Fermentation needn’t be an equipment intensive undertaking, unless of course you are producing at a commercial scale. All you generally need is a fermentation vessel, some salt and some sort of weight to help keep the contents of your fermentation submerged. That said, I am also a huge fan of having the right tools and equipment in the kitchen when working on ferments and making meals.
Here is a list of all the items that I use and recommend which I find helpful in the preparation and storage of fermented foods.
Items Used for Fermenting
- Fermentation Crock – This is the one I use on a regular basis in my kitchen. Works very well. Food safe glaze, water lip around the top to create a seal which prevents molds and other microbes from entering. The 5 liter size is great for making decent-sized batches of tastiness that you can share while not dominating your counter space. A smaller 2 liter crock works great for smaller batches. Having a good crock can help to minimize the occasional contamination problems that can pester fermenters.
- 1 gallon Anchor Glass Jar – I used these for years for my fermentation projects and still do occasionally. You can use these to brew kombucha as well. Use the 2 gallon version for larger kombucha batches.
- Fermented drink crock with spigot. I love having this crock with a spigot for brewing kombucha. Makes decanting easy and you can start doing continuous brews with this.
- Air Locks – I love these, but there are many airlocks that work well. Airlocks generally attach to mason jars to create a fermentation environment free of harmful microbes. See Why Everyone Should Ferment with an Airlock for more information and understanding
- Glass Weights – These are definitely the best weights I’ve come across for mason jar ferments as they have a nice grip to help you remove easily. As glass, they clean very easily and remain free of contaminant growth between uses.
Equipment used for Preparation of Fermented Foods
- Instant Pot – great for making yogurt and also for fast cooking of beans for miso or tempeh.
- Food Processor – aids in speedy shredding of various vegetables
- Vitamix Blender – useful for making fermented batters such as Dosa or Quinoa Dosa. Of course I use it for smoothies and soups too.
- Shun Premiere Kiritsuki Knife – In my opinion, the most beautiful and functional kitchen knife in the world. Beautiful folded steel, lifetime free mail-in sharpening and they keep a brilliantly sharp edge. A splurge, but if you love spending time in the kitchen as I do, these are to be seriously considered. Your foodie friends will spot your Shun knives as soon as they walk into your kitchen.
- MicroPlane / Zester – These are great, especially for grating ginger into very fine pieces and removing lemon/orange zest.
- Kitchen Scale – as the salt used in fermentation is often utilized in direct relation to the weight of the primary vegetable ingredients, having a good kitchen scale can be very helpful. I recently upgraded my scale to this one and I LOVE it. It works great, is easy to use and the display is easy to read. In this day and age of “planned obsolescence,” it surprising and very welcome to find a Lifetime Warranty!
- Thermometer – It’s old-school, but it does the trick. Helpful for testing temperatures when making breads, Yogurt, and Kombucha.
- Bamboo Cutting Board – I love working on a nice quality beautiful cutting board.
Items Used to Store Fermented Foods
- Ball Jars – I love making small batch ferments in a quart jar topped with an airlock. Not only do they work great as fermenting vessels, but they also serve as great storage.
- Ball Jar Lids – nice caps with silicone ring seal. Work great for fermented foods, and won’t corrode like the metal lids / rings that come with Ball Jars.
- The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz – very in depth. A great reference tool for the avid fermenter
- Fermented Vegetables – Great A-Z book from Christopher and Kristen Shockey
- Fiery Ferments – 70 Stimulating Recipes for Hot Sauces, Spicy Chutneys. Another quality book by Christopher and Kristen Shockey
- The Big Book of Kombucha
- Wild Fermentation – also by Sandor Katz – this is the book that supported my first ventures into the land of fermentation.
- Mastering Fermentation by Mary Karlin – a beautifully illustrated guide for fermentation including recipes. Extends beyond vegetables into vinegars, condiments, meats and fish.
- Traditionally Fermented Foods by Shannon Stonger: Innovative Recipes and Old-Fashioned Techniques for Sustainable Eating
- The Pickled Pantry by Andrea Chesman: From Apples to Zucchini, 150 Recipes for Pickles, Relishes, Chutneys & More
- Ferment for Good By Sharon Flynn – Ancient Food for the Modern Gut: The Slowest Kind of Fast Food
- Kombucha, Kefir and Beyond: A Fun and Flavorful Guide to Fermenting Your Own Probiotic Beverages at Home
Foods, Ingredients and Starters
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