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Canning Beets {How to Can Beets}

Follow this step-by-step tutorial to learn how simple Canning Beets can be. Having plain canned beets on hand means healthy side dishes can be ready in a flash. 

3 canning jars with beets and parsley on a white board

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Beets are such a delicious and nutritious root vegetable that can be the base of many amazing dishes. They’re also incredibly easy to can, and I’ll show you how.

Can Beets Be Canned in a Water Bath?

Sadly, no. You cannot safely can beets in a water bath canner. Beets, like all low acid vegetables, must be preserved using a pressure canner.

Once you master your pressure canner, use it for things like Canning Peas, Canning Potatoes, Canning Green BeansCanning CornCanning Pumpkin, and Canning CarrotsThis is the pressure canner I have had for eight years and I love it. 

Not interested in pressure canning beets? Try your hand at these Refrigerator Quick Pickled Beets for a non-canning option.

SUPPLIES FOR Canning Beets

Check out this in-depth post for a complete list of canning supplies.

You’ll need:

You’ll want to look for small to medium-sized beets that are 1-2 inches in diameter. Beets larger than that tend to be “tough” and fibrous. Smaller baby beets can be canned whole. Medium-sized beets can be sliced or cubed to your preference.

How to Use Canned Beets

Crack open a jar and use them as the base for these Hasselback Roasted Beets, top them with some goat cheese or feta, serve them plain bit a bit of salt, or use them to kickstart a batch of Encurtido.

HOW TO CAN BEETS

*I’ll walk you through it here with photos, and a detailed and printable recipe card is available at the bottom of this post.

Wash and clean your jars. It is no longer necessary to sterilize jars before canning (hurray!) but you should make sure they are preheated enough to not crack when placed in hot water.

You can put them in a clean dishwasher and run them through a quick wash cycle, or place them in a large pan with some water in a low heat oven (my lowest temp is 170 degrees) until you need them. I’ve even just put hot tap water in them before and left them on the counter.

Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl for now.

Many recipes will recommend you boil beets for 15-20 minutes with the leaves removed but the roots and the base of the stem attached. This is meant to keep the color from bleeding out too much. After that, you can simply remove the skins, root, and stem.

I prefer to flip the process on the head and peel BEFORE cooking. I don’t mind the color loss, it’s easier, and you don’t burn your hands on lava hot beets.

And rather than boiling them on the stove in a large pot (which you absolutely can do!), I prefer to cook all my beets for canning following the instructions here for Instant Pot Beets. You can cook a ton at once and don’t have to babysit the pot.

Add 3 quarts of water to your pressure canner and put it on a burner set to high. Make sure there is a canning rack in the bottom of the canner.

Add the hot cooked beets to your jars. Then carefully ladle in clean boiling water (not the water used to boil the beets), leaving 1-inch of headspace at the top of the jars.

Using a long utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), remove all the air bubbles from the jar. Clean the rim of the jar very well with a hot damp rag. Any food debris left on the rim may impact the seal of the lid in the canner.

Place a clean lid on the jar. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.

4 photos step by step how to can beetroot

Using canning tongs, gently place the jars in the canner. Lock the lid. Soon, steam will start coming through the vent pipe (I call it the steam chimney). Allow the steam to pass through for about 10 minutes. Then put the pressure regulator (I call it the chimney cap) on top.

Pretty soon, the air vent will pop up. That is a sign that you’re starting to build pressure inside the canner (get excited. This is happening!). Under normal conditions, beets need to be pressure canned at 11 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes for pints or 35 minutes for quarts. See chart below for any changes to processing times.

processing times for a canned beets recipe

When the dial gauge reaches 11 pounds of pressure, reduce the burner temp to medium, and start your timer. The pressure must stay at 11 or (a little bit) above for the duration of the cooking time. You’ll likely need to adjust the temp on the burner a few times depending on your stove.

When the time is up, remove the canner from the burner and allow it to sit until you hear a distinctive “click” of the air vent dropping. Remove the pressure regulator and carefully remove the lid (Pro tip: I always use oven mitts when I take the lid off because the steam is super hot).

4 photos showing how to pressure can peas step by step

Let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongsPro tip: allowing the jars to sit in the canner with the lid off can help reduce the siphoning of liquid in your jars. Siphoning is when liquid seeps out from under the lids and reduces the overall amount of liquid in the jar. 

tongs holding a canning jar of beets

If just a bit of siphoning has happened and your jars sealed, your item is still safe to eat but use your best judgment. I tend to quickly use any jar that has experienced siphoning simply because it can discolor the food at the top not covered in the liquid.

Place hot jars on a towel where they can sit undisturbed for 12 hours.

After a few hours, to check for sealing, gently press down in the middle of the lid. If the lid has no give, it’s sealed. If you can press the lid in and it pops a bit, your jars are not sealed.

HOW LONG DO CANNED Beets LAST?

If stored in a dark cool place, they will last for 12 months. If you open a jar for use and don’t use it all, you can store it in the fridge for up to three days.

PRO TIPS/RECIPES NOTES

  • You can add salt to each jar prior to canning it. Use pickling salt and add 1 tsp per quart. Personally, I find the unsalted version more versatile to use in recipes because it allows me to control the overall sodium.
  • Pressure canners can often leave white lines on lids and rings. It’s totally normal and safe. To prevent this, add 1/3 cup of white vinegar to the canner before processing.
  • If you don’t have enough jars to fill the canner, consider Canning Water in a few jars to stock your emergency drinking water supplies.

a hand holding a canning jar of beets

MORE CANNING RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

Canning Beets

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Pressurizing/Depressurizing20 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Follow this step-by-step tutorial to learn how to can beets.

Ingredients

  • 14 lbs beets
  • water

Instructions

  • Wash and clean your jars. Fill with hot water or keep them warm in a clean dishwasher or oven.
  • Wash your lids with hot soapy water and place them in a clean bowl.
  • Choose beets 1-2 inches in diameter.
  • Cut the root and stem end off, and use a knife to remove the skin.
  • Boil in water in a large saucepan for 15-25 minutes until a knife can easily pierce the beet.
  • Add 3 quarts of water to your pressure canner and put it on a burner set to high. Make sure there is a canning rack in the bottom of the canner.
  • Strain beets and place hot beets into jars.
  • Carefully ladle in clean boiling water (not the water used to boil the beets), leaving 1-inch of headspace at the top of the jars.
  • {optional}: add 1 tsp of salt per quart or 1/2 tsp salt per pint.
  • Use a long utensil (I prefer a plastic chopstick), to remove all the air bubbles from the jar.
  • Clean the rim of the jar very well with a hot damp rag.
  • Place a clean lid on the jar. Add a ring, and tighten to fingertip tight.
  • Using canning tongs, gently place the jars in the canner. Lock the lid. Soon, steam will start coming through the vent pipe.
  • Allow the steam to pass through for about 10 minutes. Then put the pressure regulator on top.
  • Pretty soon, the air vent will pop up. Beets need to be pressure canned at 11 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes for pints and 35 minutes for quarts. See chart in post above for any changes to processing times.
  • When the dial gauge reaches 11 pounds of pressure, reduce the burner temp to medium, and start your timer. The pressure must stay at 11 or (a little bit) above for the duration of the cooking time.
  • When the time is up, remove the canner from the burner and allow it to sit until you hear a distinctive “click” of the air vent dropping. Remove the pressure regulator and carefully remove the lid (Pro tip: use oven mitts to take the lid off because the steam is super hot).
  • Let the jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then lift them out with canning tongs. Place on a thick clean towel undisturbed for 12 hours.

Notes

Store in a cool dark place for 12 months.
 
14 lbs is needed for 9 pints. If you have fewer beets, you can safely process fewer pints.
Nutrition Facts
Canning Beets
Amount Per Serving (1 pint)
Calories 303 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 550mg24%
Potassium 2293mg66%
Carbohydrates 67g22%
Fiber 20g83%
Sugar 48g53%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 233IU5%
Vitamin C 35mg42%
Calcium 113mg11%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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