Appalachia Appalachian Food

Easy Recipe For Canning Pickled Beets

How to can pickled beets
Thanks to Hometown Seeds-we had a bumper crop of beets this year. Along with roasting them in the oven-we canned several runs of pickled beets.

A few of you may remember, last year-Miss Cindy taught me how to peel, cook, and make refrigerator pickled beets-this year there were too many beets to leave in the frig.

I looked online-and in several cookbooks trying to find an easy recipe for pickled beets. Many of them called for onions and other things that just seemed too complicated to me. I finally found a simple recipe in my Ball Blue Book of Preserving-and after trying it-I’m positive it’s the one we’ll use from now on.

Old time recipe for pickled beets
The recipe calls for 3 quarts of beets-it says that’s about 24 small ones. None of mine were the same size-I had gigantic ones and little bitty ones too.

I cooked and peeled them the way Miss Cindy showed me last year-it’s so much easier to peel them after they’re cooked. Then I sliced them-and measured to see if I had 3 quarts-I had 6 quarts-so I doubled the recipe and it worked out perfect. (the measurements below-are for 3 quarts of beets)

In a large stock pot combine: 2 cups of sugar, 2 sticks of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of whole allspice, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; 3 1/2 cups vinegar, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. The recipe says to remove the cinnamon sticks at this point-but I just left them-making sure I didn’t put them into one of the jars.

While the pickling mixture is simmering heat/sterilize your jars. The Deer Hunter likes to heat his in the oven-I use a dishpan full of simmering water.

Pack the sliced beets into the jar; Ladle the hot pickling mixture in the jar leaving a 1/4 inch headspace; attach lids and rings.

The recipe says to process pints and quarts 30 minutes in a boiling water canner-which we did.

Easy recipe for pickled beets

The first day of canning beets-The Deer Hunter had to take over after I came down with a migraine-so he canned the first bunch and I canned the 2nd bunch-I guess that makes us even on the beet count if there is such a thing.

Do you like pickled beets? Do you think they taste like dirt? I do-and I still like them-so I’m not sure what that says about me.


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  • Reply
    bob smith
    June 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    my family thought I was insane because Not a huge beet fan. Would eat them if i was hungry enough but would chose something else if available. I call it tasting earthy…

  • Reply
    August 23, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    We love pickled beets. Your recipe is very similar to mine (my grandma’s). But I use apple cider vinegar. I also love to slice them with a crinkle cutter, and they look pretty on your table next to the salad. I only water bath process mine for 5 min.

  • Reply
    Karen Kephart Twiss
    July 29, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Was looking on the Internet for an easy Pickled Beet Recipe and I think I have found it…the one you shared. Thanks
    Karen T.

  • Reply
    Ginny Miller
    July 22, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Found your site today while looking for info on Pickled Beets. Just finished a small batch. They smell wonderful!
    Thanks for posting your experiences and recipes.
    Ginny in TN

  • Reply
    July 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    I have never been a beet fan. I have been reading some comments… Does dirt taste better out your way? Heh Heh! Mom has been canning them too. I will pass along your recipe and see what she thinks of it. Thanks

  • Reply
    Janice MacDaniels
    July 16, 2011 at 7:39 am

    I love pickled beets… the sole person in my family who does. I must eat them hot, though. None of those cold beet thingies at a salad bar. I never thought/think they taste like dirt.

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    July 15, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I love pickled beets, but have never canned my own. I would love to have so many I had to do that though!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 15, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I like pickled beets the fridge variety and the canned variety. I’ve canned them many times over the years. I don’t pressure or water bath them. Just put them into hot jars and seal them. I’ve never had a problem doing them that way. Between the sugar and the vinegar they are well preserved.
    I think of beets as earthy tasting and after all the earth is our origin.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I love pickled beets, boiled beets, and boiled beet greens too! They say beets are good for you, but the beet greens are supposedly better for you than the beet root! They are probably not healthier with all the melted butter and salt that I usually use on them though!
    John Pallister
Twitter @PointlessPicks

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I love pickled beets! I wouldn’t eat them any other way.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I love pickled beets and have made them years ago. No they do not taste like dirt! They are delicious. My mother also canned them.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    I remember you leaving a comment, on my post about pickling beets, saying you think they taste like dirt. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one! I don’t add any of those spices (just my choice)and I leave mine in chunks instead of slicing them (just my choice). I felt lucky to have enough for seven pints this year because of the drought.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I love them AND they taste like dirt.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 11:23 am

    I’m not a fan of pickles in general, but I do like pickled beets. My recipe uses cloves instead of cinnamon and allspice…I may have to try adding cinnamon this year, though…that sounds good!

  • Reply
    B f
    July 14, 2011 at 11:09 am

    i have been hearing about a beet relish , does anyone know about that one?
    i,ve never used it but i do can beets the old fashioned way (pickled)
    some like them cooked with butter , then some says to put some kind of glaze after they are baked(or just cooked and skinned then slice and glaze
    so tell me

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Tipper, beets are my favorite pickle. Yes, they do taste like dirt,lol. The recipe you used sounds like the one Mom and Granny Matt used. Very good recipe in my opinion.T

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 10:53 am

    I LOVE pickled beets. I can eat them until I am almost sick! I know what you mean about the slight dirt taste, but then again, perhaps I am not a good judge of something being bad simply because it tastes like dirt! There was a specific place on my grandmother’s farm where I loved, LOVED to dip bbq potato chips in the dirt! Gross…I know. 😀

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Those beets you and the Deer Hunter canned look beautiful. I’m
    like Jim, however, and don’t care
    for them. But when I was little I
    use to eat dirt too…Ken

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    July 14, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I love pickled beets. I will take them as tart and vinegary tasting as I can get them, and any temperature from chilled to heated up. I also like them with onions mixed in.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Granny used to can pickled beets and I liked them. Actually, There are few things that I WON’T eat. I refuse to eat lamb in any form; it’s a psychological thing with me. Other than that, I’ll eat just about anything. Oh yes, I can’t handle chitterlings!

  • Reply
    Barbara Johnson
    July 14, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Love beets and yes they taste like dirt. God made dirt~dirt won’t hurt.
    Mom my used to say that to us kids.Not about beets but about dirt in general!

  • Reply
    Melissa P (misplaced Southerner)
    July 14, 2011 at 8:53 am

    How great is this! I LOVE pickled beets! (Jim hasn’t developed a taste for ’em, yet.) They put them in Greek salads in Michigan so I get them all. Beets are a huge crop up here, so I’ll be hitting the Farmers’ Markets and making these this year, for sure.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 8:08 am

    We love beets in this house(Pickled)!!My 12 year old granddaughrer will just go and get the jar of them ans start eating them!LOL Unfortunely our garden isnt big enough to can then so I have to buy mine!

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    July 14, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Tipper: Your method seems perfect! Just like my mama use to make pickled beets. It was my job to peel them – which I thought was fun!
    This week we are ‘into’ blueberries! We did a run of NINE pints of blueberry jam on Monday. By Friday we will be rested and be ready to do another nine or so pints! LABOR OF LOVE FOR MY GRANDSON – for whom I planted the BLUE BERRY HILL when he was born! Thank heavens he LOVES blueberries!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    July 14, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Tipper–I consider myself an omnivore with truly eclectic tastes, but I’ll pass on pickled beets and borscht. The Russkies can have them.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Chip-you can eat them either way-cold or room temperature-or I suppose you could heat them up if you wanted too : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    Chip D.
    July 14, 2011 at 7:13 am

    You have inspired me to try beets! Having never eaten any,do you eat them cold or at room temperature? My mom would can anything that stayed still long enough,you brought back good memories.:)

  • Reply
    Vera Guthrie
    July 14, 2011 at 6:42 am

    My whole family loves Pickled Beets!!! This is the one thing I have never tried. I have never had luck with growing them. Your article has inspired me to try again!! Thanks!!!

  • Reply
    July 14, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I really like pickled beets, this is one thing daddy did not grow and i wonder why. i like the photo of the pickles in the jar before the juice is added.

  • Reply
    Donna W
    July 14, 2011 at 6:12 am

    I pickled some beets a couple of days ago. Not to can, just to put in the refrigerator and eat as we see fit. Yummy. I planted a different type of beet this year, long and cylindrical rather than round.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    July 14, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Those beets look so good…If I lived close I would help you get rid of those dirty tasty things, eaten plain or so good chopped in a salad, too…
    We actually are supposed to pick some beets up today at the Mennonite farm. They’re saving
    us some, when we pickup blueberries today!
    I want to try roasting beets the way you explained on a previous post…We haven’t planted beets here in a long time…but love them just the same..
    Thanks Tipper,

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