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Pickled Beets

Updated on January 27, 2015

How to make Pickled Beets

I must admit that when I was growing up, pickled beets were not one of my favorite foods. I remember saying to my parents that beets taste like dirt and who would want to eat dirt. Now don't get me wrong the pickled eggs were always and still are awesome. So... I was that kid digging in the mason jar all around the beets to find the prize... the pickled egg. Yum!

However, as I grew up I learned to love Pickled Beets. The earthy flavor and crispness of the beet is truly a taste sensation.

Beets are one of those foods which possess some great health benefits... high in fiber, low in fat and are good for your heart. There are truly so many things you can do with beets, whether adding them to a salad or eating them by all by themselves... they simply are quite delicious.

Photo Credit: Pickled Beets by ScottiesRock

Why Learn How to Pickle Beets, Anyway?

I wanted to learn how to make Pickled Beets because there really is nothing else that compares to the fresh wholesome taste you get from making your own. I was fortunate to have my mom's friend, Suzanne who has been growing and canning all her own foods for most of her life. Once I tasted her homemade Pickled Beets, there was really no turning back.

Suzanne was kind enough not only to share her recipe but come over to my house and teach me just how to make these wonderful pickled delights and now I am going to share this recipe with you.


The Beet Book - Earthy Beginnings

Learn how beets originated and a bit of history. In the Beet Book you can read about all the different varieties and how to grow them in your garden. And of course last but not least, how to prepare some tasty recipes starring Beets.

The Beet Book
The Beet Book

Everything you wanted to know about beets.

Peter Piper Red Beets
Peter Piper Red Beets

Peter Piper Sliced Beet-E.H. Jolles Company- Providence, RI

Available for purchase on Ebay.

Pickled Beets, Take it or Leave it?

Red Beet
Red Beet

Do you love Pickled Beets or Not?

See results

Bushel of Beets

Bushel of Beets
Bushel of Beets

A Bushel or a Peck?


The term bushel was first used to measure grain but later become the word used for measuring all kinds of produce. What you need to know is a bushel is equivalent to about 8 gallons or 32 quarts. However bushels are used to measure dry ingredients, so therefore it is not the same as liquid.

And just how much did Peter Piper peck?

Peter pecked about a 1/4 bushel. So there is 4 pecks in a bushel.

Suzanne brought me 1 bushel of Red Beets, which ended up making me 15 quart sized mason jars full of glorious Pickled Beets.

Step 1

Cleaning Red Beets

Cleaning Red Beets

Step 1:

Cleaning the Beets

Put those dirty beets in a sink filled with cold water. Pull off any lose roots, stems or whatever else you may find hanging off the beet. If you have a huge amount of dirty beets, you might want to consider laying them outside on concrete and hosing them down before putting them into the sink.

Rub the dirt off with your hands and the leave stems on. Put the clean beets in a large stock pot filled with cold water.

WAYNE BRAND SMALL RED BEETS- Edgett - Burnham Company, Newark, New York

Available for purchase on Ebay.

Step 2

Cooking Red Beets

Cooking Red Beets

Cooking Red Beets
Cooking Red Beets

Cooking the Red Beets

Step 2:

Put your Red Beet filled Stockpot(s) on the stove on medium-high heat and cook.

This will take quite awhile. We used 2 really huge Stockpots on a gas range and it took us over 1 1/2 to cook the beets. You can cut this time in 1/2 by using a pressure cooker. Something I will be exploring very soon.

How do you know when they are done?

Take a long fork, like a meat fork and poke them. If the fork slides in easily, then they are most likely done. The doneness will be very similar to a potato. I like mine more firm so I pulled them off just a bit earlier.

Note: You will be cooking the beets a little more during the canning process.

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

Using a pressure cooker to cook your beets or other vegetable will shorten the cook time dramatically. Using a pressure cooker for canning is the safest way to can. During the canning process the temperatures reaches extremely high heat which kills all bacteria.

Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker
Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker

The only method recommended safe by the US Department of Agriculture for canning vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood

Doubles as a boiling-water canner for preserving fruits, jams, jellies, pickles, and salsa; Handy as a large capacity pressure cooker

Constructed of warp-resistant heavy-gauge aluminum for fast, even heating; Works on regular and smooth-top ranges; Extended 12-year limited warranty

Deluxe pressure dial gauge registers the complete range of processing pressures; This precise measurement is especially important at higher altitudes

Extra-large size is great for big canning jobs; Includes canning/cooking rack and complete 76-page instruction and recipe book


40 Quart Stockpot

Bigger is always better, Commercial Aluminum Pot with 3/16" thick cooks fast. Cover sold separately.

Beets are a wonder food!

Beets contain Folate and Betaine. These nutrients are essential to our cardiovascular system. The beet red color contains betacyanins has been proven to fight cancer.

Step 3

Making the Brine

Brine Recipe

Step 3:

Brine Recipe

2 Cups Water

1 Cup Vinegar

2 Cups Sugar

Combine ingredients and cook until boiling and sugar has dissolved. The brine should have a clear appearance when it is finished cooking.

There are many recipes out there, but I like to keep things simple and this one is just that.

Canning Jar Lifters

Prepworks by Progressive One Handed Canning Jar Lifter
Prepworks by Progressive One Handed Canning Jar Lifter

This makes canning so much easier. Lifting your jars out of the boiling water can be quite dangerous and cause burns. These canning tongs make the job so simple.


Step 4

Peeling and Cutting the Beets

Peeling and Cutting the Beets

Step 4:

Peeling and Cutting the Beets

This was my favorite part...

After you cool down the beets in cold water it is time to remove the skins. The skins just seem to slide right off under your fingers and the beet itself is silky smooth.

Cut the beets into chunks or slices, whichever you prefer. I like chunks. Place the chunks right into the mason jar and fill with brine.

Take a knife or spreader and push it down the sides of the jar to remove air bubbles and fill with brine to the top. Be sure the beets are covered and put lid on.

Note: Do not over tightened the lids. Just turn to close but not tightly, you will do this after the canning process.

Mason Jars

I used mostly wide mouth and a few regular mouth. I really liked the wide mouth because they were easier to fill.

Meri Meri Floral and Gingham Jar Label Kit

This is a wonderful product to dress up your canning! It looks adorable, and makes giving canned goods as a gift so much fun! Presentation really has an impact when gifting canned goods. People don't always realize that making homemade canned goods takes a lot of time, especially if you pick your own or grow your own ingredients, so this nice touch really makes a difference to pretty it up. Can't rave enough about this product. Easy to use, perfect!

Meri Meri Jar Label Kit, Floral and Gingham
Meri Meri Jar Label Kit, Floral and Gingham

This Jar Label kit comes with a selection of labels, covers and tags with coordinating ribbons all decorated with bold patterns and floral motifs.

Includes 24 jar covers, 24 sticky labels, 24 gift tags and 2 styles of ribbons

Comes in stylish presentation box and is perfect for gift giving

Perfect for your jam or preserve making

Beautifully designed and very colorful

Designed in england


Step 5

The Canning Process

Canning Pickled Beets

Canning Pickled Beets
Canning Pickled Beets

Step 5: The Canning Process

Step 5:

Canning Process

Set the full jars in the water bath.

To make a water bath

Fill up the canning pot with 4 to 5 inches of water, once you place jars in pot the water level will rise.

Cover and Cook until boiling. Once you've reached a boiling point set your timer for 10 minutes.

When the canning process is complete. Carefully remove the hot mason jars. Using a jar tong will make the job so much easy and ensure the fact that you do not burn your hands.

Wipe off the jars and lids and place upside on a towel overnight.

Cooling Down Pickled Beets

Cooling Down Pickled Beets
Cooling Down Pickled Beets

Fresh Red Beets Anyone?

Red Beets may not be for everyone and many people may have never even tried them. However there is really no comparison to a fresh beet over a canned version.

Do you prefer fresh red beets over canned?

How To Can Pickled Beets

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Have you ever canned your own Pickled Beets? This was a new experience for me and one which I am sure to continue to do. The freshness of homemade pickled beets does not compare to the equivalent store bought product. Sometimes, you just got to roll up your sleeves and make it yourself. This type of freshness cannot be bought.

To Can or not to Can that is the question?

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    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 

      4 years ago from Canada

      I love pickled beets and will try this recipe.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have, and they were so much better than the commercial variety! However, my favourite way to eat beetroot is roasted (not pickled) - nom!

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 

      5 years ago

      No I haven't canned myself. But I have cooked fresh beets

    • Commandrix profile image


      5 years ago from Benson, IL

      Haven't tried it yet though I'm tempted.

    • jolou profile image


      5 years ago

      I love beets, both pickled or not,

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 

      5 years ago from Havre de Grace

      I love pickled beets! Great lens, angel blessings!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great Job and they are awesome.......


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