Pickled Beets

Pickled beets are easy to make with freshly cooked beets and a brine made with sugar, pickling salt, and vinegar. This recipe is one of my “must-do” yearly canning recipes when I have a bumper crop of fresh beets.


  • 10 pounds fresh small beets, stems removed
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
  • 1 quart white vinegar
  • ¼ cup whole cloves, or as needed


  1. Gather all ingredients

2. Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, inspect 10 pint-sized jars for cracks and rings for rust, discarding any defective ones. Immerse in simmering water until beets are ready. Wash new, unused lids and rings in warm soapy water.

4. Drain beets, reserving 2 cups of beet water. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel and discard skins.

5. Fill each sterilized jar with beets. Evenly divide cloves among the jars.

6. Combine sugar, 2 cups of beet water, vinegar, and pickling salt in a large saucepan; bring to a rapid boil.

7. Pour the hot brine over the beets in the jars, and seal the lids.

8. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.


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