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

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Pickled Beets

Thank you for answering my question. I did notice the bay leaves in the picture but was not concerned with them. Your method for using the star anise seems to be a really good one to use---and not just for anise. Just looking at that picture makes me want some now and I do plan on making these with and without the anise.


Hi Doris. I suggest that if you like the taste of star anise that you add it with the rest of the spices. If you're not sure, I strongly suggest that you simmer some pods alone and smell or taste the resulting liquid before making an entire batch of beets with it as it may not be your cup of 'tea' and it will make a strong impact on their flavor. As for how much to use, that would be a matter of personal preference as it does impart a strong, distinctive flavor. I'm not partial to it myself, even though I love anise flavoring in baked goods and licorice. You might start with one 'star' and proceed from there. Good luck. By the way. I also see some dried bay leaves in the picture but not included in the recipe. I personally wouldn't add them either.


Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. Love them pickled too. Does the recipe really use ground AND whole cloves? There seems to be a star anise in picture of the beets in the jar but no mention of star anise in the recipe. Please verify so I can try the recipe. Thanks for your help.

Pickled Beets

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