“This is my Grandma's recipe. You can vary the amount of sugar to adjust for taste. It is important not to use an aluminum pan when cooking the syrup because the vinegar can pick up the taste of the metal. Also, if you are using a large kettle to boil the jars in instead of a canner, it is a good idea to put a towel in the bottom of the kettle to reduce the risk of the jars breaking. Good luck!!”
12 pints

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. To cook beets, leave about 1 inch of stalk on the beets and bring to a boil in a large kettle with enough water to just cover them. It generally takes 25-30 minutes at a full boil. Test with a sharp knife to make sure they are tender.
  2. Drain and cover immediately with cold water.
  3. Peel and quarter or cut into desired size chunks.
  4. Using pint measure, measure out enough prepared beets to make 12 pints and set aside.
  5. To prepare syrup:.
  6. In a large stainless steel or enamel kettle, mix together the vinegar, sugar, and salt.
  7. Make a spice bag by cutting a 6-in square of cotton cloth and placing the pickling spice on the square.
  8. Draw the sides together to form a bag and tie with a string or a piece of cloth. DO NOT USE TWIST TIES.
  9. Add spice bag to the vinegar mixture and bring to a boil.
  10. Boil for 5 minutes then remove the spice bag and discard it.
  11. Pour the prepared beets into the syrup and boil for an additional ten minutes.
  12. During this step, prepare canning jars by placing 12 jars into a hot water bath (either in the sink or in a large pan will work).
  13. Also prepare the lids (not the rings) by placing them in a small pan of boiling water. (the lids with white on the inside work better than those with metal on the inside).
  14. When beets are done boiling, fill the hot jars to 1 inch from the top of the jar and cover with hot syrup leaving 1/2 inch head space.
  15. Wipe rims of jars with damp cloth, use tongs to retrieve lids and place on jars, then seal with the rings.
  16. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
  17. Remove from bath and set on dry surface to cool. (I use a large bath towel to set the jars on to reduce the risk of the jars cracking from cooling too quickly).
  18. Leave at least an inch of space around each jar while cooling.
  19. Store in a cool, dark space.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a