On the other hand, if you want to create many different flavors of the same pickled item, you’ll want a kit with more, smaller jars. Additionally, so you don’t get confused, it might be a good idea to invest in a high-quality label maker to keep your jars organized.

A Brief History Of Fermentation

Fermentation has gone on since long before there were human beings to enjoy the pleasantly rotted fruits of the process. That’s because microorganisms far predate the arrival of mankind on the scene.

When humans finally got around to eating fermented foods, it wasn’t the result of culinary experimentation, but rather of survival. The choice was simple: eat the food that looked spoiled or starve. Luckily for whoever took the chance, the fermented food was pretty good.

The intentional kind of fermentation — which we’ve established as far preferable — dates back at least to 7000 B.C.E. in Jiahu, China. That's true for humans, anyway. Some monkey's have been shown to bury ripe fruit underground, and return to it later, after natural fermentation. They intentionally get drunk off what is essentially the equivalent of prison hooch.

In the mid-1850s, Louis Pasteur piggybacked on the recent discovery of yeast’s reproduction processes. He showed through a series of experiments how yeast played a pivotal role in a number of fermentations. One such experiment resulted in the death of all the microorganisms in his sample, and led to the process we now call Pasteurization.

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Last updated on June 18, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

Gabrielle is a writer and hopeful entrepreneur who hails from a tiny town in Virginia. Earlier in her career, she spent a few years in Southern California before moving back to the east coast (but she misses LA every day). An avid and enthusiastic home cook, she is somewhat of an expert at fending off attempted food thievery by her lazy boxer.

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