Since beets have naturally low acid, they can only be canned in a water bath if they are pickled. The pickling process increases the acidity of the beets by adding vinegar. Choose red, yellow or chioggia beets or combine all three. The pickling process takes 1 to 1 1/2 hours from start to finish. Once you've finished canning the beets, let them sit for 6 to 8 weeks so the flavors can set, then consume them.
Things You'll Need
Canning jars and lids
Water bath canner with rack
Knife and cutting board
Place your canning jars in your dishwasher and run them through to sanitize them.
Rinse your beets under cool water, then place them in a pot. Add water to cover the beets. Boil the beets until they are soft -- about 25 minutes. When the beets are cooked fully, drain and cool.
Fill your water bath with water and set it on the stove. Turn the heat to medium high and heat the water bath until it reaches a boil, then turn the heat down to maintain a low boil.
Prepare a pickling brine to pickle the beets, using any pickling recipe you have on hand.
Slip the skin off the beets, using a paper towel to pull the skin away from the beets. Trim off the ends of the beets, then slice each beet into 1/4-inch slices. Leave small beets whole, if desired.
Pickle the beets following your recipe.
Line your sanitized jars on the counter and fill the jars with beets, leaving 1/2-inch of head space at the top. Use a slotted spoon to fill the jars with beets. Once your jars are full, pour the pickling solution into the jars, again leaving 1/2-inch of space.
Place sanitized jar caps and bands on the jars, screwing the bands tight. Then fit your jars into the canner rack.
Put the canner rack inside the water bath. Adjust the water level if necessary so the jars have 1 inch of water covering them. Turn up the heat to medium.
Can your beets in the water bath for 30 minutes once the water returns to a boil. Then remove the pickled beets from the water bath and let the jars dry on the counter until fully cool.
Test each jar before storing to ensure it's properly sealed. Press the center of the lid when the jar is completely cool; if the lid flexes, the jar is improperly sealed. Store these jars in the refrigerator and consume the beets promptly.