Harsch Gairtopf Fermenting Crock Pot - 10 Liter - ME7420

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Features & Specifications The Miracle Fermenting Crock Pot - Quick, Easy and Quality! The Harsch / Gartopf fermenting crock pot is a quality crafted piece which is imported from Germany. Easily make nutrition packed sauerkraut, pickled vegetables and so much more. The patented Harsch crock-pot is a beautiful stoneware piece and is fired at 1200 degrees Celsius and finished with a lead free glaze. This crock includes a ceramic cover which fits perfectly over the top and has a special cast gutter in the rim creating a seamless airlock. Gases from the fermentation can escape easily but air is not able to enter. Many other crock-pots can create a pasty white kahm yeast, this one doesn't! Suitable for all types of vegetables like:Cabbages, Cucumbers, Carrots, Pumpkins, Beans, Onions, Celery, Peppers, and more! In just 4-6 weeks you can have delicious fermented veggies in your home! Features: Quality constructed - easy to use. Imported from Germany. Can ferment up 10 liters of vegetables (2 3/4 Gallons) at a time. Use of ceramic weight stones eliminates mold. Clever water sealing system allows gases to escape. No air let in. Lead free. Made of ceramic clay. Simple instructions are included Specifications: Model Harcsh 10 Liter Crock PotCapacity10 Liters / 2.75 Gallons. Built of Made of ceramic lead free clay. Warranty One Year


Miracle Exclusives
Miracle Exclusives
Miracle Exclusives
Miracle Exclusives
Harsch Gairtopf Fermenting Crock Pot - 10 Liter - ME7420
Package Height
12.3 inches
Package Length
18 inches
Package Weight
26.9 pounds
Package Width
12.5 inches
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4.00 star(s)
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Ease of Use
5.00 star(s)
Pros: their "waterlock" system makes fermenting foods almost fool proof
Cons: heavy for its size and not real easy to clean
In recent years people have been rediscovering the joys of home food preservation.  Not only can people purchase local foods, at their peak of ripeness, but by preserving their own foods, people know exactly what is in it, and more importantly, what is not in it, i. e. no chemical preservatives.  Along with this new found love of preserving has come renewed interest in fermented foods, one of the oldest forms of food preservation.  In the fermentation process, food is submerged in a brine, which allows beneficial  bacteria to produce lactic acid, souring the food, while harmful bacteria, molds and fungi, are kept at bay.  This is the method in which both sauerkraut and kosher pickles were traditionally made.

I can remember watching my Dad make fermented pickles in an old earthenware crock (let's not even get into whether it was made with lead free glaze or not-highly doubtful that it was).  He would basically prep a bunch of cucumbers, toss them into the crock with fresh dill, fresh garlic and a few other spices, pour a brine solution over the whole mess and weight it down with a plate and brick, and cover the whole thing with a towel to keep out dust and debris.  Every few days he would have to skim off any mold that developed, and occasionally something would go wrong and the whole batch would end up ruined by rampant molds or yeasts, causing soft, mushy pickles that tasted nasty.

In recent years, I've been trying my own hand at making sauerkraut and pickles, with some great successes, but I still had an occasional problem with a bad ferment here and there.  That is until I got my own Harsch Gairtopf fermenting crock.  I have my brother to thank for turning me on to these wonders as he has been using one for the last few years.  These crocks are fantastic for making fermented foods.  Just like traditional crocks they are made from heavy earthenware, which means they are great at controlling temperature fluctuations, and their lead free glaze keeps them from harboring aromas or giving bacteria a place to hide between uses.  But the greatest thing about their design is the built-in "fermentation lock" that keeps your food in a sterile, oxygen free environment that promotes the formation of lactic acid while discouraging other micro organisms.  This is accomplished by the large groove around the raised lip of the crock.  Once your food is placed in the crock and submerged in brine, you add the 2 stone weights, that fight snugly against the sides of the crock, to ensure your food stays submerged.  Next you place the lid on the crock and then fill the groove with plain water until it covers the 2 holes on the side of the lid.  These holes allow carbon dioxide to escape, once a bit of pressure builds up, but the water prevents oxygen from entering the crock, ensuring a completely oxygen free, anaerobic environment in which the fermentation can take place.  Just make sure to check the water level every few days to make sure that it remains above the holes in the lid.

Harsch Gairtopf makes it fermentation crocks in a variety of sizes, including 5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40 and 50 liter crocks.  I currently own the 10 liter and am seriously considering a 7.5 and a 15 liter crock to expand my production for family use.  Seeing as you can only fill the crocks about 80% full (you need room for the stone weights and the brine to cover everything) I, personally, think the 5 liter would just be too small.  The 20 liter, and up, seem like they would be too large for the amount of food we would go through, but if your family is big on home preservation and eat a lot of fermented foods then these sizes might just be for you.  They are made in Germany, so you know the production quality is high.  I know numerous people who own a Harsch and none of them have ever had issues with cracking or chipping, unless they dropped it.

These crocks don't come cheap, but earthenware crocks are not cheap nowadays.  A 10 liter Harsch crock will set you back anywhere from $150-200, while the 50 liter can cost from $400-500.  Are they expensive?  Yes.  But, they are well worth it, if you do, or are planning on doing a lot of your own fermenting, and believe me, once you get started in fermenting it is pretty hard to stop.

When not writing product reviews for ChefTalk, you can find me blogging about food over at my website, www.onceachef.com.
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this "moat" design for pickle jars is rather standard in Asia, particularly Sichuan, where every housewife has at least one. to charge so much for simple pottery is highway robbery, but it looks like these guys have the western market cornered. indeed i've had a hard time finding anything like it at major online stores. that's not to say it can't be found, and much cheaper.
regardless, it's a solid product that does its job beautifully, and in that sense even $200 is quite a bargain.
I agree. It's a little pricey, but well worth it, and in the long run, will save me a lot of money, not having to purchase all ready processed products.  Plus, I can control exactly what goes into it and not have include all the preservatives store bought brands often use.

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