By September 2, 2013 Read More →

Canning Pickled Beets – Old Fashioned Recipe


All photos by Stephanie Dayle 2013

By Stephanie Dayle

It’s that time of year when the beets in your garden should be finishing up. When I was a kid our choices were to eat them fresh, which I loved, or pressure can them, I despised eating canned beets. They were the source of many late nights at the dinner table while I stared down the “you may not get up until you eat your beets” ultimatum.

As an adult I learned that they could also be pickled, my mom was not fond of pickled beets so she never preserved them that way (you can also dehydrate them but that’s another article). I love old fashioned pickled beets, they are by far one of my most favorite snacks and side dishes! They are a far cry from their pressure canned counterparts. By “old fashioned” I mean they are pickled using a sweet brine with traditional ingredients.



Row of beets


Why Grow Beets?

Beets are a quick growing, hardy root vegetable. They are cold hardy so beets are a great crop to get in the ground as soon as possible for an early harvest giving you food when nothing else is ready yet. Beets can be steamed, roasted (my favorite), grilled, shredded for salad, and of course they can be preserved by being canned or pickled. They are also packed with potassium, magnesium, folate, and B vitamins! In other words, they are really good for you. Beets are also really good for livestock and are often fed to cattle and horses. The greens are completely eatable and are often prepared like ‘collard greens,’ they can also be juiced or dehydrated. Pigs, cattle, chickens and horses also enjoy the greens so nothing goes to waste. Click here for heirloom beet seed.

Here is a quick ‘how to’ on canning pickled beets!


Canning Pickled Beets

(recipe courtesy of the Ball Blue Book)


• 3 quarts beets (double recipe if you have more)
• 2 C sugar
• 2 sticks cinnamon
• 1 Tblsp whole allspice
• 1/2 Tblsp of whole cloves (I add this is variation of the recipe)

• 1 1/2 tsp salt
• 3 1/2 cups vinegar (use cider vinegar)
• 1 1/2 C water


Remove tops and root, then wash beets.


Cook beets for 20-30 in a large stock pot or canner (like pictured above), until you can just barely stick a fork them, then run them under cold water or stick them in a tub of cold water and peel them easily with your hands. 

1.Wash beets, cook beets, peel and quarter beets.
2.Combine everything except beets in large sauce pot.
3.Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
4.Remove cinnamon sticks.
5.Pack beets into hot jars leaving 1/4″ headspace.
6.Ladle hot liquid over beets leaving 1/4″ headspace.
7.Remove air bubbles, then add lids and bands.
8.Process for 30 minutes in a hot water bath canner.

Yield: Approximately 6 pints or 3 quarts.


All ingredients combined and simmering – this is the sweet brine ready to go!


Sterilized jars filled with peeled beets – ready for the brine.


Water bath canner full of jars.


Finished product.

**This recipe and process is approved for safety – I even asked the WSU Extension Office if adding a few cloves was ok – they said it would not alter the safety of the recipe. Many people have written articles about pickling beets on the internet, any similarities are merely coincidence.**

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About the Author:

Stephanie is a writer for the American Preppers Network, a small local paper and for her blog, The Home Front and was featured in Marie Claire UK in the October 2012 issue that featured women preppers. She is also the credited writer of "Emergency Bag Essentials (Swatchbook): Everything You Need to Bug Out" released in August 2014 and available on "I write articles based on my own experience with emergency preparedness, self-sufficiency, homesteading, food preservation and life around the farmstead. I grew up in a very rural area where I learned to garden, the art of canning, to hunt and fish, and to raise my own animals for food. I also spent 6 years volunteering for the local county Search and Rescue group where I learned a variety of survival skills and a little bit about law enforcement protocol. " "As a general rule of principle I do not write articles about information that I have only read - if I am writing about something it's because I have done it myself and gone to great lengths to provide you with the facts meshed with personal experience. My alter egos are as an full time mom, amateur photographer, and backpacker." Stephanie's past APN articles are featured below on several pages. To connect with her --> click on one of the many little square social media buttons below!

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