Instructables

A How To: Canning Pickled Red Beets

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Picture of A How To: Canning Pickled Red Beets
I love me some pickled beets. So sweet. They are such a pretty addition to a bland winter plate. And beets are loaded with nutrition, though the amount of sugar used might just counteract with that.

*Please note: I do not necessarily follow the tested methods of canning. But this way has always worked for me with no spoiling or food poisoning issues.
 
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Step 1: Acquire a large bowl of red beets.

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Any dark purple variety will do. These happen to be Cylindra. This is 7 1/2 pounds of beets (not including the weight of the leaves).

Step 2: Scrub the beets.

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Leave the tails and about a half inch of the stems attached. This is to keep all of the color and nutrients from bleeding out while they cook.

Step 3: Put the beets in a pot...

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...and cover them completely with water.

Step 4: Place the pot on the stove.

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Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the beets are soft when pierced with a knife, about 45 to 60 minutes.

Step 5: Drain the beets.

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Let them cool until you can handle them.

Step 6: Peel the beets.

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First, cut off the tops and tails and then the skins should just slide off. It's fun!

Step 7: Cut the beets.

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You can choose any size you like but I prefer a small bite-size chunk. The larger the chunks, the more jars you'll need as they won't be as space efficient. Put the chunks into a pot.

Step 8: Admire your pretty purple philanges.

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Don't worry, after washing the dishes a few times, the stains will disappear.

Step 9: Heat your canning jars.

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I just simply put my clean jars in a 225 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 15 minutes. This sterilizes them and keeps them hot while you fill them one by one.

Step 10: Sterilize the canning lids.

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I place them in a small pot, cover them with water, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and leave them in the water until you are ready to use them. When I'm open kettle canning like this, I try to use the lids while they are still very hot.

Step 11: Add your other ingredients.

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Put the pot of beet chunks on the stove and add 3 cups of apple cider vinegar and 4 cups of granulated sugar.

I canned pickled beets for the first time tonight. Your recipe is delicious (We sampled the leftovers) and you gave such clear instructions. Thank you very much! They will be a welcome addition to our Thanksgiving dinner! Ping, ping, ping...love that sound! Eight pints sitting pretty on my counter!

leslie.sinselwornell made it!4 days ago

I am a CA beach bunny gal, born and raised, now in my 60's, who, after retiring last year find myself in a rural area in Eastern WA with my farmer boy born and raised husband (we moved here to be near his family). Our new (to us) house has a wonderful garden space so I planted some of my favorite things (with instructional help from the internet). One of those favorite things was beets. I LOVE pickled beets. I harvested them today, followed your directions, and by golly, now have 8 jars of pickled beets, all showing small dips in the center of the seals. Eureka!!

The "bath" thing just seemed like too much effort to me. Thank you SO much for clear visual instructions on an alternative method that was super easy and a total success!

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vash251 year ago
i love the step by step in this video! question would be... why dont you boil them in the jars after for seal? do you have to for seal? or how will i know my jars are sealed and not poisonous? great article looks great im just doing a ton of research because now im going to do my own for the first time!!!! ... thanks :)
zoedawn (author)  vash251 year ago
If the lid has a dip in the center, it is sealed. It will also ping nicely if you tap it with your fingernail. If the center is popped up, no seal. There will be a dull thud if you tap an unsealed lid.

If the open kettle canning scares you (I always have fine results but to each his own!) just pop the filled, lidded jars into a hot water bath for 5 minutes or so. Since the jars will be very hot due to the hot beets, you'll want the water in the canner to be almost boiling. Once you have the jars in the canner, bring everything to a boil and set the timer for 5 minutes. Remove jars from the water after the timer beeps.
maryliz2 years ago
Those finished pickled beets in the dutch oven look soooooo good my mouth is watering !!! My Mom used to can everything. I think that I will start with your recipe. You did a great job explaining everything. One question. Why do you remove the screw on ring though? Nice pictures too !!
Also, if the canned product spoils with the ring on tightly the lid might not be able to pop.

Always confirm that the lid has maintained a vacuum when you open home-canned food.
zoedawn (author)  maryliz2 years ago
It's not necessary to keep the ring on once the lid is sealed. I reuse my rings all through the canning season. If I had enough rings for all my jars, they'd fill several cardboard boxes but this way, I only need a few dozen.
maryliz zoedawn2 years ago
OK just curious. I'm getting some jars at yard sales and will buy new lids. Thanks, Can't wait to have some of these.
Mr. E Meat2 years ago
Nice Instructible! I know what I'm doing with the mess of beets that are in my garden.
Beatle42 years ago
I've been doing pickled beets for years and the recipe I use is almost the same as yours. The only difference I do is I roast them instead of boiling them. One trick I have learned over the years, latex gloves help keep you from getting red hands. You did a great job with the article.
zoedawn (author)  Beatle42 years ago
Thanks Beatle!

I roasted beets for the first time last week and did NOT like them. I tried salt roasting them and may have over baked them a little. What's your method? I really want to get it right!

I've thought about using latex gloves but I can't stand working with gloves on. I'm afraid I'll have less control and then cut myself or something. I don't mind the pink hands. If anyone asks, I tell them I just work hard :)
Beatle4 zoedawn2 years ago
I just wash them real good, lay them out on a cooking sheet and then put them in a 325 degree oven for about 3 hours. It depends on the size of the beets of course on how long it takes to cook them I just check every so often for doneness. Once I get very little resistance when checking them, I pull them out of the oven and let them cool down. I usually let them sit overnight before I start the pickeling process.
zoedawn (author)  Beatle42 years ago
Thanks again Beatle! I'll have to try it this way. Hopefully they are better than my first try :)
90mp112 years ago
Lemon juice works a treat for getting rid of the beet colour
zoedawn (author)  90mp112 years ago
Good tip!