These Pickled Beets are the perfect combination of sweet, tangy and spice! This recipe is safe for water bath canning and is my favorite way to preserve fresh beets to enjoy year round.
Beets are an interesting vegetable in the sense that people seem to either love them or hate them. I personally adore beets and this pickling recipe is one of my favorite way to enjoy them!
This pickled beets recipe is sweet without being overly sweet and the perfect combination of tang and spice. This recipe is safe for water bath canning so you can enjoy these delicious pickles year round!
Be sure to follow safe canning practices as outlined by the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
What is water bath canning?
Canning is simply the process of applying adequate heat to high acid food that is sealed in jars for the allotted time necessary to kill off bacteria and micro-organisms that cause food spoilage. During heating, oxygen is driven out of the jars, causing a vacuum seal to form when the jars cool down. This prevents any outside micro-organisms and oxygen from getting back into the food. When done correctly, canning preserves food safely for at least a year, although probably much, much longer.
You can check out my guide on How to Safely Water Bath Can at Home more resources on safe home preserving.
Safe canning resources.
If you are new to canning you can find great resources, recipes and tutorials at Ball Canning and the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
More preserving recipes for you to enjoy.
For the Pickled Beets
- Large pot
- Cutting board and knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
For Water Bath Canning
- Mason jars: Make sure the jars are clean and that the lids are brand new. You cannot reuse canning lids.
- Large pot with rack OR Electric Canner: If you only can once in a while using a large pot with a canning rack works just fine. As someone who personally does a lot of canning and I absolutely LOVE my Ball FreshTech Electric Canner.
- Jar lifter: You will need a jar lifter to remove the hot jars from the water bath.
- Funnel: I personally love this canning funnel because it also allows you to measure the headspace easily.
- Ladle: This Prepworks Canning Scoop is my favorite.
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Made these pickled beets? Let me know what you think in the comments!
- 4 lb beets
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups white vinegar at least 5% acidity
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp pickling spice
- 2 tsp kosher salt
Prepare the beets
- Wash the beets and trim off the beet tops. Then place in a large pot and add water until the beets are just covered. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for around 30 minutes until the beets are knife tender. Remove the beets and allow to cool slightly before peeling and cutting into ⅓rd inch slices. Place jars on top of a towel on the counter then tightly pack the beet slices into the jars.
Prepare the brine
- In a sauce pan add water, vinegar, sugar, pickling spice and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and then turn the heat down to low for 3-5 minutes until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Then remove the pan from the heat.
Fill the jars
- Using a funnel, ladle the brine in the jars leaving ¼ to ½ inch headspace. Then use a knife or chopstick to remove the bubbles. Wipe down the jar rims then add clean lids and rims. At this point you can either place the beets inn the fridge and wait at least one week to allow them to pickle before enjoying. Or you can process them in a water bath and they will be shelf stable for 12-18 months. See instructions below.
Water Bath Canning Instructions
- Place jars on a rack in a large pot and cover with water at least 1-2 inches above the top of the jars. Bring the water to a full rolling boil and boil the jars in the water bath for 20 minutes (adjusting time for altitude).Turn off the heat and allow the jars to rest in the warm water for 5 minutes before removing and placing on a towel on the counter (do not place directly on the counter).Allow the jars to cool undisturbed for about 24 hours until all the lids have sealed.Store sealed jars in a cool dry place for 12-18 months for best quality.*Note* If any of the jars do not seal simply store in the refrigerator and consume within 6 weeks.
I'm going to try this recipe for the first time but am puzzled as to how many pints I might expect. Did I miss this info or has it not been included anywhere?
Hi Gina- Just updated that in the recipe. I usually get around 5-6 pints depending on how tightly I pack the jars. Hope you enjoy!
Gina- Your recipe has a much higher vinegar to sugar ratio. I just want to make sure 2 cups vinegar to 1/2 C sugar is accurate. thanks.
Hi there- yes, it's 2 cups of vinegar to 1/2 cup of sugar. Beets are naturally pretty sweet so I prefer this ratio for a nice sweet and tangy flavor. Let me know what you think!
Can I substitute the sugar? I would prefer to add none. Is that possible? Or for a bit of sweet an I add honey