Canning – Beet Pickles

I first tried making beet pickles a couple of years ago with a recipe I got from the Ball Blue Book. They were not like the ones my mom used to make and I didn’t care for them at all. The recipe called for spices like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, which should have been a clue to me that they weren’t the same kind of pickle I remembered from my childhood.

This year I combed through my mom’s recipe files that I’m fortunate to have and found the one she used.

Yield: I had five pounds of beets to work with and filled seven quarts. I tripled the volumes in this recipe for the syrup ingredients and that amount was just about perfect for the seven quarts.

Ingredients (I tripled the volume of everything.)

  • 3 cups vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (I used Kosher salt)
  • 1 Tbsp. mixed spices (I used pickling spice)


Cook beets in lightly salted water (I didn’t salt my water) until tender. Drain, rinse in cold water, and peel.

Cut into thick slices and fill hot jars.

Bring sugar, vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices to a boil.

Add syrup to beets and pack into jars. Wipe rims to ensure they are clean and apply lids and rings. Process in water bath canner for 30 minutes

For my altitude here in Kamloops I need to increase the processing time by 5 minutes. You need to check the altitude for your location and adjust accordingly.

The pickles need to sit for at least 2 weeks before opening.



I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Your recipes often fit in with the PA Dutch “seven sweets and seven sours” theme. Mother used to can beets. I still buy pickled beets at the grocery and use the juice for pickling my boiled eggs.

    I don’t think there are many illustrated cookbooks on canning. Yours would be a winner, Linda.

    1. I’ve not heard of the “seven sweets and seven sours” theme, Marian. Google, here I come! Will also have to learn more about using the beet pickle juice for eggs. Mom used to make pickled eggs occasionally too–though not with beet pickle juice–and they were delicious!

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