This canning season has had a slower start than other years here at The Farm. Cooler temps and a decent amount of rain (hallelujah!) has extended the season and had crops ripening later than usual. This is just fine with me as there is always plenty to do! But it’s high past time to get a jump start on canning some pickled beets.
For me, the first thing of the season to get canned are the dark red beets. While many people turn their noses at these vegetables, they are becoming quite an en vogue trend in the food world. Praised for their nutritious qualities, they are simply outstanding pickled. Gourmet jars at farmers’ markets and fine grocers are delicious, but can be pricey – yikes! So why not pickle your own? Very easy and simply perfect, these are great on any relish tray or added to your favorite salad!
Personally, I like to eat them straight from the jar, but is that even kosher?!
The steps below may seem like a long description but once you try it out, you’ll understand how it’s not nearly as hard as it sounds. And soon, you’ll be a canning pro!
Watch how to can pickled beets:
Canning is all about prior planning and having items ready. Once you’re prepared, the process is extremely easy and fairly quick (I promise!).
Make sure to watch my canning 101 video for tips and tricks about how to can!
If you tried out the recipe, make sure to leave me a comment and a rating on the recipe so I know how it worked for you!
How to Can Pickled Beets
- 6-7 sterilized pint-size canning jars
- lids and rings
For the brine
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 2 tbsp sugar (or honey) all the way up to 2 cups, depending on the sweetness desired
- 1 tsp salt
For the beets
- 3 ½ lbs dark red beets (or any preferred variety)
- 1-2 large yellow or white onions (depending on preference, the amount of onion can be optional)
- Start by washing beets. If using homegrown, make sure to leave the root on and cut the leaves to within an inch of the beet.3 ½ lbs dark red beets (or any preferred variety)
- Place in a large kettle and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook until tender. They’re ready when a knife is easily inserted with just slight resistance. Since beets vary in size, they may take varying times to cook. Remove them individually as needed.
- When cooked, drain (remove from water), let cool, and remove skins using a knife and gloves to prevent staining.
- Combine all the brine ingredients and let simmer on the stove.2 cups water, 2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity), 2 tbsp sugar (or honey), 1 tsp salt
- Also start a large kettle filled with water on high heat, fitted with a rack in the bottom. This will be used for a water bath.
- Using sterilized jars, slice onion to taste and place in each jar. Then fill with sliced beets. These can be sliced directly into the jars. If this is difficult, slice on a cutting board and pack jars.1-2 large yellow or white onions (depending on preference, the amount of onion can be optional)
- Top sliced beets with additional onion, leaving about a half-inch of headspace in the jar.
- Bring brine to a hard boil and fill each jar with the brine, leaving a half-inch of headspace.
- Clean the top of the jars with hot water to remove any debris and drips.
- Following the manufacturer’s directions, place lids and rings on jars, being careful not to over tighten (this can cause lids to buckle).
- Place prepared jars in boiling water bath, making sure water covers jars by at least one inch. Bring back to a boil and process for 30 minutes.
- Remove jars from kettle using a jar lifter and let cool completely before touching. Soon the lids should seal with a ping – music to a canner’s ears!
- If one of the jars does not seal, don’t worry. Just place it in the refrigerator and eat it.
- These are delicious after only a week of sitting in the brine. However, the sealed jars will last at least a year in a cool, dark environment.