Kitchn Love Letters

The Costco Cookout Staple I’m Stocking in My Fridge All Year Long

published Aug 29, 2022
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Summer calls for great family gatherings and barbecues. Family gatherings and barbecues call for hot dogs. And in my family, hot dogs call for sauerkraut. I grew up on the East Coast knowing that hot dogs should be dressed with spicy brown mustard (shoutout to Gulden’s!) and Hebrew National sauerkraut. The familiar red-and-yellow label is seared into my mind much like the grill marks on all of those dogs. Even as an adult, it was the only one I sought out in stores — until we moved. 

Once we moved west, the availability of Hebrew National sauerkraut dwindled to next to nothing and it became an arduous, multi-store trek to track it down. I needed a substitute, much to my dismay, and knew that the substitute had to stand up to the crisp, sour, salty freshness that my family and I loved. After many taste tests, I found Wildbrine. And now I only buy it in bulk at Costco.

Credit: Jessica Prudenti-Montalvo

What’s So Great About Wildbrine Raw Organic Sauerkraut?

My family was skeptical when I first brought it home, and understandably so. The bright green label, with the more modern neon lettering boasting raw probiotics looks nothing like the vintage label we were familiar with. But after just one forkful, we were all-in.

The kraut is just tart enough to solicit a slight pucker and just garlicky enough to give it oomph. It’s crunchy and refreshing and not-at-all-bitter, as I’ve found some other brands to be. On top of a hot dog right off the grill, the cold, crisp cabbage simultaneously adds balance and contrast. It is, IMHO, a quintessential summer delight. Another delight? The price! After shopping around, I discovered that Costco carries bulk jars for a lower unit price than my grocer ($0.17 per ounce versus $0.44 per ounce).

What’s the Best Way to Use Wildbrine Raw Organic Sauerkraut?

We’re not just for using the Wildbrine for hot dogs (or pigs in blankets). Tossed with warm rice bowls, it adds a punchy tang to the sautéed grains and veggies. It brings a cool contrast to hot, crispy zucchini fritters or potato pancakes fresh from the air fryer.

It’s the key to an incredible pizza night and is just the thing to liven up a creamy pasta or cheesy quesadilla. Or use it to fill a batch of homemade pierogi (make sure to clear some space in the freezer). Thirsty? You can even swap the pickle juice for Wildbrine when making your next martini.

Find it in stores: Wildbrine Raw Organic Sauerkraut, $8.39 for 50 ounces

What’s your favorite way to use sauerkraut? Tell us in the comments below.