Canned Pickled Beets Recipe

 Pickled Beets

Ah, pickled beets. These purple beauties are most certainly a taste of my childhood as my Grandma canned beets in great numbers. Unlike most children, I have loved beets since I was a young ‘un running around my Grandma’s Manitoba farm in the hot summer sun.

I could have eaten them from the jar happily all day long, but alas, these were a truly coveted treat,  usually reserved for big family dinners along with a wild duck or a beautiful venison roast.

Now that I’ve taken on the canning and preserving role that my Grandmother did for so many years, I understand why they weren’t simply a snack for hungry children’s bellies and I was shooed out to the garden to find something else.

Canning is hot, sweaty, nasty at moments darn hard work.

Oh yes, Pinterest and so many other websites make it look so glamorous and easy to boot! Suzy Homesteader in her little white chef’s kitchen, canning away merrily all day long, children sitting nicely at the table and the house so perfectly clean around you.

They lie.

Every single, stinking one of them.

Canning is messy. Canning takes an organized mind-which I sadly lack some days- and canning takes a lot of reading, research and smarts as well. Is it worth it? Absolutely! I sincerely wouldn’t want anyone walking away from my site thinking that they are a failure because they aren’t smiling and happy like so many writers portray it.

You’re gonna sweat.

You’re gonna swear.

And you are going to be proud of yourself.

Sure, your kitchen will be a disaster, but canning in-season, fresh food with no preservatives, no chemicals leaching out from tin cans and knowing exactly what is in your food is worth it!

 Pickled Beets

The recipe I used is from the Atco website and can be found below in my printable recipe. The one thing I would like to stress is that beets are a non-acidic food, meaning in layman terms that they are more dangerous to can with.

Non-acidic foods that are canned can be a breeding ground for botulism, as well as many other things if you don’t follow the directions carefully. The risk is very minimal, however let’s remember that we are feeding our families with this food.

A few hard and fast rules that I obey for safe canning of non-acidic foods all the time.

1) Never, ever change the vinegar to water ratio in a recipe for canning non-acidic foods. These recipes have been developed in labs to ensure the correct amount of acidity required to eliminate the chance of botulism. Botulism grows in an air-free, low-acidic environment. See how canning gives it the perfect breeding ground? When we can vegetables we seal low acid food into an oxygen free environment.  I myself do not change a recipe ever. The only thing you may alter is spices. That’s it. Nothing else.

2) Always process the food for the exact times given. Do not boil your vinegar mixture more than the recipe states. Do not skip the processing time. Find out your altitude and process accordingly.

3) Read the website The National Center For Home Food Preservation because it has all the real facts. Start with the FAQ then delve into the recipes.

4) Fitting in with number three, always take your recipes from reputable sites. I’ve seen some canning recipes that just scare me, to be honest. The vinegar ratios are way off and they promote unsafe and un-recommended methods of canning. Remember, anyone can write a recipe, but you have no idea if it’s a safe one!

 Pickled Beets

So now that I’ve scared you off canning forever, here’s the recipe!

Truly, it’s a tried and true tested recipe from the Blue Flame Kitchen, so don’t worry! Like I said, before you make any canning recipes with vegetables, ask where the recipe is from, just to be safe. Or better yet, just head to the Atco website or check out all the amazing recipes on the  The National Center For Home Food Preservation

 

** Remember to join ZIPLIST to create your own online recipe box and then click SAVE on my recipe below to add it! I use my online recipe box ALL the time! **

Canned Pickled Beets Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 - 5 lb small beets (40 - 48)
  • 2 tbsp pickling salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mixed pickling spice, tied in cheesecloth bag
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Wash the beets and remove most of the tops, leaving about ½ inch of beet top remaining.
  2. In a large boiling pot of water, cook the beets until barely tender.
  3. Remove from the stove.
  4. Submerge the beets in a large bowl of ice water, I find this helps the skins come off with more ease.
  5. Cut off the tops and the roots completely, then remove the skin.
  6. Peel and slice beets into preferred size, I like larger chunks and not slices.
  7. Combine the vinegar, sugar, water, salt and pickling spice in a nonreactive pot and bring mixture to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes.
  8. Add the beets to the pickling liquid and return to a boil.
  9. Remove the spice bag.
  10. Carefully ladle te beets and pickling liquid into hot sterilized pint jars, leaving ½ inch headspace.
  11. Remove any air bubbles with a non-metal utensil.
  12. Add additional pickling liquid, if needed, to keep the proper headspace.
  13. Wipe the jar rims thoroughly with a clean damp cloth, failure to do this can result in the jars not sealing properly!
  14. Seal the jars and process for 35 minutes in a boiling water bath.
  15. For altitudes higher than 3000 ft (914 m), add 5 minutes to processing time.

 

So what has everyone else been canning? I have so many recipes to share with you these next few weeks, I’ve been a busy canning bee!

Thanks for stopping in!

Happy Canning!

Love,

Karlynn

24 comments
surferman67
surferman67

I used your receipt for pickling beets had a heck of a time trying to get the skins off did like you said just didn't want to come off

descott204
descott204

Hi... im working on preserving beets and i am wondering if it would be a big deal to cut and peel the beets prior to cooking them.  is it that they lose too much flavour?  thanks for your great tips..Dianne

sharon
sharon

I am at present in the midst of pickling 30 pounds of garden fresh beets with garden fresh added garlic.

Laura T
Laura T

i've been floundering alone in my kitchen for the last couple of years learning how to can, yet i come from a long line of very talented women canners so for as much as alot comes naturally, i actually knew nothing and am learning off the internet....., your introduction i just read had me laughing and has renewed my hope in continuing to learn  how to can our foods, and hopefully teach my daughter.....thanks!

Khouse
Khouse

Just finished pickling most of a bushel of beets. LOVE it. Peeling them is the worst job but I love canning much I am still happy. Also canned tomatoes, red peppers, jalapeno peppers, corn reli

JoAnnGillis
JoAnnGillis

Is it safe to pickle beets with the having the same amount of vinegar and sugar.

Thanks.

jo p
jo p

I don't know how my mother did it.  She worked full time as a single mother, raised a huge garden, did all the housework, laundry, etc., and canned all the food.  Just the small amount of canning I have done this year has about done me in, but, as you said, it's worth it.

jo p
jo p

My mother made pickled beets when I was growing up that I loved.  She didn't use any spices.  I absolutely hate cloves, so she left them out.  Glad to see your recipe as my mother's recipe is very minimal, so I will follow yours leaving out the spices.  My mother's recipe was:  Cut tops off beets. Boil beets about 1/h hour or until tender.  Skin.  1 cup vinegat to 1 cup sugar. Bring to boil and drop in beets.  Bring to boil and can.  I have a pickle relish recipe that was my great grandmother's that called for 5 cents celery seed, 5 cents mustard seed, and 2 1/2 cents tumeric.  So funny.

Emily Ouellette
Emily Ouellette

yumm! i remember my grandma used to dill different stuff and I always wanted to try it for myself. Now I can :)

Karlynn Johnston
Karlynn Johnston

Non-reactive cookware = clay, enamel, glass, plastic, or stainless steel.

I'm surprised Jim eats canned goods at all lol!

Melanie
Melanie

What exactly is a non-reactive pot? Are there certain metals we should avoid? I safely do all my canning the high pressure way so I can do no-vinegar beets safely and crack a can open to make borscht in the middle of winter. Jim, my microbiologist husband, is terrified of unsafe canning. TERRIFIED. You know how many botulism microbes it takes to make you sick? ONE. You know how many ways there are to cure botulism? FEW. You know what one of the very likely effects of botulism is? DEATH. Yep. I once saw a picture from the 1920s (ish) of a funeral for an entire family of 8 or 10 who had dies from botulism. Terrible. Know your canning and stick to the tried and true researched recipes! http://www.cdc.gov/features/homecanning/

Genevieve Olivier
Genevieve Olivier

My mom makes a mean pickled beet. Gonna make some in the fall.

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

Yes, shades of a Canadian childhood I tell you! A lot of this generation of kids is missing out, sadly. I'm always reminded of my grandma when I eat these...

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

Oh and plus, fridge pickles are exposed to oxygen, making the whole no-air seal not a big thing, so a lower ratio is ok for those. But I like higher ratio for TASTE! I can't wait to share the recipe, they are SO GOOD!

Genevieve Olivier
Genevieve Olivier

We used the Bernardin pickle anything recipe in their book. Used cukes and zucchini. I found the brine a bit sweet. But won't know how they are for a couple weeks. Tonight we are doing dill pickles with more tang.

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

I just made fridge pickles with carrots (recipe soon) and my vinegar ratio is far higher than that...I always just count on Atco or that home preserving site....BUT I haven't made dill pickles yet!

The Kitchen Magpie
The Kitchen Magpie

I get really scared sometimes when I read some of those recipes out there. Fruits are fine to alter sugar and stuff because of their high acidity but vegetables? I never mess with them. Lab proven recipes only for my family!

Genevieve Olivier
Genevieve Olivier

So true about different recipes that sorta skip steps or have odd ratios. We are too scared to mess with recipes while still learning.

sharon
sharon

@JoAnnGillis Yes, you can use equal sugar and vinegar. I have canned pickled beets using only this , one spice for forty years. :)

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@jo p I know. We forget the fortitude of the generation that HAD to can as a way of life and making sure you had food all winter!  Worth it but man, when I think of what my Grandma put up every year? Crazy!

thekitchenmagpie
thekitchenmagpie moderator

@jo p Oh my goodness, what a recipe! I love pickle relish!