Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pickled Beets

Prepare your beets for canning:

After harvesting beets, wash them well.


 Do not peel beets. Leave 1 inch of stem and roots to prevent color bleeding.  
I purchased these at a farm and they had already bagged them up or I would have left more of the root and stem on them. They still turned our really pretty though.
Cover with boiling water and cook until tender - about 25 to 30 minutes.
Drain, discard liquid and cool beets.
Trim off roots and stems; slip off skins.  
Small beets can be pickled whole. Larger beets can be sliced in ¼ inch slices or diced.
Pickled Beets  Yields 8 Pints
  • 7 lbs of 2 to 2 1/2 inch diameter beets
  • 4 cups vinegar (5 percent)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp pickling spice  (Make a spice bag with cheese cloth or something similar) Variation:  Use 2 Cinnamon Stick and 12 Whole Cloves in place of pickling spice
  • 4 to 6 medium onions (Onions are optional)


Bring brine to a boil.  Pour your brine over your beats. If brine does not cover beets, make enough brine to cover them using the ratio of 2 cups vinegar to 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes.  Taste it after a few minutes to make sure you like it.  If you leave the spice bag in too long it gets too strong. 
Add onions if you are using them.    Throw away the spice bag.


Fill jars with beets and onions then cover in hot brine leaving 1/2 inch head-space.  

Remove air bubbles. Adjust head-space as needed.

Wipe rims of jars with a wet paper towel.

Put on lids and rings and tighten down finger tight.



Process in a boiling water bath according to chart.
Use chart for your elevation:

Table 1. Recommended process time for Pickled Beets in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of PackJar Size0 - 1,000 ft1,001 - 3,000 ft3,001 - 6,000 ftAbove 6,000 ft
HotPints or Quarts30 min354045

Label and Store in a cool dark place.

Variation: Pickled whole baby beets. Follow above directions but use beets that are 1- to 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Pack whole; do not slice. Onions may be omitted.

Reference:  University of Minnesota County Extension

NCHFP