Pickled Beets

  • 7 lbs of 2 to 2-1/2 inch diameter beets
  • 4 cups vinegar (5%)
  • 1-1/2 tsp canning or pickling salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 4 to 6 onions (2 to 2-1/2 inch diameter), if desired
  • Yield: About 8 pints
Trim off beet tops, leaving 1 inch of stem and roots to prevent bleeding of color. Wash thoroughly. Sort for size. Cover similar sizes together with boiling water and cook until tender (about 25 to 30 minutes). Caution: Drain and discard liquid. Cool beets. Trim off roots and stems and slip off skins. Slice into 1/4 inch slices. Peel and thinly slice onions. Combine vinegar, salt, sugar, and fresh water. Put spices in cheesecloth bag and add to vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil. Add beets and onions. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove spice bag. Fill hot jars with beets and onions, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Add hot vinegar solution, allowing 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel. Adjust lids and process.
Packing Method Jar Size Process Time in Minutes at Altitudes of
0-1,000 ft 1,001-3,000 ft 3,001-6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Hot Pints or quarts 30 35 40 45

Variation: For pickled whole baby beets, follow above directions but use beets that are 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Pack whole; do not slice. Onions may be omitted.

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