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Complete Guide to Canning Beets

How To Can Pickled Beets

Beets are a garden staple that are absolutely delicious when canned and made into pickled beets! This guide to canning beets will detail a number of different ways to process beets for the pantry.

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If you were to compile a list of your all-time favorite vegetables, chances are that beets would not be in the top ten. It might be their tendency to bleed across a plate and intermingle with the rest of one’s meal.

Perhaps it’s their deep earthy flavor or their unusual texture, or maybe it’s those childhood memories of being forced to sit – arms folded and jaw tightly set – before an unfinished plate of beets.

Whatever the reason, if you’re convinced that beets will never grace your table again, there’s nothing like growing and canning a batch of these crimson orbs at home to change your mind.

Beets are a homesteaders bread and butter as they are easily grown and make the perfect crop for storing over winter.

Why can beets?

Beets are rich in nutrients: Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and folate are abundant in both the root and leaves. Beets are also a good source of magnesium, iron, copper, calcium, manganese, iodine, phosphorus, and fiber.

And, whenever you thin your beet crop as it grows to maturity, you’ll enjoy the additional treat of their greens, which are excellent when steamed or sautéed and lightly buttered and salted.

After your beets are approximately two to four inches in diameter you can harvest them. Some beets form naturally smaller than others so you cannot assume that all will become a voluptuous four inches.

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Canning Supplies:

Beets Sliced

The only question – once you’ve decided to give red beets another well-deserved chance – is: What’s the best way to preserve a bucketful of beets so they can be relished during the cold, dreary months of winter?

It’s a matter of taste, really, but there is one caveat: Since fresh beets are a low-acid vegetable – like corn, beans, or carrots – they must be either canned under pressure or pickled in brine to prevent the formation of bacterial spores that could cause botulism.

For more detailed information on canning be sure to check out my Complete Guide to Canning at home!

Guide to Canning Beets:

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 pounds of beets
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp coarse salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, optional

Makes approximately 4 quarts of beets. I like to double and triple this recipe.

Directions:

1. Cut the stems from the beets.

2. Wash the beets well using the potato scrubber.

3. Put the beets into a large stock pot and add water until they are completely covered. Set the stove to medium high and boil the beets for twenty minutes.

*If you are using a steamer you will want it set to medium and have the lid of your pot on tightly so no excess water gets into it. Keep the beets in the steamer for thirty minutes.

4. Move the beets to a cold water bath in the sink or a large bowl.

5. Remove the skin and roots from the beets and skim out any that may have fallen off within the beet juice. Keep the juice in the stock pot!

6. Slice the beets into small chunks or slices depending on what you’d like to use them for in the future.

7. Add two tablespoons of sugar, two tablespoons of salt, two cups of vinegar and bay leaves to the beet juice left in the pot.

8. Place the sliced beets back into the juice and let them simmer for fifteen minutes.

Beets cut up

Water Bath Canning:

9. Remove the bay leaves from the mixture, these are not to be eaten they are simply for flavor.

10. Use the funnel to place the beets evenly into the jars. They should be quite full with only 1″ of head space.

11. Pour the hot brine equally over the beets in the jars. The juice should cover the beets entirely.

12. Use the handle of a wooden spoon or a butter knife to jostle out any air bubbles.

**If you do not have enough juice you can add hot water or make more of the brine mixture to cover the beets.

13. Wipe jar rim with a damp paper towel.

14. Place the snap lid on the jar and fasten tightly with the ring.

15. Put the jars into your water bath canner and process, covered, for 30 minutes.

16. Remove from the hot water bath and set on a tea towel on the counter to cool.

17. Once the jars have cooled to room temperature and the snap lids have “popped”, the jars can be stored in a cool dark place for up to 2 years.

Beets prepared

Pressure Cooker Method:

  • Beginning with about 10 pounds of beets, remove the tops except for 1 inch of stem.
  • Leave roots on.
  • Wash and sort to a uniform size to permit even cooking.
  • Place beets in a colander-type boiler, cover with boiling water, and return to a gentle boil for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Lift colander from the boiler and dip in cold water only long enough to loosen beet skins; remove skins, roots, and the remainder of stems.
  • Leave baby beets (under 1 1/4 in diameter) whole.
  • Cube or slice larger beets.
  • Pack hot beets into pint or quart jars to within 1″ of the jar rim.
  • Add salt (1/2 teaspoon for pints; 1 tsp. for quarts).
  • Cover beets with fresh boiling water; add vinegar to help retain color (1 tablespoon for pints; 2 tablespoons for quarts).
  • Leave 1/2″ head space.
  • Place and adjust screw bands.
  • Process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 30 minutes (pints or quarts).
  • Remove jars from the canner; tighten lids.
  • Place on pantry shelves when lids have sealed and jars are cool enough to handle.

Sweet Pickled Beets Recipe:

Directions:

1. Remove all but 1 – 2 inches of stems from approximately 10 pounds of beets.

2. Leave roots on.

3. Wash and sort beets to uniform size.

4. Place beets in a colander-type boiler, cover with boiling water, and cook until tender when pricked with a fork.

5. Dip beets in cold water only long enough to loosen skins.

6. Remove skins, roots, and remainder of stems.

7. Slice or cube beets that are larger than 1 1/4″ in diameter.

8. Smaller beets can be left whole.

9. Pack beets into jars to within 1/2″ from the top.

10. Add salt (1/2 teaspoon for pints; 1 teaspoon for quarts).

11. Make pickling syrup from a two-to-one mixture of vinegar to honey (i.e., 2 cups vinegar to one cup honey), enough to cover beets.

12. Heat syrup to boiling.

13. Cover beets with hot vinegar mixture, leaving ¼ to ½ inch headspace at the top.

14. Process beets in a boiling water bath (30 minutes for either pints or quarts).

15. Remove jars from bath and tighten lids.

16. Place on pantry shelf when lids have sealed and jars are cool enough to handle.

Complete Guide to Canning Beets

Spiced Pickled Beets!

This recipe is a family favorite that makes a special treat during the holidays!

Ingredients:

  • 24 – 30 small beets (2 – 2 ½ inches) or 40 baby beets (1 – 1 ½ inches)
  • 3 medium onions
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canning or pickling salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • ¾ tablespoon allspice
  • 4 one-pint canning jars with lids and rims

Directions:

1. Remove beet tops, leaving 1 – 2 inches of stems.

2. Leave roots on.

3. Wash well.

4. Place beets in a 6 – 8 quart kettle and cover with boiling water.

5. Cover and cook until tender when pricked with a fork.

6. Drain and cool.

7. Remove stems, skins, and roots from beets.

8. Cut small beets into ½-inch slices; leave baby beets whole.

9. Peel and slice onions into ½-inch slices.

10. Combine sugar, salt, vinegar, allspice, and one cup of water in a one-gallon kettle.

11. Tie other spices in a cheesecloth bag and place them in the same kettle.

12. Bring to a boil.

13. Add beets and onions and simmer for 5 minutes.

14. Remove spice bag.

15. Ladle beets and onions into hot pint jars and cover with liquid from the boiling kettle.

16. Leave ¼ inch headspace.

17. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids, and place in boiling water bath for 30 minutes (start processing time when water returns to boiling).

18. Remove jars from bath and tighten lids.

19. Place on pantry shelves when lids have sealed and jars are cool enough to handle.

Beets

Try more of our favorite canning recipes…

Easy Canning Recipes:

Beets are nutritious, easy to grow, and delicious. But beets will be beets, no matter how they are prepared. If you don’t mind their colorful juices spreading joyfully across your dinnerware, it’s time to reinstate beets to your menu.

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Complete Guide to Canning Beets

Classic Pickled Beets Recipe

Beets are a garden staple that are absolutely delicious when canned and made into pickled beets! This guide to canning beets will detail a number of different ways to process beets for the pantry.
No ratings yet
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Author: Heather Painchaud
Servings: 4 quarts
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Ingredients

  • 8-10 pounds of beets
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp coarse salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick optional

Instructions

  • 1. Cut the stems from the beets.
  • 2. Wash the beets well using the potato scrubber.
  • 3. Put the beets into a large stock pot and add water until they are completely covered. Set the stove to medium high and boil the beets for twenty minutes.
  • 4. Move the beets to a cold water bath in the sink or a large bowl.
  • 5. Remove the skin and roots from the beets and skim out any that may have fallen off within the beet juice. Keep the juice in the stock pot!
  • 6. Slice the beets into small chunks or slices depending on what you'd like to use them for in the future.
  • 7. Add two tablespoons of sugar, two tablespoons of salt, two cups of vinegar and bay leaves to the beet juice left in the pot.
  • 8. Place the sliced beets back into the juice and let them simmer for fifteen minutes.
  • 9. Remove the bay leaves from the mixture, these are not to be eaten they are simply for flavor.
  • 10. Use the funnel to place the beets evenly into the jars. They should be quite full with only 1" of head space.
  • 11. Pour the hot brine equally over the beets in the jars. The juice should cover the beets entirely.
  • 12. Use the handle of a wooden spoon or a butter knife to jostle out any air bubbles.
  • 13. Wipe jar rim with a damp paper towel.
  • 14. Place the snap lid on the jar and fasten tightly with the ring.
  • 15. Put the jars into your water bath canner and process, covered, for 30 minutes.
  • 16. Remove from the hot water bath and set on a tea towel on the counter to cool.
  • 17. Once the jars have cooled to room temperature and the snap lids have "popped", the jars can be stored in a cool dark place for up to 2 years.

Notes

If you are using a steamer instead of a stock pot, you will want it set to medium and have the lid of your pot on tightly so no excess water gets into it. Keep the beets in the steamer for thirty minutes.
If you do not have enough juice to cover the beets, you can add hot water or make more of the brine mixture.
about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

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