We've made our fair share of sauerkraut, but I was never completely in love with the flavor. I couldn't get it to taste as good as the stuff from the store, until the last two batches which turned out SO delicious. Here's how I did it.
First, no pounding, no smashing. I like my sauerkraut as crunchy as can be, so instead of laboring over a huge bowl of shredded cabbage with a wooden spoon like I used to, I just pack it tight in our special white bucket with an airlock thingy and add extra water. But wait, that's not the secret yet!
The real secret is that first, I buy a jar of Bubbie's Sauerkraut, strain out the juice and pour that in!! I don't know what magic bacteria they've got in there, but whatever it is makes my homemade stuff have that same delicious taste! And now I'm just adding a bit of the "juice" from the previous batch, to the new batch. So far so good. I totally don't know if this is a legitimate way to make it, but so far it way easier and way tastier.