Canned Pickled Beets


Quantity: About 8 pints

Jar size: Pints or quarts


7 pounds beets, 2 to 2-1/2 inches around
4 cups vinegar (5% acidity)
1-1/2 teaspoons 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 inches around (optional)


1. Wash and rinse canning jars; keep hot until ready to use. Prepare lids according to manufacturer’s directions.

2. Trim off beet tops. Leave 1 inch of stem and roots to prevent color from bleeding. Wash beets thoroughly and sort them for size.

3.  Cover similar sizes together with boiling water and cook until tender (about 25 to 30 minutes). Caution - Drain and discard liquid.

4. Cool beets. Trim off roots and stems and slip off skins. Slice in 1/4-inch slices.

5. Peel and thinly slice onions.

6. Mix vinegar, salt, sugar and fresh water. Put spices in cheesecloth bag and add to vinegar mixture. Bring to a boil and add beets and onions. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove spice bag.

7. Fill jars with beets and onions. Leave 1/2-inch headspace. Add hot vinegar mixture, and leave 1/2-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed. Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal canning lids.

8. Process in a boiling water canner according to the recommendations. Let cool, undisturbed, 12-24 hours and check for seals.

Variation: Pickled 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.

Processing time:

Processing Times for Boiling Water Canner


Process Times at Altitudes of:

Style of Pack

Jar Size

0-1000 ft

1001-3000 ft

3001-6000 ft

Above 6000 ft


Pints or Quarts

30 min

35 min

40 min

45 min

Source: National Center for Home Food Preservation