Grandma's Pickled Beets



35 to 40 small beets or 15 large beets
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves


In a kettle, cook the beets until tender. Dip in cold water and peel off the skins. Slice ¼ inch thick or cut into quarters if using smaller beets. Pack tightly (snug but not bruising each other) into canning jars.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vinegar, ground cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and whole cloves. Boil for 10 minutes and pour at once over the beets, leaving a ¾-inch headspace (the liquid should go no farther than the shoulder of the jar).

To can and store, process in a boiling-water bath for 12 minutes. Remove immediately and cool on a rack.


6 pints


Reader Comments

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Pickled Beets

I use only the beet water, brown sugar, white vinegar and sliced onions. Will try adding other spices.

I am making the variation

I am making the variation from the comments. I wanted simple and no seasonings. Thank you.

My mother use to can beets

My mother use to can beets with just water and vinegar. I can't remember the combination of each. Can you help? I don't care for all the

You can follow this recipe

The Editors's picture

You can follow this recipe and simply leave out the spices. Enjoy!

My very old recipe calls for

My very old recipe calls for using the liquid that the beets were first cooked in instead of plain water. I do this ahead of time to let any sediment settle to the bottom. I use equal parts sugar, beet liquor and vinegar. No spices at all. This is a much requested pickled beet recipe and addition to meals. P.S. be sure to leave about 1" of the tops and roots on the beets when prepping them to cook.This way they will keep their color. Remove the tops and roots before adding them to the brine.