Expert Tips on Preserving Beets: Friendly Guide for All Levels

Welcome to our guide on preserving beets! Whether you’re a beginner or an expert in the kitchen, this guide will provide you with the tools and techniques needed to preserve beets and enjoy their delicious flavor all year round. Preserving beets has many benefits, including long-term storage and easy access for cooking. In this article, we will explore various methods of preserving beets, such as canning and pickling, and provide you with expert tips for successful preservation. So, let’s get started and learn how to preserve beets!

Why Preserve Beets?

Preserving beets is a practical way to ensure that you can enjoy their delicious flavor and nutritional benefits throughout the year. Not only does preservation allow you to take advantage of the seasonal abundance of beets, but it also gives you the flexibility to include this flavorful and nutrient-dense root vegetable in a variety of dishes.

Long-term preservation also provides a solution to the problem of food waste. By preserving beets, you can avoid throwing away excess produce and reduce your overall food waste.

There are several beet preserving techniques to choose from, such as canning, pickling, freezing, and dehydrating. Each method provides different benefits and has unique challenges. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced preserver, you can find a beet preservation method that works for you.

Preserving beets is not only practical but can also be a fun and creative way to experiment with different flavors and techniques. By mastering the art of preserving beets, you can expand your culinary skills and enhance your cooking repertoire.

Methods of Preserving Beets

Preserving beets is an effective way to enjoy their sweet and earthy flavor all year round. There are several methods of preserving beets, each with its own pros and cons. Below are some of the most popular methods:

Method Description
Canning Canning involves cooking the beets and then sealing them in jars with a lid. This method provides long-term preservation and maintains the flavor and texture of the beets.
Pickling Pickling involves immersing the beets in a vinegar and spice solution, which provides a tangy and flavorful taste. This method is suitable for short-term preservation and can be adjusted to personal preferences.

Both canning and pickling require proper preparation, sterilization, and storage to ensure the best results. It is important to follow the instructions carefully and use quality ingredients.

Canning Beets

Canning beets is a popular method of preserving beets for the long term. It requires the use of a pressure canner or a boiling-water canner to ensure the jars are properly sealed and free from bacteria. Below are the steps for canning beets:

  1. Wash and trim the beets, leaving about an inch of the stem and the root intact.
  2. Boil the beets until they are tender, then remove the skins by rubbing them off with a towel.
  3. Sterilize the jars and lids by boiling them in water for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Cut the beets into quarters or slices, then pack them into the jars, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top.
  5. Add the canning liquid, which can be a combination of vinegar, water, salt, and sugar.
  6. Remove any air bubbles and wipe the rims of the jars before placing the lids on tightly.
  7. Process the jars in a pressure canner or a boiling-water canner, depending on the recipe and altitude. Follow the instructions carefully for the recommended time and pressure.
  8. Remove the jars from the canner and let them cool before storing them in a cool, dark place.

Canned beets can be stored for up to a year and are perfect for adding to salads, soups, and sides dishes.

Pickling Beets

Pickling beets is a quick and easy way to preserve beets for the short term. It involves immersing the beets in a vinegar and spice solution, which adds a tangy and flavorful taste. Below are the steps for pickling beets:

  1. Wash and trim the beets, leaving about an inch of the stem and the root intact.
  2. Boil the beets until they are tender, then remove the skins by rubbing them off with a towel.
  3. Prepare the pickling solution, which can include vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices. Heat the solution on the stove until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  4. Cut the beets into quarters or slices, then pack them into jars or containers.
  5. Pour the pickling solution over the beets, making sure they are completely covered.
  6. Seal the jars or containers and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before consuming.

Pickled beets can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month and are great for adding to sandwiches, salads, and snacks.

Canning Beets: Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking for a reliable way to preserve beets, canning is an excellent option. Canning involves sterilizing jars and processing beets in a hot water bath, helping to eliminate bacteria and ensuring long-term preservation.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to canning beets:

Steps Instructions
Step 1 Wash and peel the beets. Cut off the tops and bottoms, and slice the beets to the desired size.
Step 2 Sterilize canning jars and lids according to manufacturer instructions. Keep them hot until ready to use.
Step 3 Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the beets and cook until tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Step 4 Prepare a canning syrup by mixing water, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil.
Step 5 Remove the jars from the hot water and fill each jar with beets, leaving about an inch of headspace.
Step 6 Pour the hot syrup over the beets, again leaving an inch of headspace.
Step 7 Use a clean cloth to wipe the rim of each jar. Add the lid and ring, tightening the ring to fingertip tightness.
Step 8 Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the water and let cool to room temperature.

Note: It’s important to follow proper canning procedures and ensure that jars are properly sealed before consuming. Improper canning methods can lead to botulism and other foodborne illnesses.

Expert Tips for Successful Canning

“Be sure to use fresh beets and carefully follow the recipe and canning instructions. Avoid using beets that are overripe, as they may be too soft for canning. Always check for proper seals before storing beets, and store them in a cool, dark place for optimal shelf life.”

By following these expert tips and step-by-step instructions, you can successfully preserve beets through canning. Enjoy the sweet, earthy flavor of beets all year round!

Pickling Beets: A Flavorful Preservation Method

If you’re looking for a flavorful way to preserve your beets, pickling is a great option. Not only does it add a tangy flavor to the beets, but it also helps to extend their shelf life.

Pickling involves soaking the beets in a mixture of vinegar, water, and spices. The acidic environment helps to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and keep the beets fresh for longer.

Preparing the Beets

To prepare the beets for pickling, wash and peel them, removing any blemishes or rough spots. Cut them into uniform slices or wedges for even pickling. Make sure to wear gloves to avoid staining your hands.

The Pickling Solution

The pickling solution consists of equal parts vinegar and water, sugar, and spices. Popular spices include cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. The amount of sugar and spices can be adjusted to suit your taste.

Ingredients Amount
Vinegar 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup
Spices To taste

Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat and let simmer for a few minutes.

Pickling the Beets

Place the sliced beets in a jar or container and pour the pickling solution over them. Make sure the beets are fully submerged in the liquid. Cover the container and store it in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours to allow the flavors to develop.


Get creative with your pickling solution by experimenting with different types of vinegar and spices. Balsamic vinegar and ginger are popular choices that add unique flavors to pickled beets. You can also add other vegetables such as onions or carrots to the mix.

Enjoy your pickled beets as a tangy side dish or add them to salads and sandwiches for a flavorful boost.

Storing Preserved Beets

Proper storage is crucial to maintain the quality of preserved beets. Depending on the preservation method, there are different options for storing preserved beets.

Jar Storage

If you have canned your beets, store them in a cool, dry, and dark place. Beets preserved in jars can last up to 2 years if stored properly. Make sure to label the jars with the date of preservation for easy reference.


For freezing, make sure to place the beets in airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. Frozen beets can last up to 10 months in the freezer.


Dehydrated beets can last up to 2 years if stored in an airtight container. Make sure to store them in a cool and dry place to avoid moisture buildup.

It is important to remember to check stored beets periodically for signs of spoilage. If any mold or off odor is detected, discard the beets immediately. Properly stored preserved beets can provide delicious flavor all year round, so don’t forget to enjoy them in your favorite recipes.

Tips and Tricks for Successful Beet Preservation

Preserving beets can seem like a daunting task, but with the right techniques and tricks, it can be an easy and enjoyable process. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

1. Choose the right beets

When selecting beets for preservation, look for those that are firm, fresh, and uniform in size. Avoid beets that have soft spots, bruising, or discoloration. Larger beets tend to be tough and fibrous, so opt for smaller ones for the best results.

2. Clean and prepare the beets properly

Before preserving, wash the beets thoroughly and trim off the stems and leaves, leaving about 1 inch of the stem intact. Boil or roast the beets until they are tender but still firm. Next, peel the beets under cold running water and slice or dice them as desired.

3. Use quality preserving jars and equipment

Choosing the right equipment and jars is crucial for successful preservation. Use high-quality preserving jars that are specifically designed for canning and pickling. Ensure that the jars are sterilized and in good condition, with no cracks or chips. Additionally, use a reliable pressure canner and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

4. Follow the preservation method instructions closely

Whether you are canning or pickling, it is vital to follow the instructions closely to ensure safe and successful preservation. Follow the recipe guidelines for the correct ratios of ingredients, processing times, and temperatures. Deviating from the instructions can result in spoilage and potential health risks.

5. Store the preserved beets correctly

Proper storage is essential for maintaining the quality and safety of preserved beets. Store canned beets in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or cellar. Refrigerate pickled beets in an airtight container, and consume them within a few weeks. Freeze beets in airtight containers or freezer bags and consume them within six months.

By following these tips and tricks, you can safely and successfully preserve beets for long-term enjoyment. Happy preserving!

Creative Ways to Use Preserved Beets

Preserved beets are a versatile ingredient that can add a pop of color and flavor to a variety of dishes. Here are some creative ways to use them:

  1. Beet Hummus: Blend preserved beets with chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice for a flavorful twist on traditional hummus.
  2. Beet Salad: Toss chopped preserved beets with mixed greens, feta cheese, and a citrus vinaigrette for a refreshing and nutritious salad.
  3. Beet Soup: Add preserved beets to your favorite soup recipe for a sweet and earthy flavor. Try it in borscht for a traditional Eastern European dish.
  4. Beet Dip: Mix preserved beets with sour cream, horseradish, and dill for a tangy dip that pairs well with veggies or pita chips.
  5. Beet Pizza: Top a pizza crust with preserved beets, goat cheese, and arugula for a gourmet and colorful pizza.
  6. Beet Burger: Mix preserved beets with black beans and spices to make a delicious and healthy veggie burger.
  7. Beet Brownies: Use pureed preserved beets in place of some of the butter or oil in a brownie recipe for a moist and fudgy treat.

There are endless possibilities for using preserved beets in your cooking. Experiment with different flavors and recipes to find your favorite way to enjoy them.

Frequently Asked Questions about Preserving Beets

If you’re new to preserving beets or just need a refresher, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:

Can I preserve beets without using a pressure canner?

Yes, you can preserve beets using the water bath canning method. However, it’s important to note that this method is only safe for acidic foods. If you’re preserving beets that have been pickled or have vinegar added, then water bath canning is safe. If you’re preserving plain beets, it’s best to use a pressure canner to ensure safety.

How long can I store preserved beets?

The shelf life of preserved beets depends on the method used. Canned beets can last for up to 2-3 years if stored in a cool, dry place. Pickled beets can last for up to 1 year in the refrigerator. Freezing beets can extend their shelf life for up to 8 months. Make sure to label and date your preserved beets for easy tracking.

Can I reuse canning lids?

No, you should not reuse canning lids. Once a lid has been used, it loses its ability to create a proper seal. Always use new, unused canning lids for each batch of preserved beets.

How long should I boil jars when canning beets?

The boiling time for canning beets may vary depending on the size of the jar and your altitude. Generally, quart-sized jars should be boiled for 45 minutes and pint-sized jars for 35 minutes. If you live at a high altitude, you may need to increase boiling time. Always refer to a trusted canning guide for specific boiling times.

Can I freeze canned beets?

Yes, you can freeze canned beets. However, the texture may change during the freezing process. It’s best to freeze beets before canning, or to simply freeze fresh beets.

Why did my pickled beets turn brown?

Brownish discoloration of pickled beets may be caused by several factors, including using overripe beets, using hard water, or using iron pots or utensils. To prevent this, use fresh beets, filtered water, and non-reactive pots or utensils when pickling beets.

How do I know if my preserved beets are safe to eat?

Always inspect your preserved beets before consuming. If the jar lid is not sealed or if there are signs of spoilage, such as mold or off smells, discard the beets. If you’re unsure about the safety of your preserved beets, it’s best to err on the side of caution and not consume them.