Pickled beets are one of my favorite pickles, right after bread and butter pickles. These basic pickled beets are perfectly spiced with cinnamon sticks, allspice, and optional cloves. And the recipe is easily doubled to make a larger batch.
For step-by-step help with the canning process, see: Preparing Jars for Canning and Boiling Water Processing
- 4 pounds beets
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
- 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves, optional
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed (or use all granulated sugar)
- 1 teaspoon pickling salt
- 2 cups cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
Have the jars sterilized and in simmering water in the canner. And have the sterilized lids ready in barely simmering water.
Trim the beets, leaving about 1 to 2 inches of their tops on and rootlets intact. Put in a large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil just until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water and slip the beets out of their skins.
Cut the beets into small chunks.
Meanwhile, sterilize the jars and lids and have them ready in barely simmering water in the canner.
Put cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a spice bag and tie tightly.
In a large enamel or stainless steel pan, combine the sugars, salt, vinegar, and water. Add the spice bag. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, pack the beets into the prepared hot sterilized pint jars. Using a damp clean cloth or paper towel, wipe the jar rims and threads.
Remove the spice bag from the vinegar and sugar mixture; discard the spices. Using a canning funnel (wide or narrow, depending on your jars) pour the hot liquid over the beets, leaving 1/2-inch of headspace.
Place the two-piece lids on the jars. Tighten gently; do not over-tighten. Put the filled jars in the canner. The water should be about 1 inch above the jars. Add extra hot or boiling water, if necessary. Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes or more, depending on your altitude.
Processing Times by Altitude
- 0 to 1,000 feet: 30 minutes
- 1,001 to 3,000 feet: 35 minutes
- 3,001 to 6,000 feet: 40 minutes
- Above 6,000 feet: 45 minutes
The recipe makes about 4 pints of pickled beets.
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